How to Photograph Christmas Lights

August 30, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

Christmas is around the corner! Soon you will be unpacking your Christmas tree and Christmas lights and hopefully you’re capturing it all on camera. Holiday lights brighten the mood no matter where they are. They might be in a downtown area, at a mall, or even at your own home. For those who love taking pictures, those lights can represent an opportunity to capture some beautiful, out of the ordinary images.

Dim light, flickering lights and various backgrounds can all make photographing Christmas lights a little tricky. Here are a few easy tips and tricks to photograph Christmas lights this year:

1. Photograph outdoor Christmas lights while it’s still daylight but not too sunny. It’s much harder to get good photos when the lights are in the darkness. At least for outdoor Christmas lights, use late-afternoon light to provide some depth behind already switched-on lights.

2. TURN OFF YOUR FLASH! A flash takes away from the ambiance. When I think of Christmas lights I imagine the glowing lights in a cozy room or the exterior of a home outlined in Christmas lights. When a flash fires, everything in the room becomes illuminated rather than just the glowing lights.

3. Tripod – Use a tripod or lean on something solid such as a wall or fence to stabilize the camera. This will give you the best photo result.

4. ISO – Have the ISO at 800 or over (this is because you can’t use flash). If you’re still having a tough time with lighting, turn up your ISO! It will add grain to your image; the higher the number the more grain This will allow you to capture a sharper image in lower light.

5. Aperture – After you’ve captured general photos of your tree, you might want to try bokeh ( where lights are blurred in the background ). First, put your camera in aperture priority or manual capture mode. To achieve bokeh your aperture needs to be wide open – the lowest number your aperture can go. If you stand far away and focus on your whole tree, it’s still going to look focused for the most part.

Now, try this: standing away from your tree, put your lens into manual to have control of the focus.
Twist the focus on your camera both directions and look at the lights starting to create bokeh! See how it works!? It’s incredible.

Focus on an object in the foreground and capture the Christmas lights out of focus in the background. This looks really neat when you get it done just right. Because your lens is close to the object, it puts the object in focus and the lights become blurred and because of your open aperture,  it creates a shallow depth of field which creates the beautiful effect!

Play around with it. Get creative! Enjoy this magical time with your family.

Landscapers – Keep Busy Year Around with Christmas Light Installation


In the middle of winter, landscape contractors across the country typically hit a big freeze. As temperatures dwindle downward, they frequently take landscapers’ revenues with them. To keep business hot year-round, some landscape contracting companies have turned to Christmas Light Installation for a range of residential and commercial clients, taking advantage of a short install and dismantle season—lasting from early november through mid January—that is rife with big potential.

Christmas Light Installation is a profitable home-based business opportunity, which brings in over $1000 a day. You do have to work for a living; this is no envelope stuffing scam but an often-overlooked industry that has been steadily growing year after year for many decades. The holiday lighting industry is a multibillion dollar a year business all over the world. The U.S. season begins around Halloween. Home and business decorations begin to appear and elaborate lighting designs sparkle through the night. Many of those luminescent creations are installed by professionals.

Learning Christmas Light Installation From the Pros


Landscape contractors can get started through a variety of training programs and practice simulations that will help prepare for a multitude of install jobs. We Hang Christmas Lights is ready to give you the knowledge, training and continued support that will ensure your SUCCESS in this booming industry. Not just a how-to book. A very effective, detailed plan for success in the Christmas light business. Our training manuals are a very effective and affordable way to learn the Christmas light installations business. The manuals are very straight forward and easy to read, yet they contain the detailed information that you must know in order to operate a successful Christmas light installation business. Our manuals will teach you the valuable lessons that we have learned from years of experience. The techniques that we have developed come as a result of many years of trial and error and will certainly save you lots of valuable time and money.


When it comes to success as an installer of holiday lights, timing really is everything. To help keep costs as low as possible, it’s necessary to know when to start planning, buying and marketing for the season.

A Solid Marketing Structure Will Boost Your Sales Through The Roof!  Our Program Is Turn-Key And Will Give You Everything You Need To
Successfully Market Your Company And Make Sales…….

We are dedicated to helping you properly market your Christmas light installation business. The #1 method of marketing your business is to utilize our FULL SPECTRUM sales and marketing program. Without an effective marketing plan you will not succeed. We will give you the marketing framework that will help you make so many sales that your only problem will be finding enough time to get the jobs done.

If you could make a lot of money with the basic equipment that you have now wouldn’t you want to take a closer look at making it happen? Many landscapers have been beating themselves up every year trying to supplement their income during the off-season. You cannot only supplement your income with a profitable home-based business opportunity, you can take home income that you would make in a year and have yourself a very happy holiday. Call 951-541-4482 today for more details or click here to fill out an application for consideration.


July 8, 2014 in KIDS CORNER

As summer cranks up and the kids get bored, you might want to try some of these summer fun ideas using christmas lights.

Box Cave of Stars

This fort is perfect for the younger children in your family! You can quickly create a beautiful “cave of stars,” just grab a large cardboard box, an old set of christmas lights, poke some holes in the top of the box, and stick the lights through, and you’ve just created a gorgeous lit fort for your little one to snuggle in!

Tent of Stars

Bring the stars a little closer by creating your very own night sky. String the lights on top of a tent for some night fun.

Swimming Under the Stars

Lighting a swimming pool at night used to be very expensive, but new … LED lights can be added in a hot tub or as an under glow lighting.


Outdoor Summer Party Christmas Lights

May 30, 2014 in CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

There is nothing better than summer time and entertaining guests and family in the backyard. Actually, entertaining guests in the cooled off summer evenings may be even better! Summer evenings are the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the ambiance, mystique and perfect temperatures for enjoying the night sky and your friends all at once. Lighting your outdoor entertaining areas can open up the dining experience for your guests, and create an ambiance you forget about in the daytime. Why not use Christmas lights to brighten up your outdoor summer party?

Chances are they spend 11 months of the year tangled up in a box. We say, bring them out! String lights should not be winter-only decor. They’re perfect for making a patio, backyard, tabletop, feel magical. Traditional white lights plugged into extension cords, battery-operated LED lights, bulbs shaped like stars, snowflakes or jalapenos — they all work.

Here are some ideas for how to use christmas lights you already have to bring sparkle to your next outdoor summer party.

Share with us your creative ideas for lighting your outdoor entertaining areas! 

April Fools’ Day Ideas

March 28, 2014 in KIDS CORNER

April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1. Popular since medieval times, the day is not a national holiday in any country, but it is widely recognized throughout European cultures and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools. Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day.

Your head in a jar, in the fridge prank.

Your head in a jar, in the fridge prank.

Amazing. Full instructions here.

Be a chair.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

The belongings-in-the-vending-machine prank.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

As played out on Dwight in The Office. Bonus if you’ve got volunteers to purchase the stuff.

The classic airhorn as door/wall protector trick.

The classic airhorn as door/wall protector trick.

The Post-it notes prank. Step 1: cover victim’s car with Post-its.

Step 2: Once they drive the thing home, they’re in for a bigger shock. Possibly even worth the effort.

The old toothpaste-in-the-Oreos prank.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Desk in the bathroom.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Simple, classy, effective.

You need this costume.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Available from a variety of outlets.

Soy sauce and Sprite just aren’t Diet Coke.

Soy sauce and Sprite just aren't Diet Coke.

Add baking soda to ketchup.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Fake head in the bed.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Mayo in the doughnuts.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Nicholas Cage calling.

Nicholas Cage calling.

Knock, run, win.

The insta-date prank.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Worth the effort.

Office balloon party.

Office balloon party.

The evil prankster fills them with glitter.

This, if you happen to be a street performer.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

The wrapping-paper-desk joke.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Dinosaur rampage.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Large toys available here.

Hiding in a box is almost always a winner…

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Give them a wet crotch.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Simple shop-window trolling.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

You needed to start this one a couple of days ago, but hell, there’s no more unexpected April Fool than the one that’s running a couple of days late.

The joy of toilet trolling.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

And finally, you’d be amazed how effective a gorilla suit can be.

27 Pranks You Need To Really Own April Fools' Day

Who Was the Man Behind St. Patrick’s Day?

March 14, 2014 in KIDS CORNER

Can you believe that Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner? St. Patrick’s Day and its promise of spring is an especially welcome relief for millions of Americans who have suffered through one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

Who Was the Man Behind St. Patrick’s Day?

Bundled up or skimpily clad, few of the revelers lining parade routes and filling Irish pubs have a clue about St. Patrick, the historical figure, according to the author of St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography. “The modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man,” classics professor Philip Freeman, of Luther College in Iowa, said in 2009. (Take an Ireland quiz.)

For starters, the real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family that owned a townhouse, a country villa, and plenty of slaves.What’s more, Patrick professed no interest in Christianity as a young boy, Freeman noted.

At 16, Patrick’s world was turned upside down: He was kidnapped and sent overseas to tend sheep as a slave for seven years in the chilly, mountainous countryside of Ireland. “It was just horrible for him,” Freeman said. “But he got a religious conversion while he was there and became a very deeply believing Christian.”

What is Saint Patrick’s Day anyways?

Much of what is known about St Patrick comes from the Declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he “found God”. The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.

According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.

According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands”. Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.

Wearing of the green

On St Patrick’s Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories (the “wearing of the green”).

St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities.The triple spiral symbol appears at many ancient megalithic sites in Ireland.

The colour green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. Green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St Patrick’s Day since at least the 1680s. Green was adopted as the colour of the Friendly Brothers of St Patrick, an Irish fraternity founded in about 1750. However, when the Order of St. Patrick—an Anglo-Irish chivalric order—was founded in 1783 it adopted blue as its colour. This led to blue being associated with St Patrick. In the 1790s, green became associated with Irish nationalism when it was used by the United Irishmen. This was a republican organization—led mostly by Protestants but with many Catholic members—who launched a rebellion in 1798 against British rule. The phrase “wearing of the green” comes from a song of the same name, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day grew.

Using Christmas Lights this Valentine’s Day

February 7, 2014 in CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Love is definitely in the air with these pretty Valentine light decorations! Whether you need to add a cute love-heart theme to a Valentines party or want to create a romantic atmosphere for a special meal, the right choice of lights can add the finishing touch. Set the mood this Valentine’s Day with these Christmas Lights ideas:

Dinner for 2 – Plan a romantic at-home dinner date for Valentine’s Day with some Christmas lights to set the mood.


Romantic Bedroom – Getting the ambience right is key to creating a romantic bedroom and fairy lights can do the trick, giving the room a touch of magic with twinkling lights.


Decorate – Use simple crafts and delicious recipes for the perfect Valentine’s Day. Red and warm white lights are great as Valentine’s Day decorations.


Christmas Light Ideas for the Bedroom

January 31, 2014 in CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Are you one of those people who can’t bear to take down your Christmas lights at the end of the holiday season? I can tell you that I definitely am! The house always feels so cozy and festive through the holiday season while the Christmas lights are up. Then feels rather cold and boring once all the Christmas lights are packed away.

What is it about Christmas lights that creates an ambiance that is so warm and welcoming? When you walk into a room they give off an air of magical wonderment and even though they are inexpensive, they can instantly make a space feel cozy and romantic. String lights create an atmosphere that we just can’t help but want to be in and around.

So this year, I vote we all keep that festive spirit alive by giving classic Christmas lights new life! To start I am going to tackle Christmas light ideas for the bedroom.

There are numerous ways Christmas lights can be incorporated into your bedroom, from putting them above the bed or near it, they can be placed around a mirror, along the ceiling, or even around a window. You can create an inviting space, pair string lights with sheer white curtains and hang them around the bed.

If you want to adorn your bedroom with Christmas lights, not only can they be used to decorate for the holiday season, but as you can see they can also stay up all year round if they fit in with your decor. Have a look at the pictures below to get some creative Christmas light ideas for the bedroom to make it cozy and even romantic.


January 14, 2014 in CHRISTMAS

After the presents have been opened, the carols have been sung, and the festivities of Christmas day are over, most of us tuck our Christmas spirit along with Christmas tree. To me the Spirit of Christmas is about spending quality family time doing what you love with who you love. You don’t need a tree and carols to bring good cheer to your family. You can keep that warm family togetherness year round.

During the holiday season our smiles are just a little wider, our handshakes a touch heartier, our purse strings a tad looser, and our creative juices overflow. We expend a lot of energy towards making this festive season memorable and enjoyable. Wouldn’t it be nice to spread some of the cheer throughout the year? It’s possible to keep the Christmas spirit alive long after the tree is dead—and we can encourage our kids to help out in these endeavors, too!

Staying in a Christmas state of mind for twelve months of the year is probably unrealistic. Let’s be honest: we can’t be carol-singing, gift-giving little elves all year long. But there are a few elements of the holiday season that we can keep with us throughout the year, giving every day a chance to have just a bit of the magic that comes along with Christmas Day. Here are some of the best ways to keep the spirit alive every day of the year:

Focus on what you have. The holiday season often reminds of all that we have to be thankful for: our friends, family, and the collective joy many of us experience at this time of year. If we keep that feeling of appreciation with us all year long, we’ll prolong the wonder of Christmas on a daily basis. The trick is to focus on what you have, not what you want. Through the year, whenever you find yourself thinking, “I wish I had…” replace that with, “I’m so thankful I have…”

Know what really matters. At Christmas—at least on Christmas Day!—most of us prioritize matters most: spending time with those we love and celebrating a season that means something to us. During the rest of the year, it can be hard to keep our priorities straight with all of the various aspects of life vying for our attention, but when you bring yourself back to what matters most, you make the most of every day.

Treat strangers with kindness. At Christmastime, people are often a bit kinder, merely based on the fact that it’s Christmas. Treating others with kindness—especially those you don’t know, and especially those who don’t necessarily treat you with kindness—is a wonderful way to keep the spirit of Christmas alive every single day of the year. When someone bothers you, imagine how you would treat him or her if it were Christmas Day.

Look for the good. Christmas is a time for taking note of things we love—the people we care about, the gifts wrapped just for us—and it’s also a time for noticing special things—the little traditions, the pretty, glittery decorations.The season brings out a sense of childlike wonder. Trying to embrace that wonderment all year long, by looking for good bits in every day, is another great way to keep the spirit of Christmas alive.

Charity. Likewise, while we tend to be more charitable during the holidays, our help is needed all year long. Consider serving meals during the long, hot summer or donating much needed items, such as toiletries, household goods, and toys monthly. Financial gifts are always welcome. Your nickels and quarters from bottle deposits can add up to significant assistance to many organizations.

Get involved. Just about everyone in our small town gathers in the Center for the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. Festivities kick off with performances and presentations by the high school band, the local school for performing arts, and the Chamber of Commerce. At dusk, fireworks explode overhead to herald the opening of the holiday season. But your involvement in community activities does not have to be limited to festive holiday occasions. Get involved in programs which have a positive impact on your city. Join your neighbors in clean-up and improvement projects, attend municipal meetings and support local initiatives.

Crafting. Christmas crafts are available throughout the year, but even if you prefer to adapt your creativity to each season, homemade decorations and gifts brighten the darkest winter day. And they are a great hobby for every member of the family.

Keep the holiday spirit alive all through the year as you celebrate the joy of being with family, trying new things, giving to others and becoming a little better every day. Let this holiday season be a starting off point for renewed commitment to your loved ones. After all, you get a new Christmas every year, but you only get one family.

Creative Christmas Wrapping Ideas

December 20, 2013 in GIFT IDEAS

We all love receiving beautifully gift-wrapped boxes almost as much as the gift itself. Add a personal touch to Christmas gifts for friends and family with our simple Creative Christmas Wrapping Ideas. Imagine wowing them with unique wrapping ideas, those which will make them appreciate the gift even before they open it!

Below is a list of Creative Christmas Wrapping Ideas to keep your gift-giving even more unique and exciting

Add a DIY Picture Gift Card to your Gift Wrap
gift wrapping with photo tags

Gift Wrap with Organic Items from Nature
wrapping with natural finds
Doily Holiday Gift Wrap Make a Yarn Pom-Pom
Doily Holiday Gift Wrap Make a Yarn Pom Pom

Layer Your Gift Wrapping with Multiple Wraps
Layered DIY Gift WRapping

Monogram Gift Wrapping Topper
monogram gift wrapping topper

3-D Christmas Tree Gift Wrapping Idea
3-D Christmas Tree Gift Wrap

DIY Scrabble Tile Gift Tag
DIY Scrabble Tile Gift Tag

Chalkboard Gift Tag
Chalkboard Gift Tag

DIY Eraser Snowflakes and Snowmen Gift Wrapping Designs

DIY Christmas Wrapping with a Map
DIY Christmas Wrapping with a Map

Draw Your Own Christmas Light Garland Gift Wrap
Draw Your Own Christmas Light Garland Gift Wrap

What a great way to decorate humble brown bags as fantastic gift bags. Use buttons, wool, strips of craft paper leftovers with a pinch of creativity.

Eco-friendly and perfect for Christmas! Love the cute pine cones and pine leaves, tied with some twine. Cottage chic and so elegant.
Use printed decorated tins that can be reused for storage. Perfect for cookies, or small gifts and gorgeous result with little effort. Look for miniature baubles and old Christmas light bulbs to use as accent.
Are you a proud owner of crazy bunch of buttons? Great way to reuse and decorate in a jiffy. Don’t have buttons..punch out round colorful circles and use to similar effect.
Brown paper is a classy, inexpensive alternative. Make them unique by adding embellishments. Use stamps, like snowflakes to create designs. Kids will love to help out!
Another impressive gift wrapping idea. Punch holes to make a delicate lacey ribbon out of paper. Use the colorful punched out ‘circles’ as confetti gift decoration.
Leftover yarn to tie a gift box, and gorgeous pom poms as accents.
How cute is this vintage cookie cutter tag/embellishment!
Vintage Christmas lights arranged as bow. Amazing way to upcycle a busted string of lights.
Use newspaper, comic book pages or magazine center folds to wrap small gifts. Use ribbons in gorgeous bright hues to add the pop of color.
If your kids love to cut out paper figures this might be a lovely gift wrapping idea. Draw/print-Snip-Stick!
Punched out paper snowflakes on a string to tie around a gift. Use paper punches to create delicate doilies, or make paper snowflakes to add as embellishments
Tutorial to make an embellishment out of newspaper or craft paper. It would look so cool made in colorful paper. Good craft idea for a dull winter day.
Sponge paint triangular trees in red. Decorate these Christmas trees with tiny pom poms and ribbons. Another idea would be to use ‘used’ dryer sheets dyed red for a lovely texture. Love!!
Kids and preschoolers craft idea. Cut out the Christmas Tree landscape and let them punch holes. Easy diy !
Each of these tags are elegant and eclectic at the same time. Good way to add the extra jazz.
This whole bunch of curled newspaper is so stylish! Easy craft idea for unique gift wrapping.
Use ‘Gift-tag’ stamp the year round!! Easy, fun way to accessories. Love the candy cane detail.