Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whatever Wednesday-DIY Solar Lantern

About 2 weeks ago Bec, from Little Lucy Lu, and I did a blog swap, and on her blog I shared a tutorial on how to make a DIY solar lantern. In case you missed the post over there I thought I'd re-post it on my blog for my Whatever Wednesday post today! Enjoy!

Today I wanted to share a FUN tutorial with you on how to make a DIY Solar Lantern! Just in time for those late night summer get-togethers that are awaiting us right around the corner! (still a little cold in my neck of the woods!)

While Mr. Sweet Love and I were perusing Home Depot one day we saw a solar lantern and wanted it. What we didn't want, was to pay the $49.99 the price tag was requesting. So we stuck it to the man and made our own cause that's how we roll. It was so fun to make and turned out so darn cute (or cool according to the mr.) that I couldn't wait to share the how-to with you! Not to mention you'll be out the door for about 1/4 of the price-less if you have some of these basic supplies already!

First start off with one outdoor solar light from the DOLLAR store!

He was a little grumpy I was making him stop playing with said light to take pictures, so I told him Spiderman was going to come swinging down and take me away if he didn't smile...("No way!" he said)

Then you twist off the light part on the top to use for the lantern.

Next, using a 1/2 x36 square dowel ($1.68 from Home Depot-need TWO) you will need to cut:

  • 8, 4 inch dowels. (4 for your base and 4 for the top)
  • 4, 8 inch dowels to be your posts.

(and yes I really did cut ALL of these by myself, so you can too!)

For the top of our lantern we got a 6x6 Cedar Post Cap (I think it was about $4)

Using a spade bit and drill (the Mr. did this part :) ) cut a hole in the center of the cap for the light to fit into.

Like so:

Any gaps around the light can be filled with wood filler if your perfectionism kicks in...

Next, put some wood glue on 4 of your 4 inch dowels.

Glue each dowel (one at a time) down onto the underneath side of your cap leaving about a 3/4 space on each side like this:

Once that glue has dried, glue each of your 4-8 inch dowels vertically in your 4 corner spaces. We did ours where there was a little space left over going around the perimeter of the cap so that the lantern had a little dimension to it.

Finish this little beauty off by gluing your remaining 4, 4 inch dowels (one at a time) in-between your vertical posts.

Once the glue has dried (doesn't take long) flip her over and wa-laa! Check you out!

We felt it looked a little like a bird feeder at this point, so we decided to add just a little touch of character to it to give it more of a lantern feel. We did this by using a 1/4 x 36 square dowel (.86-need one) cut into 4, 4 inch dowels and then glued them about an inch and a half down from the top in-between each 8 inch post.

Now it's ready to be painted in any manor and color you choose. We went with spray paint in Rustoleum's black laquer because I wanted it to have a little bit of a shiny appearance. (but I think it would look awesome in a fun vintage white or turquoise to give the front of your house a little color!)

To make the inside of the lantern we used parchment paper, cut into an 8x16 rectangle. We then folded the paper every 4 inches, to give it a good crease and formed a little box shape.

Just kinda shimmy that box you formed into the lantern to give you a basic hold...

And then you can use thumbtacks to secure it in place! (we used an x-acto knife to cut any excess paper off the bottom of the lantern)

Yay!! Almost done!

To make the lantern holder we used about 3 feet of Rebar wire. I wanted kinda of a loopy thing on top so to get a good firm circle we used a pepper shaker to wrap the wire around.

Then we did a couple small loops around the bottom of the big loop to give it a nice finish. (rebare wire is really easy to mold)

Decide how long you want your lantern to hang and cut of the remaining wire.

Next, drill a small hole in two opposite sides of your lantern cap to place the wire into.

And insert your wire holder.

I loved how it was turning out, but I still felt it was missing something. Mr. Sweet love had the idea to wrap more small loops of Rebar around the bottom of the big loop and add some jute to the top of it. Scrumptious.

And with a touch of twine and a bow around the side, she was almost exactly how I had envisioned her. almost.

I wanted a little something that said...I made this, not The Man, so I added our house numbers to the front using black vinyl.

There. Personalized. And not too shabby for about $10-15.

And at night she lights up with all her sun given glory.

You could also use this as in indoor decoration as well (with or without the solar light on top)

Or maybe in a nursery in a soft pink color???

If it's in any space where it will receive any sort of light, it will still give off a really nice soft glow so it could even work perfect as a night light!

No matter where you choose to put it, this little piece of Sweet Love will rock your world. Promise.

Whew! Are you still here?! ha ha! It kinda seems like a lot because th are so many pictures, but it was really easy (there's not even any hammering or nails involved!) and I think the more pictures a tutorial gives you, the easier it is to follow! Thanks for checking out what I'm putting out there in the blog-o world (totally know that's not a real thing, sometimes things sound better in my head...). See ya tomorrow for Thoughtful Thursday! Peace out!

Linking up to these parties as well as:


Cheryl Nelson said...

LOOOOOOOVE it! Great tutorial!

Suzzie V said...

wow! This is awesome!

Kelly said...

This was awesome. Great job!! This is something that I definitely could make myself. Thanks for sharing

BigBearswife said...

This is such a great project!! I'll have to make one of these!! I'm now following your blog. I'd love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

AllieMakes! said...

That is great! Great job!
Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

Sweet Peas and Bumblebees said...

Love how your solar light turned out! And, it definitely has a much better price tag! I would LOVE if you would link up your project to our {{What I Made Wednesday Linky Party!

And, I'm your newest follower..your blog is so cute!


alena said...

Super cool! said...

Wow!!! This is beautiful!!!

Thanks so much for linking up!


Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea to use the parts from a dollar store light! Great post, love it!

Leanne said...

I love, love, love this. Such a great tutorial too. I love your little helper. Thanks for linking to the party. I'll be featuring this.

Krystal said...

That is awesome! You did a great tutorial too! We are doing lanterns this month at Wood you like to craft? and I would love for you to come link up. Top cut will win a prize!

Candace & Nicole said...

I see Krystal already found you! :)
I saw your lantern on TT&J, and it is awesome...brilliant that it's solar! Thanks for coming over and sharing with wyltc!


Aroura said...

I hadn't even thought of using something like that as a nightlight - what a great idea!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

What a great idea! Thanks for stopping by to add this to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday party!

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

That is a fabulous idea! It turned out great! Thanks for linking this up to this week's party as well!

Antonella said...

Wow! You made this look so easy, like maybe even I could do it - lol. You did a great job - so sleek looking! So glad I followed your link from the Sundae Scoop Link Party, I've also linked up if you want to stop in.
Hugs, antonella :-)

Mrs. H @ My Happily Ever After said...

Wow you are ridiculously talented! This is totally adorable...great idea!

Jami said...

Beyond fabulous!!! Would love for you to stop by and share it at the Tuesday To Do Party!


Laura@Corner House said...

Very Cool! I featured this on my blog on Friday night.

Michelle said...

OH MY GOSH!!! This is wonderful! You did an excellent job on the tutorial too! Thanks for linking up at DIY Thrifty Thursday, hope to see you again this week!


Maggie said...

I luv luv the lantern,I'm going to create one for my front door. you are featured this week on the blog.
You are invited to participate in our linking party this week.

Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses said...

Hello! I featured this here at Coffee and their Kisses. Please come by and grab a featured button that's located on my left hand side bar! Thanks again!

Jen-CraftOManiac said...

Hello There- You have been featured on C.O.M., thanks for your creativity. winks-jen

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

That turned out fantastic! I can't believe y'all made it basically from scratch! That's awesome! {Love the twine details too!}

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!!! I love love LOVE your solar lantern. It turned out great, and I'm featuring it tonight! Love it, it's totally going into my "to try" folder!

Lauren said...

Thank you for linking up- this turned out amazing! I love how you added the letters to create the "girlish" touch.

D @ Shady Porch said...

I will defintely give this project a try. I love it. Thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

I am in love with this project!!! You've got the coolest ideas - and the funniest humor! I may be here a while.... :)

Our Pinteresting Family said...

WOW! I love this idea...very creative and practical. I am definitely pinning this one. I am a new follower. :) ~ Megan

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Marguerite said...

Just one question.....what did you use to attach the solar light in the post base? Just glue?

I'll be using this as inspiration for a beginners woodworking craft clinic at family camp next week.

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