Paper lanterns brighten any backyard celebration.

How to Hang Paper Lanterns Across the Pool

by Cecilia Harsch

A backyard pool often becomes a gathering place during the summer for family and friends. You may discover you host more parties than you did before you became a pool owner as it might seem everyone wants to use backyard oasis for birthdays, graduation celebrations and even a wedding or two. Decorating the backyard for all these get-togethers may require additional lighting, so why not tie the two together and decorate by hanging paper lanterns across your pool.

1. Choosing Lantern For the Occasion

Paper lanterns come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you have a number of options to choose from when it comes to picking the right color, shape and size. You could use white 14-inch round lanterns for a wedding or mix and match different sizes, colors and shapes for a festive party or birthday celebration. While it may be more economical to pick real paper lanterns, you might consider purchasing paper lookalike nylon lanterns to hang across the pool if you intend to reuse them in the future.

2. Supporting Your Lanterns

You can hang paper lanterns from invisible nylon hanging wire, but you must find something to support the wire on both sides of the pool. Use existing structures surrounding the pool, such as a patio cover support post, a roof overhang, a fence post or light pole. You can add support poles around the pool by standing up a landscape timber inside a 5-gallon bucket and pouring quick-setting concrete around the timber. Make sure the height of the nylon wire allows even the tallest guest to walk beneath it.

3. Lighting Your Lanterns

Since you intend to hang your lanterns over the pool, running an electrical line across the water could be a tragic accident waiting to happen; you might consider using battery-operated LED lantern lights. Lantern lights are available in strands that you attach to your hanging wire and as individual light kits that install inside the lantern. Battery-operated LED light strands may limit the amount of light each lantern emits. Individual light kits can vary in intensity and color, and even come with remote controls to let you control the lights from practically anywhere.

4. Hanging Your Lanterns

Depending on what kind of lighting you choose, how you hang your lanterns from your wire will vary. A light string will require you to hang the paper lanterns uniformly, and attach the top of the lantern to the nylon wire. Using individual light kits lets you hang the lanterns close together, space them far apart, group several lanterns together in one spot and stagger the distances between them.

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