You Light Up My Life
by Kat Richter

Twinkle lights for an outdoor dinner
The next time youre looking for a romantic idea to surprise your partner, let them know how much they light up your life with a dazzling display of white fairy lights! You can light up their entire backyard, their back deck or even just a small portion of their home to create the perfect setting for a romantic evening together. All you need are a few strands of white fairy lights, some adhesives and a little time alone at your partner’s house to create the surprise.

The Lights

What exactly are white fairy lights? We’re so glad you asked!

White fairy lights are the same thing as Christmas lights, except for the fact that "white fairy lights" sounds more secular and holiday-neutral so it’s the preferred term in the design world. You can purchase fairy/Christmas lights just about anywhere during the holiday season: drug stores, your local supermarket, and all of the big box establishments. During other times of the year, it can be a bit trickier but most hardware stores carry lights year round and if all else fails you can always hop online.

For our Light Up My Life surprise, you’ll need three or four strands of lights and an extension cord if you don’t have an outlet nearby.

Testing 1...2...3...

If you’re using older Christmas lights (or even new ones that you haven’t taken out of the package yet) be sure to test them before you get started on your masterpiece. When it comes to decorating, there’s nothing worse than setting up a whole string of lights onto to discover that you’ve blown a fuse and ruined the entire strand. Sometimes, all that’s needed to fix the problem is a replacement bulb but if you’ve got a more serious problem on your hands, it’s better to find out sooner than later. So test your lights before getting started.

Adhesives

Your method for hanging the lights will be determined by the types of surfaces you’re working with. If you decide to decorate the trees in your sweetheart’s backyard, you can just start winding at the trunk and move upwards to the larger branches. For easy disassembly, tie the strand of lights to the tree instead; then all you have to do is untie to take the lights down.

If you're hanging lights on a wall, whether outside of your partner’s house or in, you’ll need to take a little more care with your installation. You can use clothes pins to clip the lights to a curtain or curtain rod. If you’d rather hang the lights directly on the wall, try a package of temporary peel and stick hooks to avoid ruining the paint or a series of suction cups stuck to your partner's window.


Extras

For an added touch of romance, you can use the lights to create the shape of a heart of even your initials. Another fun idea is to string a few a few glass mason jars around your deck or patio, then fill them with lights. They look just like fireflies!


Or, ditch the white lights all together and go for a set of decorative floral lights. Stores such as Target and Odd Lot often sell themed lights for outdoor parties so grab a set of light up dragon flies, sea shells or even Valentine’s hearts. Paper lanterns are also a great way to spruce up an ordinary strand of lights so purchase a dozen in your sweetheart’s favorite color to add some decorative flair.


Imagine the look on their face when they come home to see their entire yard aglow with delicate white fairy lights! Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary or just a simple evening together, your surprise is guaranteed to bring a smile to your partner’s face.

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