Solar Lantern Lighting and Chippy Spindles

Solar Lantern Lighting and Chippy Spindles

We’ve discussed how much I like my home to have great curb appeal and an oasis in my backyard. I put in all of our flower beds when we moved in to our home and I also change them up from time to time. What I haven’t let you know is while I do very well with actual plants that are buried in the ground, I tend to let all my hanging baskets die long before their season is up. Mostly because I forget to water them. I have sprinklers in our front flower beds but, I have to hand water in the back. Our poolside flowerbeds are mostly rock beds. Not only do the back flowerbeds have no easy water source, they also are far away from a electrical source. The landscape lights in the beds are solar powered. (I’ll discuss them at the end of this post because let me tell you I LOVE THEM.)

I had several shepherd’s hooks that I used to hang flower baskets from. I actually downsized my amount in hopes that if I had fewer plants, I could do a better job keeping them alive. I think when the kids were young, we were always in the pool and since I was supervising, I remembered to water my flowers and plants regularly. Since I can’t even keep the two alive that I bought recently, I am changing out what I hang on my shepherd’s hooks.

May I present Evidence Exhibit #1

May I also present Evidence Exhibit #2

In my front yard, during the spring, I put two lanterns out front with solar twinkle lights wrapped around large candles that I didn’t need. They are fabulous and I love every bit of the look. That is I will until a few more degrees of the heat of the South starts to melt the candle. While looking for a solution, I stumbled across a few porch spindles. I love using spindles in projects and so I usually have a good selection from time to time. I really am trying to use up some of my wood hoarding supplies. I keep wondering when Babe will get tired of my wood hoarding and general creative messiness in the garage and finally served me divorce papers. Really I am kidding but, he must have a lot of patience putting up with all my flaws, especially this one!

So I cut down these two spindles to be 16″, 14 1/2″, 13″ and 12 1/4″ in length. I thought varying lengths would make them more visually interesting in the lantern. (I bought the lanterns two years ago at the end of the summer season at Home Depot on Clearance. I went to 3 Home Depots in one day to buy the right amount in the two sizes. Unfortunately for me, our credit card apparently alerts my husband when I shop at Home Depot. I was questioned as soon as I got home! So much for stealth shopping mode! It is the only store I shop at that he gets an alert and to be honest, it is my number one obsession and probably the only thing he needs to be concerned about!)

Now to create a great-looking spindle! I used Mod Podge (because I didn’t have school glue easily accessible) and Behr chalk paint in Tin White. I purposefully painted very messily in hopes to add even more patina and a better-aged look to what was already there.

I followed it up with the clear wax from Behr specifically made for chalk paint. It’s a super easy product to use. I just use a cheap chippy brush to apply it when I am doing a really rustic piece.

After the wax had time to dry, I assembled and secured the 4 spindles together.

So remember my goal was to only utilize the candles until I got around to changing them out to more appropriate items for the heat in the south… Well as you can see, I was so busy doing other projects around the house, that I let this switch out sit too long on the back burner. Luckily I have them switched out now and can relax on easy street for the rest of the summer with beautiful exterior lighting.

I love the ambience that they provide in my backyard without the need for an electrical cord or outlet!

I also did the same basic idea during the 4th of July but utilized my DIY firecrackers that I made from my scrap wood pile. I think they turned out fabulous!

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