It’s been another mild summer in Santa Cruz County. Yes, we’ve had some sunshine in between cooler days, but it hasn’t exactly felt like a full-blown summer yet. The good news is that September and October, though known as autumn months, are the new summer.
It’s time to stop sniveling about the delayed onset of summer and throw a backyard barbecue to welcome another potential Indian summer.
A little lighting can go a long way toward changing your backyard’s vibe. Try these simple, fun ideas to add some ambient lighting to your backyard before you invite the crew over to celebrate:
- String lights. A little bit of lighting can create magic in an ordinary backyard. If there are multiple buildings—a detached garage, for example—strings of light can be used to create a festive setting. Backyard fences and awnings are also good places for stringing lights. Strings of light can also be wrapped around trees.
- Set out votives. Votive candles placed in mason jars, emptied glass containers or paper lunch sacks with cutouts of shapes all make excellent outdoor mood brighteners. Mason jars and reusable glass containers—like the ones jam comes in—can be repurposed into hanging votive holders, too. With some craft wire and wire cutters, you can create hanging votive holders to place on tree branches or hooks.
- Create colorful candle holders. Crepe paper can be cut into shapes and glued onto glass containers—finally, a purpose for all those excess flower vases—to create bright lighting for backyard entertaining. Choose your favorite colors and let the kids go crazy. Or go crazy yourself.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. If you don’t have much extra time or money, make the craft project part of your party. Each guest can create their own votive or candle holder. Or invite a few of your closest friends over early to help hang strings of lights. It’s a good time to catch up over a pre-party glass of sangria.
Purchase supplies for your backyard lighting projects at these local retailers: