Winter Sparkle Mirror Garland & White Lights

With San Francisco's skies becoming increasingly cloudy, I needed a little light & sparkle to last me throughout the winter. Fortunately, I just happened to have a strand of little white lights and yards & yards of mirror garland on hand...

This is one of those serendipitous projects made entirely from materials lying already lying about the apartment. Why can't they all be so easy?

  • The brushed aluminum rod has a 3/4-inch diameter and was, I believe, leftover from making curtain rods years ago. It is available at most hardware stores and is so pretty. (The one I used happens to be hollow, but that is not necessary for this project.)
  • What would I do without nice big hooks?! These hold the 3/4-inch rod perfectly, and are nice & long so you can be sure they're secure. And of course, they're screwed into the wall studs.
  • A shop on Valencia called House of Hengst moved to New York and had an amazing moving sale. I bought a ridiculous amount of mirror garland (like, 30 yards) for $12. I didn't have a plan at the time, but find that kind of thing impossible to resist.
  • After resting the rod in the hooks, I started draping the mirror garland over it, letting the lengths vary slightly. Some pieces I cut, but most were left long and folded in 1/3rds or 1/4ths, so I'll still have the option of long garland in the future.
  • Put on some festive holiday music (in my case, Salt-N-Pepa), plug in your lights, and let the magic begin. I ran the lights directly up from a wall outlet, and draped them back and forth between the hooks, behind the garland. It occurred to me in the moments of tangles that it would have been easier to arrange the lights first, but I did like being able to tell how they would hang behind the garland. I think it was worth the bits of frustration.

I'm hoping this arrangement will serve me well all winter, bringing in light on rainy days and a bit of glamour on foggy nights.

Images: Tess Wilson

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After many happy years living in tiny apartments in big cities, Tess has found herself in a little house on the prairie. For real.