DIY Waterdrop Solar Garden Lights will bring magic to your garden when the sun goes down!
It’s been 6 years since Handan introduced her Waterdrop Solar Lights to the world. Little did we know back in the early summer of 2017 that this idea would ignite Pinterest and become our very first viral post!
The fun started in Connecticut while we were having dinner on our deck with my parents and continued into the weekend as we traveled to Orlando for a family vacation. My babes was glued to her phone – watching our blog stats climb and climb and climb.
As the years have rolled by, we’ve wanted to remake the lights for video, and we wanted to make them in a slightly different and easier way.
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Well, now that we’re firmly established in the world of social media, it’s time I remade these lights in front of a video camera for the next generation!
Waterdrop Solar Lights SUPPLIES LIST
Affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.
- watering globes
- watering mushrooms (optional)
- 1/2 inch spigot / hose bibb
- 1/2 inch black pipe 90 degree elbow
- 1/2-inch black pipe
- solar string lights (100 LED lights and 33 feet)
- moldable glue or apoxie sculpt
- metallic spray paint (optional)
- plastic pipe for mushrooms (optional)
- tall metal candle holder for tapered candles (optional)
DIY Waterdrop Solar Lights VIDEO Tutorial
Watch our short and fun video below for an overview of our DIY waterdrop solar lights before you read the detailed step-by-step tutorial.
Watch Our Tutorial On YouTube
DIY Waterdrop Solar Lights Tutorial
Handan’s original tutorial for he candlestick waterdrop lights will follow this updated tutorial.
Step 1 – Feed the lights through the pipe
Feed the end of the string lights up through the pipe and elbow and pull all the lights through.
Step 2 – Feed the lights through the spigot
Loosen the handle nut with pliers and then remove the handle.
The internals of the spigot don’t allow for a straight shot through with the lights. The water channel takes an upward jog as shown in the photo below.
Thus, feeding the lights through the spigot is a two-step process. First, feed the end of the lights into the spigot until you can see it through the top hole.
Then pull the end up and out the hole with a pair of tweezers.
Since the lights have a tendency to catch if only pulled, I found the easiest method to get them through was to push from the back and then pull from the top.
When you’ve pulled the lights fully through the top hole, you can now screw the spigot onto the elbow.
To get the string lights down and out the spigot, you’ll first need to run a small leader wire up the spigot’s nose and out the top.
Attach the leader wire to the end of the lights and then pull both back down the hole and out the nose (I’m sure there’s a different term, but it looks like a nose to me!)
Screw the handle back on, but make sure it’s in the “on” position so the lights don’t get smushed.
Step 3 – Insert the lights into the globe
Feed the lights into the watering globe. If you hit a wall where they don’t want to push in anymore, you can make more room with a skewer.
When you have about two feet of lights left, fold them over on themselves to form a bundle the same length as the stem of the watering globe then insert that bundle into the stem.
Step 4 – Secure the globe to the spigot
Use a small amount of Apoxie Sculpt to affix the stem of the globe to the spigot. Lay the globe + pipe/spigot so that the stem and pipe are parallel when viewed from the side and in-line when viewed from the front.
Let the Apoxie Sculpt cure for 24 hours before painting.
Step 5 – Paint
Mask the glass with tape and foil and then paint with your favorite metallic spray paint. I used Metallic Antique Brass
Step 6 – Installation
Pound a thin metal stake into the ground and place your waterdrop solar light over it! That’s it!
Now wait for dark and enjoy your brilliant creation!
I also made a bunch of mushroom lights with mushroom-shaped watering globes. For these I simply filled them with lights and stuck them in lengths of painted PVC pipe.
If you’d like to make Handan’s original candlestick version, read on!
Original Candlestick Waterdrop Solar Lights
I started by screwing the 1/2 inch 90 degree elbow onto the 1/2 inch black pipe nipple.
Now it was time for the most tedious part of the project: filling the watering globe with string lights. But even that didn’t take longer than 10 minutes. 😉 I know, right? I wasn’t lying when I said it was a really easy and quick project! Considering how beautiful it turns out in the end, that little time spent on these lights was totally worth it 🙂
Once I filled the watering globe with a good amount of lights, I started coiling the rest of the lights around a very thin dowel. You see, the string lights I had were 33 ft long and had 100 LED lights – meaning that only every 4 inches there was a LED light. So to place enough lights also in the neck of the watering globe, I had to shorten that 4 inches. And the easiest way to do that was coiling the lights 😉
After seeing that everything was functioning as they should be, I moved on to the next step.
I pulled the gasket off of the bibb handle and screwed the handle back into its place. Here is an important note here: before screwing the handle back in make sure you position it to “open,” otherwise it could hurt the wire of your string lights.
Next, I was going to connect the watering globe to the hose bib. Since I wasn’t sure if hot glue would hurt the copper of the string lights or not, I opted for my handy dandy apoxie sculpt. If you can’t find apoxie sculpt, Sugru or any other moldable glue could also work for this part.
I took equal small amounts from each part of the apoxie sculpt and mixed them until it was ready to be worked with.
I put the apoxie sculpt mixture around the opening of the watering globe and connected the watering globe with the hose bib. Next, I propped the whole thing until I was happy with it’s appearance and let the apoxie sculpt cure overnight in that propped position.
The next morning, I spray painted the dried apoxie sculpt with Rust-Oleum metallic antique brass spray paint.
After the paint dried, I put the entire thing together with the help of hot glue. Normally 1/2 inch black pipe sits in a tapered candle holder pretty good. But I wanted more of a snug fit, so I put a little bit of hot glue to the front side of the pipe and placed the pipe into the candle holder.
As the final step, I cut some wire and tidied the lights’ cord as seen in the pictures below. This last step is optional, but trust me, your DIY waterdrop solar lights will look much better with the cord tidied 😉
DIY Waterdrop Solar Garden Lights
Are you ready for the beauty shots? Ok then, let me warn you: I again put quite a lot of final photos! But this time it is to give you a better idea how our DIY waterdrop solar garden lights look all throughout the day & night, so yes the photos are all in different lighting 😉
This is how they look in the early evening hours (when the solar garden lights just turned on):
Then later in the evening, when it is a tad darker…
And well into the night…
I really love our DIY waterdrop solar lights, and I hope you liked them too!