11.29.2010

How To Make Your Tree Prelighted


Have you ever wished your tree was pre-lit like these new "fancy" ones are?  Have you thought you would buy one only to get to the store and find the huge price on some of them or even went to catch one on sale only to find they are all gone?  Pre-lit trees came as a result of retailers (especially flower shops) who wanted to devise a way to get trees up and down quicker every year.  Well, I am here to tell you the secrets to how to make your very own tree like those fancy pre-lit trees.  First you need to set your tree up except the top.  It works best if you have one of those trees that is in 3 pieces or less.  If you do not have one like that you can still do it but you will need to make some decisions.  You can light each individual branch which could be a huge electric bill or you can leave the tree put together each year, add a base with wheels, cover it with large garbage sacks every year when it is time to put it away and just wheel it to a closet or garage.  


 Once your tree is set up and ready (except the top) you can start.  You need to purchase one of those electric bars like you use for your computer.   You can see mine above.  Green or brown is best.  I couldn't find a green one so I just spray painted that baby.  Voila it's green!  Next you use green pipe cleaners or green twisty trash ties to attach it to the center of the tree.  I placed mine towards the top of the bottom portion.  You can also place it on the center portion of the trunk if you have a long enough cord.  This is where you will plug in your sets of lights.  Always read the instructions on your lights to see how many are ok to plug in together as one strand.  I try to keep it down to 3 sets for my own tree.  You will need about 1 set of 100 count lights for every 1 foot of tree in height.  That means if your tree is 8 foot tall you need a minimum of 8 sets of 100 count  lights or 16 sets of 50 count lights.  You can do more lights than that if you choose.  I just use the above as a rule of thumb.  I also like to buy the better sets for this job.  The ones that only have the one bulb go out rather than a section.  This will make it easier to find and replace the offending bulb.



I like to begin on the top part of the tree and I have found it easier to do when not on the tree.  On this part it works better to weave the lights in and out going around the entire piece until you have it covered with your strand of lights.  Use the pipe cleaners or twisty ties to attach the lights to the tree.  It is not necessary to put ties at every tip.  Just every few inches or so.  I do it at about every 8 inches or so.  More or less is fine.  Just keep in mind that if it is a 3 piece tree that you will need the lights to be able to be folded up with the branches and allow enough looseness for that.    Set the top in place and then run the cord down to the plug bar and plug it in.  I add a green extension cord to this piece so that it can reach down.  All the rest should reach the bar easily.  There are a couple of methods for "wrapping" the rest of your tree in lights.  One method you can just begin to wind lights around and around each branch and tip.  I like to do it a bit different.  I like to weave the lights in and out going up and then down each branch.  This puts your lights back in to the trunk before going to the next branch which is what I prefer.  Either way ends up looking great and have been proven to work great.


You can see in the above picture about how close I like to get my lights.   I sometimes end up needing a few more boxes than the rule of thumb for mine.  I usually buy about 3 more boxes just in case.  



In the above illustration I drew out in red what the light strand will look like on the branch.  It doesn't have to be done precisely like I did it.  This isn't a precise science.  There is room for doing it a bit different if you want.  The main part is that you cover the tree and attach the lights with ties every few inches to help it survive being put away and stored at the end of the season.  Be sure to end the strands of lights so that the 3 parts of the tree can be taken apart easily.  I like to lift the middle section to make certain of where it ends and I make sure to complete a strand that I am plugging in when I have that section covered.    When you have completed this process over the entire tree you will be able to plug the electric bar in and your tree will now be like those fancy ones except a bit better because those can be confusing the way you plug them in.  Yours will be easier to figure out because you will know that every plug gets plugged into the bar.  Easy peasy.



Now you know the secrets to pre-lit trees!  This post is part of Metamorphosis Monday be sure to check out the other posts!  Click Here to go to others.


Until Next Time
Debbie
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7 comments:

Becca's Dirt said...

What a good idea. Your tree is beautiful.

Nanniepannie said...

Putting the lights on the tree is the most tedious part of decorating for Christmas. I'm all about using your time for the fun stuff. Luckily here at Buttermilk Cottage we have a full basement and never take the lights off our Christmas trees.

Restoration House said...

This is a great idea! I also like the wheels on the bottom so you can just wheel it out!
Good job!
Kim

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Charli and me said...

What great information! Thank you so much for sharing. Your tree looks beautiful!!! I hope you have a lovely day ♥

Debi @ Adorned From Above said...

Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. This weeks party is live. I hope to see you there.
http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/12/fabric-covered-can-pen-and-pencil.html
Debi, Joye and Myrna (The Busy Bee's)

Patricia FieldsWatson said...

Thank you so much, this something I will try this year. I'm very tired of putting the lights on and off the tree each year. I have a wonderful Christmas tree and love a lot of lights, the pre lit trees never have enough lights and I love how full my tree is. Going out to buy white lights with white cords for my White Christmas Tree.