7 Ideas for Using Christmas Lights to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Summer Party

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Chances are they spend 11 months of the year tangled up in a box. We say, bring them out! String lights should not be winter-only decor. They're perfect for making a patio, backyard, table top, feel magical. Traditional white lights plugged into extension cords, battery-operated LED lights, bulbs shaped like stars, snowflakes or jalapenos -- they all work.  

Here are some ideas for how to use what you already have to bring sparkle to your next outdoor occasion.

1. Welcome guests with lights. Emphasize your front walk, front door, driveway. Hammer stakes into the ground a few feet apart and string lights in between each one.

2. Add blossoms with muffin cups. You know those paper cups you bake muffins or cupcakes in? Yes, those. Cut a hole in the center of a cup, then poke a bulb through it. Do the same for a the entire string and now you have a flowering vine that you can wrap around railings, fences or porch posts.

3. Turn a vase into a lantern. Coil up a string and "fill" a cylindrical vase with twinkling lights for a magical centerpiece.

4. Give trees a glow. Decorate your evergreens if you have some for a Christmas-in-July effect or just wrap them around the trunk or branches of any tree like a candy cane stripe.

5. Create a light ceiling. Bring the stars a little closer by creating your very own night sky. String two clothesline in between trees, then drape a strings of Christmas lights from one end to the other in rows. Alternately, use an outdoor umbrella as a center point and string lights outward like spokes on a wheel.

6. Design your own art installation. "Draw" your initials in a hedge. Use a string of lights to outline a favorite object like an oversized planter or a piece of patio furniture. 

7. Make a light curtain. Think disco beads in a doorway. Let strings of lights lead guests to your outdoor space or use several "curtains" to create a "room" in your backyard.

Do you have any creative lighting ideas for summer parties?


creative reuse, crafts, decorating, diy, entertaining, lighting


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mompam mompam

I strung them around my outdoor umbrella. It looks great.

John Reling

amazing article. Thank you for sharing!

4kidz916 4kidz916

I have some strung on a couple of bushes just outside the back door.  I don't burn them often though.  I love the hanging lights in the mason jars pictured above.  

Miran... Miranda1127

these are cute ideas. i love outdo summer light. We have a string of white lights in our patio, not very creative but it's cute enough.

godde... goddess99

Those are great ideas. We use candles.

timon95 timon95

great ideas

dusky... dusky_rose

These are great! I usually only use lights around Christmas time.

lalas... lalasmama2007

We have some cute lanterns that I got at Pier 1.

Irela... Ireland69

I love the hanging lights in the mason jars pictured above.   where can we get more information on this?

Madel... Madelaine

Great ideas!

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