Lighting is always important in any space that you spend a lot of time in, but we find that most people we know forget how crucial lighting can be outside their home, as well as inside. This is especially true on these warm summer nights when you want to spend time socializing with friends on the patio or enjoying some fresh air on your balcony or by the pool! We realized while sitting on our patio recently that our yard was far too dark for our lighting, so we immediately began hunting for cute outdoor lighting options that, like everything else in our lives, we can make all by ourselves.
Just in case you’re in need of a bit of outdoor lighting too, check out these 15 super creative and extra fun DIY garden light ideas that will help you keep your outdoor space as usable as possible all year round!
1. Upside down basket lamp
Have you always loved a project that will let you make something new while also repurposing something old? Then we have a feeling you’ll enjoy making this awesome upside down basket lamp design from The Art of Doing Stuff. We actually made these ourselves and we loved the way the light shone through the spaces in the wicker!
2. Light up cactus plants
Do you live somewhere very warm where, at least in the summer, a cactus plant might survive and even thrive in your back yard? Then you’ve got the perfect opportunity to make this absolutely awesome project from Apartment Therapy! We’d sure never thought of a cactus as a potential light source before we saw this tutorial, but now we’re practically obsessed with the idea because they look so simultaneously funny and impressive.
3. String light hammock
Few things are quite as relaxing as laying in a hammock late on a summer’s evening and feeling yourself sway in the breeze with nothing but calm around you. That is, few things except the magical feeling of doing just that under a lovely set of string lights that look like stars in the sky! By Stephanie Lynn shows you how to fasten and connect the lights properly, positioning them neatly in the trees above the hammock haven.
4. Glowing sea shell tray
Do you already have decent lighting on your porch so you know you’ll be able to see just find when you sit out there in the evenings this summer, but you’d still like some kind of awesome, crafty lighting alternative to really just set the mood and add some personality to the space? Well, if you’re a beach lover, you’re going to adore this glowing seashell tray idea from Martha Stewart. Their description is brief because you’ll catch on to how to make your own so easily!
5. Birthday hat cone lights
Is your very favourite thing to do outside all summer celebrating your child’s birthday in the warm weather? Then here’s an awesome outdoor lighting solution that’s also totally appropriate for the occasion! We love the simple way Crème de la Craft outlines the process of making cone lights out of tools that are super easy to come by; paper birthday hats and simple white string lights!
6. Paper origami string lights
Okay, we know this picture doesn’t actually show what the lights would look like outside specifically, but we’ll ask you to use your imagination with this one! These stunning little paper origami lights look so whimsical and pretty dangling along a covered porch with the light shining through the colours and patterns that we just couldn’t help but include them on our list. Just make sure the porch is in fact a covered one so your origami pieces don’t get soggy if it rains! Get the full instructions for making your own on Guusje’s Appeltaart.
7. Fabric covered paper cup string
Just to make sure you have lots of options, here’s another simple string light option that will look just as great lighting up your deck or porch outside as it does inside! Taylor Made Creates shows you step by step how they drilled holes in the bottoms of some plastic cups, covered them with differently patterned scrap fabric, and attached them over string light bulbs like tiny shades.
8. Hanging cut out lights
Have you always loved the look of cut out shades no matter the lighting source because of the way the light starts to glow through the shapes for a cool dabbling effect? Then we have a feeling you’ll totally dig the way HGTV made these awesome outdoor pendant lights by cutting the bottoms off some cut out candle holders and fitting them over individual hanging bulbs!
9. Beer bottle string light table runner
Are you the kind of person who likes to make your love for DIY projects and upcycling ideas apparent whenever you can? We think some of those clearly homemade designs that repurpose household things end up looking the absolute coolest of any designs we see! That’s why we loved this beer bottle string light idea from Paper Angels so much. Their installation is pictured lining a pathway, which is a great idea, but these would also look cool down the centre of the table on your porch, like a table runner.
10. Light wrapped grapevine orbs
Do you love the idea of light orbs but most of the spherical options you’ve seen so far for outdoor lighting have looked very modern, while your personal style is a little more rustic chic? In that case, we think you simply must take a good look at these grapevine alternatives from Lynne Knowlton! Besides being absolutely gorgeous, they’re surprisingly easy to make for how lovely and woven they look.
11. Hula hoop string light chandelier
We’ve talked a lot about wrapping string lights around structures of various shapes, but can you blame us when there are so many stellar designs to choose from? Just in case we’ve peaked your interest with that concept but not quite kept it with a single idea yet, here’s another one for your consideration! Sarah With an H suggests wrapping string lights around and around a hula hoop and then hanging it from your porch cover so it sits horizontally and dangles a few of the delicate lights in a pretty circular shape.
12. Hanging succulent and candle chandelier
Are you the kind of garden lover who’s always open to the idea of adding a little greenery to just about any DIY project you can get your hands on? Well, it might not sound like lighting is really the kind of project you can do that with, but Erin Ever After has found a way and it is awesome! Their tutorial guides you through the process of weaving string lights through a tray of lovely little succulent plants to create a glowing display of greenery that we just can’t stop starting at.