When we moved into this rental house last year, there were quite a few things that previous owners had left behind. Since we were less than a month away from having a new baby in the house, I didn’t take a good inventory of all the treasures.
After a snowy winter, the Spring thaw revealed solar lights lining all the backyard flower beds. Unfortunately, they had been left outside for who knows how long and no longer worked.
I had hoped just switching out the batteries would fix them, but when I opened the tops I was met with a revolting mixture of dead bugs and corroded batteries. Not good.
I didn’t want to throw away all those perfectly good bits and bobs though. So I began working out a way to put them to good use.
It wasn’t much of a creative leap to decide to remove several parts of each light and turn them into outdoor hanging lanterns.
I spent a few afternoons outside unscrewing and separating all the parts and cleaning the dirt and bug goo off of them.
Next, I wrapped about a foot and a half of floral wire around the “lid” of each light.
I brought the ends of the wire up over the top of each light and twisted them together to form a hook.
When the tops of each light are screwed back on the bases, the lanterns hang very nicely. I think they have a kind of modern/nautical/Japanese silhouette to them.
Since I was going to be hanging the lanterns in our backyard maple tree, I didn’t want to use real tea lights or votives for fear of fire. These battery-powered tea lights sell 3 for $1 at Dollar Tree, and they flicker like real flames.
The lanterns look so nice nestled in the low hanging branches of the tree!
As a bonus, the opaque inserts from the original lights…
…fit right over a votive candle.
Two lighting projects for the price of one!