I was driving home from work one day after a storm and saw this branch lying on the side of the road along with some other wood. I grabbed it for fire wood and continued home. Once home I looked at the hollowed out section a little closer and realized it would look better as a garden accent rather than fire wood. I was not sure at first what I wanted to do with it, then it came to me an outdoor light.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Hollowed out tree limb or trunk.
Outdoor flood light holder (you can get these at hardware store or big box stores for about $10) I already had this one.
Outdoor light bulb
The tools needed for this project are
Drill bits, spade bits, forstner bits
Drill bit extender
Circular saw, reciprocating saw or chain saw (not shown)
Hammer (not shown)
Safety, Safety, Safety, Safety
Make sure you use safety glasses, hearing protection, and gloves
Step 2: Level the Bottom of the Limb
This step I did not need to do myself because the limb was already level when I picked it up. But to do this you would use either a chainsaw, reciprocating saw or circular saw. Mark the bottom with pencil as best as possible so you have a level line. Then use saw of your choice to then cut the bottom level.
Step 3: Drill the Hole for the Light
Once the bottom is level you need to drill the hole for the light to fit inside. The fixture I used is just over two inches wide, I used a 2 1/8 inch forstner bit to start the hole this gave me the basic size of the hole. When that was done I used a 3/4 inch spade bit to bore out the hole in several spots. I then used a chisel to clean out the extra wood inside the hole. I then again used the forstner bit to clean out the hole. Make sure you test fit the light and fitting while you go, once your happy with the fit your done.
Once you have the hole for the light you need to drill a hole for the light to shine through. For this I just used a 1 inch spade bit with a bit extender to drill up to where the natural hole was. Depending on how much wood you have to drill through this may take some time.
The final bit of drilling is for the cord, using a 3/8 th inch bit drill out a hole on the bottom of the light. (make sure the hole is big enough to fit the cord)
Step 4: Insert the Light and Test It Out
Now your ready to install the light. Insert the flood lite and run the cord through the cord cut out you made. Test the light to make sure you are happy with the way it looks.
For me I was not happy with the way the light came through from the bottom. I made the hole for the light a little bit bigger but I still was not happy.
Luckily the hole going down was big enough for me to try dropping the light down the hole from the top, I liked the way this looked much better.
Step 5: The Finish
For the finish on this light I chose to leave it natural. I really like for natural color and texture of the wood.
The other options to finish are
180 grit sandpaper and a wire brush to clean up the surface.
Then you could either stain and varnish or just varnish.
Step 6: Enjoy
Now all you need to do is find a place in your garden plug in and enjoy.