28 Stunning DIY Outdoor Lighting Ideas ( & So Easy! )

If you are an outdoor lover like me, you will most likely be inspired by many of these enchanting yet super easy DIY outdoor lighting ideas for patios, porches, backyard parties, and more!

Outdoor lights are one of my favorite things ever: they create the perfect settings for dinners with loved ones and happy moments under the stars.

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Most of these DIY outdoor lighting ideas take less than 1 hour to make, using very simple and easy to find materials. See how you can incorporate anything from string lights, solar lights, mason jars and tin cans to create beautiful backyard patio lighting and porch lighting easily!


Here’s a slideshow of some of the lights we will be exploring! ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

1, 2.  DIY outdoor lighting ideas for patios and walkways

using market string lights to create beautiful patio, porch, & backyard lighting

These beautiful string lights / globe lights are perfect for patio lighting and backyard party lighting!  You can attach them to walls, eaves, or tree branches. You can also place wooden poles or branches in buckets of sand, or make a few permanent poles set in concrete to hang these outdoor lights.  ( Source 1 | 2 )

DIY poles in bucket for outdoor bistro string lights

You can also use a metal bucket filled with concrete to create poles for outdoor patio lights like in tutorial above. Line the bucket with plastic of you want to keep them clean to ruse for other things.

3. Backyard lighting with mason jar oil candles

diy mason jar oil candle lights

These easy DIY lanterns make great patio or porch lights, or as decorative lighting for a backyard party! Add botanical clippings, water, and a little bit of vegetable oil to a mason jar, now we have an instant oil candle! You can also add essential oils to repel mosquitoes. Easy enough, right? The magic wick is the secret. Tutorial here.

4, 5, 6. Easy DIY solar Outdoor lighting ideas, aka DIY Sun Jars!

Solar outdoor lights are really easy to work with! First you will need solar mason jar lid inserts or hack a few solar path lights.

dollar store solar lights

Glue or tape them to the inside of a glass jar, and let the sun do its work.

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It is easy to add colors or patterns. If you want to tint mason jars or other glass jars, add 9 drops of food coloring and 1 teaspoon water to every tablespoon of Mod Podge or other good quality craft glue , mix and coat the inside of each jar. Bake at 200 Fahrenheit for 1 hour.

The pretty decoupaged jars were sold at this Etsy shop. You can also make yours by brushing  Mod Podge or other good quality craft glue  and pieces of  tissue paper  on the interiors of glass jars.

7, 8. Magical backyard lighting with tea lights.

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Waterproof tea candles floating in a water-filled birdbath makes you feel like being in a tropical resort. Place some LED tea lights inside these easy-to-make paper lanterns, now we have an enchanting walkway through the garden . ( Source 7 | 8 ) .

9, 10, 11, 12. Beautiful DIY garden path lights.

DIY outdoor path lights

These awesome tutorials will show you how to make gorgeous outdoor path lights or tiki torches from cedar wood , glass bottles, plastic bottles, or even a tuna can!

13. Up-cycled tin can outdoor patio lights.

recycled cans outdoor lighting

Fill a tin can with water, freeze it, and punch a design using a hammer and nail. Two great tutorials  at Design Sponge and Grow Creative.

14, 15.  Classic and timeless: outdoor lanterns and chandeliers

DIY outdoor solar lights chandelier

Few can resist the charm of classic chandeliers and lanterns. The chandelier gets a makeover with solar lights. The wood lanterns made by Marie look gorgeous as porch lights or patio lights in any season.

16, 17. Creative outdoor lighting ideas for wall and fence

DIY outdoor lighted letters

Jen will show us how to make a chic marquee letter with wood and string lights / globe lights.

Another great outdoor lighting idea for the wall is to transform dollar store baskets into hanging lamps!

18, 19, 20. Paper lanterns beautiful enough for weddings.

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Got paper, glass or plastic bottles? Tutorials and free templates : Dandelion paper lanterns, paper lanterns with colored glow, and Peony paper lanterns here.

21, 22. Enchanting mason jar hanging lights

Amazing collection of 28 stunning yet easy DIY outdoor lights! Most can be made in 1 hour, with up-cycled or common materials. So creative and beautiful! - A Piece Of Rainbow

Perfect porch lights! Beth at Unskinny Boppy created this gorgeous rustic Ladder chandelier. I could see it made with pallets too!

The mason jar hanging wall light is made by Robin at All Things Heart and Home, isn’t it lovely?

Related: How to make hanging mason jar lanterns easily using wire hangers!

The easiest & super charming DIY hanging mason jar lights using up-cycled glass bottles and dry cleaners wire hangers. Detailed step by step tutorial! - A Piece of Rainbow
23, 24, 25. Magical glowing orbs and spheres with LED and string lights.

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These would look so beautiful as backyard lights! Can you believe these orb garden lights are made from opaque glass shades?

Fairy light spheres can be made from grapevines such as in this tutorial, or fencing wire wrapped around an inflated beach ball, video below:

26, 27, 28. Materials beyond paper, wood and metal…

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Outdoor lights can also be made with unconventional materials such as wax, or ice. The translucent quality adds a sense of mystery and enchantment.

All three tutorials can be found here: 20 Magical Lanterns and Luminaries.

I am definitely going to play with some of these projects. How about you?

One more lighting DIY you may like: wouldn’t this make the perfect covered patio light?- DIY Faux Mexican Tin Star Lantern

This enchanting and rusty "metal" star lantern is made with... paper! Easy tutorial with free printable template to make your own!

Wish you a magical week!

41 Comments

  1. Such nice ideas! I really like it the string lights on poles, and will be doing that for our summer party this year!

  2. I had no idea that you could add botanical clippings, water, and vegetable oil to a mason jar to make an oil candle. My wife feels that our backyard is too dark at night and wants to light it up with some candles and lanterns. While a custom oil candle looks beautiful, I think we will go for a more practical option like a lantern that can be reused.

  3. Your diys are amazing and so simple. I am trying to make a flower symbol out of a set OF christmas lights multicolored 150 ct. Any simple ideas?

    • thank you! 🙂 you can use a wire frame or a backing of canvas or plywood, draw the pattern and poke the lights through like those marquee light. good luck! 🙂

  4. Thanks for putting up this list together! I definitely will try making the Up-Cycled Tin Can Outdoor Patio Lights and Mason Jar Hanging Lights. I’ve been always in love with lighting fixtures and always looking for ways to recycle junk materials and turning it into something beautiful and functional decorations. Creative ideas indeed!

  5. These outdoor lighting tips are so easy to DIY, however, still, most of the people have no idea about them. Keep up the good work

  6. I can’t get your tutes even though I’ve been following you for a long time. I even joined two more times and still no luck. I’m disappointed. Can you help? Thanks. I really want to make your snowflakes and pine cone wreath.

  7. My yard is looking a little boring right now. Finally, my weeds are in-control, but I am feeling that my yard is lacking something. I have been thinking of decorating my yard with outdoor lights! Thank you for sharing the idea of having solar mason jar lid inserts. I will definitely need to try out some of these ideas. Along with trying these out, I want to find the perfect place to get outdoor decor!

  8. My backyard need to be the coolest in our neighbor hood. I want it to look straight from a fairy-tale. I love the look of these lanterns, the sun jars are my favorite, I had no idea that I just needed to tint a mason jar to get such a cool effect! I also want to find old fashion looking lanterns.

  9. Love your article! These outdoor lights are looking beautiful. I am impressed with your work and can’ t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I love the 10 minute centerpiece in the box. Could it be made with artificial stuff so it could last longer or made ahead of time? I love all your things and love and enjoy your site very much. Thank you…

  11. Saya suka dengan cahaya yang unik yang bisa kita tampilkan lewat ide kreatif ,dimana cahay bisa indah di mana saja pada tempat kecil yg tidak berarti namun memiliki seni kreatif yang unik……saya sukabsekali cahaya lampu….terima kasih

  12. Nice enough, but with only one exception, there isn’t anything special about any of these, nor are they unique. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they had tons of imagination, and more than 50 years ago, they created every single one of these lights for various occasions throughout our growing up years. The only technology not available back in the 50’s and 60’s was solar lighting, but other than that, literally every single lighting element done here my parents made/produced and shared with the neighborhood. They had the largest lit picnic table in the ‘hood because all the kids loved coming to our house to play after dark–my parents were the only ones who believed kids should play on the grass, and that grass wasn’t for show, so they invited every kid, no matter their age, to come to our house after supper. We had the lights strung up over the huge table so we could play board games, and the adults had a lit table to play cards on. THAT was what made it special, not the lighting, not the ooky little dinkums used to put things into as is done here, and not the “outdoor lovers” theme. It was Mom and Dad, and all the great friends we all had that made the nights, and the summer, special.

    • thank you joyce for sharing your sweet memories! it is true that everything we try to make pales in comparison with those memories of loved ones! =)

  13. The right lighting just makes the garden so much more special doesn’t it?! I’ve made the tin can ones before, but the mason jar lights look adorable too I’m going to have to give those a try.

  14. Okay, these all look AMAZING! I’m totally going to have to try some of these, so I’ve pinned this to check later. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Great roundup and perfect timing with the warmer weather and longer nights. Our backyard (if you can call it that) is super tiny but we do have a teeny porch that you’ve now got me thinking all the ways that we could make it better with lights!! Pinning:)

  16. Omgosh, I love the tealights in the bird bath! How stinkin’ smart is that? Now I need to go find a bird bath. Thanks for the idea!

  17. These are all so beautiful and fairly easy to make! I always loved the look of outdoor lighting. It adds such a different element to the space and really makes it feel homey. Hanging twinkle lights are my favorite, but a lot of these are tough contenders for second place! 😛

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