Lighted columns are a great way to delineate a dance floor or accent a room with unique, subtle lighting. You can make lighted columns using lumber and wood in any color, light intensity and size desired. Lighted columns dress up any room or occasion in no time, and you can use them in a wide variety of ways to dress up a garden party or even as a permanent light fixture.
Build the bottom and the top of the coloumn. Simply glue 3 of the foot-long 2-by-4s together so that they form a square that is 1-foot by 1-foot. Use plenty of wood glue, and hold the pieces in place until the glue has set. These will be the bottom and top of your column. They need to be completely dry before you continue, so you should allow up to 2 hours for the glue to set firmly.
Assemble the framework for your column. Nail an 8-foot 2-by-2 piece to each corner of the column. You should drive the nails in from the bottom of the base so that the heads of the nails are flat against the bottom and top of the column. Each 2-by-2 piece should get at least 2 nails in each end. Once you have fixed the top and bottom squares to the 4 2-by-2s, you will see the framework for your column.
Install the Christmas lights. Using the staple gun, attach the Christmas light strands to the interior of the column. You may wish to run a strand up the inside of each 2-by-2 piece or zigzag the lights back and forth between the corners. The more lights you use, the brighter your column will be. Make sure that the plug-end of the lights is secured at the bottom of the column where it can easily be attached to an extension cord. Staple over the cords that join the lights, but not through them. All the strands inside the column should be joined together so that only one cord has to be plugged in at the bottom.
Enclose your column. Attach one end of the 8-foot high piece of fabric to the 2-by-2 piece that also holds the end of the light strands. Placing a staple every 2 inches, attach the fabric to the entire height of the column; leave the base uncovered if you wish. Wrap the column in the fabric, using staples every 6 to 8 inches along the corner posts of the column to hold the fabric in place. When you reach the beginning point, attach the end of the fabric to the same post, using similarly spaced staples. Leave a small gap at the bottom that you can thread an extension cord to so that you can plug in your column. You will likely need to cut off excess fabric.
Light up your column. Attach an extension cord to the base plug on the column and plug it in. Your column will light up and the Christmas lights will show through the cloth to make a beautiful lighted column.
Paper cutouts glued or taped to the inside of the cloth on the column will create beautiful shadow stencils when the column is lit.