How To Make a Hanging Solar Lantern

11 Materials
3 Hours

I purchased Edison style solar lights a few years ago and every season I like to create a new look for them. You may have seen some of my previous projects I have posted using these Edison lights . This spring is no different. I wanted a lantern look for the spring and summer season. After much debate on the materials I was going to use I came up with this inexpensive idea that I think is going to look great.

My materials for this project are quite simple and cheap. A roll of plastic garden mesh purchased at my local Dollar store and 4 sets of 5 inch bamboo hoops used for cross stitching which I purchased at Michael's. This will make two lanterns.

Take your hoops apart and using a measuring tape wrap it around the outside of the inside hoop. It measured 16 inches but I added half an inch to allow for errors. 16 1/2 inches in total.

Next step was to lay out the garden mesh. I used some soup cans to flatten it out to make measuring easier, then placed my measuring tape on mesh and using chalk marked out 16 1/2 inches. Then I took a ruler and connected my marks and cut.

So you now have two pieces. I then measured 8 inches out on the two pieces and cut.

I then took a white pencil crayon or any light color that will show on the black and started drawing a flower pattern randomly on my mesh. This doesn't have to be perfect, you can use stencils if you have them. The design choice is yours. Repeat on the other piece of mesh.

So this is what it looks like. You can correct any imperfections when you cut. I cut out the petals only and left the centre. I drew them for my own benefit. Using a sharp pair of scissors or exacto knife cut out the petals.

So here it is cut out. Set aside until needed.

I decided to paint my hoops with outdoor paint I had on hand in a teal blue color. To do this you need to take your hoops apart. You can leave them for a more natural look or use a stain. I like adding bright colors for my summer decor.

Once all my hoops were dry it was time to start assembling the lanterns. Using a hot glue gun, I wrapped my mesh around the outside of the inside hoop and secured with hot glue. Repeating step at the opposite end.

It should now look like this.

Next step I attached a piece of black flat rope I had across the middle of the opening at the top of my lantern and cut to the desired length . ( Just even with the bottom of the top hoop) This will be used to hang my solar light from. You can also use wire.

Next I cut a piece 8 inches long and attached it running front to back in opposite direction of the middle. This will be used to hang the lantern.

It is now time to attach the outside hoop. Wrap around the inside hoop and tighten in place. Make sure to put the part that screws together at the back of your lantern where your seam from the mesh is. Repeat step on bottom and the other lantern.

Lanterns are now complete, and ready to attach my solar bulbs. The little wire comes out at the side so I just took it out and put it through my rope I put across the middle of the lantern and reattached.

So here is my lantern complete. I love how these turned out. If it ever stops raining here I will get to see what they look like at night!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Vee
    on Jun 14, 2019

    where did u find those solar bulbs ?

  • Nancy Peterson
    on Jun 14, 2019

    Can you show pictures of these lit up?

    • Melanie
      on Jun 14, 2019

      I would love to show pictures of these lit up. I will see if I can add a picture. When I posted this project we had a week of rain non stop so I was unable to include it in my post. This is one not very clear taken in the rain.

  • Lynda
    on Jun 14, 2019

    Love these!!!! Are the lights electric? OR Solar. They look electric to me but in todays world anything could be

    • Lynda
      on Jun 14, 2019

      Hi Melanie, I found where you got the bulbs. Good old amazon. Do an update if it ever stops raining by telling us how long the lights lasted. Thanks. I am going to try this.

Join the conversation

4 of 24 comments
  • Elizabeth
    on Jun 30, 2019

    Is there a way to share your projects? Or print them out? I would love to share with my daughter.

    • Melanie
      on Jul 1, 2019

      Hi Elizabeth, you can save them on Hometalk, or send her the link for the page, also you can pin it if you are on pinterest.

  • Rebecca Brantley
    on Jul 3, 2019

    I love how you did yours.. I made a similar project a year ago & still use them.. I found my solar Edison bulbs on eBay at 79c each.. I use the plastic & wire cricket cages for my lanterns 😂.. I got them for $1ea.. got some krylon for plastics paint & colored the top band & bottom base, I ran a wire across top inside & out thru the wire sides, then bent the wire ends downward.. that wire holds my solar bulb in place.. I hung the "cages" off of hooks on the side of patio privacy fence.. they actually look good as redneck lanterns.. 😂

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