Light the Way
The patio tables and chairs are all set up. Planters have been filled to the brim with seasonal greenery. The grill is tuned up and ready for some serious action. Your outdoor oasis is almost ready! All you need is the right lighting to set the mood. From string lights to lanterns to repurposed chandeliers, here are eight ways to add a little homemade sparkle to your outdoor spaces.
Say It in Lights
Make a brilliant statement, in every sense of the word. Use a printout of your message in your font of choice (A Beautiful Mess picked "relax" in the font Miniver) to guide your nail placement—then weave in outdoor rope lights to bring it all to life.
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Here’s a bright idea that doesn’t even require electricity: You can bring the charm of a vintage chandelier outdoors by removing the wiring and substituting votive candles as your new source of light, as seen at Tiny Sidekick.
Related: 11 Eye-Popping Chandeliers Made from the Everyday
Game on! A set of plastic badminton shuttlecocks will turn an ordinary garland of lights into a bright and whimsical conversation piece. Carefully use a sharp knife to remove the tops, per Kittenhood's instructions, and simply weave your lights on through.
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Glow in the Dark
You know those glow-in-the-dark sticks you can find at the dollar store? Well, there's magic inside. All you need to do is cut open a couple of glow sticks (be sure to wear rubber gloves) and empty the contents into a mason jar. Replace the lid, shake, and try to contain your excitement until dark. The Gold Jelly Bean has all the details.
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Grapevine balls may not look like much au naturel, but they are stunning when lit up. If natural grapevine is hard to find, you can deconstruct an inexpensive grapevine wreath to get your raw materials. Add a generous wrapping of twinkle lights, as Lynne Knowlton did, and you're ready for illumination.
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Tin Can Alley
These punched-tin lanterns from Inhabitat are a great way to give old coffee cans new life. After stripping them of their labels, hammer small nail holes into your cans—either freehand or over a printed pattern. (To prevent the cans from denting under pressure, place a piece of wood inside for stability.) Then just drop in a candle!
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Up the lighting ante! Make over a set of plain patio light bulbs by housing them in 16-ounce mason jar lanterns. Your new outdoor lighting can be secured—and even hung—with plastic zip ties. Creating with Jessica Perez can show you how it's done.
Related: 7 Ways to Transform String Lights from Holiday to Everyday
When retired from the kitchen, a pot rack can make a stunning outdoor chandelier—just check out this one at Erin Ever After! Graced by a display of living succulents and hurricane candles, your deck, porch, or patio just might become your new favorite place.
Related: 11 Creatively Stylish Ways to Display Succulents
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!