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 thhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifere 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!

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