Living in an apartment or rental home does not mean your outdoor space can’t reflect your personality and style. Outdoor lighting for your patio, deck, porch, or yard can be as unique and stylish as you are. There are many outdoor lighting products on the market, but making your own lighting from inexpensive items or recycled items means a more unique and cost-effective solution!
One very simple yet elegant idea for lighting is paper bag lanterns. Paper bag lanterns are created using inexpensive white, colored or brown lunch sack size paper bags. The lighter weight the bag, the more the light will illuminate your area. Simply fold the top of the bag down two or three folds. Fill the bag with approximately 3-4″ of sand. For the actual light, you can use a battery powered candle inside the bag to eliminate any potential safety issues. Paper bag lanterns are perfect for lighting up the border of a patio, lining a walkway, or any number of areas around your home!
Table top lanterns are another very popular option for lighting your patio. These are easy to make and inexpensive. You can create them from tin cans, bottles, and jars from your recycle bin. The lantern pictured was made from a baby formula can. Holes were punched into the sides of the can to let light shine through. The can was then covered with burlap and decorated for a pretty table top lantern. If your lantern is open from the top, it could be lit with a candle, if you prefer. If the opening of the lantern is at the bottom, you’ll need to use a battery operated light for fire safety.
Another very popular but unique lighting idea is hanging vases or flower bowls with candles inside. If your yard at your rental home has trees, these look amazing when hung from branches of varying heights. If you live in an apartment community and do not have a yard, hang these glass lanterns from patio or deck railings, shepherd’s hooks, or hanging flower pot holders mounted near doors. To create hanging glass lanterns of your own, simply tie a cord, string, or ribbon around the neck of the vase or flower bowl. Attach another piece of string or fishing line for hanging over a hook or tree branch. Again, you can use any type of candle for these lanterns or a battery powered tea light or candle, if you prefer.
With only a few dollars invested, you can create custom hanging lamps for your space. Pick up some colorful baskets and LED push lights from your local dollar store. The baskets turned upside down make fun lamp shades, and the push lights typically have a self-adhesive tape for mounting. Attach the push light to the inside of the basket and hang the basket with thin string or a more decorative ribbon, if you prefer. These can be hung above a patio table, on a shepherd’s hook, or even from the eaves of your outdoor living space. You could use flower pots in place of baskets for a similar look.
Other ideas for unique outdoor lighting include the use of Christmas lights and rope lighting in many different ways. If you have a glass top patio table, consider attaching a string of lights to the underside of the table to give a beautiful glow. Wrap a wreath or hula hoop with a string of lights and suspend it over your patio table for a beautiful chandelier. Attach two half-round flower baskets together, wrap with Christmas lights, and hang for beautifully lit orbs over your patio or deck. Add paper cups or colorful cupcake wrappers to plain Christmas lights for a fun look. Or, take a stab at creating Firefly Mason Jar Lanterns.
Be creative, and think of new uses for everyday items that would make unique and fun outdoor lighting!
Find other ways to liven up your rental space on the ForRent.com blog!