Contrary to popular belief, expensive designer outdoor lighting isn’t the only option when it comes to sprucing up the garden. These days, leading retailers offer an incredible array of lighting devices and units for the garden, which in terms of price range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Those in the latter bracket of course have the potential to be stunning, but are far from the only way of breathing new life into outdoor living spaces. In fact, there are various ways and means by which you can make a real difference in your own garden, without having to spend almost anything at all!

As with so many things, it’s all about being creative with what you have and looking beyond the obvious. You can buy up all the luxurious lighting fixtures in the world, but chances are you’ll get infinitely more satisfaction from it all if you get busy with what you’ve already got. And of course, there’s nothing like a little DIY garden project to get the kids well and truly involved along the way.

So for those looking to enhance their exteriors without having to push the boat out, here’s a quick rundown of five fast, easy and enjoyable ways of illuminating a garden for next to nothing.

1. Tin Can Lanterns

First of all, the classic of all classics when it comes to exterior lighting is still a real go-to for millions. It’s simply a case of bashing a bunch of holes in as many tin cans are you can get hold of, before decorating them any way you like and placing a lit candle inside. It’s a timeless classic that can be used in an endless variety of ways and opens up endless possibilities for creativity. Place them on surfaces and walls, hang them from string in lines – you’ll no doubt find places for dozens of the things all over your garden. One very helpful tip though – before using a drill or whatever else you choose to make the holes, fill the can with water and place it in the freezer. This way, when the time comes to drill the holes, the tin will hold onto its perfectly round shape, instead of warping and bending under the pressure.

2. DIY Citronella Candles

If you like the idea of a pretty garden adornment that does multiple jobs at the same time, this is definitely one for you. Citronella candles do a great job keeping bugs away, but they don’t exactly smell great and nor are most of them particularly safe. Which is precisely why you should have a go at creating your own, using just a few bits and pieces from around the home. Start out by cutting an orange in half and removing all the flesh from the inside. Cut a hole in the top of one of the halves and stick a small handful of cloves around the hole. After this, it’s just a case of placing a lit tea light in the half without the hole, then placing the other half on top like a lid. Along with a relaxing flickering effect, the combined scent of the cloves and the orange will both keep bugs away and have your garden smelling incredible!

3. Paint Pebbles

It might sound a little strange, but the effect is truly remarkable. Invest in some good quality glow-in-the-dark paint in any colours you like, before heading into the garden and painting pebbles individually. You can paint as few or as many as you like, keep them all together or scatter them out across the lawn. Suffice to say that when the sun goes down, the resulting effect will be one that truly blows you away!

4. Giant Fairy Lights

If you’ve been looking to up the volume of your existing fairy lights, this can be done with nothing more than a few old ping pong balls. Simply cut an X in each of them and shove them on the top of your fairy lights for added impact. And of course, painting and decorating the ping pong balls comes highly recommended.

5. Glow Jars

Last but not least, there’s a great hack for creating a wonderful ornament you might wonder how you ever got by without. Quite simply, it’s a case of taking some bubble wrap and wrapping it around a glow stick. After this, place it in a glass jar with a piece of netting, in order to create an enchanting ‘floating fairy’ effect. You only have to see the effect to be hooked on it for life!