Y’all know I love a good deal and a great repurpose! I have a fun and simple project today. I’ll show you how to repurpose a chandelier into a useful outdoor patio solar light.
Thrift store chandelier
I picked up the chandelier on the left for $2 at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. These old brass chandeliers are so plentiful at thrift stores.
Gut the chandelier
This is not the first chandelier I’ve taken apart. I’m getting much better at it. The most important thing to remember is how it comes apart so you can put it back together. I unscrewed the pieces and started snipping wires and pulling them out.
Test out various solar light options for the chandelier
After getting all the wires out, I removed one of the bobeches to see if my solar light would fit on the arm. It did! Perfectly! NOTE: see the big brass piece to the right? I decided to leave it off.
Reuse original nuts from chandelier
TIP: the threads of the arm are a funny size, so I always re-use the original nuts that old the candle tubes. The one on the right is original, the one on the left is after I bent it back and forth several times until it snapped off. Voila! I have the perfect nut to hold my original bobeche on the threaded arm.
Spray paint the chandelier
For this repurposed chandelier, I used Krylon Dual Paint+Primer in Oil Rubbed Bronze on all of the pieces. I did a little sanding on the bobeches because they were gross.
After letting the pieces cure, I got busy trying to figure out exactly how I wanted the finished repurposed chandelier project to look. Isn’t the finish of the Krylon ORB gorgeous?
Hang repurposed chandelier on shepherd's hook
I tried it with the solar lights directly on the arms without and bobeches or candle tubes. The lights fit very snugly by themselves.
I replaced the bobeches, and tested to see if the candle tubes that come with the solar lights would fit. They sort of do, but MY oh MY, they are TALL.
Looking for the best solar light option for the repurposed chandelier
See? I sort of felt like Goldilocks. These are too small, these are too tall….
I cut the candle tubes with my compound miter saw, making each tube have a short and long piece.
New solar light fixture made from a chandelier
For now, it has the bobeches and the shorter candle tubes. But it is totally customizable to the new owner. The solar lights could be removed if the new owner would like for it to be a candelabra.
Have you bought solar lights lately? They have come a long way. These will charge in the sun or shade. How cool is that!? How about wrapping a chandelier with rope and using it as a candelabra?
Sharing at Serving Up Southern Homestyle Gathering
I think you will love these solar light projects:
Whiskey Barrel Planter with Solar Lights
Dollar Store Solar Lights on Reclaimed Landscape Timbers (five tall landscape timbers)
Easy Reclaimed Landscape Timber Solar Lights (three short landscape timbers)
Glass Globe Solar Lights (ceiling fan globes)
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Your solar chandelier is amazing, thanks for sharing - wish we could find such reasonably priced vintage STUFF here unfortunately most old wares are snapped up by antique dealers and resold at huge profits.
That's so sad about the high priced wares. We have junk malls here where people sell at highly discounted prices and it really helps when I'm looking for something.
Thanks for stopping by!
LOVE THIS! I have a chandelier in my garden that all I had to do was sit the solar light inside the glass. Now I have found 2 more chandeliers I can't seem to figure out how to attach the lights. Wondering if you could explain that part. Yours just seemed to fit perfectly.
These lights did fit perfectly. You could try some E6000, or some Gorilla Glue construction adhesive.
have fun, good luck!
Love this project! I have made a few with little instructions and learned a little more each time. With I had this tutorial first! Working on another one now as a matter of fact! If you have a Habitat for Humanity store in the area they are a good resource for old chandeliers. I also paint them different colors. I even take the top off the solar lights, tape the sensor and place the fixture in a cup and spray the top to match the rest of the chandelier. Look online for the best deals on solar lights. I highly recommend this project, everyone will be impressed!
Yep, I buy mine at the ReStores as well, and have done all kinds of variations. Old light fixtures are so much fun. I only kept one, and it's a floor lamp with a single solar light-it's on my side porch. I love it!
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.
love this idea too, I made a multi bird feeder out of a Candler by gluing with goop glue some saucers and a tea cups to the Candler. the birds love it. I won second place at our town's craft fair.
I've never done a birdfeeder yet... I know they are very popular. I'm on the lookout for some chandeliers, but not finding any right now.
congrats on your award at the craft fair. So excited for you.
decorating my new Pergola. Love the idea of solar lights in old chandeliers. Please send me tons of DYI's
I have this exact light and tried to do the same thing. I can't figure out how to get the little cup to stay on or how to attach the solar lights. I see your pictures but can't figure out the steps. I did throw away some parts so maybe I won't work. Any suggestions
Thanks for stopping by My Repurposed Life!
Scroll down to see the TIP paragraph. You have to have a nut to told your "cup" on the stem. I used the original ones by bending the piece till it broke. The black tubes slipped right over those nuts.
If you have a neighborhood hardware store like True Value or Do It Best, they are very helpful for these kinds of things. Just take your chandy in the store and they will help you find the right parts. 🙂
good luck with your project!
Oh my yes, this is one of my favorite projects!!! I can see this hanging in a gazebo 🙂 Thanks so much!!
I love it....been looking for one to this with but I can't never seem to find one esp for $2.00. Great job Gail.
Thanks so much for the great tutorial! What brand/line of solar light did you use?? I'm in need of lights that charge in sun or shade like yours
I believe these lights were Westinghouse, but many of today's lights charge in the shade. 🙂 I was shocked!
Totally badass! I absolutely love it!
This is so cute, & would look so cute hung in a tree over a couple of vintage lawn chairs, or in a gazebo!
Your spray painting skills are impressive. The finished product looks great. I love it.
This really is a fabulous project! I am very impressed and inspired by what you did with an old chandelier lamp and how you problem solved your way to make a really neat outdoor solar hanging light!
This is awesome!
Susan@ Rustic ReDiscovered
It turned out great, liking the solar lights more then candles that are often used- Terrific Repurpose!
Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule
What a neat idea!! I love it!
Gail, this is the coolest project! I would never have dreamt this one up. I have an old brass chandelier on my work bench, and just yesterday was checking out solar outdoor lights. I see one of these in my future. I would LOVE if you could link this up at my group link party tomorrow afternoon at Redouxinteriors.com Thanks for sharing!
Christy @ Our Southern Home
What a cool idea! I've got to go hunt down and old chandelier now!!! ~Christy
If you want one more chandelier make-over, we've got one, too: http://www.thissortaoldlife.com/2012/07/15/make-your-own-diy-solar-chandelier/
OK... so if I have to vote (and I do because you have options) then I like the last way with the short tubes.
Eliesa @ Pinterest Addict
OMG! I just said I need to make one of these on someone else's post! Great idea - going to copy it, hope you don't mind! 🙂
Sonya~At Home with The Barkers
Such a great idea!! It looks wonderful.
Randi - Dukes and Duchesses
This is so smart and so fun! I love the idea of solar lighting but I hate the look of those little sticks in the ground ... this would totally solve that problem!
Looks great! I like it with the short ones the best. Good job!
This Was An awesome Idea, That Would Look Beautiful Under A Canopy As well. You have such an awesome creative mind. I wish I could think of things like you.
I love this! Last weekend I actually repurposed a light fixture. You can find it at http://simplyhaleywebb.blogspot.com/2014/06/repurposed-chandelier.html? I thought about making a couple of them solar lights instead of ferns but the ferns were on clearance so I saved a couple of bucks!
I am so going to do this! I love this idea. It really looks nice with the ORB color, great choice. I found some solar lights at Costco but I put them in the ground replacing old ones that I had, I forgot to get extra for this project dang it, hopefully I'll remember to get some more next time.
You are super smart Gail! This is just awesome, so perfect for an outdoor space I love it! I have been toying with the idea to do one, but $2 that is a steal, they have not been that cheap when I have seen them! Pinned!
This is so pretty and unique! My husband has always wanted some of those stick-in-the-ground solar lights and I don't particularly care for them, but I love this! I'll be on the lookout for a chandelier for sure!
Great idea! you are so creative-love it!
I'm getting ready to do the same thing! I have an old black iron shandy that was in my living room and just found some solar lights, hoping it all comes together as nicely as yours.
You are nothing short of pure genius...love this idea!
That's fantastic! I totally love this idea.