4 Ideas for Outdoor DIY Lighting

Decorative Tin Can Lantern on a Wooden Background.

Here at Best Pro Lighting, we stock everything you need to complete a professional looking low voltage landscape lighting design, from directional lights and path lights, to well lights and step lights. But if you’re looking to get a little more creative in the New Year, try these DIY lighting ideas from other bloggers we’ve come across on the web.

Create some fairy magic

Image: The Gold Jelly Bean

For this DIY project, all you need is a glass jar, some glow sticks (which you can buy from any dollar store), some rubber gloves, scissors, and you can also use a piece of tulle (a soft, fine silk, cotton, or nylon material like net). Simply cut open the glow sticks, being sure to put on your rubber gloves for protection, and empty the contents into the glass jar. Replace the lid and shake for instant fairy magic. Check out The Gold Jelly Bean for all the steps.

Give your tin cans a new lease of life

Image: Inhabitat

Instead of throwing old cans in the garbage, give them a new lease on life with this great DIY lighting idea from Inhabitat. First, strip the cans of their labels before hammering small nails into the sides to create holes. Make sure you place some wood inside to prevent the cans from denting under pressure. To create the light, simply drop in a candle.

Ready, set, lights!

Image: Kittenhood

Kittenhood noticed the resemblance between shuttlecocks and lamps and came up with this DIY Shuttlecock Lights Garland. Using a knife to remove the tops of the shuttlecocks, simply weave your lights through, and voilà, a new and improved lights garland, which also incidentally creates a very pretty pattern on the wall behind.

Paper bags can be pretty too

Image: Martha Stewart

 

Household goddess Martha Stewart decided that beribboned colored bags would make great outdoor lights. To make them, cut small slits in paper bags and cover your string lights. Hanging ribbons will add a party vibe when all the Christmas celebrations are over. See the full steps on her website.

3 Ideas for Budget Landscaping

A budget landscape doesn’t necessarily equate to a less-than-average landscape. There are specific areas and methods where budget landscaping can work wonders for your wallet and leave your garden looking spruce and neat at the same time.

Idea 1: Budget Lawn

Consider a cheaper variety of grass. Starting a fresh lawn from seed is usually cheaper than having one transplanted on your property, so explore that option. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s the lowest price for the type of grass that will grow abundantly on the soil type found on your property.

A budget lawn can also mean leaving in some percentage of weeds in order to achieve a multi-cultured plant system on the lawn. Weeds become excessive when more are visible than your actual lawn. If this is a concern for you, don’t spend too much money on removing weeds – that can take a heavy toll on your budget.

Idea 2: Budget Hardscaping

Rather than buying expensive lawn ornaments or costly water fountains, make your own rock garden or water feature. The experience will be great and you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars. Modern pumps are highly efficient and reasonably priced, so a DIY job should be able to save you even more money.

Hardscape features like patio pavers on a sand base are easier to install than those that require concrete. Sand is cheaper than concrete and the project itself doesn’t require a great amount of experience or expertise.

Even flower-bed borders and other border definitions are pretty much DIY kind of projects that can be done neatly with a little bit of time and effort. The money you save will be considerable, and your garden will look tidy after you’re done.

Idea 3: Budget Lawn Furniture

Lawn furniture is great in more than one way: it can use up a lot of space you don’t want to leave bare, and it can be a very inexpensive shopping experience if you know where to go.

Home and garden care stores usually carry budget ranges of lawn furniture as well as expensive ones. Go to the right aisle and you’ll find an impressive choice of tables, chairs, umbrellas, area separators and everything else you need.

You can also cruise the curbs for some great free lawn furniture – just make sure it’s up for grabs and not part of their actual lawn! You can also check out the deliveries at recycling centers and strike a deal with the owner to pick up some lawn furniture that you can repair and repaint to look like new.

In conclusion, these great ideas for budget landscaping merely touch on the surface of what you can do to save money. There are lots of great ideas that will come to you once get your creative juices flowing. Budget landscape lighting, to give just one example, can be a cost-effective way to brighten up your garden at night. Low-cost, high-efficiency lighting is only a few mouse clicks away and can be installed very quickly and cheaply. Good lighting can make a huge difference in the way your space looks at night, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg if you plan properly and use a minimalist approach.

Good luck, and save all the money you can with these thrifty ideas for your personal paradise!

 

Ways to Save Money on Your Landscape Design

Landscaping can become a big expense for homeowners. With the recent economic downturn, homeowners need all the help they can get to lower costs and stay on budget.

Here are some money-saving landscaping tips:

Avoid Wasting Money – If you ever tackled a home improvement project, you know that the budget always expands as unexpected issues arise. A lack of planning can result in the identical scenario with your landscape design. Sketch your landscape design with as much detail as possible. Label exactly what you will need down to the last wire and screw. This step may take you a little time but it will save you money and stress in the long run.

Avoid Mistakes – Part of the planning process is to ensure your design is cohesive with your yard and no unexpected events occur. Though you may not have the budget to hire a landscape designer for the whole project, it may be in your best interest to consult with one on an hourly basis. Just a few hours talking to a professional and going over your design plans can signal you to potential pitfalls that could cost you more money down the road. Before you consult with a professional, make sure you have your landscape plan already in place.

One Step at a Time – Once you devise a budget, you may discover that you do not have the money to complete the entire project. Instead of settling for lower quality plants and materials, divide the project into phases and complete it over time. In the end you will be happier that you did not use cheaper materials even though the landscape took you a longer time to complete.

Bargains – You can find low-cost plants and materials at home improvement stores. These locations offer the basics in terms of what you will need to start your design such as mulch, annuals, pavers and common tools. For more specialized plants, consider a local specialty store. There you will find more knowledgeable sales people who will know exactly what you are looking for and lead you in the right direction.

You can snag some online discounts by searching the web. Research coupons by performing a search for the store name along with the word “discount code” or “coupon code”. A number of sites will come up with links to special savings. Compare prices and don’t forget to include shipping in your budget.

Check with your city about any initiatives that provide residents with free mulch. Also, arboretums or related public places may hold plant sales.

Are you friendly with your neighbor? Ask to borrow some tools and share the costs. If any of the neighbors are in the midst of a landscaping design, consider sharing the costs of expensive equipment. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Landscape design doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little ingenuity and a good dose of patience, you can have the landscape of your dreams on the budget you desire.