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Light Fantastic

Photography: Ellie Miller

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2007


As the long summer days melt into balmy nights, ease the transition -- and extend the pleasure -- by dining outdoors under a private starry dome of twinkling candles. Hanging a set of miniature glass lanterns from your patio umbrella not only creates the effect of a magical chandelier, it also makes more table space for an inventively placed centerpiece.

More Outdoor Lighting Ideas


  • 12 glass jars or votive holders in different sizes

  • Small S hooks

  • Bundt pan or a gelatin mold

  • Spray-paint

  • Floral foam


  1. Collect a dozen glass jars or votive holders in different sizes, each with a wide top or a rim (as on jelly jars).

  2. Wrap wire around each top, and twist to secure. Bend another piece of wire into a loop, and attach as a handle. Cut varying lengths of chain, and attach a small S hook to the top of each. Slip hook over a spoke of your patio umbrella, and secure hook with adhesive putty. Attach another S hook to the bottom of each chain, and use it to hang the lantern.

  3. Use that pole in the middle of your patio table to your advantage. Use the hole in a Bundt pan or a gelatin mold to create a centerpiece the pole will slip through, leaving a ring of blooms all around it. (Of course, be sure the pole fits through the hole.) And unless your style runs to industrial modern, you may want to spray-paint the outside of the pan with an exterior high-gloss enamel. Use floral foam to keep the arrangement in place.

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