Make fun solar lights for your yard or porch in just a few simple steps. Grab the pots and lights from the big sale at Old Time Pottery to do this project on a budget. The neon color is optional but really makes these pots POP after the sun sets. Choose colors that go with your home for a cohesive appearance.
Start with a terra cotta pot and a solar light. When you are in the store make sure that the solar light will fit into the hole in the bottom of the pot.
When we “assemble” these pots with the lights, you may have to throw out that spiked piece that holds the light into the ground. Especially if you are using these on concrete or a porch.
See my light fits wonderfully with that spiked piece removed sitting on a hard flat surface.
Now it is time to break out the paint. I am going to show you three methods for painting these terra cotta solar lights. You can go with all three or pick your favorite and make a bunch. I do recommend Patio Paint or any other paint that says it will work on terra cotta. Terra Cotta is very porous and you will use a ton of paint if you don’t buy the proper formula.
First up is a striped version of our terra cotta solar light. Apply painter’s tape, paint a stripe, and allow to dry. Then remove and apply tape to another area. Continue until the entire pot is striped just the way you want it. Use caution to apply in straight lines as that is difficult on the angled surface of the pot. Each stripe could take 3 to 4 thin coats of paint. Be sure to allow to dry completely and according to the package directions between coats.
My next version is a poured paint technique. Add something to the hole so your paint does not escape then pour on the paint. Force it over the edge if you have to. Allow to dry completely. I found that the very top of my pot needed a few more coats but the “poured” area was fine the first time. Start with just a small pool of paint, you can always add more but it is hard to remove excess.
Next up is a scalloped edge pot. You can find scalloped edge painter’s tape at your local home improvement store. Add that to the pot then paint with 3 to 4 coats of the Patio Paint to get the desired color.
Once everything has dried and cured completely (the Patio Paint recommends at least 72 hours before exposing your project to moisture), you can add your solar lights and put your creations outdoors. If you have animals and are worried then might knock over the lights, you can glue the pot and light together with a product like E6000. I have puppies so I know that is a worry around our home. If not, these should be fine just sitting inside one another.
I love the way the solar lights play on the top of the pot. The neon seems to almost reflect the light adding to the effect.
I am sure you can come up with even more creative ways to paint these fun terra cotta solar lights. Maybe horizontal stripes instead of vertical? Or a wavy edge instead of scalloped?
Any way you decide to paint them, these terra cotta solar lights will light the way for you outside of your home all year long. This is a fun and creative way to add solar light to a porch or steps – anywhere you can’t put a light in the ground. Grab your supplies at Old Time Pottery to get started on making these fun lights today.