DIY Garden Lights
Okay, this was not perfect the first time around. In fact, it took me about a week to get the DIY Garden Lights right…. lucky for you, I will share my mistakes and save you some time,
So I have these super awesome glass toppers that belong to missing bottoms. They were in the recycle bin at work ready to be carted off and somehow managed to hitch a ride home with me.
The hubs is baffled by how common the occurrence of junk dispersal happens via my car, just like those pallets that jumped in the trunk the other day….( wha…how did those get in there? )
I put them in the garden shed with the intention of creating some sort of garden art out of them and for the last month or so, would walk past… stop, point a finger at them and say out loud
‘I’m gonna do something with you….’
…. yes, I talked to them and just like my plants, they understood, yeesh.
They got a soapy scrub and a dry…then I went around the house gathering up other glass vases for this project, ( gardeners tend to have a few… tons of the them ) and I began building my glass sculptures.
They looked great! But what if…. they lit up at night?
Now THAT would be cool.
My first attempt was to fill the glass vases with water thinking that if I dropped a glow stick in it would give the sculptures a nice soft ambient glow.
It looked like…. well, a glass vase with a glow stick floating in the middle. Sorry no picture, it was SO bad…. I didn’t bother taking one when I realized how bad this idea sucked.
I walked away frustrated that I just spent the last 20 minutes cracking neon bracelets for nothing, humpf.
I got this idea that all I needed was glow paint. THAT was the thing that would create my Pinterest worthy project! But after stopping by all the local hardware stores and discovering they were sold out…
yeah, cause like, Langley has a huge glow paint loving public…?
I finally found Glo-Dust at Canadian Tire and feeling like I was winning, I headed home for my DIY Garden Lights take 2.
I did my Mop & Glo application where you run the cleaning solution around the glass then sprinkle on the dust. Like I used on my glitter jars for the heads on my Dragonfly Garden Art ( so cool ! ) …as you can see they turned out awesome!
They looked great during the day… the frosted look of the glass was eye catching.
But when the night finally came… and I headed outside with my camera, all I was met with was darkness. Boo! I ran back in and got my flashlight to see if they would work at all. After intense close up light, they would glow for a few seconds, but only in the small area I hit…. back to the drawing board.
Good thing about Mop n Glo is that it washed right out with a little scrubbing with no harm to my beautiful glass.
Third Time’s a Charm right?
So now we are into Day 4 as I had to drive to the next town over to get the glo-paint from Home Depot. Another soapy scrub and dry then I was ready to paint. I did several coats but this time on only a few jars… yep, getting smarter by the minute!
Didn’t do a lick, not a little glow or nothing. It looked good during the day like the other frosted glass though. I figured I needed more coats and perhaps a final coat of white to help give it a solid background.
I was dying to see how these would look if they would just glow for pete’s sake…so thought I would just try and stick a top from a small solar light inside the jar… and it looked pretty good! Hmmm…..
When I went to apply more coats to the glass the next day, the humidity from the ground the night before caused the paint to separate from the glass and the entire application was easily peeled out in one full clump. Nice.
Another soapy scrub and yet another dry….. am I ready to give up yet?
Well, now… that only took a week!
I learned a few things in all these trials…
First: glo product ‘anythings’ don’t work in the garden so don’t waste your time or $$ on these products.
Second: Mop n Glo has a surprisingly pleasant and lingering scent.
Third: sometimes the simplest method is the best… K.I.S.S.
I combined Mop n Glo with Epsom Salts
Charged dollar store mini solar lights in a spot near the garage
and combined the two for a magical display in the garden.
Now these obviously are temporary but they are perfect for that
evening garden party
and could easily be used in winter when the nights are really dark for guests arriving to a holiday gathering.
Not to mention they are portable, so you could put glowing lights in
every spot of your garden for a special evening event!
And because they won’t permanently ruin your pretty glass jars, you can disassemble them for other uses.
My mother-in-law, Gloria, was out visiting us while I worked on my lighting experiment throughout that entire week ( and peeking out the window every night to see ‘did it work?’ ) I’m happy I was able to pull it off with some ounce of pride still left after all my failed attempts!
Have fun with this one, and don’t spend a week trying to figure it out.