Here's how I made my solar chandelier for summer plus a few lessons learned on the best places to hang it in your yard.
- Spray paint (optional)
- Solar powered lights
- Super glue
You can also look for nice chandeliers at thrift stores or yard sales. If you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your area, that is also a good place to check.
It turns out these big beautiful goblets were way too big for my chandelier. (It also turns out they glow all different colors, which is so cool I didn’t want to return them to the store. I stuck them in the ground in my backyard and enjoy the light show every evening.)
I really liked the little hurricane glasses on this chandelier, but it turned out that they would not fit with the solar lights. I ended up not using them after all. But since they are so pretty (and I’m such a hoarder), I held on to them. Who knows? They might be just perfect for a project down the road.
UPDATE: The little hurricane glasses are still out in my garage somewhere waiting for the perfect project...but I just know it is out there!
The solar lights popped right off the stakes—no problem. After I glued the first one on, I realized I had forgotten to unscrew the top of the light and pull the little tab to activate it. Doh!
Once the glue dries, you are ready to hang your masterpiece. I don’t have an overhang in my yard so I hung mine in a tree. I don’t think it gets enough sunlight to keep the lights fully charged all the time. Every few days, I move it down to the deck to soak up some sunshine and get it glowing again. I think it would do better in a sunnier spot, but my yard is mostly shady. This is the best place I have for it.
UPDATE: My solar chandelier made it through several summer thunderstorms with no problems. However, by the end of last summer, all but one of my lights had popped off. I do not believe this was an issue with the glue being outside or getting wet in the rain. I believe it was due to trauma from my chandelier banging into the tree trunk during a few really heavy storms (and one time when I was re-hanging it).
Again, it would be better to hang it somewhere not directly underneath a tree--but that's the best place I have in my yard right now.
I am going to replace the lights and try again this summer. It only costs a few dollars and it makes me happy to look outside and see the chandelier–even if I don’t have the ideal spot for one in my yard.
Now I’m on the lookout for a little café table and chairs to paint red and put under the tree. Won’t that be the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening just as the sun is going down and the lights are coming on?
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