Tuesday, August 24, 2021

DIY Solar Chandelier for the Garden

 An alternate title for this post would be: TikTok Made Me Do It...

After taking inspiration from a TikTok video, I started scouring thrift stores in search of a light fixture that I could transform into the perfect outdoor chandelier, because, who doesn't need an outdoor chandelier, right?


Anyhoodle, I found the perfect fixture at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. The price on it was $10, but it was discounted because I bought it on a Tuesday and Tuesdays are Home Fixtures Day at the store; I didn't know that at the time, so it was a happy discovery.

The first step in the project was to strip the electrical cord out of the fixture. Then I gave it a good cleaning with some engine degreaser that Hugh had in the garage (and, by I, I mean Hugh because I apparently can't be trusted with hazardous chemicals).

Once the fixture was 90% less grimy, I sprayed it with a matte silver spray paint that I got at the hardware store (again, it was actually Hugh who sprayed it, because...yeah... I don't know if he was worried that I would accidentally coat the driveway, the ladder, or myself. In any case, he commandeered the spray can).

Once the paint had dried, I added a crystal bead garland that I had purchased on Amazon (and, yes, I actually did this part) and some solar lights from the Hooterville Hellmouth. All told, I think I spent around $20.00 on supplies, which brought the project total to under $30.00.

Hot glue gun: the only tool Hugh trusts me to wield safely

Hugh hung the chandelier in the tree above our old wooden swing. Since he was going to be up there anyway; I had him trim some dead branches. I mean, why not?

The solar lights on the chandelier took a day to charge. In the meantime, I think the chandelier looked rather impressive just as it was.

Once the lights were fully charged, the fixture lived up to its' purpose, beautifully.

I now have another interesting outdoor entertainment space. It may not get a lot of use for a few weeks yet, because the heat and monsoon rains have brought allll the mosquitoes to the yard and they won't start to die off until early autumn. In the meantime, the chandelier looks awesome from the porch.

Next summer, if Hugh gets around to building the raised garden beds that he keeps promising me, I will move the chandelier to the garden, where I envision it shining a light over both flowers and vegetables. Or not. A girl can dream. Anyway, this was a great project to encourage me to dip my toe back into the DYI pool; it's been a hot minute since my last effort and it was high time I got creative again.

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