How to Make Animated Shooting Star Christmas Lights


Shooting star Christmas light displays are easy to incorporate into any outdoor display. Anyone with minimal creative abilities can draw a star and then build it to come alive. After building your first shooting star, considering trying another one with different lights and movement. The best part about using frames is that lights can be stripped off and reattached. Christmas light displays have no limits to colors, designs, movement and sizes. The most important factor in creating light displays is to have fun.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • 12-inch ruler
  • Yardstick
  • Chalk
  • Concrete slab
  • Steel, aluminum or bamboo rods
  • Rod cutters (for metal rods) or pruning shears (for bamboo)
  • Welder (for metal rods) or twist ties (for bamboo)
  • Christmas lights
  • Electrical tape
  • Extension cords


  • Sketch a picture of the five-point shooting star. Having a visual on paper helps organize your thoughts on how it will look before you weld a frame together.

  • Redraw the sketch with a ruler to define lengths. Use a ruler to draw and measure the lines of the shooting star; this schematic will be used for scale.

  • Determine the scale, which will help you expand the drawing from paper to frame. The star can be as big or as small as you wish. An example of scale is 1 inch = 1 foot, meaning 1 inch on paper equals 1 foot on the frame.

  • Use chalk to convert the picture on paper into a drawing on a concrete slab. This defines how large the star will be and serves as a guide for building the frame.

  • Cut steel, aluminum or bamboo rods to the length of each line on the star. Lay out the rods to trace over the picture on the concrete slab. For the tail of the star, you can bend metal or use naturally bent bamboo rods.

  • Attach the rods together by welding metal pieces or joining bamboo pieces with zip-ties.

Christmas Lights

  • Pick a color of lights of your shooting star. Christmas lights come in many colors, so you can choose one color or many. The star can even alternate among several colors if you wish.

  • Pick the types of lights. The star and the tail can be stationary, twinkling or moving in one direction. The box in which the Christmas lights come will tell how they move.

  • Arrange the lights on the frame. If the lights will be moving, arrange them on the frame loosely and plug them in to check that they're going in the right direction. Moving lights on the tail should go from the star to the end of the tail to make it appear that the star is shooting.

  • Attach the lights to the frame with electrical tape. Determine a starting point and attach the first light of the strand to the frame with tape. Take the second light and attach it directly in front of the first light. Take the third light of the strand and attach it in front of the second, and so on.

  • Attach the strands together. Depending on the detail, some shooting stars will need several hundred lights. Attach the strands together with electrical tape. Take the first light of the new strand and attach it to the frame directly in front of the last light you put on.

  • Finish the display by hiding cords, adjusting lights and determining a location for it. Gather extension cords to power the shooting star and tape all plugs securely together.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bamboo works well for Christmas light display frames. However, metal welded together will last longer and is more durable.
  • Keep lights plugged in while attaching them to the frame to make sure no bulbs are loose.
  • Always secure plugs with electrical tape.
  • Never work with electricity around water.

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  • Photo Credit christmas lawn display image by Micah Jared from
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