Friday, March 29, 2013

solar lights -re-purposed-

Last summer we gave our tiny back yard a makeover and I went on a mad hunt looking for solar lights.  The big box retailers had some mediocre looking ones with a price that made me cringe and the 'cheap' $5 ones looked, well, cheap...  One day I wondered into the Target clearance area and low and behold, I find end of summer clearance solar lights that had a super contemporary look, $2.50 each!  I bought a bunch and ran home with excitement! 

The extra solar lights sat on the side of the house until today when I was looking at my last DIY project with dismay...  It was supposed to be a wine bottle lamp, with a little glass votive hanging inside the wine bottle...  It took 30 minutes to drill a hole into the votive and I still had to do the other side, not to mention make 6 of them... I got bored and that project went to the unfinished cemetery (aka the garage under a pile of other unfinished projects).

I realized that the long stainless steel body, under the solar light/glass was hollow so I knew I could drill a hole into it.  I drilled on the side that had remenints of the price sticker (because that would be the back side) and I was too lazy to walk 15 feet to get the goo-gone and wipe it off. 

 Then I used a washer and bolt on the inside and outside of the body to secure my threaded (3/8") rod.  I also found a plastic tubing that fit perfectly over my threaded rod; aesthetically I thought it would look prettier not seeing the threading.


The bottom of the solar lights had a cap with a hole in it to accommodate the steak.  I'm paranoid about black widows and bugs in general so I thought I'd plug that entry point.  In my mind, I picture a bug motel in each light tower.


So I got a plastic cover that was sitting in my recycle bin, traced the cap and made a little seal to close up the hole.


I was worried about the solar light being top-heavy so I gathered some rocks from the front yard and filled it up!


And VIOLA! I now have some cool accents to my bamboo fence, it lights up the yard, it looks pretty and I absolutely LOVE that it's solar!

And just because I'm fascinated with hummingbirds, here's our little friend who comes to visit us throughout the day. 

And here's an evening shot of my solar lights re-purposed and fully functional!

I'd call it a successful day today!


  1. looks amazing! where did you guys buy the bamboo fencing cover? Has it held up good?


    1. Hi Robin! Thanks for stopping by! It's been well over a year having the bamboo fence and it's held up against winter cold, rainy monsoon season, summer 100+ degree heat and dog pee! The only maintenance is giving it a good wipe down with the stain/water sealant once a year. It also puts some color back into the bamboo, as I noticed that it can start to look a little drab, dry and dull after a while.

      It's been a great addition to our yard and I can't imagine having anything else! It's funny because we just bought another home and Eric told me we HAVE to get the bamboo for that yard too!

      I purchased it from Cali bamboo -they have phenomenal products, even stuff to make a deck and gorgeous bamboo flooring! Super nice to work with.

      Here's my other post about putting the bamboo up- DIY!

      Good luck and lmk if you have more questions! -co