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Outdoor entertaining area including a deck, outdoor table and chairs, and a barbecue.

Overview

Create a glittering galaxy of light overhead with pretty festoon lighting. Not only are festoon lights energy efficient, they're also affordable and easy to install. Here's how.

Steps

1Choose your lights

Festoon lights are a great way to introduce soft, ambient lighting to your outdoor area. And the good news is that festoon light sets come in a range of styles and colours. You can opt for warm white – like we have – or really get the party started by choosing coloured bulbs.

2Decide where to hang your festoon lights

Once you've picked out your lights it's time to get measuring and marking up where you want to put your steel wire eye strap – this will form the anchor point for your lights. Hang them outdoor to create ambient lighting in your garden, backyard or balcony. The sky's the limit in terms of design – criss-cross them over or opt for longer lengths. It's up to you!

DIY - Step 2 - Decide where to hang your festoon lights - How to hang festoon lights

3Measure up your steel wire

This length of wire rope will be what reinforces your lights and keeps them hanging in the correct position. The easiest way to measure how much you'll need is to set your measuring tape to one metre, then unspool the wire according to how many metres you'll need. Add an extra 30cm to each end of your rope to ensure you've got enough for mounting. Once you've got your desired length, use the wire cutter on your swage crimper to cut the rope.

DIY - Step 3 - Measure steel wire - How to hang festoon lights

4Create your swage

Grab your swage and thread it through the wire rope. Create a loop and thread the wire back through the swage, pulling it tight before adding your rope thimble into the loop you've created. Push it up to make sure it's tight, then using your swaging tool, crimp the swage closed to make sure the wire rope stays in place.

DIY - Step 4 - Create your swage - How to hang festoon lights

5Mount your eye straps

Put your eye strap through the loop you've just created – you're now ready to create your first mounting point. Screw in your eye strap to the point you previously marked on your wall. We are drilling into aluminium so we made sure to wear our protective eyewear and used metal screws (you'll need timber screws if you're drilling into timber).

DIY - Step 5 - Mount your eye straps - How to hang festoon lights

6Connect your wire rope

Connect your wire rope to the metal eye strap, then create another loop at the other end, threading back through the swage. Add another rope thimble and clamp using your swage tool – pull your wire rope nice and tight before clamping down.

DIY - Step 6 - Connect your wire rope - How to hang festoon lights

7Hang your lights

Start with the power point connection end first to make sure you don't run out of lead – then go nuts! Remember – if you're using an older set of festoon lights, check the light bulbs work FIRST before installing. String your lights up along the wire rope, securing with cable ties as you go (remember to cut off any extra lengths to keep things neat). If you would like your lights to be straight, link your cable ties close together and pull taught. If you'd like a draping effect, spread the cable ties out and leave loose.

DIY - Step 7 - Hang your lights - How to hang festoon lights

8The scene is set

Once the sun goes down you'll get the full effect and, trust us, it will be MAGNIFICENT!

9Watch more from the series

Watch the full episode and more D.I.Y. projects from Make It Yours Episode 3: Backyard Makeover with Tim and Mat.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.