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DIY Outdoor Solar Light Floor Lamp

You can easily make an outdoor solar light like this one or give it your own design spin. Follow my easy tutorial to create a cozy solar light for your outdoor space.

This DIY Solar Lamp has been one of my all-time favorite upcycle projects. It was not only fun to craft but very budget friendly as well plus it creates fun decor for our outdoor space.

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I was thrift store shopping for something else when I happened to find this old floor lamp. I’ve actually had this project in the planning stage for several years but couldn’t find the right lamp to suit me. My vision was a little bit like an old street light.

DIY Solar Floor Lamp Outdoor decor
Before pic of Solar floor lamp
Thrift store floor lamp Before the makeover

Thrift store shopping tip

Tell me I’m not the only one who goes into a thrift store and asks if they’ll take less for something! You can’t do that at Goodwill but I was shopping at one of my favorite local thrift stores when I found this wonder floor lamp.

This floor lamp was priced around $12 but I offered $7 and she said yes! Score! Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is they say no.

I’ve looked at a LOT of floor lamps in thrift stores for the last couple of years and this is the only one that really struck a cord with me. (pun intended) It’s horribly ugly, I know but it’s perfect for my DIY solar lights project.

How To Make A Solar Lamp


  • Thrift store floor lamp
  • Rust-oleum Spray paint Seaside
  • Rust-oleum Spray paint Real Orange
  • 3 Solar lights (I found mine at Dollar General)
  • E6000 glue
Remove the screws and cut the cord from each arm

1 Clean the light

The very first thing I did was give the old lamp a good cleaning. I made a bucket of warm soapy water, grabbed a cleaning cloth, and went to work.

Everything you buy at a thrift store needs to be cleaned before you use it or make it into something else. Cleaning only takes a few minutes. Let it dry completely before painting.

2 Cut the cord

Then I cut the cords off which was kind of fun! Men are not the only ones who enjoy tearing stuff up, right? The cords went up the inside of the pole. After cutting each light cord, I then removed the cord from the inside of the pole stand.

3 Remove the sconces

I took the lamp apart so I could use two different colors of spray paint. It seemed like painting the sconces a different color would add a little more whimsy which is something I enjoy in outdoor decor.

It was pretty easy to take apart since it is held together with just a few small screws.

Painting the solar floor lamp outside on a nice day

4 Paint

Bright fun colors, perfect for summer made this outdoor solar lamp a fun decor piece to sit by on summer evenings.

If you have a box, tear it apart and use it to set your lamp on for outdoor spray painting. A tarp will work too. The goal was not to paint the grass, we have so little grass anyway.

Rust-oleum paint colors I used to spray paint my Solar Standing Porch Lamp

My two spray paint colors are Rust-oleum Seaside and Real Orange both in Gloss. I applied two coats each. If you don’t have one of those Spray grip attachments, I do recommend it to make the job a little easier on your wrist and fingers.

Spray painting the lamp arms orange

Do you tend to paint several projects at one time? Those thrift store cake pans are another project in the works. You can see that finished project here. It’s a Two-Tier spinning craft storage tray.
A little e6000 is all you need at this step

5 Attaching the lights

The solar lamps are from Dollar General and I used them exactly as they were with no changes other than to glue them to the lamp. I really just lucked up on those solar lights in the right colors. The design was a perfect fit for this project. These have on/off switches which is nice for saving the battery. Yes, solar lights do have batteries.

A little dab of E6000 just on the inside edge of the lampshade is all it took to hold the shade onto the prongs. I bent the prongs in just a little to make the shade fit.

Solar Standing Porch Lamp Upcyle project close up view of the solar lamps I used. I found them at Dollar General

The tiny little bulb doesn’t put out much light at all. We enjoy it for mood lighting sitting outside at night. Since we have warm weather all but a couple of months of the year, we get to enjoy sitting outside in the evenings often.

This DIY Solar Standing Lamp project was so much fun. I really love the whimsical colors for outdoor fun

We’re very happy with how our ‘new’ Outdoor Solar Light turned out. It’s a really fun whimsical addition to our porch decor.  Because there is no cord, we can easily take it into the yard if we choose to sit under a tree for a while.

Make your own DIY Solar Standing Lamp for some whimsical outdoor fun. It's an easy outdoor project

Wouldn’t it be fun to have this conversation piece as a part of your campsite? I can just see it sitting under the RV awning between two chairs, can’t you?

Our new Solar Floor Lamp is one of my favorite upcycling projects that I’ve done. I love the whimsical colors and was blessed to find the perfect solar lights. 

The total cost was just under $20, not counting the paint. The paint goes into my stash, I’ve already used the blue on this DIY Outdoor table.

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  1. I have seen several of these solar floor lamps and I am really liking this one! I think I need one by my hot tub. Love the cool colors you chose. And YES when I get around to spray painting I try to gather everything up and do them all at once.
    🙂 gwingal

  2. I’ve never tried any project involving solar lights but you make it looks easy. Maybe on my next trip to the thrift store I will keep an eye open. I really love your solar light and how colorful it is!

  3. This is the coolest lamp. I love it. You are inspiring me to work on a solar light project that I have been meaning to get to for the past 3 years. You make it so easy to do. Great job!

  4. Lovin your lamp or should I say all your light projects. I am still thinking about that deck light. I so need it! In my last house in Fl I had a secret thrift store that would pull stuff for me that they knew I would want and they would always negotiate. Sadly I’m stuck with Goodwill, no bargaining there. Sometime I wonder who prices stuff, I’ve see so many way overpriced things there lately.

  5. Such a great idea Shirley!! I love that you were able to bargain on the price–It seems like I only have Goodwills around me and they are never willing to negotiate. Doesn’t stop me from trying though!

    1. Our Goodwill stores don’t negotiate either. We have this humongous privately owned thrift store nearby which I love too much. That’s where I found my lamp.
      I’ve negotiated successfully in there before, you have to talk to the right person 😉

  6. I love this, Shirley! This is such a clever upcycle and the colors you chose are great. I am really enjoying doing this challenge with such talented girls! Have a great day.

    1. Thank you Sherry. I decided to just have a little fun and add some whimsy to the front porch. It’s been my favorite upcycle so far. I can’t wait to go see everyone’s creations!

We enjoying hearing from you!