Outdoor lighting is practical and pretty. Friends and family can see where they’re going on paths, safely walk up and down stairs, and feel secure when lights on motion sensors illuminate the yard. It’s also your chance to set the mood and give guests a peek at your creative side.
One of the most popular ways to brighten up and beautify your space is with fairy lights. These cool outdoor lights are meant to add subtle ambiance, so they’re not overly bright like the intense bulbs in security lighting. This makes them an ideal material for crafts and DIY projects.
We spent a long (and enjoyable) time compiling these decoration ideas using outdoor fairy lights to share with you, and we narrowed our findings to our absolute favorites. Get ready to get inspired by these nine gorgeous garden fairy lights ideas.
1. Water Drop Decor
If you have a few extra watering globes sitting in your shed, give them a second chance as dramatic garden lights. This project requires solar-powered fairy lights, which you can easily find online or at your local craft store.
In addition to being at home among your flowers, these glowing globes would be attractive options for path lighting. Water globes are made from either glass or plastic and come in a variety of sizes and colors. You can buy smaller plastic ones to light up your front walkway and larger glass globes in lower-traffic areas such as your garden or patio landscaping.
2. It’s a Watering Can (Not a Watering Can’t)
A shepherd’s hook, a metal watering can, and battery-powered fairy lights are all you need to craft this super easy outdoor decor. Add a bit of whimsy by using a teapot instead of a watering can, or go more rustic and use an old wooden pail.
If you want to change things up, try this vino version and hang it in your outdoor kitchen or bar.
- Safety gloves and goggles
- 1 empty magnum-sized (or larger) wine bottle with the labels intact
- A glass-cutting tool
- 1 set of battery-powered multi-strand fairy lights (white or red)
- 1 five-foot length of thin jute rope (go longer if you use a bigger bottle)
- Waterproof outdoor glue
- Put on your safety glasses and goggles.
- Cut a hole in the side of an empty magnum-sized wine bottle that’s large enough to fit the pack of battery-powered fairy lights inside. (Or you can also cut the end off the base of the bottle.)
- Place the fairy lights inside the bottle and feed the strands out through the mouth.
- Tie an overhand loop knot in the center of your rope.
- Tie one end of the rope to the neck of your wine bottle and the other end around the base.
NOTE: Leave the knots a little loose for now—that way, you can turn the bottle to have the side hole facing the ground or back (you don’t need to worry about this if you chose to cut off the end) and adjust the rope length accordingly to ensure the neck hangs lower than the base.
- Once you’re satisfied with the rope length and bottle position, tighten the knots and secure the rope to the bottle with glue.
- After the glue has dried completely, hang your pouring wine bottle decor from a ceiling or wall hook and await the compliments.
3. A Dreamy Dining Space
Add an ethereal effect to your outdoor tablescape by hiding fairy lights beneath a sheer table runner or placing them in clear glass vases of different heights.
Speaking of heights, elevate the ambiance in your outdoor dining space and hang string lights overhead. Look for options that offer different blinking modes so you can have warm, twinkling white light overhead (and always feel like you’re dining under the stars).
4. Festive Fountain
Here’s your chance to use fairy lights in different colors. This lovely fountain is filled with real succulents, and blue outdoor string lights hang among the foliage, giving the illusion of cascading water.
Recreate this look at your home with solar lights, a pre-loved fountain you found at a thrift shop, and any artificial plants you like—they last longer and can be swapped as the seasons change. Think gourds, dangling spiders, and orange lights for a frightening yet festive Halloween fountain, or fluffy artificial snow, hanging crystals, and white lights for a whimsical winter fountain.
5. Hula Hoop Garden Orb
You can make a gorgeous garden orb using just a few items. It’s on the larger side, so make sure you have the space to display it. Here’s the WM Design House tutorial video showing how easy it is to make these light fixtures.
6. Mason Jar Wall Lighting
The versatility of mason jars has been highlighted for years, and crafters and designers keep finding creative ways to use them. This easy DIY project from All Things Heart & Home shows you how to make mason jar wall sconces—the perfect addition to a farmhouse-style front porch.
7. It-Only-Looks-Fancy Outdoor Chandelier
Do you have trees near your home and access to craft stores or the internet? Then you can make a beautiful yet inexpensive outdoor fairy light branch chandelier. Watch Sabrina & Andrew Pougnet’s YouTube tutorial below to see how seriously simple this DIY chandelier really is.
8. Pretty and Private
Create a beautiful barrier around your pergola or veranda by letting strands of fairy exterior lights hang freely behind sheer floor-length curtains. It’s a lovely backdrop to intimate gatherings, creates shade, and adds privacy.
9. $7 Wreath
A homemade wreath is the best decoration for a front door (or any open wall space). Weave in a strand of battery-powered LED lights to take your door decor to another level. Here’s a wreath project from The DIY Mommy, where she makes a lovely fall wreath using items she found at the Dollar Tree.
If it’s not the fall season when you’re reading this, that’s no problem. Use any craft items you want to assemble your wreath. If you want to challenge yourself, see if you can get the supplies you need from the Dollar Tree using that $7 budget.
Can you put normal fairy lights outside?
Keep normal fairy lights inside your home and instead opt for strands rated for outdoor use. The materials used in outdoor fairy lights can withstand changing temperatures and moisture, so you don’t need to worry about protecting them when the weather takes a turn.
Where do you put fairy lights outside?
You can put fairy lights anywhere you have room outside. Your only limitation is how far the cord reaches from the outlet it’s plugged into—but you can easily solve this with extension cords or by using battery- or solar-powered fairy lights.
How do you use fairy lights in a garden?
Use fairy lights to illuminate the flowers in your garden or patio planters. Let strands dangle from a hanging basket filled with fuchsia or wrap string lights around a trellis that has a clematis winding its way up the base.