Monday, July 15, 2013

A Little Light from Pinterest

While perusing Pinterest recently I came across a blog with an idea for lighting up the back patio. It looked pretty simple and inexpensive so I decided to go for it. 

I'd like to say I had the supplies on hand but alas 'tis not true, so I scurried on over to Walmart to pick up

  • mason jars  - $10 for a dozen - I only needed four but I can always find something to do with the rest
  • outdoor solar light sticks - $1 a stick x's 4 
As is par for the course for me, I wanted to put my own stamp on the craft so I also ran to Hobby Lobby to pick up some glass stones. - $9 for three bags, one each of clear, blue, and gold stones 

Back at home I started to assemble my Mason Jar Solar Powered Luminaries. I have to say that while the luminaries were fairly easy to put together, it wasn't quite as simple as she made it out to be. According to the blogger you are supposed to: 
Stick one end of the paper clip into the light (you might have to loosen the screws a little bit.) Use all three and space them evenly around the edge.
I never could  get this part right and ended up only using two clips and inserting them into the holes where the original cover attached.  
I also had to use black electrical tape to hold the clips in place. Next came the truly hard part ... screwing the ring on the jar to hold the light in place. Maybe she used smaller or less thick paper clips? I never could get the rings straight or tight but the clips are staying in place and that's what matters. 

Finally I got three luminaries put together and then discovered that the fourth solar light stick was defective. Note to self: before purchasing in the future, always check to make sure the tab that activates the light hasn't already been removed. Oh well, they say you're supposed to group things in threes anyway. 

I thought the jars looked pretty good in the daylight but nighttime would be the true test. I went out at dusk and this is what I saw.
Not exactly the glow that I had envisioned. 


I checked back a little later and found it looked a little brighter but not much. As it got darker outside it was impossible to photo with my phone and my camera battery is dead so I can't show the difference, but trust me, they were pretty but not WOW! pretty.

I thought it might help to take some of the glass stones out, perhaps they are diffusing too much light? I also decided that I really wanted four lights as I had originally planned. So, the Hubs and I made a Walmart trek this weekend and I picked up another solar light stick (plus batteries for my camera, and a couple of T-shirts and a pair of shorts for my husband. Why is it I can rarely go into a store and come out with only what I intended to buy? Sigh.) Later in the day I made my fourth luminary. I took stones from the other three jars making all four about half full. I set them in place on the patio, three on the bench and one on the table. I then sat back and anxiously awaited for darkness to fall, hoping this time would be the charm and things were going to turn out "light".

You can only imagine my disappointment when I discovered last night that only two of the luminaries were shinning, one was extremely dim and the fourth was totally dark. Boo hiss!

It might have something to do with all the rain we've had lately. There hasn't been much sunlight to recharge the lights. Or perhaps something is loose?  I brought all the jars inside this morning to check them out and wouldn't you know that all four are now working?! Ever diligent, I reassembled the luminaries (with even fewer stones) and moved the jars back outside. Here they are sitting on a table in the middle of the patio,hopefully soaking up the sun's rays which are finally out. (I can't decide who's happier to see the sunshine, me or the birds chirping their little hearts out. I'd chirp too if I knew how!)

Tonight will be the true test. If they don't work after all this, I give up. It seemed like a good idea at the time but maybe it's just not meant to be. Meanwhile, I need to figure out what to do with all these left over glass stones   
Pinterest here I come!
Woohoo, third time's the charm. My lights look bootiful! 

Not only do fewer stones allow for better light, they cast the most amazing shadows on the surface the jars are sitting on. 

A close up of the table light  Without a good camera it's hard to get a photo of the overall effect but I think you might see what I'm talking about. Anyway, I'd consider this "Pinterest Steal" a success even though it took awhile to get the right result. 

Moral of the story - don't give up, sometimes it takes a few tries to get the what you want!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes Pinterest drives me crazy, I've learned to always go back and read previous pinners comments about actually trying the "thing".