An alternative to conventional holiday string lights: handmade lights of cotton thread from Cable & Cotton, a UK-based company that recently established a US outpost. The lights are made by village women in southern Thailand in a process similar to paper-mâché—they wrap cotton thread dipped in gum around a balloon.
Above: For each string of Pick Your Own lights, you can choose the color of the bulbs and number of lights; prices start at $39 for a string of 20 balls.
Above: Red bulbs add a subtle holiday note to a potted indoor plant.
Above: Cotton lights used as a centerpiece.
Above: A cluster of neutral shaded lights suspended from a ladder. You can see the pattern of the thread used to create the lights; the handcrafted technique is shown in a video on the Cable & Cotton site.