From Yard Sale to the Garden: A Repurposed Lamp

5 Materials

When I found a sturdy metal lamp at a yard sale last summer, I snatched it up for a DIY fountain I had in mind. Fast forward a year and it still sat in my garage waiting for its transformation - when a new idea trumped that fountain.
One of my Quick Tips for Upcycle and Repurpose projects is to look for good and sturdy pieces. They aren't always pretty - but a strong foundation has plenty of options for dressing up. That was the case with this metal lamp I found at a yard sale last summer for just $2.
I had an old domed ceiling fan light cover that I had planned to pair with a lamp base to make a fountain for the garden. I snagged up the lamp, took it home, and sat it aside while I read up on making a fountain.
But I got busy doing other things and that fountain project never got past the planning stage.
A few weeks ago I saw a pin using old lamp bases as solar light stands. I remembered my old lamp in the garage and totally changed the plan. I knew exactly what I'd do instead and it would be a quick and simple project.
I headed to Lowe's and found a solar light that I loved,
grabbed a can of Rustoleum spray paint that matched, then headed home to get started.
I removed the wiring and hardware from the lamp, gave it a couple coats of paint, removed the solar light from its base, and glued it onto the lamp.
While the paint was drying, I headed to the yard to create a new flower bed for my repurposed lamp.
I dug out a circular bed beside our front walkway...
put the solar lamp in the middle, then filled it in with some hardy perennials. Visit the blog for a list of the plants I used.
I love how it turned out and when daylight fades, the solar light provides the perfect accent to our walkway.
Yard sale and thrift store finds are my favorite way to add unique decor to our home and garden. I hope you've been inspired to add a custom solar lamp to your garden now!
For more great repurpose and upcycle ideas, visit the blog.

Suggested materials:

  • Old metal lamp  (yard sale)
  • Rustoleum semi-gloss enamel  (Lowe's)
  • Solar light  (Lowe's)
See all materials

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Karen Smith
    on Jul 7, 2017

    What plants did you use also what about the lampshade won't it get ruined when it rains
    • Indy
      on Nov 11, 2017

      LOVE your idea. I always see lamps at goodwill but never seem to have pairs. Now you made me think outside the box. Their usually $5 or less. Now i feel like going and buy one. I will wait for spring. Thanks
  • Kim Johnston
    on Jul 8, 2017

    This looks awesome so you just put the solar light directly into the lamp?
    • Linda Sikut
      on Nov 12, 2017

      You are very clear. I'm working on a project using left over shades from a fan to pretty up some of my solar lights.

  • Ellis
    on Nov 11, 2017

    This is really clever, and it looks great. One question, is the lamp base sitting directly on the ground? It looks that way in the picture. In that case, I would add a pretty little paving stone underneath the lamp, so it stays level on the ground and doesn't get muddy.

    But that's a quibble. Your garden looks fantastic, and I'm going to do something like it next year.
    • Ama
      on Sep 30, 2018

      Great idea! That will also help clear up some stacked stepping stones

      we have. Yes, I do plan to attempt this. Really like this idea - very

      creative mind! Thanks for sharing - it is appreciated.

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