June 21st marks the official start of summer, but for most of us, Memorial Day is the launch of the season with backyard cookouts with family and friends. Memorial Day is Monday!
We have no plans, but I want to get my backyard in shape and plan on cleaning out the garage this weekend to unearth and bring all the outdoor décor, furniture, umbrellas, cushions, and the lights I have made back outside. I want to be ready to kick start the season of outdoor living – in style!
If you have read my blog for the past 3 years then you know I kinda have a thing for outdoor lighting. I love the atmosphere it creates for entertaining or just when I am sitting alone outside swinging on my deck swing when dusk arrives. The glow of the candles makes my backyard feel like a tropical getaway – without it – it is just dark – the exterior lights on the house just don’t add the same ambiance.
I often go outside right before going to bed on hot nights to just enjoy the stillness of the dark with the glow of a candle nearby. It feels magical.
I receive a lot of questions about the outdoor lighting projects I have posted. The tuna can lantern is still one of my most popular posts and around this time every year, questions start arriving in my inbox about it.
Since I was away last weekend, I am a bit behind, so I thought I would do a round-up of all the outdoor lighting ideas I have made along with a few other easy to do DIY ideas that I have found online.
Outdoor Lighting Ideas:
1. Walkway Lights made using plastic soda bottles
2. Glass Globe Hanging Lantern made using a ceiling fixture globe.
3. Pottery Barn Knock-Off Candle Chandelier made using a brass thrift store chandelier
4. Tuna Can Lantern made using a can, lantern, and hurricane or drinking glass.
5. Restoration Hardware Knock-Off Concrete Fire Column made using concrete and cardboard tubes.
How to use DIY lighting in your yard:
-Place lights at every level, on the ground, on tabletops, and suspended overhead to make your outdoor space feel warm and inviting. ( Would be nice to have the water view, too )
-Line a railing, walkway, or garden with mason jars, seashells with votive, or colorfully painted cans that have holes punched into them.
Photo: Lowes Creative Ideas
-Hang mason jars or punched tin cans from a tree, an arbor, or a swing arm hanging flower planter bracket, or even a curtain rod bracket.
-Make your own chandelier using a wire basket. Hang using chain and fill with candle filled mason jars. For added style, add a few crystals.
-Use candles alone or group together in multiples for more impact. Add water for floating lights.
Photo: How To Do It
-Place a candle at each place setting on an outdoor table when dining alfresco. Anything can be made into a candle holder. Even without the shades – stemware alone makes perfect votive holders.
-If you can’t use candles, look for strings of white wired Christmas lights to hang from a white railing, trellis or pergola on a porch, patio, or deck. I have bought them at Walmart. Use cups hooks to hang.
Photo: The Handmade Home
Use green wired Christmas Tree lights around trees in your yard.
Phot0: Best Coolist
– Don’t have the time to DIY? Most home improvement stores, Target, and Walmart sell inexpensive solar powered walkway lights that are on stakes. They are simple to use. Place these around your garden and porch. They might only last one summer, but will make your backyard feel like a magical place to getaway.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Let the summer fun begin