How to Make Your Own Globe String Lights

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Globe light strings provide soft, festive lighting.
Globe light strings provide soft, festive lighting. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Small globe light strings can be bought for a few dollars at RV stores and some big-box stores, but if you want to scale it up, it is best to start with a commercial light string and attach your own globes. With these and some wire coat hangers, you can make an impressive globe string around a yard, a wedding tent or an outdoor event. The globes, although lightweight, will make the string heavier, so using a strain relief cable to hang the string is essential.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial light string with bulbs
  • Acrylic 6-inch light globes with 3.25-inch neck
  • Box of wire coat hangers
  • 8-inch length of 3-inch PVC pipe
  • Wire cutter
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Vinyl-sleeved 1/8-inch steel cable
  • 1/4-inch wire rope clamps
  • Socket wrench set
  • Box of small tie wraps

Measure the thickness of the wire connecting each bulb fixture to the horizontal wire. Measure the inside diameter of the widest part of the acrylic globe's neck extrusion.

Straighten out a coat hanger, measure a piece 16.5 inches long and cut with the wire cutters. Use PVC pipe as a form to make a wire circle. Where the wire meets, leave straight ends of equal length.

Bend the wire circle out slightly to the diameter of the widest part of the globe neck. Where the wire ends cross, bend them into the circle with needle-nose pliers. The wire ends should be parallel inside the circle. The shape resembles a cross between a c-clip and a jaw harp.

Slide the parallel wires over the bulb fixture connector. Slightly pinch in the wire circle at the bend points, insert the bulb fixture into the globe, and snap the circle into the globe neck. If it is not tight, bend out the circle and re-fit until tight. Do this with every light on the string.

Insert the end of the suspension cable through three cable clamps. Wrap the end around a fixed end point like a column, a tree or an eye bolt. Bring it back through the cable clamps and tighten clamps with a socket wrench. Stretch the cable tight to another end point and repeat this procedure.

Hang the light string along the cable using a tie wrap on either side of the T-junction above each light. Plug in the string and test the lights.

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