This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in December 2014.
Looking for more DIY ways to boost your holiday curb appeal? Consider this: add a large light-up star to your home! It would mount easily to a tall tree trunk, over your siding, or on your chimney. Making it yourself isn’t difficult either with a few simple materials – give it a go and show us how it turns out!
- (5) 3′ boards of 1×2 or 1×3
- (10) 4″ bolts with wing nuts
- 75′ of holiday lights
- 15′ of heavy gauge wire (for hanging)
Cut 5 boards to 3′ in length. If you’re lucky enough to have scrap wood laying around at home, that works, just make sure it’s lightweight. I used some trim that, I suspect, is from when our house was originally built in the ’50s. If you’re investing in new wood at a store, buy two 10′ 1×2 or 1×3 boards, and cut them to size.
Take two of your boards, and drill through the tips at the same time so the holes align. You’re going to assemble these pieces first. Once the star is laying flat, you will drill through the remaining boards when you can do so with more accuracy.
Securing these two ends with one of your bolts will help make constructing the star easier. Don’t tighten the wing nut all of the way – you’ll want to be able to let the boards move a little to allow the angle of the boards adjust as you put the rest of the star pieces together.
Lay your star flat to assemble the rest of the boards. When the configuration is even, drill down through at each corner, and as necessary at the overlapping connections in the middle until it is solid and unwilling to warp.
Loop string lights onto your star by starting with the plug in the lower corner (wherein it will be convenient to attach an extension cord). Wrap the cord around so that all of the lights face outward on the front of the star. I used three 25-foot strands of LED bulbs for this. (Not sure what bulbs you should invest in this year? Check out this holiday light buying guide.)
Decide how you are going to hang your new giant star. Ours was going outdoors on a tree, and though we don’t have access to a cherry picker, I used an extension ladder to raise it about 12-feet off the ground and wire to secure it around the trunk.
Run an extension cord to your star, and secure the dangling cord to the tree in a few places so that it isn’t dangling free.
Let the sun set, and enjoy your new holiday cheer!