I love making repurposed floor lamps into solar lights. It's time for our Thrift Store Decor Challenge. Be sure to see the other projects below.
Repurposed Floor Lamps make great Patio Solar Lights
Because this floor lamp had some rust on it, I did have to do some prep work.
But I got such a great deal on it, paying only $5—so I didn’t mind doing a little prep work.
Gut the floor lamp by removing all the wiring
I gutted it, removing all of the old wiring.
Use a wire brush to remove rust
I used a small wire brush to remove the rust, then I washed the pieces and let them dry.
Spray Paint Repurposed Floor Lamp
This is the spray paint I used.
Add Solar Lights to repurposed floor lamp
I tried out the solar lights that I bought for the chandelier. I liked them okay.
However, I liked these better!
To get them to stick I used this Silicone. Hindsight 20/20 I should have used Gorilla Glue Epoxy—that’s what I used on the solar light chandelier.
This is how I used the silicone.
One of the arms on this light was bent and crooked, but I couldn’t straighten it. I used some Scotch Blue painter’s tape to hold the light upright while the silicone set up.
Solar Light Fixture made from a Floor Lamp
This is a small porch that was revealed when I had the bushes removed a couple of months ago. It doesn’t get full sun, but the great thing about these new and improved solar lights? They can charge in the SHADE!
Although I really like this repurposed floor lamp—it’s not the one that I keep on this porch on a regular basis.
This was a more modern lamp I got from a friend. Most lamps are 3 pieces screwed together. On the left is all three pieces, making the lamp very tall. Top right is two pieces, and bottom right is one piece.
Since I was putting on the small porch, I used two pieces. I like that height the best. I have it placed next to my small outdoor garden bench made from reclaimed lumber.
When I round the corner to come home at night, it makes me smile to see illuminate my porch.
UPDATE! This was 2014! Let's see what THIS light looked like earlier this week.
Yes, I have had this floor lamp solar light for 5 ½ years. I'm shocked that the solar light still works. I painted the floor lamp in a hurry last year getting the backyard camper retreat up and running.
Now that I'm spending a LOT of time in the backyard, I decided it was time for another update. Notice that the solar light is the original brushed nickel color.
How to Update Brass Floor Lamp Solar Light
First, I used a wire brush, then I used a sanding sponge. After that I washed the floor lamp with the hose. Finally, it was ready for chalked spray paint.
Prep Solar Light for Spray Painting
I began by cleaning the solar light, dismantling it, and adding painter's tape to protect the photo cell. Then it was ready for spray painting!
Clean Solar Light and Reassemble
Did you know I keep a bottle of very diluted dish soap in the shop? It comes in handy for everything. I used that to clean the glass. Then it was time to reassemble the pieces of the solar light.
It's hard to find the words to tell you how much I love this floor lamp solar light. It use to great me as I rounded the corner when driving, but now it really makes me smile in the backyard.
Please Save & Share on Pinterest!
This isn't a cheap light. I think I may have gotten it at Walmart in the Summer of '14. It really puts out a lot of light!
Before you head over to check the other projects this month. Let's take one last look at my pretty "Camp Wilson". I had so many plans for camping, but all that's been put on home since I'm following CDC guidelines and staying home.
Maybe you have the stuff at home to make your backyard make you smile with a new solar light makeover?
I still have some repurposed lamps to turn into solar lights, way too many in my stash!
Let's take a look at what my friends have been working on for this month's challenge.
House of Hawthornes Thrift Store Decor Bird Nest DIY
Petticoat Junktion Cookbook Organizer
My Repurposed Life Floor Lamp Solar Lights (You are here)
Our Southern Home Painted Stripe Basket Makeover
Sadie Seasongoods Herb Saver From A Decanter Tantalus
Christmas Lanterns Made From Porch Lights
Hi Gail, I am a recent viewer of your site and your magnificent and amazing talent, I wish to preface with a most authentic Thank you for sharing all your talents and Ideas. On one of my evening walks, I recently came across an old floor lamp that was at the curb with the trash,(it is almost identical to the one you show in your post- 3 armed with center bulb) I immediately grabbed it up as I had been on the lookout for one ever since I saw your post "Repurposed Floor Lamps make great Patio Solar Lights" .
I purchased some lovely solar path lights to attach to the 3 arms and center light space, upon setting them on the arms to charge and test for a good fit, I was made aware of the top light shines down on the bottom lights and therefore they turn off 🙁 ( so distressing!) do you have any ideas off hand to correct this? Is this possibly why you removed the center bulb holder? I did not. Any consideration you can give is much appreciated!!
Hi! Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I love it when people find my older projects. 🙂
You must have some powerful solar lights. My first question would be, does it shut them off immediately? Did you wait it out to see what happens when it's really, really dark?
That has never happened to me. I don't have any real advise, except to put those lights on your path, and try something else. 🙁 I know that's really disheartening since you love them so much.
I'll post this question on my facebook page to see if anyone can shed any "light" on the subject.... Hoping we can figure this out together.
There were so many ideas on Facebook, you can see them here:
Well I totally know what I'll be looking for when the thrift stores open up again! I love this project!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Tania! I'm so happy you love my floor lamp solar light as much as I do!
The solar lamps are so unique !
Thank you! I still have one that lights up every night on my side porch, love it!
Is there any other suggestions to securing the solar lights to the base other than Gorilla Glue? I am concerned the lights will need replacing at some point.
I really don't have an answer for you on that one. The silicone is less permanent than Gorilla Glue epoxy-but the epoxy holds better.
The single lamp is still on my porch and the light still works 2 years later. If you find a better solution, I'd love to hear all about it.
I saw your post on Pinterest and was inspired to make my own lamp. Thanks for the great idea!
I'm so happy you saw my Floor Lamps and Solar Lights on Pinterest Emily, and felt inspired to make your own. Friends like YOU are why I do this!
I hope you won't be a stranger,
Does the Gorilla Glue Epoxy expand 3x's like the regular Gorilla Glue does?
No, the epoxy does not expand. (Personally, I love the fact that the original Gorilla Glue expands when I use it for repairing furniture)
Do your solar lights really stay lit? I had some a few years back that were awful and a total waste of money. Have they really improved? I've been afraid to try them out again. So, what are the best ones to buy?
Yes, the one tall silver one has been on my side porch ever since, and it still lights up every night. 🙂
Thanks! Is there a specific brand you like or a feature you look for when shopping for your solar lights? Or are they all pretty good now?
I don't really have a specific brand, but I think I'm really loving the ones I just bought at walmart last week. They are round glass globes, and the charging mechanism is inside the glass globe. You can only see it if you look really hard. They have come a long, long way.
I always keep an eye out for solar lights on clearance at places like CVS that don't keep them around all year. Then I look for odd things to turn into solar lights. Love your lamp!
Thanks for the idea! We are cleaning g out an old (not opened in years) antique shop and the are a few of these!
Oh my... the things you're apt to find! I'm so excited for you.
Awesome! I have to try this
There re so many possibilities with old lamps and chandeliers!
I have the perfect floor lamp and had thought about doing this- and now you've shown me how! We plan on re-wiring it, so it'll just be an outdoor solar lamp for the summer before it becomes a permanent fixture in the house. Thanks for the tutorial!!
What a great idea. It never ceases to amaze me at how crafty and inspiring some people are. My sister got the craftiness and I got the empathy. Great job on the solar power light. Keep up the good work.
This is so cool!! I love it and I live creating it! I also love flee markets and thrift stores for great ideas. Thanks so much!!
Love the way this turned out. Great job! I need to do this! 🙂
That's such a great idea to glue the lights on. I have solar lights on stakes here and there outside and my boys frequently borrow them for games and lose them (5 acres, so they're not always easy to find). Lamps like yours would be harder to "borrow" and lose.
Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations
Oh my goodness! The 3 light post is so amazing!
I really like this. Thanks so much for sharing..
These are great! I hadn't thought about doing this ... But what a great ideas!
Ps: commenting from iPhone no issues:)
Oh, I really love these!!!!
Okay, 1st a confession--I initially got hung up on the stone work of your home...xoxo...before I could get back to topic. I'm sold! I have to do this! Now I'll be looking through my lighting or in the thrift stores again---thanks.... ; D
I love all your solar lights! I HAVE to get my rear in gear and do me one. I like the post one with all the lights. The pattern is so cool on the outside. You've become quite the solar lady 🙂
that is fabulous!!! love what you did with both lamps. (i think your cooler weather wish is on its way!!!)
This is such a great idea! I have a lamp I use right now, but someday it would make a great solar lamp! Awesome Gail!
Soooo smart fix, and a GREAT FIND, for only $5.00. You go, Gail.
great idea and i love the second lights better, too!
You're an inspiration to me... Don't ever stop!