Christmas fairy lights: 13 new ways to add festive magic

Christmas = as many Christmas fairy lights as you can possibly string up, right? So here are plenty of ideas to inspire...

green panelled kitchen with snowflake fairy lights for Christmas
(Image credit: Sparkle Lighting)

Christmas fairy lights are essential to a cozy festive atmosphere, with even the simplest string of fairy lights adding ambiance to a room. But Christmas isn't the time to hold back on decorating, so why not mix and match two or three (or more?) different fairy light designs? Plus, there's the exterior of your home to think about too... We've gathered a glittering array of festive fairy light ideas to suit all tastes and decors, from minimalist to opulent. So just keep scrolling to get inspired...

For more Christmas decoration ideas, head over to our gorgeous gallery too.

Design ideas for your Christmas fairy lights

1. Light up your Christmas wreath 

Christmas wreath and Christmas tree lit up with fairy lights

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Hang a fairy light curtain

pretty bedroom with a white voile and fairy lights hanging over the window

(Image credit: Koopower)

3. Embellish your flowers with mistletoe fairy lights 

mistletoe fairy lights in a jar with dried flowers

(Image credit: Ikea)

4. String up fairy lights around kitchen cabinets 

Blue shaker style kitchen with glass front cabinets and marble work tops

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

The kitchen often gets a bit neglected when it comes to Christmas decorations. A really simple way to bring some of the festive vibes into your kitchen is fairy lights. String them up around your cabinets or open shelving, you could even get some garlands or just a bit of greenery to hang up too. Simple but super effective. 

5. Place fairy lights along your kitchen table 

A Christmas-themed dining table with fairy lights and miniature tree decor

(Image credit: Amazon)

Add something extra to your Christmas table (or just your everyday kitchen table) by stringing some fairy lights down the center. Depending on what look you are going for add some candles, foliage, and decorations to twist your lights through

Love the look of this Christmas table? We have plenty more Christmas table decorations over in our full feature. 

6. Or display fairy lights in a glass jar as a table centrepiece

Lights4fun glass dome filled with fairy lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Copper wiring adds a lovely warmth to a string of festive fairy lights – perfect for warming up a room visually. Hang yours up or make a display with them in a jar or vase. Light4fun even make a jar of fairy lights all ready for you to just pop on the table or on a windowsill.

7. Add a fairy light headboard  

Annie Sloane in bedroom with fairy lights

(Image credit: Annie Sloane)

Just get some command hooks and string them above your bed. Easy peasy. And who says you can't keep them up all year?! You can always give them a most festive twist by combining them with some paper chain decorations or Christmassy foliage. 

8. Choose star-shaped lights for mystical magic

dining room dressed for Christmas with hanging foliage and star fairy lights

(Image credit: Lights 4 Fun)

Okay okay, while these aren't technically fairy lights, these stars from Lights4fun will still add a gorgeous twinkle to your room. Hang a single one in a window or group them together on sideboard, we have even seen these used on a tree and it looks fab!

9. Light up every shelf with battery powered fairy lights 

John Lewis display of fairy lights

(Image credit: John Lewis)

If you don’t have a ton of room for decorating with fairy lights, just make the most of surfaces – a window sill, the top of a console table, a set of shelves. Use these areas to create a festive display. Even something as simple as some twigs in a vase with some fairy light strung around can be an effective, super easy Christmas decorating idea

Find more Scandi Christmas decorations in our feature. 

10. Adorn your staircase with all kinds of fairy lights

Lights4fun Christmas lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Staircases are the perfect place to decorate at Christmas and the easiest and most effective way to do it is with fairy lights. Keep it simple by stringing some along the banister or go all out and add a garland as many LED candles as your stairs can handle.

11. Wind fairy lights around the bottom of your banister 


(Image credit: Joyce Vloet/Coco Features)

And if it's not super practical for you or your family to have the banisters covered in a forest and fairy lights, switch the decor to the base of the banister instead. Wind your fairy lights in and out and add a touch of foliage too – we also love the bows tied in there too!

12. Go for a botanical Christmas theme

Rose Gold Leaf Fairy Lights by Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

Botanical-themed fairy lights work particularly well as part of the festive table arrangement. Intertwine them with real house plants, or choose ones that imitate Christmas favorites such as holly. The Rose Gold Leaf Fairy Lights are from Lights4fun. 

13. Go retro oowith colored fairy lights 

Lights4fun retro coloured lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

These retro-style colored lights are giving us all the Joyce Byers vibes and we are so okay with that. After years of being out of favor in comparison to their warm white counterparts, colored lights are back! String them up under the eaves or around for a proper retro Christmas feel.

14. Brighten up the exterior with outdoor lights

Dobbies Garden Centres Christmas Lighting 2018

(Image credit: Dobbies Garden Centres)

One of the best things about Christmas is added light from people's house decorations – and, boy, do we need all the extra light we can grab during at time of year. Go as understated – or OTT – as you like, it's all part of the Christmas spirit! Personally, we are fans of the warm white lights outside, they just add such a welcoming glow. 

Find the best outdoor fairy lights in our buying guide.

15. Add cascading LED lights for a dramatic waterfall effect

400 Warm White LED Cascading Christmas Lights by Hurn & Hurn

(Image credit: Hurn & Hurn)

With tiny LEDs our rule is: the more the better. And rather than getting tangled up in lots of different strings of lights, get a garland that is designed to be used as a cascade. For a similar look, go for warm white lights on a clear cable. 

16. Quickly pop some lights up on a mantle

Christmas kitchen with fireplace and dining area

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

We have said it before and we will say it again, an empty mantle at Christmas is a sad mantle. They are so simple to decorate too, even if you don't have the time to make a full-on garland, just string up some fairy lights to add a warm festive glow.

Love this Christmas set up? You won't want to miss our traditional Christmas decorations feature.

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.