Make Your Own Christmas Twinkle Light Reflectors

In my youth, in the 1950s and early 1960s, our Christmas tree was decorated with items not commonly seen on today’s Christmas trees. The family tree displayed the very hot bubble tube lights in colors of red, green orange, yellow and blue. We had metal bell ornaments that were purposely placed on the Christmas tree bough so we could tap it to hear its diminutive toll. The silvery icicles were crinkly from years of reuse. Yes, wonderful memories. What I recall most though was the petal-shaped metal reflector randomly appearing at the base of some of the string of large bulbs. With only the Christmas tree lights on in the room, those reflectors helped to brighten the room. In the day time, the reflectors continued to show off by reflecting sunlight. I was able to capture that memory by creating reflectors for the modern-day small twinkle Christmas lights. All it takes is aluminum foil and a pair of scissors.

Cutting the reflectors

Use regular scissors when cutting one layer of aluminum foil. You can create more reflectors faster, though, if you layer the foil and then, a small pair of tin snips works better. I cut the foil into about 2 inch by 2 inch squares. You may prefer larger or smaller reflectors so start with 2 inches and adjust the size up or down for future cutouts once you see the finished product. I found that I could tear strips 2 inches wide from the aluminum foil box and then project 2 inches of that strip over the squared-edge of the countertop and tear the piece of foil rather than using scissors or tin snips in this step.

Fold and cut again

Making Christmas light reflectors from aluminum foil works along the line of making paper snow flakes. Fold the foil square in half by bringing the bottom to the top. Fold in half again, but this time, bring the right edge over to the left edge (or vice versus). The results will be a 1-inch square.

Holding on to the fold-only corner, which is the center of the reflector, cut from one corner to the opposite corner. A fan-shaped works well, but you can cut a wavy or jagged line if desired. You will be cutting off the pointed, non folded corner. Lastly, make a very small snip on the center point, where you were holding the square. That tiny snip will create the opening to fit around the shaft of the Christmas light.

Installing the Christmas light reflector

Open the folded aluminum foil and work the center down the plastic shaft that holds the bulb. Pinch to hold in place. You can adjust the degree of opening of the reflector to look, for example, like an open bloom or closed more like a bud. Choose bulbs randomly to attach a reflector, which looks better than adding reflectors to all the bulbs. Experiment with the cutouts, making them larger or small or even layering two different sizes.

More from this contributor:

Hanging Christmas Stockings Without a Fireplace Mantel
Christmas Decoration Ideas for a Picket Fence
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