DIY Garden Lights

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/plastic-bottle-garden-lights-zboz1309ztri.aspx

Final garden light. Photo by Ruud van Koningsbrugge

This article was originally posted in Instructables and is reposted with permission from Ruud van Koningsbrugge.

Reuse plastic bottles to make these easy, elegant DIY garden lights that cost almost nothing. 

After you've gathered the materials and tools, it takes only about 10 minutes to put together this garden light for your property.

Step 1: What You Need

Materials and tools you'll need to make one DIY garden light: 

  • One plastic bottle (A translucent bottle works well; you can reuse plastic bottles that originally held laundry detergent or fabric softener.)
  • One old bicycle inner tube, or at least 6 rings cut from an inner tube
  • One broomstick, as long as you prefer 
  • Pair of scissors
  • Small hacksaw
  • Tea light (small candle in an aluminum container)

Step 2: Sawing

Use the hacksaw to cut off the bottom of the plastic bottle as well as a thin slice off the top of the cap.

Step 3: Quarters

Make four long cuts with the scissors along the corners of the plastic bottle.

Step 4: PetalsPhoto by Ruud van Koningsbrugge

Shape the four parts from Step 3 into leaves by trimming off the rounded corners.

Step 5: Cap Adjustment

Unscrew the cap from the plastic bottle. If there's an inner ring on the bottom of the cap, remove it with the hacksaw. The goal is to make the cap flat —  and open — on the underside.

Step 6: Big Match

Cut six rings from the bicycle inner tube. Pull the rubber rings over the end of the broomstick, one at a time, so that they cover each other and form a layered gasket. Make sure the broomstick's end has been built up with enough rubber layers so that the bottle cap can be pushed on only with some effort. You may need to cut more rubber rings if the seal is too loose.

Step 7: Capology

You can paint the bottle cap if you don't like the color of the plastic. I use one layer of acrylic modeling paste and one layer of artist's acrylic paint. Or — easy peasy — cover it with two more rubber rings cut from the inner tube. 

Photo by Ruud van Koningsbrugge

Step 8: Finito

Put the bottle onto the rubber-wrapped end of the stick. Insert the broomstick into the ground and place the tea light inside the bottle. You'll find that a tea light fits quite well inside the neck of the bottle. Light the candle by bending one leaf outward.

How many DIY garden lights can your garden take? 

You can see more photographs of this project on my original Instructables post. Check out other examples of my work at Ruud Van Koningsbrugge.