The summer is all about spending time outdoors and soaking up the warm weather. There’s nothing better than spending an evening with friends and family outside during a barbecue or social gathering, but it’s no fun if you have to sit in the dark. Lighting an outdoor area can sometimes be challenging and expensive, depending on the type of lighting you need for the area. We’ve found some great cost efficient ways to dress up the outdoors by adding a little ray of light without digging deep into your pockets.
Wine Glass Tabletop Lighting:
This might be one of the quickest and easiest ways to add lighting to tables on your deck and patio. You’ll need:
Wine glasses (number depends on the amount of area you need to cover)
LED or tea lights (one per wine glass)
Craft paper or Vellum (8.5” x 11”)
Lamp Shade Pattern (optional)
Hot glue gun
Directions: This is so simple! All you need to do is to cut the craft paper or vellum based on the size of your wine glass. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting the shade freehand, you can do a simple online search for lampshade patterns and all different kinds will show up. You can also cut the shade with decorative scissors to add an extra touch to the look of your lampshade. Then simply connect the two ends of the paper and attach together with glue. Let dry and simply place over a wineglass. You can either use tea lights or LED battery operated tea lights. Arrange on the table or sitting area and you have a unique lighting display all your friends will love.
Floating Pool Lanterns
If you’re gathered outside around the pool and need a little extra light or want a decorative pop, you can do this simple lighting project that everyone from kids to adults will enjoy! You’ll need:
Balloons (any size, shape and color)
Glow sticks or battery operated LED tea lights
Directions: Activate the glow sticks or turn on the LED lights and insert into the balloons. Blow up the balloons to desired size and tie to secure balloon closed. You can place these balloons in a pool where they will float or scatter them around your outdoor space for a fun pop of color and a sure conversation piece. Tip: If using as floating balloons in a pool, you can add a slight amount of water to each balloon to help it stay in the pool. If the wind blows, keep in mind you’ll need a little extra weight to keep the balloons from flying around. If adding water to the balloon, make sure to use waterproof battery operated LED lights or glow sticks for this project.
Bottle Tiki Torch
Save your old glass wine bottles or glass beverage bottles for this project. Then sit back and relax while staying bug free at the same time! You’ll need:
1/2″ x 3/8″ copper coupling
Tiki replacement wick
Nylon thread seal tape
Recycled wine bottle or beer bottle
Directions: Wrap the pipe wrap around the copper reducer many times. The opening on a wine bottle usually requires about 15 times around so that it will stick and you can actually insert the smaller 3/8″ side into the bottle as the 1/2″ side didn’t fit. You may also want to try it in beer bottles for smaller torches to place around the yard, but you’ll need to adjust your coupling size and the thickness of the wick accordingly. Insert the wick into the reducer. Fill the bottle with Citronella and insert wick. Let the oil be absorbed into the wick before lighting. Now enjoy! For a touch of decoration, you can purchase glass colored rocks from a dollar store and add them to the bottom of the bottles. Make sure that you use clear glass bottles if using decorative items in the bottom.
This is an interesting way to add a pop of color to garden areas or lawn space. This project is perfect for dark landscaped areas around your home. You’ll need:
Light globes (the kind from bathroom light bars or old ceiling fans)
Battery operated Christmas light strands (50-light small strands work best)
Directions: Take the empty light globes and add the string lights to the inside of each. Make sure you keep the on/off battery box near the opening for ease of turning the globes off and on. Now arrange them throughout the outdoor space and enjoy! Using both large and small globes looks great. If you want to add some color, you can paint the globes a light acrylic paint color that will illuminate when the lights are turned on.
Solar Lamp Reno
Turn your outdoor seating area into an inviting evening seating space for you and your friends.
Solar landscaping light
Lamp base (about $5 at Goodwill)
Lamp shade with socket frame
Directions: Snip off the electric cord at the base of the lamp. Unscrew the socket and pull out the remaining cord. Cut off the cord at the base of the socket. Remove the metal bracket and screw the socket back on the threaded post. Place the shade down over the socket. Make sure the wire shade frame is snug on the socket. Remove the plastic spike from a landscaping solar light. Place the top of the solar light (with the small solar panel facing up) snugly into the socket. My light fit pretty well into the socket, but if yours is wobbly, try using some padding in the socket around the light base. A folded-up piece of scrap fabric, foam or even florist’s putty would work well. Now, sit back and enjoy!
With these great outdoor lighting ideas you can turn any space into an inviting area for all to enjoy this summer. Share your DIY projects with us on Facebook.com/ReadFocusMagazine or simply comment below.