Are you starting to get the feeling that my backyard beautification goals are never-ending?
I’m sorry, I can’t help myself – my backyard is far and away my favourite room of our house. I love the sunshine, fresh air and chillaxing while the kids run wild playing or swimming. I love that there is almost no clean-up required before or after hosting friends – tidy is just a garden hose away. I love that friends swing by on a whim and we all settle in for an impromptu pot luck and laughs. I love the smell of chlorine and freshly mowed grass…
What’s not to love right?
That’s why I’m so hell-bent on making my oasis perfect – or at least budget-friendly-perfect – which leads me to today’s project; outdoor lighting in the form of a DIY solar lamp! I absolutely adore Lampioni da Giardino (garden lights), they make such a difference to your back yard. Spending time outdoors is very relaxing, but it’s not always easy once the nights start to draw in, so it is very important to use a variety of lighting so that you can enjoy as much time in your garden as possible while it is still warm enough to do so! It was also why I decided to do some Comparison Of Solar Storage Solutions to keep my lamp as efficient as possible.
You’ve seen them before on Pinterest, but I’m going to show off my little beauty anyways.
I picked up this little light at the thrift store last week for a whopping $5.
I also picked up this solar light from Home Depot for $6 (although you can often get them at dollar stores as well).
All you need to do is cut the cord at the base of the lamp using wire cutters.
Unscrew the section just above the on/off button and pull the rest of the cord out from the top of your lamp.
Screw the top section back on and then, using Gorilla glue, stick your solar lamp topper into the now-empty socket.
Let the glue dry completely and you are essentially done your DIY solar lamp!
I opted to take things a bit further and spray paint my little guy to match the rest of my patio decor; I washed down the outside of the lamp base to make sure there was no dust, dirt or grease and then taped off the solar light so it wouldn’t accidentally get sprayed.
A few light coats of Rustoleum in a semi-gloss black and done!
Add your solar panel back on your solar light and fit your shade over top – for this particular lamp shade that meant spreading the lightbulb tines apart so they’d rest on top of the solar panel.
So easy and so cute!
Please try not to notice my dead lawn in the background – that’s where we put the kids’ pool, so it’s a bit of an eyesore at the moment.
“But Shelly, does it work?” you ask…
and my DIY solar lamp casts a fair bit of light too!
The only thing that might be a problem would be the bugs…. I’m not sure if this DIY solar lamp will attract moths or if it isn’t bright enough? I’m also not sure if a citronella candle will be enough to keep them away? I’ll keep you posted when we finally get a chance for an evening outdoors.
If you don’t want to go lamp hunting, there is an even easier and less expensive way to create a DIY solar lamp. All you need is a solar light, a terra-cotta pot and a mirror (optional) – all found at the dollar store.
The mirror is strictly to multiply the light output, so feel free to go without.
Place your solar lamp peg into the terra-cotta pot base and glue – that’s it!
Or make a shorter one and tuck the light portion itself into the pot base – like a little lighthouse.
Paint it to look like a lighthouse, or decorate it with a fairy door. Make a few and spread them throughout your seating area for a soft glow all around.
If you have larger side tables (mine are small), you could take two large lamps and make these DIY solar lamps for each table – then it really would look like a living room.
More ideas to come for my (and your) patio oasis!
Have a great one!