How to Make an Easy and Affordable DIY Outdoor Chandelier

Mitch Couch
by Mitch Couch

Are you looking for a cheap garden lighting idea to transform your outdoor space into a magical retreat? Today I'm going to teach you how to make a beautiful DIY outdoor chandelier with a tomato cage and wood shims.

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

In this guide, you will discover the art of creating DIY outdoor lighting without electricity by embracing solar powered energy.

Grab your materials and let's learn how to bring this outdoor chandelier idea to life so you can illuminate your garden with this sustainable solution.

Gathering the materials for your DIY outdoor Chandelier

1. Gathering the Materials

To begin this outdoor solar lighting idea, gather the following materials:

Cheap garden lighting ideas

2. Preparing the Shims

These shims have a unique feature – a small end and a thicker end. Our primary focus will be on the thicker end, where we'll drill the necessary holes.

Preparing the shims: Drilling a hole through a wood shim

First, grab a scrap board to protect the table while drilling. Take the thick end of the shim and mark the center about an inch down. Use a drill to make a clean hole, without applying too much pressure. Repeat this process for all the shims.

Using a towel to apply stain to a wood shim

3. Applying Wood Stain

Now get your wood stain. Take a towel, dip it into the stain, and gently rub it all over the shim. The stain will insure the shim is protected, even when exposed to sunlight. Make sure you cover the whole shim, front, back, and sides.

Simply wipe the stain on and once you're finished with all your shims, set them aside to dry.

DIY outdoor lighting without electricity

4. Preparing the Tomato Cage

Let's prepare the tomato cage that we'll be using as the frame to hold our shims.

We don't need the sticky points that usually anchor the cage into the ground. We are going to easily snap those off without using scissors.

Remove the bottom stakes from the tomato cage

Just bend the tomato cage at the bottom, right where the first circle is, and wiggle it back and forth. After a few times, the spike will snap right off.

Outdoor chandelier ideas

5. Attaching the Shims and Adding the Solar Light

Now, let's grab some thin copper wire. Although it may be delicate, it serves our purpose well.

Thread a small piece of copper wire through the hole in the shim

Cut off a few inches of the wire, we will use it to thread through the shim's hole.

Shim being attached to the tomato cage with copper wire

Next, we'll start wrapping it around the first small circle of the tomato cage, treating it like a twist tie. The thinness of the wire makes it easy to work with. Attach the first shim by ensuring it has a bit of flexibility to move.

Outdoor lighting project

Repeat the process with all your shims until your first two layers on the tomato cage are full.

Outdoor solar lighting ideas

Let's bring solar power to your backyard lighting. Remove the bottom stake of a solar light and use some leftover copper wire to wrap around the top of the light.

Attaching the solar light to the chandelier with copper wire

Hang it at the center of the upper layer of your tomato cage chandelier.

Continue adding shims to the top level of the tomato cage

With the light in place, you can now add the shims to the top circle of the cage to complete your backyard lighting setup.

Hanging lights in outdoor trees

6. Finalizing the Chandelier

Complete your project by hanging the light in an outdoor tree. The chandelier adds a rustic touch to your garden during the day, and at night, it lights up magically using the sun's energy. You don't even need to turn it on. It creates a beautiful glow that enhances your garden without any extra effort.

Explore another creative outdoor lighting project

Discover how to combine fairy lights and hanging planters to make beautiful outdoor orb lights.

Backyard solar lighting ideas

DIY Outdoor Chandelier Tutorial

This backyard solar lighting idea will transform the way you brighten your outdoor space. With just a bit of creativity and some basic materials, you can bring a warm and enchanting glow outside without relying on electricity.

By harnessing the power of the sun, you not only reduce your impact on the environment but also free yourself from the hassle of wiring and expensive bills. The simplicity and affordability of this landscape lighting project make it a perfect choice for any DIY enthusiast.

I invite you to try out this tomato cage chandelier and share your experience in the comments below. Let me know how this project has enhanced your garden and brought a touch of magic to your evenings.

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Bren Bren on Jun 06, 2023
    How do you keep the shims from sliding around on the metal rings, say on a windy day?
  • Tamera Tamera on Jun 06, 2023
    How does the solar light get any sun when hung under a tree?
  • Ellen Day Ellen Day on Dec 31, 2023
    When you click on the outdoor orb lights it does not go to the tutorial. I would love to see them. Could you send me a different link to it? I love everything you have posted and I don't want to miss anything of yours.
Join the conversation
2 of 20 comments
  • Nandini Nandini on Jul 02, 2023
    And glass beads
  • Sandie Sandie on Jan 01, 2024
    Just an idea: I think it would look cool if you drilled small holes all over each shim - then the light would shine through the holes.