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How to Hang and Store Icicle Lights Easily

I came up with this idea a few years ago...

Icicle Lights are really a neat idea when you first take them out of the box (the first year) to hang. Hanging them gets kinda hairy, but not nearly as hairy as untangling them the second (and successive) years.

So, get yourself several cheap yard sticks or lathing strips at the local home improvement store. Cut the yard sticks or lathing strips to the length of the window or gutter you plan to attach the icicles to. Use a staple gun to attach the backbone wires to the wooden strips. Your wooden strips are now "loaded" with lights.

For example, I have icicle lights in my windows rather than the gutters. In order for me to NOT harm my expensive siding, I placed cup hooks in the top of the window frame -- two per yard stick. I then screwed eye "hooks" into the loaded wooden strips to match up with the cup hook locations. I write with a large permanent black marker on the top of the wooden strip which window it was made for. (Picture Window Right, Picture Window Left, etc) Be sure to plan accordingly for outlet and end-to-end connecting plug locations.

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When taking down the lights, slide each labeled loaded wooden strip/strand into a long narrow plastic bag of its own. The following year, pull out the loaded wooden strips from the bags. Pop the eye hooks back onto the cup hooks left year-round. This year took me less than 5 minutes to put up all my icicle lights. No tangles, no hassle.

I double or triple back the icicle lights on one strip to make the icicles appear "thicker" and less scarce when lit. All of my lights are permanently stapled onto my yard sticks and stored in long newspaper bags.

If you use 8-ft lengths of lathing strips to attach an entire outstretched strand, then store them inside black trash bags. Slip one over each end of the strip/strand to keep the icicle ends from tangling with the next strip/strand.

When I had wooden window framing at my old place, I simple used a heavy duty staple gun with 1/2-inch staples to attach the yard sticks to the window frames.

I also store all of my light strands in separate plastic grocery bags to keep them from becoming entangled with other strands. And who here doesn't have tons of those plastic grocery bags?

Back to the flamingos!

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