Make your own party lights in one afternoon ! This project is for someone with skills using a drill and sharp cutting tools. This is not a project for beginners.
Step 1: Custom Halloween Lighting.
I used old Christmas lights and lots of clear plastic items from the 99 cents store. Here, I was setting up for my neighbor's Halloween party, so we used skeletons, hands, eyeballs, small skulls and a couple of 4" spiders. These work best in dark rooms, or outside where are no street lights.
The idea was to make the parts light up, but still have the skeletons hang naturally and face towards you. The challenge is putting a bulb (or better yet as many bulbs as you can stuff in) without injuring yourself, and to make it hang naturally. Each hand or skeleton took about 5 to 7 bulbs.
If you look closely at the photo of the front of the house, the first couple of skeletons have lighted pelvis areas. That looks cool, but takes about 6 lights for each one, so I cut back to 4 lights by the 3rd skeleton. Some of the hands have fingers that lit up as well - a very cool effect. Try to stuff the lights way down into the hand before gluing.
You can also see me drilling into a skeleton in one photo. If you don't feel comfortable with the drill, ask someone who does to help out. Some of the plastic parts are "hard" plastic which is tough to drill into without cracking. For example, the eyes would crack if I didn't pre-drill a small hole. I would hold the eye tightly in my gloved hand while drilling the larger hole. More on how to avoid hurting yourself later.
If you don't have a drill, most of the parts were made of soft plastic so you could simply cut them open with a razor knife to start a hole then widen the hole with scissors. The tools used here were a cordless drill, hot glue gun, scissors, sharp drill bits, gloves, razor knife, marker, and wire-cutters (to cut off excess from the zip ties).
Step 2: Custom Halloween lighting
Don't forget to make the entire string of lights plug directly into the next string. I made the mistake of having to use two separate power cords. As you wire this project up, it will be "one sided". Make sure that your next string will plug in to the first string before you start gluing the second and subsequent sets of lights.
As you can see, I held the plastic parts in my gloved hand and drilled directly towards my hand. If you are not comfortable with a drill, it would be better to set the items onto a thick piece of wood, brace the item from moving, and drill towards the wood. If you are good with a drill, use heavy leather (or preferably, Elk-skin) gloves just in case you drill too deep. I used a cordless drill so I could control the power better than with a corded drill.
To glue in the lights, use a hot melt glue gun. They are cheap and the glue sets up quickly. Be careful where you set down the glue gun. It will burn tables, fabrics, etc. and generally drips glue on surfaces as you work.
If you are expecting rain, be sure to seal (with glue) the lights in completely to keep water out of your plastic parts. Leave lots of slack in the light strings as you go along (so your skeletons hang naturally.) I ended up hanging the string of lights in the yard at eye level in the yard, started gluing in parts in the middle of the string and then worked towards the ends of the light strings. I also used clear or white zip ties to hold the Christmas-light wiring towards the back of the skeletons. Each string cost around $25 to make. Enjoy.