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Patio Lanterns to Light Up Your Party

Updated on September 23, 2014
Bubble Field
Bubble Field | Source

Light Up a Romantic Mood for a Summer Night

Nothing says "Summer" like a string of outdoor patio lanterns moving gently in a faint breeze under a hot sun, poolside, or twinkling among the dark vines twining over your porch railing. Close friends. New love. Distant laughter. And even more distant, any thought of summer's end.

I remember, with a nostalgic sigh. Do you?

If somewhere along the way you've lost your passion for patio lanterns, allow me to remind you... Here you'll find a colorful variety of those delightful little party lights for all your outdoor celebrations - from retro string lights to Oriental paper lanterns, from novelty to vintage styles - to recall fond memories of those magic summer nights.

Asian Inspired - Chinese/Japanese Style String Lights and Paper Lantern Decorations

For the traditional Oriental style of patio lanterns, you've got two basic choices - lantern-shaped decorations, usually made of rice paper or some other thin paper, to add a festive touch of colour to your outdoor d├ęcor in the same way you'd decorate with balloons (but kinder to sea turtles); or decorative sets of string lights in the shape of those traditional lanterns.

Both of these kinds of Asian-inspired lanterns are totally appropriate to setting a romantic mood of nostalgia for outdoor entertaining - so the choice is up to you, and whether you are more interested in lighting up the night or simply adding a colorful decoration to your patio party.

Chinese Paper Lanterns, pk of 12
Chinese Paper Lanterns, pk of 12
Run a string of colorful paper Chinese-style patio lanterns around the eaves of your porch or gazebo, or string them gaily across the width of your patio for an instantly festive mood. By day they bring a welcome burst of bright color at an affordable price, perfect for that time of mid-summer when your flower garden may be flagging between periods of bloom.
Lantern Ceiling
Lantern Ceiling | Source

Traditional Paper Globes - Retro and Round

Here's the best of both kinds of patio lanterns - the colourful daytime decoration of the traditional Japanese Shoji hanging paper lanterns, plus the after-dark twinkle-star magic of string lights to get a party glow on.

Solar-Powered - Energy-Smart White String Lights in Oriental Lantern Style

White globe patio lanterns are an elegant choice for an outdoor wedding reception or anniversary party - or if you've got a stunning garden and you want your flowers to let take the spotlight, rather than your lighting.

Retro Paper Patio Lanterns - Indoor / Outdoor Miniature Lights

Tiny multi-colored accordian-fold paper lanterns!

Novelty Beach Theme Patio Lanterns - Nothing says Summer like a string of Flip-Flop Party Lights

Absolutely in the charming kitsch-retro style - strings of patio lights in amusing shapes turn your backyard entertainment spot into a post-war Tiki bar or set the scene for a Hawaiian beach-themed party around the pool. Just add tall cool fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas or a pitcher of chilled cervezas with a squeeze of lime, huge platters of salty-spicey snacks, a great mixed playlist, and your craziest friends.

Fun Express Plastic Flip Flop Party String Lights Beach Luau - 1 Piece
Fun Express Plastic Flip Flop Party String Lights Beach Luau - 1 Piece
10 miniature flip-flop sandals on an 8-foot cord are rated for both indoor and outdoor use. The "interconnecting cord" means male and female plugs, one on each end, so you can string several sets in line for longer runs. Each little flip flop is about 3 inches long.

A Lovely Luminaria Display

Christmas Eve luminaria (farolito) display in Albuquerque, USA
Christmas Eve luminaria (farolito) display in Albuquerque, USA | Source

DIY Patio Lanterns - Craft Ideas and Tutorials

Maybe you'd like to make your own? Sure, it's a fun little project and a great way to get the kids or your friends involved in the party preparations, too. Best yet, often you can use up some of the craft supplies you've already got on hand or practice your recycling (upcycling!) at the same time. There are plenty of different ideas to choose from.

Here are some fun tutorials that will show you a whole lot of different ways to craft up your own outdoor mood lighting, from candle holders made from recycled tin cans to a variety of easy shades to slip over a groups of electric votives, glass jar candles, or a string of LED mini-lights.

Patio Lanterns

Do you remember the old Kim Mitchell song?

Think back to a hot summer night with a cold pitcher and cool friends, out on the patio. You're laughing and flirting and watching the fireflies light up the night...

If your party was back in the mid-80s, in just about any suburban backyard in the USA or Canada, then Kim Mitchell's summer-fun single, "Patio Lanterns," was probably on your playlist. Take a listen, watch the video (below). Do you remember this tune? It is probably the one-and-only pop song ever written about outdoor artificial lighting - and a catchy one, too!

I still get a chuckle at the way this music video starts...

Do patio lanterns still light up your life?

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    • ComfortsOfHome profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @GameHelp: Another retro music fan, eh? :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was going to say something about kim mitchell but you've already included him into your lens. ;)

      Fantastic lens and great information.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is great! LOVE the round colored ones. Totally need some now. Great lens.

    • chocochipchip profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful! I love your lens!

    • Meganhere profile image


      7 years ago

      I love patio lanterns. I have several strings of them and light them up most nights, even in winter.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lanterns

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh my, these are lovely patio lanterns .

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      I remember Kim Mitchell's song. Nice lanterns!

    • ComfortsOfHome profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @Rangoon House: Patio lanterns never lose their magic, do they? :)

    • Rangoon House profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      I have never lost my passion for patio lanterns and love the Asian styles you present here.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nope. But I do hope they will sometime soon!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love lanterns

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These lanterns are lovely.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      8 years ago from Missouri

      I love patio lanterns. Now, I just need to get a patio... Blessings!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      8 years ago

      @oztoo lm: Oh, how disappointing! and how very unkind of Youtube...

      Kim Mitchell's website points to Youtube, too, but you might have a look at his MySpace page - and see if the Patio Lanterns music video there will play for you in Australia.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: I'm in Australia and I can't watch it either.

      Lovely lens about patio lanterns. Inspired me to get some for my verandah.

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      8 years ago

      @LynetteBell: Oh, how unfair that you can't see it, over there in... New Zealand, is it, where you are? (Lovely!) I'll have a look around and see if there might be another version of the Patio Lanterns video - usually there's no issue with Canadian artists' videos being seen in other countries, but - tsk! you know these big music labels!

    • LynetteBell profile image


      8 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Nice lens...I was dying to see what made you laugh about the video but it said upload not allowed in my country! Something to that effect...hmmm!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      They still do.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic lens, well done! Thumbs up

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love them! Our garden has allsorts in it :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lanterns. Can't go without these colorful lights when you are decorating.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      8 years ago

      These are pretty and colorful.


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