Glowing Outdoor Orbs

O.K.  Get ready for it … this one’s a doozy.  Doozie?  Doosey. Druzy?  No, that’s what rings are made out of. It’s a humdinger. It looks high end with a side of huge impact, It costs next to nothing, And even if being “handy” to you means replacing your regular lightbulbs with eco-friendly ones … you’ll be able to  do this in 3 minutes flat.


This landscape lighting costs next to nothing and looks GREAT. Not, Gee it looks great for how much it cost, great. I mean REALLY great! width=     That’s right.  Some old glass shades, some old (outdoor) Christmas lights and BAM.  You’re a backyard badass.

In my attempt to make my backyard a teensy bit more contemporary than my 170 year old house I ran into a few problems.  Outdoor lighting is EXPENSIVE.

If I’m gonna shell out a whole whack of cash for something in my backyard it’s gonna be on a tenderloin for the BBQ.  Or a better BBQ.  Or a talking parrot who refers to me as Princess Leia. It isn’t gonna be for lighting if I can help it.

So while perusing the local second hand store I came across some truly unfortunate stains on the carpet AND these ubiquitous opaque glass shades.  You’ve probably thrown a few out in your lifetime.  Stop doing that.  Stop it right now. Because as you can see, all you have to do is shove some old mini lights in em to create an outdoor light that even a magazine Editor in Chief will comment on.  (Thank you Eric McLaughlin of Style at Home magazine for noticing my glowing orbs)

And here’s the best part!  You know those stupid, anger inducing mini lights you have shoved in your basement?  The ones where only half of the string lights up?  Yeah, um … this is a perfect use for them.  PERFECT!

at night

during the day


Just stick the glass shades anywhere you want and stuff them full of mini lights.   Attach an extension cord if you need to and hide it under your garden dirt or mulch.  I have my lights on a timer so they come on every night at dusk.

They look beauuuuutiful. And it wasn’t a fluke that I found these in a second hand store.  Every time I’ve gone into a second hand store I’ve noticed these shades there.  Goodwill, Salvation Army, random Bible Stores … they’re always in there.

Flea markets have them as well!  They’re usually around $1 – $3 each.

sign-up-yellow   If you don’t have a second hand store near you, you can order these shades on Amazon for cheap. $4.99 each for a 6″ shade or $9.50 for an 8″ shade. . You can also get them at regular old hardware stores. But they’re about $10 – $15.  And it would be stupid to spend $10 – $15 when you can spend $1 – $3.  Right?

Plus reduce, reuse, recycle and all that crap.  But you know that from changing those eco-friendly lightbulbs, right? And if you think the glowing balls look good like this, in the middle of a summer backyard … wait’ll I show you  what you can do with them in the winter! It’s fantastic!

Trust me.  Princess Leia wouldn’t lie to you.

p.s.  Look here to learn how to turn these same glass shades into a birdfeeder! and Look here to learn how I used them in the winter!


  1. Heather says:

    I found your site when i saw your fantastical house in Style at home. We’re moving into our new house next week, and i’m having the opposite problem as you, new build = almost no character.

    There are 3 main reasons i heart your blog.
    1.Your style is very similar to mine Modern + Antiques = totally rocking my world
    2.Hailing from winnipeg means i’m freaking cheap, so your tips are magnificent for me.
    3. I love the feeling ,and bragging rights, of making something that looks expensive from next to nothing.

    Sorry , a lot of rambeling for me to tell you I LOVE these outdoor lights. My front steps are going to be FULL of them.

    also, wondering where you got the woodcutters chopping block you used to make your side table, i’ve been looking but they’re hard to find.

    • Sue says:

      I love the look of these orbs. I live on 2 acres so the lights won’t work. I am going to try glow in the dark paint to see if I can replicate the orbs. They are gorgeous.

      • Karen says:

        Good idea Sue. Let me know how it goes! ~ karen

      • Heather Pruitt says:

        you could try taking those button lights you know tap and now they are on the battery opperated ones seem to work real well

      • Leanne Flynn says:

        An adult activity, but i just read a blog saying for an evening party, those orb shades, (worth going bare bulbs in the house one night for a party if u have this type of shade in yr kitchen- bathroom, i think) and glow sticks! Gloves on of course, carefully snip the end of the glow stick- and then pour the poisonous glowy stuff into the orb, or any container (LOL!), and just swish it around. Glow lights for the evening. I’m doing this for halloween. Shshsh!

        • June Clever says:

          Not a bad idea to wear gloves if you do this but, just as an FYI, glow sticks are non-toxic. I’ve been a vet tech for many many years and had to call poison control numerous times for animals who have eaten glow sticks.

          • Deb says:

            If glow sticks are non-toxic why would it be necessary to call poison control for animals who have eaten glow sticks? Is it because poison control isn’t aware that the glow sticks are “safe?”

            • Shelia says:

              Debbie you need to double check these things with the most knowledgeable entity. There are different brands of glow sticks, too. Please tell me you were kidding!

            • Sally Henderson says:

              You call Poison Control when you want to be absolutely sure the animal has not swallowed something that will kill him and/or to reassure the owner/vet. I did the same thing as an E.R. nurse. to reassure parents.

      • Leigh says:

        Using the glow in the dark paint works for a very short while. Lots of sun helps, but eventually it just doesn’t work. I don’t know why. Maybe the paint just bakes off after awhile.

      • Phyllis says:

        Why not use solar lights so you can place them anywhere you like.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Phyllis! Solar lights are useable in some cases, but generally speaking they aren’t nearly as bright or strong as the plug in lights. Also, if you have a backyard that’s entirely shade (like mine is) solar lights won’t work. But if you have a sunny backyard and don’t care that the lights are slightly less bright then solar lights are a good option. ~ karen!

      • Kay Hansen says:

        I have an added idea. I bought led solar lights for my fairy garden so you could use those and they are not that expensive and while you put the lights in the globe, leave the solar panel, about 2″ square outside…no extension card needed.

      • Alice Fitch says:

        Sue you can buy battery operated string lights and some have timers.

      • Marina Abbott says:

        You can make these if you can find mini lights that run off of solar power. In my area here in Canada we can order the solar mini lights from Regal a catalog shopping store.

      • Monika Klar says:

        I heard that glow in the dark paint doesn’t really work well. (And looks really ugly in day light). You might want to try it out on something small first.

        • Karen says:

          You’re right. It doesn’t work well. It’s fine for little things like Halloween decorations, but glow in the dark paint doesn’t glow bright for more than 10 minutes usually. And yes, it’s yellow or green when it’s painted on. The leftover Christmas lights really is the best idea. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • S says:

        try solar lights? I find them much less expensive around the end of the season and stock up.

  2. deborahinps says:

    This is a terrific idea!
    I’ve used Christmas lights in a large glass vase but never thought to use them outdoors…I’m off to make my yard all fancy like 🙂

  3. Shauna says:

    GET OUT!!!! Those are soooo cool!! I’ve always looked at those lights at our restore and thought… HA…I’ve gotten rid of a few of those…ha ha…poor sucker who buys them!! However, upon seeing how cool that is I feel like a major dork. I will now go back to restore this week to buy some… I’ve got some cool ideas for Halloween!! Can’t wait to see the winter pics!

  4. Julie shinnick says:

    oooo ahhhh those are FANTASTIC!! How did you know that we have just spent allllll our money on a new verandah and I was thinking how I could light up the area for next to nothing? You are a genius! AND psychic! Thanks Princess Leia!! xxoo

  5. Vila says:

    Great! Thanks for the tip! I was actually staring for hours in one local issue of Design magazine where they had similar glowing orbs floating in water…this is like a dream come true 😉 anyhow, can you by any chance explain the timer setup? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vila. To set anything up on a timer outside, all you have to do is buy an outdoor timer at a hardware store. You plug it into your outdoor electrical outlet and then plug the item you want to come on and go off at a certain time into it. There’s usually a dial with pins on it to set what time you want it to go on and off at. Cheaper timers just work with dawn and dusk. You plug the item into the timer and it automatically comes on at dawn and goes off at dusk. The cheapest outdoor timer will probably cost you $10.

      • Lita says:

        So about that outdoor outlet.

        Saying you don’t have one, Aand you wanted to install one….what would be the best way of going about that?

      • Vila says:

        Thanks a bunch! Would you believe that in this part of EU they never heard for such timers 🙁 … I went to a couple of DIY shops and the only thing I can find was some expensive variants of the timers used for professional lighting… darn! What I actually did is: I went to a china town and bought those Xmas lamps with built-in timer. This works nicely so far and in my basment I found transparent glass shades and it doesn’t look bad 🙂 The problem I encountered is that the power plug and the lamp’s cable were not long enough, so I did some cutting/cable extention/duck tape insulation et voila… :))) Needless to say that I want to be just like you when I grow up, lol!

        • Carol says:

          Just be careful using duct take as wire patch, you should use electrical tape. You don’t want to start a fire if it gets hot. Timers are usually sold at hardware stores in various areas. Most use them for holidays or vacation lighting when out of town to ward off burglars.

  6. LOVE this idea, thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Zina says:

    Kewl. Now please come to England and my new flat and show me how to get a plug for power out to my deck. Well, hang on, that won’t work, really, because they tell me that our tame electrical systems are dangerous enough but are piddly stuff compared to the electrical systems in the UK, so most electrical work is best done by a licensed electrician.

    So…I’ll use this tip once I get power out to the deck. On the other hand, waitasecond, I saw battery strings of mini lights and some frosted light covers at the pound store…hmmm…

  8. Jeanne says:

    What a great idea! And, I several strings that only half light, perfect.

  9. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Another brilliant idea! I can’t tell you how much I adore your backyard and everything you’ve done to it. Orbs, ponds, fountain, etc. GORGEOUS!! You really are talented beyond words…

  10. Shelly (FlagirlinTN) says:

    OK, this idea is just crazy smart. The “why couldn’t I think of something so clever and cheap?” smart. I am DOING this..
    Mostly thank you for a post that doesn’t make me laugh so hard I pee. It is getting increasingly hard to make up reasons why I change clothes at work.

  11. Maggie says:

    Humdinger? I should say so!! I love this idea. Totally going to do this, you brilliant woman! Have a question….where did you get the planter you are using as a table? Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie. Glad you like the idea! It’s always the simplest things, isn’t it? If you’re talking about the black cylindrical planter with the glass top (in between the 2 chairs in my backyard) … phew … I got it at Homesense. Which if you are American is the equivelant of Homegoods. Had a few nicks and blemishes so I got it cheap.

  12. Brittany says:

    WOW! Pretty much pure genius!! I’m going to use this idea for the New Year’s party I am throwing… it looks like it would be a nice way to decorate a stage!

  13. Fab! You haven’t had any problems with moisture, have you? Um. Not in general, but with the project and the lightbulbs and whatnot.

  14. Jane says:

    Karen, love your fountain. How did you do it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane – thanks! I think (hope) you’re talking about my waterfall. You can see my entire backyard makeover, including building my pond here! I basically built a waterfall that surrounds my half of my pond using leftover pieces of slate. My backyard was slate, but most of it fell apart and crumbled over the years. The pieces that were still O.K., ended up as a surround to my pond and a couple of waterfalls. If you look at the other post I’ve shown you you’ll get an idea of how I did it! If you need more detailed info lemme know … karen!

  15. Jane says:

    So basically, dig a pond and line. Build up slate wall at side for water to hurtle over. But does it come from the top out of a planter, fall in, and recirculate up?

    • Karen says:

      The pond has a pump in it. To this pump I have a hose attached. This hose then has a splitter, which turns one hose into 2 hoses. Each of these hoses runs out of the pond to the top of each of my waterfalls. (one hose per waterfall). The hose runs out the top of the slate waterfall and is concealed by more slate on top of it. It is just a continuous, recirculation of the pond water. That’s basically it. !

  16. Jane says:

    How do you get the water to fan across the slate so nicely?

    • Karen says:

      The slate is on a teeny bit of an angle (towards the pond) and the water is coming out of the hose at the perfect rate. If you do this yourself another trick is to stick a small rock in front of the hose. Vary the size and shape of the rock to vary the way the water comes out. (I didn’t need the rock, but it’s a trick that I know works) Another tip … the faster the water comes out of the hose (due to the strength of the pump) and the further it has to fall before it hits the pond, the louder it will be. Good luck!

  17. sera says:

    I so completely love this! Now I just have to dig out my old xmas lights… do you actually use your basement as the staging room for all the stuff that you might use someday? like dead xmas lights and old prosthetic legs?

  18. Anemone says:

    Ok…I dont have a backyard… YET…. or much of a front…

    but when i do which isnt long again…

    pretty glowing orb lights…are going to be the first lights i install.

  19. Erin says:

    I heart you. I heart your blog. AND I heart your ideas. Just wish I had a Yard now…..

  20. Alisha says:

    This is YOUR backyard? *jealous face* I’ve been seriously coveting this backyard awesome since Design Sponge posted it. I’m just discovering your blog today and I’ve already peed a little … about 6 or 7 times. Just sayin’. 🙂

  21. DzynByJules says:

    OMG! I thought I was the MacGuyver of cheap/inventive decor, but I tip my tiara to you, AGAIN!!! I am TOTALLY inspired, AGAIN! Twice in one evening! I’m speeding over to the Goodwill tomorrow, Mach 2 with my hair on fire, to scoop up all the orbs I can get my hands on! Now I have an excuse to break into my bins of “I can’t throw out these partially good tangles of lights, cause I know I’ll find the PERFECT use for them someday” random Christmas stuff, now I know I didn’t save them for nothing! My husband will be thrilled! YOU ARE THE BEST! I’m going to line the garden beds of my front walkway for Halloween with this over the top outstanding idea! SQUEALS!!!!!!!!! Thanks again Karen! Jules

  22. Terry says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian neighbor. You look like I do when fully involved in the kitchen, pie-baking, roast beast basting, and so forth. Ain’t it great?!

    Now, on to that pesky ingrown toenail…cit a small “v” in the middle of the offending nail, The toenail will grow towards the center leaving you with a pain-free toe. It takes a little while but it always works. You may just have to do this every so often. OK, enough pre-table T’giving talk. Do you make stuffing? What kind? What veggies are you making. Oooh, this is so exciting because it makes me want to get into the good kitchen and start thinking, doing and turning out great food. Best of Luck and thanks for your sharing!

  23. Terry says:

    Oh, fiddlesticks! I should have put this “cooking, baking and toenailcure on the place for kitchen, not the orbs! Sorry.
    The orbs look beautiful and night and during the day they add that certain je ne sais quois that is so attractive and the whole effect, day and night, puts me in mind of the little gnomes and garden fairies that help us in making our gardens grow–and, dast I say here–glow? Ooh,may have stretched that one a bit. Nevertheless, they look just fine and are, at once, relaxing and inspiring. Thanks!

  24. Jenn says:

    Did you do your winter photo shoot?

  25. Ali Winter says:

    Shut the front door! These are SO fantastic! I saw a 2 pack at costco for considerably more than $3. Great Idea, I love thrift store shopping.
    I found your blog through Pinterest, great way to get your stuff out there!

    • Karen says:

      Ali – Thanks for the comment. Feel free to Pinterest any of my stuff. 🙂 I have NO idea how to Pin things. I can barely, *barely* manage StumbleUpon. ~ karen!

  26. Judy says:

    How about using the battery operated mini lights??I’ve done those in wine bottleswith greenery around& on top!!

    • Karen says:

      Judy – Give it a shot! You’d just have to make sure you got strong enough lights that would glow through the opaque glass and I’d probably do something to ensure the batteries were waterproofed if you kept them outside. Put the battery pack in tupperware or something. 🙂 I like the plug in lights because I know they’re meant for outdoor use and I can put them on a timer. ~ karen

  27. Robin Jensen says:

    I’m so doing this! Also, You are hilarious!!

  28. Rosanne says:

    Well I’m only a year late, so I’ll try this fab idea this summer. I thought the moon was so bright last year, turns out, it was all the orbs alight because of you. I love this, especially the part where you say “reduce, reuse, recycle and all that crap”. Bah!!

  29. theaxx says:

    this is ingenius!! i love it! ha!


    Spoonful zine.

  30. FABULOUS!! GREAT idea. I stocked up on those mini lights for $.37 each after Christmas at Walmart. I didn’t know why.. NOW I DO! Thanks kristy from my crafty thrifty diy blog

  31. I forgot to mention i LOVE your writing style! You are a very talented writer. Thanks for the entertainment and crafty ideas at the same time!
    Kristy of

  32. Chera Logsdon says:

    These are beautiful!!! Can’t wait to go to my local thrift stores to look for some of them to make for myself….Thanks for sharing:))

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Chera! I’ll have even more ideas for these orbs in the summer so keep a lookout for them. 🙂 ~ karen

  33. Absolutely LOVE them!!!

  34. S says:

    Okay, I gotta ask… do you think the lighting keeps the slugs away from your hostas?

    • Karen says:

      Huh! That’s a good question. My chickens recently demolished one of my hostas. And I mean demolished. I wonder i the lights would keep THEM away! I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out this summer! I don’t have a HUGE problem with slugs to begin with but I always have a few holes. ~ karen

      • Bambi says:

        In regard to a problem with SLUGS…..I had this problem in the past and learned that if you use a little beer in bottle caps or other small vessels (metal glass jar lids) placed near or under whatever plants that they disappear.
        Slugs love strawberries and other plants and evidently it is the smell or taste tht drives them away (any beer works).
        So now you have a use for discarded bottle caps that you used to throw away….and they are easy to find and re-use.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Bambi. Thanks! I’ve actually tried the beer and you’re right it does work. The problem I’ve had with it is whenever it rains you have to go out and empty the drowned/drunk slugs. Maybe I”ll have to make little tents to go over the beer caps. Like tiny little beer gardens eerywhere, lol. ~ karen!

  35. JenniferH says:

    I was wondering… have you tried doing these with multi-colored lighting, or other color strings (like orange around halloween?) I might have to try this in my yard!

    • Karen says:

      Jennifer – That’d be a good idea for the holidays. My backyard is kind of “fancy” so I prefer the white for my yard, but colours would work for other, more casual backyards. I’m curious about what the multicoloured lights would look light. Hmm. ~ karen

  36. Kristine says:

    Oh my goodness thank you so much for sharing. I am going to do this in my backyard! Thank you!!!!

  37. mary says:

    What a fantastic idea! Would you mind me sharing this idea on my blog with a link back to you?

    • Karen says:

      Sure Mary! And thank you for asking! Just make sure to not post my whole post! When you do that, nobody comes back to my site to visit. (I did a post on how to properly re-post stuff a week or so ago) Glad you liked the orbs!

  38. kate says:

    Really an awesome idea! I would like to do this in my garden area that is nowhere close to an outlet…I’m going to see if I buy really cheap solar garden lights to provided the light source…not sure if it would be strong enough to be pretty through a globe though…we’ll see. Thanks for showing it, so nice!

    • Karen says:

      Kate – You’re right, the solar garden lights are usually pretty dim. Hopefully you can find some that are strong. I think the ones that run of a separate panel as opposed to having the solar panel on the top of them are stronger. Plus that way the solar panel won’t be shaded. (if you get solar lights that have the solar source on top of the light, it’ll be covered up and not getting enough sun if you put them in the glass shades. Good luck! ~ Karen!

  39. Toni says:

    Hi, Karen! I just found your website from Kimba at A Soft Place to Land. I love this project! I am totally non-handy around the house. (I could be if I really wanted to, but I hate reading directions, trying to get precise measurements, etc. I make my husband do it! I can change light bulbs and kill roaches, ants, and spiders though!) I have been looking for a lighting solution to line the walkway to our front door and this would work perfectly. Off to Goodwill this week to look for the glass shades. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Holly says:

    I can’t wait to see what you do with them in the winter, but for now I’m going to try this for the summer. So glad I found your site through Marys Meanderings.

  41. Angela H. says:

    Oh, this is awesome. I’m totally pinning it — and I got here from the CRAFT blog, which is also awesome.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Angela! I’m actually going to show yet another fantastic thing you can do with these orbs on Thursday! ~ karen

  42. Laura says:

    Thank you this is perfect! I want to have my wedding in a clearing in the woods. I want to have the path to the clearing lit with different kinds of things producing white light. These are perfect! I am going to use this idea for sure!

    Thank you so much! I love them!

    • Karen says:

      Laura – You’re welcome! I think a wedding in the woods sounds beautiful. You’re right! These orbs would be perfect. (provided you have a source for electrical) ~ karen!

  43. Cerise says:

    Fantastic idea! I’ll be on the hunt for those glass shades! I already have a box full of those silly Christmas lights.

  44. Sarah says:

    Wow! I love this! This past January I bought solar powered mini lights from Canadian Tire – I might have to dig those out and use them! Perfect solution, when you don’t want to run power cords, I just bought a house and I am fixing up our yard, it was a mess, and this is just what it needs to bring it up another level. Looks like I am stopping by Habitat for Humanity after work today!

  45. Lovely! Thanks so much for sharing.

  46. Cindy says:

    I LOVE the way these look! You’re so smart!

  47. Teresa says:

    I love this idea! I’ve actualy bought two new lampshades as there don’t seem to be any in the junk shops (I’m in the uk) ….would you believe my mini christmas lights have way too many lights on the string (I was jamming them into the shades and still had loads left over!)….so I am going to have to buy some new ones….. I don’t care though as it will still work out cheaper than buying new garden lights…..I hope!

    • Karen says:

      Teresa! My mini lights were too long too! Just keep adding more shades until you have enough to accommodate all the lights! Or bury the lights under mulch. That’s another way to go too. 🙂 ~ karen

  48. Susan says:

    I love, love, love these lights. I also love that you made them out of things that readily available and *CHEAP*!!!

    You have a new fan in me ;o)

  49. Bridget says:

    I just found you through Pinterest, I love this idea, so simple yet stunning!! Way to go! I wish I hadn’t thrown out those half lit light strands last winter! I will be trying this a soon as I find some orbs. Did you already make the winter version?
    Oooh, I bet it would look awesome with colored lights??

  50. Lindsay says:

    This is such a good idea!So amazing for a for a front door or back steps is what I’m thinking.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lindsay – Yup … I’ve moved them all around the yard and house! If you search for my “outdoor planters” you’ll see how I used them in my holiday planters. ~ karen

  51. AGN says:

    LOVE your black circle chair hiding in the shadows. Where did you get it?!?!!?

  52. Gina Smitasin says:

    Love this idea and your yard.

  53. ceng says:

    I loved this idea and your site. tks I can’t wait to see winter yard ideas.

  54. ceng says:

    I forgot to ask. Did you do that backyard by yourself!!!???

    • Karen says:

      Ceng – I did do the backyard myself. If you search “my backyard” or “my backyard like an idiot” you’ll find the post on it. ~ karen!

  55. Valerie says:

    This is genius! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  56. Genine says:

    This was the best tip ever. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  57. Tracy says:

    fabulous! This is def going into my lazy girl garden/backyard project! =) (even the bird feeders)

  58. Nancy says:

    Love this! And your courtyard is FAB-U-LOUS. i am totally gonna copy it in my backyard. So if you find a random post somewhere that looks like your garden reproduced in Middle Tennessee… you can totally blame me.

  59. Jen Hoover says:

    this is super coolness!!
    however, take my advice and just get a recorder device, NOT a parrot 😉

    from jen a parrot owner!

  60. heh, thats like dumb easy. sheesh. Its times like this (after spending hours in Lowes looking a lighting ideas) that you just want to do a major face palm.

  61. JWH says:

    I am so doing this and I am going to use some old colored lights when we decorate this next week for Christmas..Watch out Goodwill here I come.

  62. jean says:

    I can hardly wait to try this. The orbs are simply beautiful.

  63. Ramona says:

    What a great tip. But I’ve got to tell you, I love the commentary even more. Great writing style.

  64. Lorraine Dean says:

    I have been waiting to do this in my garden for ages, and it looks so great.
    Love reading your post, and getting my daily dose of a good laugh and inspiration.
    Keep up the good work.
    Your biggest fan in Tasmania, Australia.

  65. What a simple and genius idea! Can’t wait to do this to my yard!

    • Karen says:

      Nicole J – Once you start making them you won’t be able to stop. You’ll put them everywhere. Your yard, your house, your neighbour’s yard … ~ karen!

  66. Jaime says:

    I just have to say! This article was helpful and awesomely written! You made me laugh out loud! So funny!!!!

  67. absolutely brilliant! (no pun intended!) lovely idea all around. glad to see it on pinterest!

  68. Edba says:

    I’m so glad I found this on Pinterest! I have some of those glass orbs already from old light fixtures that were in my home.

    Did you ever do a post showing what you did in winter? I’d like to see that too!

  69. kathy says:

    I just wanted to tell you, you are a freaking genius!! That is just beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kathy. I was just at a Goodwill store thinking to myself … look at that lonely glass shade. I should tell someone what they can do with it! Then I decided I’d better not. ~ karen

  70. Judy Hoover says:

    This is the best idea ever!!!!I have tons of old Christmas lights. May even use a few that twinkle. Wouldn’t that be cool? Thanks

  71. Cheri says:

    I love this idea and look forward to reading more of your blog and seeing more fantastic projects! I love doing the “champagne taste on a beer budget” here! Or “decorating on a shoestring” as we say here in the south! It’s fun to brag about how little you spend!

    I have pinned a couple of your pictures too!
    Thanks for sharing~
    The Curtain Lady

  72. Laura Wallace says:

    You crack me up, love the way you write!! Cool orbs too, looking into this project before summer gets here. Thanks for sharing!!

  73. Michelle says:

    Genius! I love to reduce, reuse & recycle, but not look like I do! This is just perfect. Thank you!

  74. Christen says:

    I absolutely love this idea and just spotted some light covers at our local Re-Store so I can’t wait to make them! I included this idea in a weekly round-up on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration:

  75. mona says:

    I love this idea….can’t wait to try this in my yard….thanks for the inspiration.

  76. Amy says:

    Gosh, I love the fountain the best. You kind of explained in another comment how to make it. But I need details, because this NEEDS to go in my yard. Your yard is beautiful! I would never leave 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy – Thx! Do you mean my waterfall? It’d take a whole lot more time than I have to explain how I did that! If you search “backyard” in the search bar of my sidebar you can see the whole backyard and how I rebuilt it all, including putting in a contemporary pond with slate waterfall. 🙂 Although I don’t include instructions on the waterfall, but there are a few construction pictures of it. ~ karen!

  77. Reg says:

    Found your site this morning after watching a segment on a local tv program. Absolutely love this site. Easy to navigate for those of us that are tech challenged and a certain ‘vintage’.
    There are so many things I’m looking forward to reading and even trying to do if the mood strikes me.
    The Glowing Outdoor Orbs will be first because it’s so easy and I have to do something with that mountain of tangled Christmas lights eventually.

    • Karen says:

      Glad you found my site Reg! I actually started out my television career at TV Hamilton Cable 14 many, MANY years ago with Mike Nabuurs who is now on 820 Cham. Please remember to vote for me! It would be fantastic to have a Canadian win this thing. ~ karen

  78. What a great idea! And just in time for summer!

  79. Carol Anne says:

    Love this idea! I pinned it a while back. And today, was bumping around Pinterest again and found another project I was interested in. I went to the site and started looking around. I saw your project there, word for word. And no credit given. I had to find my original pin and let you know.

    As I looked around this site, I saw tons of things I’d seen on Pinterest with no credits. Might want to look around and make sure none of your other projects are there!
    I blogged for a while and this wouldn’t have sat well with me, so I wanted to let you know.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Carol Anne! I so appreciate you taking the time to let me know. I just filed a copyright infringement notice against them. ~ karen!

  80. Judy Knipfer says:

    It looks neat and I would like to try it. Do you have step by step instructions? Do you stuff the electric lights up into the globe or several globes? And do you bury the wire underground? Is this safe to use anywhere outside? And do you have other outdoor gardening tips?

    • Karen says:

      Judy – Everything I’ve show you is all you need to know. Shove some old “outdoor” Christmas lights in the globes and plug em in. 🙂 Since they’re outdoor you don’t need to worry about safety. They’re meant for outside. And yes if you can and you want to, you can bury the wire as it runs to your plug. I have mine covered with mulch. My site has a few gardening tips dispersed throughout. I’m currently doing posts on creating a vegetable garden which you can watch for soon. ~ karen

  81. Pat Jones says:

    OK – I tried this just like you said, and they look awful! You can see the wires and individual light bulbs inside the globe! There isn’t a nice glow. Great idea, but what did I do wrong?

  82. Shirley says:

    Love your ideas…will be on the ‘lookout’ now for globes!! 😉

  83. Brenda says:

    Wonderful idea- wish I hadn’t tossed the half lite string of lights now — thanks for sharing!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Brenda. They look great on a fireplace mantle too! Now go through your lights. You can bet a set that was working at Christmas will magically be not working now. ~ karen

  84. Erin says:

    Well Princess, that was the best tutorial EVER! I laughed out loud and woke my hubby up! That is such a great idea, as I am looking to update my yard into something other than…well ugly! Ha! And these little lights will be a fantastic piece to the gem I am going to create…i hope…gulp!

  85. lucy says:

    Love it! Ok….do I shove all the lites into one container then run the extention from there?

    • Karen says:

      Lucy – Depends on how many globes you have. If you have a big string of lights, shove half of them in one globe, then place the second globe very close by and shove the rest of the lights into it. (you can cover up the few exposed bulbs you’ll have with mulch or dirt) And yes, the extension cord plug can be covered up by the globe and then run to your outlet. ~ karen!

  86. Lee Hethcox says:

    I groaned when I realized how many of those globes I’ve discarded..but I’ll get some more. Great idea!
    I pinned it but made sure to credit your blog.

  87. Sue says:

    Brilliant! Love the way this looks! I know I stuck some of those glass shades in a cupboard somewhere. Off to make magic!

  88. Cyndi says:

    This is super! I’m lazy and I love simple! *L* I have several strings that only partially work and couldn’t just throw them away, now I know why I saved them. I’ll even try the colors ones for a different effect. Thanks for the idea.

  89. deitre says:

    you are a terrific writer, and hilarious to boot.

  90. Paula R Pfister says:

    I just love this and will be working on making these this week while I’m on vacation. When I take my vaction, it’s just at home and catching up and finishing projects that I haven’t been able to complete. Also, I was curious about how you used them in the Winter, where do I find that info???

    • Karen says:

      Hi Paula – Thanks! Here’s the link to the way I use them in the winter (thanks for reminding me to add the link to this post). ~ karen!

      • Jeff says:

        ummm i think you forgot to include the link here. Nothn is showin on my end anyway, haha. Am i goin loonie? BTW great ideer fr the lites. WOW!!!

  91. MIA GEE says:

    I did this same cool idea with inflated balloons and faux tealight that use a battery!
    I just stretched the unflated balloon opening and place a turned on tealight in and blew it up! It orked great and I got many complements from my guests!

  92. Cathy G says:

    OMG….. I found you by accident, and what a great accident. I followed someone who followed someone who followed someone on Pinterest and there you were!! Your instructions are so good even a craft challenged person like me can follow!!

    Thanks for your ideas and the humor to go with them… to clean up the coffee I spit at my computer laughing along with your stories!!!

    • Karen says:

      Cathy! I’m glad you found me through someone who found me through someone who found me through someone. Stick around! Tomorrow’s post is on the great, big, bad world of laying sod. ~ karen!

  93. Heather says:

    Beautiful idea! I keep looking at outdoor lights but won’t buy them due to cost. Great alternative though.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Heather! I also have a few of the orbs in my house (on my mantle and in one of my bookcases). I like them even better inside! ~ karen

  94. Ruth Gant says:

    Love the look of these orbs. Do you have any suggestions for making these at a house that is totally solar?

  95. Victoria says:

    I just love the look these give off at night!! Will have to make some of my own. I featured this on my blog today:

  96. mary lou says:

    I decorated a huge tent for my daughter’s wedding with white paper lanterns of all sizes with tea lights inside……this is a great idea for an outdoor wedding….

  97. Pam says:

    Such a great idea…love it.

  98. Crystal says:

    I saw your globes and fell in love with them! But instead of using them outside and using white lights, I filled old flower vases with colored lights…now my kids have night lights! Thanks!

  99. DeNielle says:

    I love this look, but have a pool in the back so glass never works well. Any other thoughts on something I could use.

    • Karen says:

      DeNielle – I’d just keep an eye out for the same thing but in plastic. I found 2 HUGE ones in my neighbour’s trash a couple of years ago, so they’re out there. It’s just a matter of finding them. ~ karen!

  100. Awesome! I love this idea. As soon as day breaks tomorrow, I am doing this. I saved a globe from my husbands hands in the last minute. Now I have the perfect thing to do with it!

    • Karen says:

      Agnija – I was cleaning out my basement today and found another one. I have them stashed everywhere, LOL! ~ karen

  101. Sarah says:

    Wonderful idea!

  102. kim says:

    ok i have a question i love these. but do they make it through the winter. it gets cold here. and i would think those would break. but i am all about trying something new and that would look cool and i know where i saw some at a flea store an almost bought i am going to go back and get them hopefully they aren’t gone.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim – These are absolutely fine in the winter. I’m in Southern Ontario and have left mine out all winter many times. The only thing you have to be careful about is making sure not to knock them when they’re cold, or letting them fill up with water, which will then turn to ice, which will then expand and break the glass. So … no problems. Go back and buy em. ~ karen!

  103. Lois says:

    I was practically in tears when I saw the article about the Globe lights..alas, sigh…I have the lights but no electric outlets anywhere..LO AN BEHOLD, what did I come across today, but solar powered mini lights and they twinkle fireflies or so it says!!! Now to find a globe..I have one in my bedroom..who says you have to have a globe over a bare light bulb..LOL Its much brighter without that *old globe* Outdoors, here I come!!!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. That sounds like the sort of thing I’d do. Shade? Who needs a shade? I need this over HERE now. 🙂 ~ karen

  104. Susan says:

    What a fantastically easy and amazing idea. This is sooo happening in my garden. TY so much

  105. veronica sandström says:

    You are a STAR 🙂
    I really like your site.
    You give me so many good idee’s so my husband say he want to shut down internet some times. *lol*
    Aboute the orbs now.
    A have seen a company that sell this kind of orbs but they can change the lights in different colors but i only wanted to have them in white so… I tought hmmm…. check on the webb…. maybe i can find some one ho has done some chep rip on them.
    And then i found you 😀
    So i learnd how to fix it. Thank you so mutch
    Never tought of chrismas lights my self. 😉
    It was really a god ide’e
    I took it a bit furter (i done mine now) and the orbs are driven by the sun (solar-orbs)
    It was Cheap the only thing that cost is the big orb (secondhandstore here in sweden) 7dollar and the solar christmaslight was 10dollar in ebay. 🙂 so for 17 dollar a get a solar orb in my garden hihi… now a have 6 of them spreading wonderful light at evening. If a hade buy a similar,
    it hade cost me aprox 350dollar.
    And I think that it to mutch for a gardenlight
    thanks to you. 😀
    Best regards Veronica in Sweden.

  106. mary says:

    Already have everything. awesome!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent! That’s what makes these lights so fantastic. People often *do* have everything they need on hand. ~ karen!

  107. ike says:

    I like this idea

  108. elizabeth says:


  109. Karen says:

    Absolutely LOVE THIS!! THX!! 🙂

  110. brandon says:

    So I tried the lights in the globes and I have one ?
    Yours looks like they just glow but mine do not give
    Off that look. Instead you can see the bulbs toching
    The glass and the light they put off is kind of sporadick
    Inside the globe.
    Is that the way they are suppose to be?

    • Karen says:

      Brandon – The light shouldn’t be sporadic. With the bulbs touching the glass, just put a twist tie or piece of string around them and make sure they’re away from the glass. It might take some fiddling. ~ karen

  111. brandon says:

    I will try that then.

  112. Mary says:

    I’ve done this for a few years, but I also paint some orange and paint a pumpkin face on them for Halloween, all different sizes on my front porch and down the stairs.I use battery operated candles for that, but solar Xmas lights for when they are in the garden. I also wondered what they would look like turned the other way up and fill with water half way and floating candles in it, use it for a table centre piece.
    With all the different sizes, the possibilities are endless!

  113. AmyLee says:

    Not only are u hilarious, you are wonderfully creative! Your patio is beautiful! Looks so inviting, comfortable, & peaceful. I would never leave it! Love the fountain, a must for a fabulous patio! Keep up the good work!
    Thanx for sharing such a great idea & your lovely home!
    P.S.- Could also try an outdoor glass paint/glaze on some balls 2 add some color & change the lighted hue at night. An iridescent might be neat too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi AmyLee – Thanks! You could glaze the shades, but you’d be better to do it from the inside of the shade as opposed to the outside. Another way to go about it is to just use coloured lights. ~ karen!

  114. Erica says:

    Definitely going to try…..thanks for sharing

  115. Krista says:

    If you can’t find any- and I’ve never seen those- but you really want this look- why not get round glass bowls (like a fish bowl etc) and just spraypaint it white! Or any color you like! It’d be really pretty!

    • Karen says:

      Krista – As soon as you said that I thought “GREAT idea!”. Then I realized that the spray paint would be opaque and the light wouldn’t shine through. Unlike white glass which is translucent. You might be able to get away with it if you did an *extremely* light coat of white paint. ~ karen!

  116. Laura Kennedy says:

    Thank you! I have always wanted to have lights outside but never could afford it. Now, I can. I like this!

  117. me says:

    We need these in our back yard somewhere.

  118. A.L. Designs Jewelry says:

    Look so fairy theme. 🙂
    Mystical feel.
    Posted the orbs here

  119. Cindy says:

    You can also find these globes at Habit for Humanity Restores. I love those stores. They have everything.

  120. Christine says:

    I can’t believe it!
    I have been buying these at a reuse center for a couple of months. I found some small, Westinghouse solar LED lights on tiny stakes. About a month ago I stuck them in my gardens and put my globes on them!

    They glow so verily in the evening, eventually fading as the night gets late.
    I’m going to have to look for some of those minilights for those closer to the house.
    Thanks for the great idea!

    • Peggy says:

      Karen, I wish I could go shopping with you so you could give me some good pointers! Or better still, I wish I lived next door to you….you are Awesome! I’m going to the thrift store today!!! Hopefully I’ll find some globes…can’t wait to try them. I already have outdoor outlets on my pergola. Thanks for all your ingenious ideas!! Keep em coming!

  121. Carolyn Malphrus says:

    Love your ideas!!

  122. Debbie says:

    Have you had a problem with the orbs getting too hot with the lights inside them?

  123. Rancher says:

    OMG. I just bought five white and five colored light sets for 99 cents. each

  124. Roxanne says:

    I write a blog that has crafts made from recycled items. I would love to feature your lights, they are wonderful! I would give you credit and link back to your blog for directions and details. Let me know if that would be ok with you.

  125. Christina says:

    Love this idea! I have an antique glass orb with nubs on it that I have been looking to use for something and now I have it!

  126. karina says:

    Wonderful 🙂 great idea thanks

  127. Lynne says:

    All I can say is………….YOU ROCK!!!:) Love…love…LOVE this! Seriously, can’t wait to do this……now just to get my hubby to get some electic outlets outside on my 1917 home:)

    • Karen says:

      Lynne – Thanks! We had one plug outside, but a few years ago I had an electrician come in and put in a few more plugs. Not enough of course, but a few more. ~ karen

  128. Tarquin says:

    Hey, I love this idea!! But I’m a little cautious about the safety. I know wires wrapped around each other can cause problems in terms of possible fires. How’d you go about dealing with that? I’d love to utilize this idea in my garden, but I don’t want anything burning! Thanks Karen 🙂

  129. Hpf says:

    Garden lights

  130. Susannah says:

    Woohoo! Can’t wait to try this…thank you!

  131. Christine says:

    Hi! I forgot how I found myself here, but it seems it’s yet again! I’d seen your neat tutorial on these orbs and was determined to figure it out for my own garden. I started picking the globes up at the resale places I frequent.

    In the meanwhile, Wal-Mart had these great LED stake lights on sale for [wait for it] ninety nine cents! Sadly, I only bought 10 and they were gone. However.

    I put them in the garden and put the orbs, both milky and clear, over them. Then I crossed my fingers. When I came home from work that night, there were these fairy lights in my gardens! All across the yard, tucked in different places.

    They faded about 2:00 in the morning, but in the meanwhile, I was in heaven!

    Thanks for the great idea!

  132. teri says:

    I have GOT to getto the goodwill store or somewhere to get some of these orbz!!!!!!! Love ur website!!!!!

  133. PAT says:


  134. Kimberly says:

    Love Love! I found a large and small globe at the Habitat 4 Humanity ReStore, where I am known as the lady that loves hideous lamps. I have purchased a couple which I refurbished into garden art. In my globes I used solar lights for now. Also found a lovely old mushroom shaped lamp cover. I don’t dare risk putting it where it may get beaned with a large pine cone.

  135. Sylvie says:

    The light ball will light in Quebec this summer!

  136. Stephanie says:

    Wait how do the lights light up without it plugged in?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephanie. The lights are plugged in. You run an extension cord to them and hide it under the dirt or mulch. ~ Karen!

  137. Brenda says:

    Wow wow wow is all i can say!! Absolutly genius!!
    Ive been thinking about them, and realized i have several gazing balls, some cracked and not in the best condtion but still pretty because of the colors! Im going to try doing this with them. I wont put them so close u can see the wires only the pretty colors! Its worth a try!!!! I just love this idea. Thank u

    • Karen says:

      Hi Brenda! Thank you for commenting! I must admit, I was pretty impressed with my own brilliance with this idea, LOL. It’s been 4 or 5 years and they’re still going strong! ~ karen

  138. Gina Parker Wallace says:

    Came to ur site via a FB friend’s referral link. Truly, I rarely resemble puppy-like manners by following links to (usually BORING AS HELL) “DIY” sites , but in this case, I’m very glad I did! Not only did I find the simplicity of the info presented to be mega comically pleasing, but the variety of images and their arrangements in presentation, were spot on. All in all, THE REASON I’ve troubled myself to pen this in history is to compliment the writing style of this piece. It’s my first visit here… but not my last. Ohhhh, the ORB STORY… written by a male or female? Just curious cuz it’s friendly and whimsical. — Thanks for reading. Gina, KC, MO

    • Karen says:

      Gina – I am indeed a woman. If you click on the “about” section under the picture of me holding a fish you can read all about me. This entire site is written by me. I post every day about a variety of things. You are guaranteed at least one laugh and one bit of information you didn’t know before in each post. Thanks for coming by. ~ karen!

  139. Shana Swindle says:

    Absolutely Brilliant! Thanks so much for the idea and inspiration! I have a question though, what kind of extension cord do you use that can withstand the all the water the outdoor elements bring?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shana – All you need is an extension cord approved for outdoor use. Any hardware store will carry them. ~ karen!

  140. Janet says:

    That was such an awesome idea. I have lighting all over my yard.

  141. Karen Manasco says:

    Don’t I feel like a complete doodie head. This is such a simple, yet fantastic idea. Like forks and spoons! Wow, thank you so much for sharing this!

  142. Connie says:

    This is a great idea, but don’t leave them on for too long a time, those wires heat up, and melts into one great blob inside. I had done this with a glass bowl, open end up, and it got terribly hot and melted inside, and cracked the globe as well.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Connie. I think you may have had some defective lights. There may have been a short. They shouldn’t melt into a blob no matter what! Yikes. I’ve had my lights run all night all summer long and never had a problem. Again … Yikes! – karen!

  143. Cindy Adams Ashworth says:

    confessions of crafty witches… fb

  144. Suzette says:

    Hey, it’s June 3, and “Confessions of Craft Witches” on Facebook posted your orbs. They’re fantastic btw. So, anyway, there’s your traffic.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Suzette! Thanks for letting me know. Usually Pinterest is the forerunner for this post, but not tonight. ~ karen!

  145. Sara says:

    Saw your idea on facebook via “Confessions of Crafty Witches” page. Super cool idea – I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the idea! If you have your own FB page I’d love to know.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Sara – I do have a Facebook page. Just look at the very top right of my website and you’ll see the “f” for Facebook. Just click it, then like the page. 🙂 ~ karen!

  146. Mary says:

    Confessions of Crafty Witches posted the link in their Facebook stream and that’s where I found it.

    They post all kinds of things, including yard art, gardening tips, etc.

  147. Susan says:

    I found you on facebook,cool idea!

  148. laurel says:

    I saw this on Facebook on the Confessions of Craft Witches page.

  149. To says:

    I found your fancy orbs on Facebook…..Crafty Witches page!

  150. Linda Hines says:

    I found you via Confessions of Craft Witches link on Facebook. Love your ideas!

  151. Nancy says:

    C’est le 3 juin ! Je suis a Gatineau au Québec !!

  152. Donna Willis says:

    you could use glow in the dark spray paint ,and you can find the glass at rehab centers,a lot of interesting stuff there,and its all cheap.

  153. Linda says:

    We did this but used a old gazing ball. Not good with that as it got to hot.. were in south Texas and it gets in the 100’s! this with bottom open would be better! Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Linda – Believe it or not it gets the same temperature here! Not for long and not often, but it does. (Southern Ontario, Canada) If you get the glass orbs like mine with the mini lights it’ll be fine. 🙂 ~ karen!

  154. Janet Rahe says:

    How cool is that? Love the ideas!

  155. Vicky says:

    You don’t need an outlet. Get battery operated lights with a timer. They last about a year without changing the batteries. QVC has the string lights. Bethlehem lights are on there all through the year, especially now through Christmas.

  156. Elfrieda says:

    Just came across your site — great ideas. I started putting these orbs together some mints ago with old Christmas lights. I’d suggest stocking up on them when they are in the stores later on, as they are being replaced with the led variety.

  157. Karen, I love you! This is friggin’ brilliant, and I WILL be doing it, like, this week. Have you tried it with colored lights? You are a woman after my own heart, if we teamed up we could rule the world 😉 -Marie Vlasic

    • Karen says:

      Well that’s an extraordinary thought. In my world the national bird would be french fries. Glad you like the globes! ~ karen!

  158. tiffany says:

    Okay, aside from the fact that this is a super great idea. You’re super funny. Reduce, reuse, recycle and all that crap. Love you!

    • Karen says:

      Tiffany! Woah, woah, WOAH. Moving a little fast there don’t you think? I mean, I’m fond of you, but love? That’s a special word. Uch. Fine. You bullied me into it. I love you too. Now I feel dirty. ~ karen!

  159. Beth W says:

    Vinyl silhouettes on the outside-instant Halloween goodness. Thank you for such a terrific idea.

  160. LV Tutu says:

    In the 70″s we used to put xmas tinsel with varied colored lights…..different effect.

  161. Tammy says:

    I love that fountain, fid you make thay as well….if so please dish on how to diy


    • Karen says:

      Hi Tammy – Yup. I build/do most things around the house myself. Hence this blog. 🙂 If you read my “How I Built My Backyard” post that’s about all the information I have on the waterfall building. But basically all I did was stack leftover pieces of slate and let the top ones overhang. Then I ran my pump hose to the top of that piece of slate. (I hid the hose under another layer of slate on top) And just like that, you have a waterfall. ~ karen!

  162. Kathy says:

    Hi, these are awesome, but I’m concerned about the extension cords under dirt to mulch…..what happens during rainy weather? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathy – There’s no problem with the extension cords outside. They’re outdoor cords so they’re meant to be out in the rain and snow. Not to worry. ~ karen!

  163. MaryAnne says:

    This is a Fab Idea…I used these globes and painted them too…One a snowman head and used felt for a scarf and hat….and a pumpkins for the fall…

  164. Bonnie Haas says:

    Don’t know which I like best, orbs or bird feeders!! Both are so classy!!

  165. Bonnie Haas says:

    Love them all, sooo classy!

  166. Irene says:

    Hi Karen!
    I stumbled across your blog a few days ago and have been gorging myself on your humour ever since. 🙂

    But, but, but.. OMG!
    This morning I woke up with soooo much energy that I was wizzing around the house doing 10 things at once, and it suddenly struck me! “Use the fancy old 1930’s (?) glass shade and the string of fairy lights you have left over together!”, and I did, and it looks awesome.
    But but but! This evening (now) I come back to peruse more of your posts, and lo and bebloodyhold! Gobsmacked. :-O
    My lights are solar, with the separate panel, and they light up the shade beautifully.

    Also, thank you for your very special brand of humour; you too add light to the world. 🙂

  167. Cindy Reynolds says:

    Great idea….and gonna try it myself….BUT please never use lights that are NOT meant to go outside….it is a fire hazard….same with extension
    cords….only use the kind that are meant to go outside!!!

  168. Linda Juneau says:

    Great ideas! Love them!

  169. lyn says:

    Looove this idea but a bit worried about what happens when it rains?

  170. lyn says:

    okay right.. see someone has mentioned that… sorry

  171. Angela says:

    Hi was wounding if this would work
    With solar lights

  172. Renee says:

    these would be gorgeous in my Oasis..getting ready to drag my christmas lights back out…love this. thank you for sharing this with us.

  173. Tanya says:

    Awesome, how about the little solar lights?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tanya! Some people have had success with solar lights, other people find they aren’t brigt enough. I guess it probably depends on the brand/type but totally doable! ~ karen!

  174. Anita says:

    How about solar string lights? On at dusk, off at dawn (or when the battery drains-whichever comes first). I have several strings-they’re pretty bright. Separate solar panel could be staked somewhere inobtrusive.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anita. Yup, other readers have had success with solar lights. It wouldn’t work in my particular backyard because there isn’t enough sun. ~ karen!

  175. Joan Klein says:

    I didn’t read all the comments to see if anyone suggested solar string lights but they work great and take care of the problem of not having an outlet. I have several different versions all over my yard and they make the yard look like a fairyland!

  176. brandie says:

    You can also paint them with dark paint. It is about 4 a can at walmart. It is a spray paint.

  177. Michaele says:

    I just discovered your site…gotta love Pinterest! I love this idea of the globe lights and have been wondering what I’ll do with the solar Christmas lights I’ve had on the deck…not wanting the Christmas look all year round. This is perfect for them. And for inside for those partially working strings of plugin lights. I think it would be charming to have them scattered throughout the house. Thanks so much for this idea! I’ve got you bookmarked now, too!

  178. Pingback: UsedEverywhere | Balcony Makeover: 3 ways UsedEverywhere got me there - UsedEverywhere

  179. Maggie says:

    What about moisture/rain with electric cords and all??

  180. Suzanne Baugh says:

    We did something similar but we found pieces of a light fixture that had just the 1/4 pieces we glued them together and made 2 half of a orb ,we then bought a solar light and put inside . It looks like the Moon at night. It doesn’t take electrics. They fit together perfectly.

  181. Beth says:

    I put strands of Christmas tree lights in my colored garden globes – you know – the ones that come in a multitude of colors. Just make sure that when you hold it up to the light, the glass is opaque enough for the light to shine through. You can’t do it with the globes that look like single colored Christmas ornaments. You either need something that is all glass or somewhat mosaic.

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  193. Tina Ward says:

    You could use different colored lights for different holidays, maybe even stick on some decals (butterflies, flowers) that would show up as shadows when the lights are on and add character to the globes during the day. Or, paint stripes on the globe.

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  201. Karlene Craig says:

    The glowing orbs, in your yard, is an awesome idea. I actually have two globes, that I found at a garage sale, for a buck! I knew they were useable, somehow. I’m going to use lights that you can just turn on. You know, the short strands that are battery operated, since I can’t run an electrical cord across my backyard. I love, love, love this idea! Thanks!

  202. Cindy R. from Washington State says:

    Karen, did you see that this idea is being featured by HGTV on Facebook?
    — Cindy

  203. Cindy R. from Washington State says:

    Sorry, I should have stated that as BHG.

    • Karen says:

      I hadn’t seen that but now that you mention it I do see some views coming from Thanks for letting me know! 🙂 ~ karen

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  208. Miss Poipois says:

    Wow !! will be great in our new home in south of France ! I hope we’ll live outside all summer long, ans I was searching some lighting ideas ! Thank you !

  209. Donna says:

    why not buy clear glass vases etc in different shapes and sizes and use glass paint to make “stained glass” lights. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      That’s a great idea Donna! The different height glass cylinder vases from the dollar store would be great. Very architectural. ~ karen!

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  220. anne says:

    Hi! I would love to make this for my parents garden but can you use those kind of lights with batteries? Or is that a no go for the amount of rainshowers in the Netherlands 😉
    Thank you I love the idea!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anne! The timer candles is a great idea. You just have to make sure they’re bright enough to show up through the opaque glass. Also make sure they’re ones that are specified for outdoor use if you can. The only reason for this is the ones that *aren’t* specified for outdoor use sometimes melt in the sun ~ karen!

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  243. Martyjj says:

    If getting the electric cord to the orbs is a problem, use the battery operated lights available everywhere during Christmas or at hobby stores. I use them all over my house because they have a 6 hour timer on each string of lights. They come on at 5pm and shut themselves off at 11pm. Everyday. Also, that doesn’t limit where you can put the orbs. On shelves, in flower beds, the mantle, on stairs, it’s limitless.

  244. Jennifer says:

    I have a small problem with the orbs they get too hot with the Christmas lights in them

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer! The globes shouldn’t be getting hot. Chances are what’s happened is someone has replaced one of the string light bulbs with a bulb that doesn’t go with that string. When you do that (I have no idea why) the string lights can get VERY hot. It makes them faulty and therefore …dangerous. Either that, or it’s a case of you packing too many string lights into the globes and too many of them are touching the sides of the glass. But even then, a properly working string light shouldn’t get so hot that the bulb hurts to touch it. (if that were the case Christmas trees would be burning down all over the place). ~ karen!

  245. Edgar Devere says:

    Useful discussion . Apropos , if someone is interested a TX VS-165 , my wife edited a blank version here

  246. Rishika says:

    Your DIY saved my garden!
    Sometimes store bought lights just don’t cut it… mine are only a year old and are either too weak or fizzled out entirely. So I used a bunch of frosted glass orbs instead, then went ahead and stuck my solar powered string lights in it
    I can’t believe how magical it looks!

    • Karen says:

      Nice work! I’m always happy when people actually do the things I tell them about, lol. This project is still one of my favourite DIYs. 🙂 ~ karen!

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