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Upcycled Solar Lamp Post – DIY Garden Light

This upcycled solar lamp post is so easy to create using garage sale items or an old lamp in need of a transformation – you may already have it lying around the house! Brighten up your walkway with this easy garden light post-DIY.

Keep reading to see how you can easily create your own garden light post in just a few minutes.

Upcycled Solar Lamp Post

What You’ll Need to Make a DIY Solar Lamp Post

The first step in making a garden light post from an old lamp is to gather your supplies. You may not need to paint your lamp for this upcycle but if you do, be sure to follow the steps below to weatherproof your DIY project for the garden.

  • Old Lamp
  • Solar light
  • Wire Snippers
  • Paint (Optional)

Choosing a Lamp to Repurpose into a Solar Light Post

Transforming a dusty old lamp into a dazzling solar post light is an eco-friendly and budget-savvy DIY project! But choosing the right lamp for your upcycled masterpiece can be tricky, here are some tips for finding the perfect lamp to upcycle.

Opt for a lamp that complements the original lamp’s style. Vintage post? Seek a classic or antique-inspired lamp. Modern base? Go sleek and minimalist!

Are you feeling adventurous? Try a contrasting style! Pair a rustic lamp post with an industrial-style solar light for a unique fusion.

Consider the post’s height and desired illumination. Usually, shorter posts demand smaller lamps, while taller ones offer more flexibility.

choosing a lamp to repurpose

How to Make an Upcycled Solar Lamp Post

To create the lamp post, the first step is to remove the hardware from the old lamp. Cut the wires and then remove the washers, sockets, and parts.

Some lamps may need a little more preparation for inserting the solar light but this lamp post was perfect how it came. You can determine how much of the original hardware to leave behind depending on the size of your solar light.

Tailor the amount of retained original hardware based on your solar light’s size. When inserting the solar light into the post, ensure a snug fit—if it’s too tight, remove excess hardware; if it’s too loose, apply glue to secure it.

hardware removal for upcycle

Customize Your DIY Garden Light Post

If you are lucky like me, you can pick up an old lamp that matches a solar light you already have on hand, leaving no reason to paint or change the color of the lamp post.

If not you may need to use sandpaper to remove the old paint from the lamp you intend to upcycle into a garden lamp.

Remove the lampshade and any electrical components.

Clean the lamp: Wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water to remove dirt, grime, and cobwebs. For rough spots consider using a brillo to remove things like garage sale stickers. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next step in this DIY project.

Safety First: Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a mask, especially when dealing with lead paint.

Lead Paint Alert: If your lamp is pre-1978, test it for lead paint before proceeding. Lead paint removal requires special precautions and may be best left to professionals.

Prepping Your Upcycled Lamp for Paint With Sanding

Sanding: Use 120-grit sandpaper to scuff the existing paint, creating a good surface for the new paint to adhere to. For hard-to-reach areas, consider a sanding sponge with dust extraction capabilities. 

This minimizes dust inhalation and mess, making the upcycling process safer and more pleasant.

Chemical stripper (optional): This can be faster than sanding, but follow the instructions carefully and ensure proper ventilation. 

Always test a small area first to confirm compatibility with the lamp material you are working with to create your Upcycled Solar Lamp Post.

old lamp being repurposed

DIY Solar Light Painting Tips

Choose the right paint: Opt for exterior paint designed for metal or wood (depending on your lamp material). Consider enamel paint for its durability and weather resistance.

Prime (optional): If the existing paint significantly differs from your chosen color, applying a primer helps ensure even coverage and better adhesion.

Apply the paint: Use a brush for details and a roller for larger areas. Apply thin coats in even strokes, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Two to three coats might be necessary.

Protect the surroundings: Use drop cloths and painter’s tape to cover areas you don’t want to paint.

Let the paint dry completely: Follow the drying time recommended on the paint can.

Experiment with decorative techniques like stripes, stencils, or patterns for a personalized touch. Consider using reflective paint for added visibility at night.

Upcycled Solar Lamp Post DIY

Protecting Your DIY Garden Light Post from Weather

Seal the painted surface with a clear coat for extra protection against the elements. Reapply sealant or paint every few years to maintain the protective layer and enhance longevity.

If using metal, apply a rust-inhibiting primer before painting. This provides additional protection against corrosion, especially in humid environments.

Consider drilling small ventilation holes higher up the post to prevent moisture buildup inside. Cover the holes with fine mesh to prevent insects from entering.

Incorporate weatherproof decorative elements for your DIY solar light garden post like copper flashing, metal accents, or weatherproof sealant-protected mosaics for added visual interest and potential weather protection.

Anchor Your DIY Solar Light: Mulch & Sand Solutions

Your handcrafted solar light adds a touch of magic to your garden, but keeping it upright through wind, rain, and snow can be tricky.

With a little ingenuity and readily available materials like mulch or sand, you can create a rock-solid foundation that withstands the seasons and gives your upcycled lamp a chance against curious pets in your garden.

Garden Upcycles

Using Mulch to Stabilize a DIY Solar Light in the Garden

  1. Dig deep: Create a hole twice the depth of your solar light stake. Wider is better for stability.
  2. Layer it up: Fill the bottom half of the hole with coarse gravel for drainage. This prevents waterlogged soil from weakening your anchor.
  3. Pack it tight: Add a layer of moist (not wet) mulch on top of the gravel. Pack it firmly around the base of the light stake, filling any gaps.
  4. Mulch Magic: As the mulch settles and decomposes, it creates a naturally dense and compacted base, holding your light securely.

Using Sand to Stabilize Your Upcycled Solar Light Lamp Post

  1. Sandcastle foundation: Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than your light stake.
  2. Fill and tamp: Pour in dry sand until the hole is almost full. Firmly tamp the sand down to create a solid base.
  3. Stake it:  Insert your solar light post (upcycled lamp) into the compacted sand and push it down securely.
  4. Top it off: Fill any remaining space around the garden light post with more sand and tamp again.
  5. Moisture barrier: Add a thin layer of mulch on top of the sand to suppress weeds and retain moisture in the sand, further stabilizing your light.
upcycled solar lamp posts

More DIY Posts You’ll Love

If you enjoy upcycling, you will love this easy DIY project that shows you how to upcycle a cardboard box into a decorative tray.

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About Thirty Something Super Mom

Melissa Dixon Thirty Something Super Mom
Thirty Something Super Mom | Website

My journey started after a Crohn's disease diagnosis, inspiring a commitment to well-being. This site shares my distinctive approach to healthy living with my collection of nutritious recipes that boast authentic flavors, mimicking the indulgence of traditional dishes. I love sharing guilt free recipes for low carb, keto, gluten-free, paleo, and the specific carbohydrate diet. I also share tips on natural living, including homemade cleaners and cleaning hacks. I also share my experience as a veterinary technician and pet groomer, to integrate pet health tips, homemade dog food recipes, and grooming insights to ensure your pets thrive.

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