Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blog Swap with Love Sweet Love!!!

So I am TOTALLY stoked to be blog-swapping with Angela from Love Sweet Love today!
I think Angela is a SWEET lady with great style, impressive writing technique, and fabulous craft ideas .... please welcome her to Little Lucy Lu!

HELLO Little Lucy Lu readers! I am Angela, the voice behind the blog Love Sweet Love and I am THRILLED (and really nervous-like my hands are shaking as I'm writing this!) to be guest posting for my first time on one of my absolute favorite craft blogs! Bec has been so kind, patient and welcoming to me as I've started to slowly tip-toe my way into the craft blog world and I'm giddy excited to have this opportunity today!

I use my little corner of the blogging universe to share my creative ideas that involve easy DIY projects for the home, craft ideas for kids, thrift store makeovers, and holiday decorating (the reason I started blogging!). My life is over-flowing with Sweet Love and I needed a place to share it!! If you pop over for a visit you'll notice that every one of my blog posts has the words Sweet Love in there somewhere (kind of like a Where's Waldo type thing with words :) ) just to keep things fun!

Today I wanted to share a FUN tutorial with you on how to make a DIY Solar Lantern! Just in time for those late night summer get-togethers that are awaiting us right around the corner! (still a little cold in my neck of the woods!)

While Mr. Sweet Love and I were perusing Home Depot one day we saw a solar lantern and wanted it. What we didn't want, was to pay the $49.99 the price tag was requesting. So we stuck it to the man and made our own cause that's how we roll. It was so fun to make and turned out so darn cute (or cool according to the mr.) that I couldn't wait to share the how-to with you! Not to mention you'll be out the door for about 1/4 of the price-less if you have some of these basic supplies already!

First start off with one outdoor solar light from the DOLLAR store!

He was a little grumpy I was making him stop playing with said light to take pictures, so I told him Spiderman was going to come swinging down and take me away if he didn't smile...("No way!" he said)

Then you twist off the light part on the top to use for the lantern.

Next, using a 1/2 x36 square dowel ($1.68 from Home Depot-need TWO) you will need to cut:

  • 8, 4 inch dowels. (4 for your base and 4 for the top)
  • 4, 8 inch dowels to be your posts.

(and yes I really did cut ALL of these by myself, so you can too!)

For the top of our lantern we got a 6x6 Cedar Post Cap (I think it was about $4)

Using a spade bit and drill (the Mr. did this part :) ) cut a hole in the center of the cap for the light to fit into.

Like so:

Any gaps around the light can be filled with wood filler if your perfectionism kicks in...

Next, put some wood glue on 4 of your 4 inch dowels.

Glue each dowel (one at a time) down onto the underneath side of your cap leaving about a 3/4 space on each side like this:

Once that glue has dried, glue each of your 4-8 inch dowels vertically in your 4 corner spaces. We did ours where there was a little space left over going around the perimeter of the cap so that the lantern had a little dimension to it.

Finish this little beauty off by gluing your remaining 4, 4 inch dowels (one at a time) in-between your vertical posts.

Once the glue has dried (doesn't take long) flip her over and wa-laa! Check you out!

We felt it looked a little like a bird feeder at this point, so we decided to add just a little touch of character to it to give it more of a lantern feel. We did this by using a 1/4 x 36 square dowel (.86-need one) cut into 4, 4 inch dowels and then glued them about an inch and a half down from the top in-between each 8 inch post.

Now it's ready to be painted in any manor and color you choose. We went with spray paint in Rustoleum's black laquer because I wanted it to have a little bit of a shiny appearance. (but I think it would look awesome in a fun vintage white or turquoise to give the front of your house a little color!)

To make the inside of the lantern we used parchment paper, cut into an 8x16 rectangle. We then folded the paper every 4 inches, to give it a good crease and formed a little box shape.

Just kinda shimmy that box you formed into the lantern to give you a basic hold...

And then you can use thumbtacks to secure it in place! (we used an x-acto knife to cut any excess paper off the bottom of the lantern)

Yay!! Almost done!

To make the lantern holder we used about 3 feet of Rebar wire. I wanted kinda of a loopy thing on top so to get a good firm circle we used a pepper shaker to wrap the wire around.

Then we did a couple small loops around the bottom of the big loop to give it a nice finish. (rebare wire is really easy to mold)

Decide how long you want your lantern to hang and cut of the remaining wire.

Next, drill a small hole in two opposite sides of your lantern cap to place the wire into.

And insert your wire holder.

I loved how it was turning out, but I still felt it was missing something. Mr. Sweet love had the idea to wrap more small loops of Rebar around the bottom of the big loop and add some jute to the top of it. Scrumptious.

And with a touch of twine and a bow around the side, she was almost exactly how I had envisioned her. almost.

I wanted a little something that said...I made this, not The Man, so I added our house numbers to the front using black vinyl.

There. Personalized. And not too shabby for about $10-15.

And at night she lights up with all her sun given glory.

You could also use this as in indoor decoration as well (with or without the solar light on top)

Or maybe in a nursery in a soft pink color???

If it's in any space where it will receive any sort of light, it will still give off a really nice soft glow so it could even work perfect as a night light!

No matter where you choose to put it, this little piece of Sweet Love will rock your world. Promise.

You are welcome anytime-day or night :) to come and share some love with me over at Love Sweet Love; hope to see you there! Thanks for being such a great host Bec, I loved blog swapping with you!

Thanks, Angela!
What an awesome project!!!
See what I mean, guys!?  She's pretty awesome, isn't she?
Don't forget to go read more at Love Sweet Love!


  1. Oh wow, that's awesome! It looks so cute.

    Not only am I not crafty, but I cannot envision making a project like this a reality. I wouldn't pay $50 for the lantern, and I would just settle for never having one.

  2. Great idea Angela. I didn't know your husband was so handy! Love all the pictures of Tyler! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi! I just think Angela is the best---this project is proof---boy my husband is going to be mad that I have another project to add to his list, because I am envisioning about 5 of these around our deck! I am excited to take a look around your blog--if Angela loves your blog than I know I will too! I am your newest follower :o)

  4. WOW, that is awesome, nice to meet you! I am one of Bec's BFF's and it nice to meet one of her new friends! Great project, I might have to try it this summer. I am going to go check out your blog!

  5. Hi! I just wanted to let both of you know that I featured your projects on my blog today--you are both so great!

  6. Beautiful! You made it look remarkably easy! Something to attempt, I think. ^_^

  7. This is so cute. I cant wait to try this project out. Thank you for your great ideas!

  8. This is so pretty, but how did the parchment paper fare in weather?

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I love EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. :-)