When I was growing up, my family strung our tree with retro Christmas lights from the 1960s, left over from my mother's childhood. They're now mostly blown out, but I love the shape and colors so much we've never tossed them. Here are a few ideas for re-using old Christmas lights, as well as those still shining brightly.
1. The shape of those old-fashioned bulbs is indicative of the holiday season, so keep them around even after they've blown. By covering them with glitter, you have a festive accessory for decorating, table settings, and gift wrapping. DIY from Life with Fingerprints.
2. The smaller sort of bulbs are at their crafty best in something contained, like this tree ornament from Redhead Can Decorate.
3. This wreath, by Georgia Peaches Wreaths via The Vintage List, is made with individual old-fashioned bulbs, but I can see it working with a string of newer bulbs, as well.
4. These bulb centerpieces from Better Homes and Gardens are non-traditional but still festive. Slightly smaller ones would make great bows to top gifts with.
New (Still Working!) Lights:
5. String up some lights of any color on a bare bit of wall, and display your holiday cards as they accumulate by clipping them between the bulbs. From Chic Factor.
6. This fairy light wreath from Hurst @ Home is a modern idea for those who like their holiday decor on the subtler side.
7. Design Mom uses empty jugs to create light-filled lanterns.
8. Sort of a wreath for your ceiling, this holiday-appropriate "chandelier" is a fun idea, and would be a simple DIY. From House & Home.