Introduction: Upcycled Trash Solar Garden Light

About: Husband and Father of 3, works full time through the week but at the weekend has a passion for crafting in his converted garage/man cave unless doing family stuff :)

For this Instructable I want to share how I upcycled a trash solar garden light into an LED feature light.

Our next door neighbour was throwing this solar light out as it was sat amongst the bin area so I asked him if he would part with it as I knew it could be made good with some TLC.

Step 1: Bits Used for This Upcycle

Here is a list of the bits and the equipment I used for this upcycle:

* Glue gun

* Bench vice

* Metal file

* Band saw

* Battery drill

* Duct tape

* Stanley blade

* LED light (I used a battery powered type)

* x1 wooden dowle

* x1 55mm screw

* 2mm drill bit

* 5mm ply wood

* Scissors

* x1 Silver gloss spray can

* x1 Grey primer spray can

* x1 Black gloss spray can (all the cans of spray bought for £1 each)

* Sandpaper

* 2mm A3 laminated obscure sheets

Step 2: Removing the Rust

So for most of the start,the main thing that took most of the time was sanding down, removing all of the rust and getting it prepped and ready to be sprayed.

Step 3: Fitting the Battery and Making New Lid

I had to slightly cut down the battery pack as it didn't quite fit into the round base part, so I trimmed it down on the band saw and then used the glue gun to fix it into place.

I then used the old plastic solar light piece that fits into the base part as a template to make a new lid by using the ply wood, then by drilling a hole for the LED lights to fit through.

(I also made a pully handle but later swapped it out for the long dowle so the LED lights could wrap around it up)

For the switch to work on the battery, I needed to cut out some of the metal base - so I used the bench vice to hold it in place so I could drill holes for it to be filed down making sure that there is no sharp edges and that it can be easily turned off and on.

Step 4: Prepping for the Spraying With Primer

Next, I wanted to give it all a coat of primer, so I sprayed all of the pieces with the grey primer making sure the spray was applied slowly to avoid the spray running and for an overall better finish.

Step 5: Finishing Coats of Silver and Black

Once it was all dry, I was then ready to use the duct tape to cover the bits I didn't want to be silver and then once the silver side pieces were dry I then taped the silver bits so I could spray it with the black gloss spray.

Step 6: Attaching the Battery LED Lights to the Detachable Base

For this part, I wrapped the LED light around the piece of dowle and then used the glue gun (making sure the lights were evenly spread) to fix them into place - I then used the battery drill and screw to fix the dowle to the bottom lid piece and then gave it a spray with the black gloss.

With this method of base/dowle, the lid of the base (attached to the dowle) can be removed by lifting the small metal flaps so that the batteries can be replaced.

Step 7: Making New Plastic Inner Bits and Finishing Off

As the original plastic inner piece was quite discoloured I needed to replace it - I used the A3 plastic sheets and cut them to the size required so that the fitted nicely then used the glue gun to fix it in place.

To remove the bottom piece from the frame, there is 2 metal flaps that protrude and need to be aligned for it to be removed (to replace battery)

Step 8: Finding a New Home for It :)

So once it was all put together and new batteries, I knew my Wife would like it to join the non muggle area of our house.

It looks even better in the evening with the lights on - the photos don't give it justice :)

Thankyou for taking the time to read through my Instructable!

I hope it gives others inspiration to upcycle!

Trash to Treasure

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure