July is Outdoor Entertaining month, and we at Shot In The Dark Mysteries are excited to bring you a whole series of articles focused on throwing open the doors, grabbing a few friends and entertaining them outdoors.

We have found so many fantastic lighting ideas lately, we had to dedicate an entire article to setting the ambiance in your yard or on your patio, and we have curated our Top 10 DIY Outdoor Party Lighting Ideas. All of these ideas are easy-to-do, create an amazing summer feel and will enhance your outdoor party.

**Please note** When using flames outdoors, such as candles and fire bowls, please exercise extreme caution, ensure all fire is kept away from any foliage and keep a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case. While everyone wants a “hot” party, nothing says “party suicide” (not to mention a hike in property insurance rates) like a blazing inferno.

1. Glow In The Dark Plant Pots

We love this idea for adding a really unique lighting scheme to your outdoor party décor. Procure a number of plant pots and paint them with glow-in-the-dark paint, which can be purchased from most DIY stores these days. Line paths with the painted plant pots and place them in dark corners that would otherwise be dead space as the sun sets.

2. Paper Lanterns

Simple paper lanterns, in white or various other colours, can be found virtually everywhere these days, including dollar stores and your local DIY/Hardware store. Just string them up and turn them on for an incredible party hue.

3. Hanging Jars

Mason jars are a great way to add to your outdoor lighting scheme. Wrap wire around the jar (ensuring to make ample support on the bottom of each jar) and then create a hanging hook or handle to hang from trees, wire or anywhere else that needs a shot of light in your outdoor décor. Fill mason jars with sand and a tea light and watch your backyard seemingly come alive. If you’re pressed for time, instead of wrapping wire to hang them, just place them on your grass, table, or along paths for an easy yet magical glow.

4. “Starry” Hanging Jars


A fun twist on the above mentioned hanging mason jars, spatter glow-in-the-dark spray paint inside mason jars for a magical lighting scheme come twilight. Use them in the same way as the regular mason jars – by hanging them or placing them around your space.

4. String up Twinkle Lights


Using the same small outdoor lights popular at Christmas, string small “twinkle lights” around your yard, line fences, tables… your imagination is the limit!

5. Candle Buckets

Pots Line paths with metal buckets filled with sand and tea lights – an unforgettable way to lead guests “down the garden path”. Alternatively, instead of sand, fill the bucket with water and float flowers and floating tea lights instead. Beautiful!

6. Taper Candles in Wine Bottles

Gather together groups of three or more empty wine bottles holding taper candles one area, like the centre of a table or a dark corner in your space to create a powerful glow. Place as many taper candles as you can fit into the vase and light.

7. Water Balloons with glow stick stuff inside a stocking


It’s shocking how elegant this little DIY project turns out, especially in the dark. Crack open your glow stick and pour the contents into a water balloon. Fill the rest with water, tie and then drop into a white, black or nude stocking. Hang from trees and other areas. *While we haven’t tried it yet, we think this would look especially amazing in a fishnet or other patterned stocking as well!)

8. Tikki Torches


You can’t beat this old favourite for creating a tropical feel to your backyard or outdoor party, and they are such a summer staple these days you can even find them at garden centres. *Bonus – get the citronella kind to drive away mosquitoes and keep your guests itch-free!

9. Hang a chandelier


If you can, go with an electrical chandelier, but we prefer to hunt down a vintage one at a second-hand shop and burn real candles. Note: if you’re hanging the chandelier from a tree or otherwise flammable area, DO NOT use real candles – opt for the flameless kind.

10. Bird cages with flameless candles


There is something about a distressed old bird cage in a yard that screams “Ms. Havisham” – and she threw the most epic garden party of all time! Fortunately, these days you can buy birdcages from most department stores, already weathered. Again please note – as you will most likely be hanging your birdcages from trees and other flammable areas, please do not burn real flames – flameless kind.

View more about these ideas, as well as those that didn’t make the top 10 list, on our Garden Party Pinterest Board!

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