How To Make Outdoor Glass Hanging Lights

by Diane Henkler on 05/07/2012

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I love to be outside and have this thing for outdoor lighting. I think it can make or break the mood of an evening spent outside so I am always looking for new ways to best light my deck and patio for different occasions.

I cannot take credit for coming up with this idea for this trendy outdoor light.  I have to thank the creative team at Lowes that puts together their free Creative Ideas Magazine for the idea.

Outdoor lighting ideas


I am at Lowes almost every day.  It is really close to my house which is good and bad, but it sure helps when I need to pick up supplies for my projects.  Last week when I was there, I picked up a copy of the latest issue of Lowes Creative Ideas.  When I got home and flipped through the pages and saw these DIY globe lights, I knew I had to make one.  Since Lowes is so close, back I went to buy a glass globe. They had one left so I think I am not the only one who loved this project idea.

They used twine and paint to make their version, but when I went to my basement to get some twine, I didn’t have any.

Lowes Creative Living Magazine


I could have gone back to Lowes to get some, but since I am a DIY loving girl, I searched through my stash and came up with something else to use.   I found gold hardware store chain that I used to make jewelry and some jump rings. I am calling  the one I made the glam version.   :)


To make Outdoor Glass Hanging Lights you will need:

-3 1/4” – Prismatic Glass light globe
-Hardware store chain, cut into 4 sections:  Enough to go around lip of globe and three equal lengths to hang.  Any narrow chain will work. The one I used is called #300 Hobby Twist Chain
-5 jump rings. I used a small one to connect the chain around the globe and larger ones to hang.
-Wire Cutters


1.  Measure around globe and cut a piece of chain to that size.

How to make a light from a glass globe light cover

2. Attach it with a jump ring. Make sure it is very snug. I initially made it too big and ended up removing one more link so it was snug.

Tutorial on how to make an outdoor hanging light


3. Figure out where and how low you want it to hang and cut 3 pieces of chain the exact same size. Count the links if necessary. If one of the chains is longer, the globe will hang crookedly.  Attach each chain with a jump ring evenly spaced around the chain which goes around the lip of the globe.  Then attach the ends together with another jump ring. I used a very large one as this will be what you hook the globe on to hang.

How to hang an outdoor light


4. To keep the globe from getting wax in it, you can use battery operated candles, tea lights, or even place a tea light in a glass votive for extra protection.  You can also fill the bottom with sand to help keep the candle secure.

Outdoor candle ideas

I hung this on the pergola on my deck to take the photo, but I think I am going to  move it to the side entrance of my house and hang it on a wall mounted swing arm style plant hanger for added impact.

Inexpensive Outdoor Lighting fixture ideas

Later in the week I was at Home Depot to buy some Glidden paint and found these outdoor glass light covers.  I usually use cleaned out pickle jars for the candles I use on my outdoor tables, but these are prettier and only $3.50 each – plus they complement the hanging globe light.

Decorating ideas from the hardware store

I placed tea lights inside each. They just glow – so pretty.

 Candle holder ideas - repurposed


Lowes is not paying me to write this post. I just find their magazine very inspiring. You can pick up a free copy at Lowes or sign up to get a copy of Lowes Creative Ideas  delivered right to your home.



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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sheryll & Critters. May 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Oh my gosh, I have both of those globes…….. and I love them. Unfortunately the first round one I bought to replace the broken/non existent one in my bedroom when I bought this house. The second one is in use on my carport…… and looks exactly like the globes we used on table tops in restaurants in DC when I was old enough to work, but still very young. I do love them both.


2 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

Thanks Sheryll


3 Lynne May 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Off to Lowes I go . . .


4 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hi Lynne – Hi- Ho…Hi-Ho…its off to Lowes we go… :)


5 Amanda @ Watch Out, Martha! May 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

What a great idea! I love seeing all these types of posts on Pinterest, but I think yours is my favorite tutorial so far. Next time I have a summer get-together, I’ll be making a bunch of these!

I would love it if you would link up at Watch Out, Martha!’s first link up party: Martha Mondays, going on now through Wednesday! Hope to see you there!


6 Gail May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Looks really pretty! Yours is much nicer than Lowes. You have the best ideas!!


7 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thanks Gail XO


8 laurie May 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Sweet project, Diane! These are just darling! Thanks for the great tutorial! :)

xoxo laurie


9 furniture girl May 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm

That is so creative! Awesome. And Lowes SHOULD be paying you to post about them since you’re so good at it!


10 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thanks Furniture Girl XO

I am on a first name basis with a lot of the employees at my local Lowes. The guys in the lumber department see me coming and know I am going to be asking them to help me look for something unusual. They are the best and answer all my questions about materials etc.


11 Stephanie@cre8tive May 7, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I actually pinned this from the Lowe’s pinterest pin. Thought it was such a great idea. But now, seeing yours, so much more classier, I am glad you didn’t find any twine, the chain is so pretty against the glass. Almost as good as your tuna can ones :)


12 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

Hi Stephanie – Thanks. I am glad that I save all my supplies from past projects. The chain has been untouched for a long time and I was thrilled to have found a use for it. I bought a whole spool of it – for what I can’t even remember, but I am sure glad I had it on hand. Lowes sells it by the foot.


13 Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs May 8, 2012 at 12:02 am

I like your glam version better than Lowe’s painted ones. I had a couple of vintage light covers like the Home Depot ones you showed. I used tea lights in them too. Very pretty….till the ND wind took them and blew them right off the picnic tables! :-(

I also have used wide-mouth brown glass bottles we get vitamins in. Those too are very pretty with tea lights. I would hide them in the flowers outside for soft, ambient lighting at parties.


14 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

Hi Connie – that darn wind!!! :) The brown bottles – great idea hiding them in the flowers. I can just imagine how nice that would look. Now I am going to be on the look out for them.


15 RazMaTaz May 8, 2012 at 12:09 am

I love them both but I think I like your version better. If you want to paint them but still make them see through. You could mix food coloring and ModPodge and paint the inside or outside of the globe and still be able to see the tea light burning.


16 Linda Southworth May 8, 2012 at 7:46 am

Diane, thank you for making and posting. I would have missed this! I have been looking for something to hang under the wood boards on my patio area. My porch area is above. I thought about the revamped dining room fixture that you have previously done but like the idea of just tying a few of these to the boards above. I have small blue rope that I think I will use to attach. Yep, I have been pushed the right direction!


17 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hi Linda -
So happy that I inspired you. The blue rope will work perfectly and make the lights truly unique to your style. Love when I read or hear that someone used what they had on hand and created something in their own style with it- way to go!


18 Judy May 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

I usually just have to laugh at the idea of outdoor candles in Kansas wind, but I think the globe would actually give enough protection for the flame. Plus, I see similar globes at every thrift store in town. Thanks so much for the idea. I love, love, love your blog.


19 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

Thanks Judy -

I think you are right that the shape of the globe would protect the candle from blowing out. You could use the LED candles – they are not as bright – some look more blue and others orange, but they won’t blow out :)


20 Angie S May 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

Beautiful! I would think the chain would be a safer choice in the long run, because as the twine weathers, it may stretch… I don’t know, maybe not, but it could happen. Or, I could be biased towards jewelry finding used in any way possible!!! :)


21 RazMaTaz May 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You could also use the LED flameless tea lights instead of regular tea lights.


22 Ashlyn@Pinecone May 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am so glad that you didn’t have any twine and had to improvise…I think it looks so much better with the chain!! Beautiful as always ; )

I am with you on the TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross shopping. I do the fair majority of my shopping at these places – and I love digging around to see what is new. We went to Syracuse the other day and found a Home Goods, which I haven’t been in since we lived in TX 4 or 5 years ago…so you know I was excited about that!


23 Decor Niche May 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I love it! I already have some globes on hand that I was going to use for similar outdoor lighting – but now I am thinking mine will be more like yours. Ditto on loving the outdoors and lighting! Thank you for sharing!


24 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hi Decor Niche-
I just LOVE outside candle light. It makes even a hum-drum backyard look dreamy at night.


25 Tamara @ Etcetorize May 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Love this idea. I did something similar ages ago but I used small rose bowls, the ones with the frilly top. I like the idea of painting them though, might have to revive my old ones~


26 Diane May 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

Hi Tamara -

I know the vase you are talking about – that rim would be perfect to hold up the chain and very pretty. Thanks for sharing your idea.


27 Felicity May 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

Love this idea. Looks modern and delicate plus pretty all at the same time. For sure doing this for our backyard.


28 Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D May 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Found you via Pinterest.

Gosh, look what Pottery barn is selling – lol!

I like yours better!
All the best,
Cooking at Cafe D


29 HousebyHolly May 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Great job Diane! These would be stunning painted with a faux mercury technique too. Funny, I bought one of these last month and ended up returning it. Now they are all gone!
Thanks for sharing,


30 sherry May 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

I discovered you on Project Queen. This is great, thanks so much for sharing.


31 Jen Lossing, The Consigner Designer May 12, 2012 at 1:02 am

I just love this idea. I love candles and I love unique ways to display them! Great job!


32 Mary Cardini-Anderson May 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I love what you have done with the glass light globe and the smaller glass covers. I will be making a trip to both Loews and Home Depot very soon. I am fairly new to making DIY projects, your project has given me lots of inspiration for glass candle holders.



33 North of Seattle June 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Great idea! Even thriftier, check out Goodwill, etc. for great globes at a fraction of the retail price.


34 Pat July 4, 2012 at 6:14 am

In the true spirit of repurposing, don’t forget to check at your local salvage store, like the places that take donations from contractors, remodeling jobs, etc. Light covers cost .25!


35 yard globes July 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Thank you for the great ideas! It lends itself to other ways of doing lighting. I really appreciate these DIY ideas. Even if you are not rolling in money you can still decorate with style.


36 G. Small July 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I’ve had this kind of project in mind for a long time, but I am even CHEAPER. I stocked up on “rose bowls” (the globe-shaped vase with a fluted top that is used by florists for small flower arrangements) for 25¢ each at the local church resale store (NOBODY keeps these vases). I was going to use wire to hang them, but the chain is much prettier.


37 krishnadas November 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm

hai sir ,
I want a solution for a chain lighting with candles, or any other original lighting methods.

Is there any idea to help me?


38 Leean December 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

I love this idea and this website is really amazing!! Since I make crafts and sell them at a variety of fairs this will be a neat one to add. I have lots of variations for it by using beads , charms , etc.
Also an easier way to get wax out is by putting some sand in the bottom (about 1/4) and then the candle. the candle burns down and then all you have to do is pick up the small stub or dump the holder upside down. NOTE won’t work well if u get wet weather.

another neat trick is take the candle glass holder and put some mod podge on it all over then roll the holder in some epsom salt and let dry.. Can add food coloring to the salt for colors. Then cover with a sealer of some sort mod podge magic dimension. This will give the lanterns the look of snow crystals. If u use a stencil design and paint the mod podge on then sprinkle the eposom salt on the glued areas u can create a “lace” like effect.

have fun crafting and enjoy!!!

PS I can be found on face book under

Lady Merlin’s Treasures
magickal potions & things


39 k January 4, 2013 at 1:57 am

What a wonderful and beautiful idea!!!!! And you know the local Habitat for Humanity store has a TON of these! Thank you so much for sharing! :)


40 laura March 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

Where do you get the glass globes!?


41 Diane Henkler March 28, 2014 at 10:26 am

I bought the globe at Lowes, but it is a basic globe and most lighting or home improvement stores will probably have it.


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