Light Up Your Nights: How to Make Stunning Outdoor Solar Wall Sconces

Mitch Couch
by Mitch Couch
12 Materials
45 Minutes

Hey there everyone, and welcome to the amazing world of DIY home improvement!

Today I have an outdoor DIY project to share. I'll guide you through the process of creating impressive outdoor solar wall sconces that will illuminate your space with a warm and inviting glow.

Harnessing the power of solar energy, I'll show you how to transform ordinary materials like pipe, wood, and even humble Jenga pieces into gorgeous custom lighting fixtures.

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

This clever and unique project not only adds a touch of elegance to your outdoor ambiance but also proves that with a little creativity and ingenuity, you can achieve remarkable results on a budget.

Get ready to embark on a journey of creativity and craftsmanship as we delve into the art of making beautiful and affordable outdoor solar wall sconces.

DIY pipe solar lights - Measure and cut the pipes

1. Cutting and Smoothing the Pipe

To begin our DIY solar light project, head to your local hardware store and purchase a three-inch pipe that measures two feet in length. Using a saw, such as a skill saw or a Sawzall, cut the pipe in half by marking the twelve-inch line and making a clean cut. 

How to make your own DIY pipe solar lights

Once cut, the ends may appear rough. Simply take 80-grit sandpaper and carefully sand around the edges until they become smooth and polished.

Transforming pipes into stylish solar light fixtures

2. Drilling the Holes

Alright, it's time to grab your drill bits! Make sure you have three sizes on hand: large, medium, and small.

Now, here's the plan: we're going to drill some holes in one end of the pipe. Small holes near the top, then medium size in the middle, and finally, larger holes at the bottom.

This step will give our outdoor solar wall sconce a unique and stylish look. Let's get drilling!

Use a small drill bit to randomly drill holes all over the pipe

Begin by using the small drill bit to randomly drill holes all around the pipe on one end, avoiding crossing the halfway mark. Embrace the beauty of randomness rather than following a specific pattern. 

Switch to a medium-sized drill bit and enlarge the holes

Once you have a sufficient number of holes, switch to the medium drill bit. Starting from the middle, enlarge the smaller holes slightly. This step becomes easier due to the initial drilling. 

Use the largest drill bit to drill out a few small holes at the bottom

Finally, use the largest drill bit to drill out a few of the small holes on the bottom, creating a varied hole size pattern.

Apply paint in small bursts, covering the pipe with multiple coats

3. Painting the Pipe

Now that the drilling is complete, it's time to paint the pipe. Start by applying paint that provides good coverage. Begin with small bursts of paint, ensuring you achieve a smooth finish. It's preferable to apply two or three coats rather than risking drips or unevenness.

Allow the paint to dry completely, paying attention to painting the inside of the pipe as well.

Glue Jenga pieces to a scrap piece of wood for the base

4. Prepare the planks

Prepare two scrap wood planks by cutting them slightly longer than the pipe. Next, attach two Jenga pieces to the middle of each plank using wood glue. These pieces will serve as spacers.

Spray paint the wooden base for a finished look

Once the glue has dried securely, apply a single coat of black spray paint to the planks. This will allow the natural wood grain to shine through with a subtle touch.

After the paint has dried, you'll notice that it doesn't fully cover the wood, giving the diy wall sconce a rustic and charming look.

DIY solar lights: Repurposing pipes for a decorative touch

5. Creating a Barrier for the Solar Lights

If your chosen solar lights are smaller than desired, I have a simple solution. 

Use hot glue to secure the rope inside the pipe

Use hot glue to attach a rope, also acquired from the Dollar store, along the inside top of the pipe. Wrap the string tightly around the pipe, ensuring it adheres securely. 

Insert the solar light into the pipe, ensuring a flush fit

This rope acts as a barrier to hold the solar lights in place. You'll find that it holds firm, allowing you to effortlessly drop the light into the pipe, creating a flush and perfect fit.

Attach a mounting hook to the back of the painted board

6. Mounting the Pipe and Finishing Touches

To mount the pipe and complete your DIY outdoor lighting project, take the previously painted board and attach a lightweight mounting hook to the back. 

Outdoor solar lighting ideas

Once everything has dried completely, apply a generous amount of hot glue to the Jenga pieces. 

Attach the painted pipe to the wooden base

Carefully center the pipe on the Jenga pieces and press it down firmly. The glue will hold the pipe in place. 

Looking for more creative outdoor lighting ideas?

Discover how to create an inviting outdoor ambiance by exploring this DIY Outdoor Solar Rope Lamp tutorial.

Creating custom pipe light fixtures with solar power

Outdoor Solar Wall Sconce Tutorial

And there you have it, folks! We've reached the end of our journey in creating unique outdoor lighting using pipes and solar energy. 

The finished DIY Pipe Solar Lights illuminate the wall with a captivating glow

This outdoor light idea is not only eye-catching but also eco-friendly, making it a win-win for your space and the planet. The resourceful use of materials like pipes, wood, and Jenga pieces adds a touch of ingenuity and charm to this project. 

Illuminating your outdoor space with homemade outdoor solar wall sconces

Now it's your turn to give it a try! Get creative, have fun, and don't forget to share your experience in the comments below. I'd love to hear how this project brightened up your outdoor space and any tips you discovered along the way. 

Suggested materials:
  • Three-inch pipe (2-foot length)
  • Saw
  • 80-grit sandpaper
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Aprile Aprile on Jun 24, 2023

    Very nice; have a shed these would great on; curious - why not use white PVC pipe instead of painting the black ones?

Join the conversation
2 of 12 comments
  • Kelli Kelli on Jul 28, 2023

    White is for underground water or electrical wiring.

  • J J on Jul 28, 2023

    They are seriously cute!! Very easy to follow directions.