Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall Pinterest Challenge: Solar Lights (Minus the Solar)

So I'm back with my little DIY project for the "unofficial" Fall Pinterest Challenge, being hosted by these lovely ladies: Katie, Sherry, Ana, and Erin (links to their pages can be found at the end of the post). Welcome to all of those who found this page through their links!

A few days ago I gave you a little big hint as to what I was planning to DIY. Here are a couple of pics to refresh your memory.

Both images from here (via Pinterest)

I fell in love with these things! Basically they take jars and adhere the tops of solar lights to them. Then, you sit them out in the sun to charge up, and when night falls, wa-bam! Instant glow!

I thought these would be great for the wedding. Our reception site has a patio attached to it that we will set up the bar and a couple of tables for people to mingle. And I thought these were perfect for the outdoor setting. Plus, these are definitely something that we can use after the wedding. You know, for our tiny balcony patio that doesn't have a table on it.

Anyhoo, I showed the pics to the fiance and he got on board. Pretty quickly actually. Once he saw he'd be taking apart solar lights, he was sold! So, one weekend when we were visiting our family in Orlando, we made a little side trip to Ikea and picked up 5 glass containers for $3 a pop. And we picked up the frosting spray from Wal-Mart for around $7. That was the easy part...

The difficult part was finding the right size solar light. The inspiration website referenced the perfect sized lights, however, when we went into the stores, everything was way too big. We even tried Wal-Mart thinking they would be the cheap alternative. However, the ones that fit inside perfectly were $4 a pop. And the smaller ones which were $2 cheaper (which would have worked in terms of size) were blue and had white snowflakes on them. Not exactly what I had in mind. So, we opted to skip the solar lights for now.

So once we were home, I got out what I needed to get the job done:
  • the 5 glass containers

  • the frosting spray paint

  • cardboard
  • painters tape
You can find steps & tips for spraying the container from the inspiration site. So rather than simply repeating what has already been shared, I'll share some pictures and my insights/tips along the way.

I started by wrapping all of the top of the container (the original plans leave that clear of frost so that the solar panel can get plenty of sunshine). I found that the easiest way to do this was to cut the tape into strips and cover the larger spaces first, then go back in and fill in all the little holes. Oh, and don't worry about covering the metal band going around the top - in the end it doesn't seem as though the frosting spray affected it one way or the other.

Then I took the rest of my supplies outside to start spraying. I've never used frosting spray before, so I wasn't sure how many coats it would take or what it would look like as it dried. I opted to spray the bottoms first since I figured they'd only need 1 thin coat.

At first I was really disappointed. The spray came out in a light mist, but didn't really seem to be "frosting" the glass. But, I figured I'd let the first coat dry and see what happened before applying another coat. And to my surprise, the frosting action started taking place!

At first I only sprayed  because I was afraid I was going to screw something up. But once I realized that everything was working well, I brought out the other 3 and started spraying away. As you can see in the picture, the two closer to the top are the original 2 that I sprayed. You can definitely see the difference a little time makes.

After the first coat dried I flipped them over and did 2 more coats. As I did the last coat, I decided to do a quick and sloppy spray of the insides. It was a tip I saw somewhere that would help with the frosting effect. I think they turned out perfect!

What do you think?? They were so simple. And it took only about an hour (which includes waiting time for the paint to dry). As I mentioned before, we opted to hold off on the solar light component of this project. So, what are we using to light it?

Not sure if you can tell, but its one of those battery-operated flame less candles (which we were gifted by one of the fiance's coworkers)! Sure, it means that we have to open the jars up each time we want to turn them on/off, but we really wanted to have these ready for the wedding and we just weren't finding what we needed. As you can tell, we left the tops clear of frost in case we ever decided to add the solar panels to them. If the fiance has his way, they will get that upgrade!

Total time: 60 minutes
Total cost: $15 (5 jars) + $7 (spray) + $0 (candles) + $0 (tape & cardboard- already on hand) = $22

So, all in all, this was a really simple project. And I am officially a fan of frosting spray! I've been keeping my eyes peeled for uniquely shaped glasses so I can spray them and turn them into candle holders.

Another big thanks to the lovely ladies who hosted this amazing challenge! It definitely gave me the little push I needed to get off the computer and actually stretch my DIY

You can check out their lovely projects (in order of their pictures above) here to see Katie's antiqued window, here to see the plethora of ornaments Sherry created, here to see the lovely bookshelf Ana created for her daughter, & here to see Erin's experience with paper mache and gold lining.

I would love to know what the rest of you guys out in the blogging world created! Leave me a comment to your post, and I'll be sure to check it out! Did anyone else out there spy these little solar light beauties? Did you stray from the directions, or stay on the straight and narrow?

1 comment:

  1. These look amazing! Using those flame less candles is a genius idea! I'm adding it to my 'Must DIY' Pinboard :)



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