Solar Lamp DIY - Light Your Outdoor Living Space

Solar Lamp DIY - Add style and ambiance to your outdoor living with this easy DIY project. Light up your evenings on the patio. I have been wanting to make a solar lamp for our backyard patio area for a long time. So, I kept an eye out for the perfect base to accomplish my goal. Luke and I stumbled upon a tall candlestick with a concrete base that we thought would work perfectly.
You will need a candlestick or lamp base with a heavy base to support the solar lamp outside in the breeze. a hanging plant basket, a solar yard lamp, and a long screw with a washer, spray paint, sandpaper, a couple pieces of scrap wood, and zip ties to complete our project needs list. You will work with these tools: a pair of vice grips, saw, miter box, and a drill. The first step in our project was to assess our components and come up with a plan that would work the best to provide stability and durability. Make sure you measure everything, so you can be sure to have the proper length screw(s), etc. for your project. Having a solid plan helps the work go together faster. Tools Needed: vice grips, saw, miter box, and a drill.
We removed the glass candle holder. We made a wood block to fill the space between the two metal pieces to give strength, stability, and support to our yard lamp and planter basket. We marked it with an "X" to find the center for drilling a hole for the screw.
Take the stem off your solar yard lamp. Measure the stub on the lamp that the stem fits over. Then, decide how tall you want your lamp to be with the planter basket shade on it. Once you have the proper height, measure and cut the stem.
find a scrap of wood that you can cut (and file if needed) to fit snugly inside the stem. This will add strength to your stem to support the weight of the lamp head and planter basket. You want to cut this wood to a length where your screw will go from the top of the wood and screw into the base of your lamp. This screw is what holds the lamp together. Make sure there is plenty of room for the screw head and lamp stub to fit easily into the stem. Drill a hole all the way through the scrap wood (length-wise). Then, shove the wood scrap inside the stem, it should be tight.
Remove the cross wires from the bottom of the planter basket. This is easily done with a pair of vice grips and a little wiggle and jiggle.
It is always important to test fit any project. Get the bugs out, and make any tweaks and adjustments that are needed, before you put on the final paint and polish.
Set planter basket upside down on top of the solar lamp, to create a lampshade. Decide where you will need to drill the lamp cap to place zip ties for attaching the lampshade.
We had a square cap, so we drilled holes on either side of each corner edge, and threaded the zip ties through. We used white for the pictures for you, so they would be easier to see.
Rough-up the base and all pieces that need painting with some fine-to-medium sandpaper, so the paint will stick well. Spray in short, even bursts at a distance of about 12 inches. Make sure everything dries thoroughly before assembling the lamp.
You can see that we changed out the white zip ties for black ones for our finished product.
Please visit the blog post for the full instructions and story -

Suggested materials:

  • Lamp Base or Candle Holder  (Home Decor Store, Thrift Store, Garage Sale)
  • Wire Hanging Planter Basket  (Garden Center, Discount Stores)
  • Solar Yard Lamp  (Garden Center, Discount Store)
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 6 questions
  • Ardale
    on Jun 20, 2017

    How cute is that! I've got a pretty but cheap floor lamp made of resin but highly detailed that doesn't work anymore. I think I'm going to turn it into an outdoor solar floor lamp using your inspiration! Since our pergola isn't wired for electric you've also inspired me to be on the lookout for things I can use to make a pair of these cute table lamps as well! Thanks for sharing your great idea!
  • Becca Hess
    on Jun 23, 2018

    Why couldn't the same why couldn't the same or similar be done to make it into a hanging lamp? We have a pergola that I'm wanting to hang the light in and somehow make it waterproof so it's there year-round... Possible?

    • Ann
      on Nov 13, 2019

      One idea that I've seen is to buy an old chandelier at a garage sale and remove all the wiring, spray paint it and fill it with dollar store solar lights!

  • Dave Carolyn Whaley
    on Feb 5, 2019

    I have a black metal similar "Fruit Bowl" that I plan on painting and use drop crystals on making a chandelier for my dining room. I might be changing my mind! Glass Crystals give sunlight a prism effect. What a neat idea for the outdoor patio!! Crystals come in many shapes and color! Metal fruit bowls come in oval too. Could put 2 solar lights in! Do solar lights need a lot of direct sun?

    Carolyn from UP Michigan

    • Life With Lorelai
      on Feb 7, 2019

      The solar panels need to get enough sunlight to recharge. The light s will be brighter a nd last longer with a full charge.

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