Adding That Extra Sparkle To Your Backyard Party
By Lizzie West
If you’re like me, you are in the midst of preparing your yard for summer backyard gatherings, pool parties, and the inevitable tailgates coming this fall. Maybe you were gifted with some trendy industrial light strands last December, or perhaps you saw some fun outdoor lighting you couldn’t pass up on Prime Day. Either way, cool lighting for an outdoor party is pretty easy to come by these days. Adding a little sparkle to your backyard can elevate a lackluster, dim get-together to a next level, softly-illuminated party-to-remember. If you were a bit overzealous in picking out lights and didn’t think about how to install them in your personal backyard, don’t worry! Here are some tips to help you create the coolest yard in the neighborhood – one that will be easy to maintain in every season.
Easy places to install your lights
A covered patio or structure – If you already have a patio or gazebo to work with, you’re in luck! Setting up your backyard lights will be super easy because you don’t need to create a base to work from. All you need is a ladder, a heavy-duty staple gun to attach the lights, and a buddy to help out. Use your heavy duty staple gun to attach the lights to your gazebo or patio. Make sure you staple around the cord, not through it. Have your buddy hold the ladder for added safety. If your strands aren’t long enough to reach the outlet, enlist the help of an extension cord.
Attach to a pole in a planter – What if you don’t have a patio or other structures to attach lights to? There’s good news! You can still create the ambiance you desire with a quick trip to your local home improvement store and a few hours invested. Grab a fence post, quick set cement, a cardboard cylinder to set the post, and a cute planter with a wide base. It’s also good to keep that buddy, ladder, and staple gun around. Once you’ve set the fence post into the cement, you can place it in the planter surrounded with plant soil and put in your favorite flowers, or even some Citronella to keep the bugs away! Then, attach your light strands from your home to the fence posts to create a lighted space with a bit of structure to hang out for a low key evening with friends and family.
Use your trees as an anchor – If you don’t feel like creating a structured space, you can use the trees in your backyard as an anchor for your lights, like you would a post. String them from your home to the tree, or simply drape the strands on your branches and accent them with decorative lanterns and LED tea lights. Use an extension cord to power your light strands if they aren’t close enough to your home. You can use clear or dark zip ties to keep the lights in place and avoid harming your tree. Lastly, move your patio furniture under the tree and you’ve created a neat and softly lit place to enjoy your favorite beverages in the evening breeze.
Attach to your fence – For this look, all you need are lights, a staple gun, and an extension cord that blends in with the outdoors. Creating a scallop with your light strands looks less like a holiday statement and more like a chill backyard that’s trendy enough for your teens and classy enough for your Great Aunt Betsy. This is a super easy way to add a little laid back lighting to your yard. It’s also easy to take down or maintain with replacement bulbs.
Ways to get creative with lighting you may not have considered
Add some color or a pop of fun – If you like a little color, feel free to go to the party section of your local store and grab tiny lantern lights, a strand of colorful decorative flags, or even some fun themed light strands (I love the little pink flamingos you can get). Intertwine them with the lights you already have to add a little more fun to your pool party or family barbecue!
Experiment with different lights, bulb, fairy, lantern styles – When selecting lights, you can get anything from tiny solar-powered fairy lights with a 24 setting remote, to large paper globe lanterns in every color. Don’t be afraid to mix and match a few types of lights to get the look you’re going for. And if you don’t like it, save your receipts and exchange them for something new. Another option is to setup your lights in different areas. Perhaps consider dangling your paper lanterns with tea lights over the pool to avoid any live electricity over the water. There are also battery and solar lights you can buy to place along your pathways and flower beds to light up all the beautiful greenery you worked on during the day.
Extension cords are your friend – It’s amazing how many colors are available when it comes to extension cords. You can find cords that match your house color, wood trim, trees, grass, or dirt. Once you find cords that match, you can run them along the side of your house, fence line, and grass, all the while ensuring that they blend into your landscape. Getting a good outdoor extension cord can even turn your cool backyard lighting into a conversation starter. Your guests will want to know how you hid all the wires. Everyone is going to want to know how you created this magical party atmosphere – It’s up to you if you want to share your secrets!