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Solar Light DIY Challenge

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What is the best creative solar light idea that you have ever seen?

How do you install solar lights if you don’t have dirt to stick them into? What if you only have a paved area, brick, or a wooden deck?

solar light challenge graphic

Today’s DIY Challenge from Terrie at Decorate and More with Tip was to use Solar Lights. At the end of this post, you will get to see 7 more great creative solar light ideas! Paula’s Handmade Space made a solar chandelier, and that is a project that I would like to do someday!

solar lights in a horizontal fence post

I really enjoy these challenges. Sometimes I am really inspired. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a great idea— and it ends up being a great idea anyway!

fence post

Forstner drill bit

forstner drill bit

For this blogger challenge, we had to create something with solar lights. I used solar lights that I already had, and a fence post from our old fence.

solar lights and post

Question: How do you install solar lights if you don’t have dirt to stick them into? What if you only have a paved area, brick, or a wooden deck?

I have a solution! Get a drill bit that will make holes the size of your solar light stakes.

Use a yardstick to mark evenly spaced holes.

marking fence post

Drill the holes.

drilling a hole in fence post

Check that the stake fits. Continue drilling holes…

black solar light in horizontal fence post

(My daughter videoed this for me on a Very windy day!)

Another problem: my solar lights weren’t charging any more because they are cloudy. Cleaning didn’t help.

blurry solar light

Use clear nail polish to make the plastic clear again!

clear nail polish on solar light

I fit five lights into my 4×4. I can set these lights anywhere now! Even as a centerpiece on a picnic or patio table! But I wanted to make it pretty.

black solar lights

Did you know you can twist off the top?

bottom of solar light where the battery is

There were lots of dead bugs in my lights! I washed the clear plastic inserts.

old solar light with lots of bugs in it

I used a round sticker to protect the solar charging spot.

sticker on a solar light for painting

Then I spray painted them white.

It was so nice that the plastic part came out so I could easily spray paint it.

white spray painted solar light

Don’t they look so much better?

The last thing I did was dry brush a little white paint on the post so the wood grain would show a little better.

pretty white painted solar lights
white solar lights in horizontal fence post

I’m so happy that I can use these pretty lights anywhere I want to now!

white solar light portable

More Information

I have used spade bits and hole saw bits. But I really, really liked the bit I used for this project. It was very easy— in fact, it couldn’t have been easier to use! This bit has a fancy name– a Forstner bit. They come in different styles– with serrated edges like a saw, or smooth. The one I used was smooth. We are borrowing a very nice set. It is possible that we won’t need to return it– and I will like that!

My Garden Flag

I’m sorry that I don’t remember where I got my butterfly shaped Hello Spring garden flag that you can see in the pictures. I love it! I like finding different garden flags, and I like receiving them as gifts. Perhaps you will find one you like at this link.

hello spring butterfly shaped garden flag
solar light fence post step by step

And now for everyone else’s fabulous ideas! Shae from Sweet Southern Grace is up next. She always has something stylish to share. Enjoy!


step by step solar light solution

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  1. I love that you created something so versatile. You are right, would make a perfect centerpiece for an evening outdoor meal. This would fit my home style to a T.

  2. I love this challenge and the result! These things always fall over and end up broken so this seems like a practical way to add an interesting lighting fixture plus get more life out of your purchase.

  3. I have some old solar lights that are dingy, great idea to give them a new look. Thanks for the tip on the clear fingernail polish, I am going to give it a whirl. Love the idea of the solar light arrangement. Would look so nice on an outdoor coffee table or ledge. You are so creative!

  4. Liberty, you really did some thinking outside the box creating this lovely portable solar lights piece! It’s amazing what you can come up with using a little bit of spray paint and an awesome idea of using solar lights anywhere! Looks great!

  5. Liberty what a great idea. My sister has a wooden deck that takes up most of her backyard and this would be a perfect solution for her. Thanks for the tip about putting clear nail polish on the plastic. Genius! Thanks for sharing!

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