Dinner on the Beach with Solar Lanterns

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Today I am sharing a dinner I created near our beach house. I discovered some very inexpensive hanging solar lanterns and am excited to show how you can use them anywhere in your yard.

How to Make Hanging Solar Lanterns

It’s been over a year since I hosted a dinner on the beach. I recently made these really inexpensive hanging solar lanterns and thought it was time for an oceanside dinner.

dinner on the beach

I had actually wanted to host this dinner all week but the evenings had either been overcast or windy. Finally, the weather looked good, so I ran out to the beach and set up this dinner in the sand.

The evening was perfect!

And look how awesome these hanging solar lanterns look. Did I mention they cost about $5 each?  Yes,  five dollars!

hanging solar lanterns

A few years ago I created a similar dinner on the beach when I partnered with Sonenglas. Sonenglas makes a much more expensive solar jar ($32 each), and they are larger, but I knew they were a bit pricey. I have been hunting ever since for a less expensive option and I am thrilled that I found these solar lids.

What You Need for Dinner on the Beach (Or Your Backyard)

Plastic Folding Table

Beach Themed Tablecloth here, here, or here.

The solar lids and hangers are sold in a set of 12, and they come in cool light and warm light. I bought the cool lights but I think I might like the warm lights better.

Mason Jars or here, here or here.

The jars are not included with the solar lids but you can buy a set of 12 Ball jars for about $2 – $3 each.

Solar Light Lids for Mason Jars

I had these ball jars lying around the house and knew they were perfect for my solar lids.

Ball Jar Solar Lanterns

Next,  I placed the hangers on each of the jars and put all of the lids outside to charge in the sun. I left them in the sun for about four hours and they all were charged and working perfectly by then.  

The solar lids are really easy to use.

There is an on/off switch in the lid. When the switch is on and the lids are fully charged, and they will come on automatically when the lid senses it is dark.  I love that they turned on automatically when the sun set.

Each lid has a long wire with fairy lights.  Here they are after I charged the solar lids.

Solar Lids

Here is a close-up of what the lights look like when the lids with the wires are placed in the jars.

Hanging Solar Ball Jars

I arranged the flowers that afternoon. The flowers are from the grocery store and I used some larger ball jars for the vases. 

florals for sunset dinner

Aren’t they gorgeous? Can I just say that the beach sunset was also amazing?

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beach dinner

To create this table setting, I moved our plastic table out on the beach. 

creating dinner on the beach

Next, I added two large metal stakes (U-Channel Post for Parking Signs – 7 ft, Green). They are seven feet tall and cost only $7 each. You easily pound into the sand (or grass).

I used wire to attach the poles to the legs of the table.

set up dinner on the beach

Next, I strung a piece of wire from one pole to the next and used tape to secure the lanterns on the wire. Without the tape, all of the lanterns would have slid to the center of the wire.

dinner on the surf

I used all of the clear ball jars on the wire and the additional blue jars on the table.

I added some sea glass from my collection to each jar. I have collected the glass for years and I love hunting for glass on the beach.


Is this not the perfect location for dinner? We even had some surfers entertaining us as we waited for the beach sunset.

dinnr for four on the beach

This truly was magical. I love that the solar lanterns lit up as the beach sunset came our way.

As the sun started to set, we sat down for dinner.

Obviously, this dinner with the solar lanterns would be perfect for your backyard too.

Of course, shortly after we sat down I made everyone get up so I could take this next photo of my hanging solar lanterns and beach sunset!

Links to Items Seen in This Post

Pin the image below to your Entertaining or Outdoor Party boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Make Solar Lanterns

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  1. Beautiful!!!! I love your table setting also and that table cloth! Thank you for sharing! You are very creative!

    I enjoy your blog!

  2. If you blow the picture up where you mention the surfers (on my cell) it looks like a dolphin jumping up out of the water. 😊

  3. Stunning. Will most definitely use the solar light idea for entertaining in our backyard.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Just beautiful! Like I said before, I love your energy and inspiration. Thank you for your hard work and creativity to bring us such wonderful posts.

  5. What a special moment! It would be terrific for a marriage proposal! I especially love your drinking glasses with the teal and green stripes. Can you please share where they are from? they have such a nice beach feel, i’d love to use them in place settings or as votives! thanks!

  6. I’ve been dying to read this post all week! Finally! Dining al fresco at the ocean … a dream, but I think I can create this in my backyard! xo

  7. Yes love this idea💡 I think it would darling for wedding receptions too!!
    Also love the glassware – Where did you find them?

    1. Hi Paisley, most of my glassware I use is linked under the shop my home tab on my website under the beach house!

  8. Turned out great! What a fabulous price for those lights. I have half a dozen of the jar/lights you used last year, but these are definitely less expensive. Since I live in Ventura, one of these days I hope to run into you while hunting for sea glass!!

  9. Thanks for sharing those solar lids! I was looking for something just like this that was inexpensive to light my deck at night! Plus use all those canning jars I have laying around. Way cheaper than buying solar lights pre made!!

  10. What a beautiful dinner setting! I think I’ll try the solar lighting on my new patio. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing.

  11. What a great, and affordable idea! I would love to try this! Can you tell me how long the lights last? Thank you

    1. Thanks, Beth! That’s why I love them so much! If you charge them in the sun for about 6-8 hours, they will last for 8-12 hours.

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