Creative lighting

Rather than bust your party budget by renting a strobe light, black lights or various other typical rental options, why not use a little creativity to get people talking about your amazing lighting scheme at your next fun gathering? It’s not as hard as you think! You can even use common household items to great creative effect with a little forethought and planning.

Here are some ideas for very cool lighting effects that could set a great mood for your next party:

Make paper lanterns

You only need some tracing paper and a heavier card stock to reinforce the edges, then make a rectangle and put a bulb inside. You can design the paper to fit any theme that you like, and then you can give a lantern away to every guest as a memento. They will love it! You can cut out whatever you’d like from the rectangles, draw whatever you’d like on them, or use stickers to decorate your lanterns in any way that you wish.

Picture 1: Red paper lanterns on the street

Create a shadow theatre

This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Simply hang a white cotton sheet with a wide weave to it and add cut-outs made from paper or cardboard behind it. Shine light behind the cut-outs onto the back of the sheet, and as the breeze blows in, the shapes move. Voila! You have your own cool or spooky shadow theatre that will have your guests oohing and aahing.

Direct narrow beams at interesting surfaces

Tin foil can have a dynamic effect when used in the right way. You can crumple it up and stick it to any surface for a very neat effect. Light that is reflected off any interesting textures can become a wonderful attention-getter. High wattage film lights will work best for this if you have them. If not, concentrate on how you can get narrow beams on unusual areas in your home. Even humdrum surfaces can become very exotic as you use your imagination. Again, if you can work in your party theme, better yet!

Wrap objects around lights on strings

If you have Christmas lights around, create a shade for them by putting plastic cups over them after punching a hole in the bottom for the light to come through, or put a CD necklace around each of the lights and see the rainbow that is created. Any string of lights can be radically changed if you can think of a shade or other amplifying effect created from stuff you have around the house.

Make slight changes for big effects

We often don’t realize the potential of our home for cool lighting schemes. You can do something as simple as put coloured cellophane on fluorescent bulbs to create a different ambiance. Light your plants in a new way, change the positions of your lights, take common items or clothing and light them up to fit a theme or just get crazy. Only your imagination will limit your effect.

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