First you’ll need just a few things: You’ll need a solar light on a removable stake, you can pick these up at Lowe’s for around $5. You will also need an oatmeal container. I used a medium size one – because it’s almost the exact same height as the metal pole (we’ll get to that in a minute.)
You’re also going to need some quick setting concrete – I used Quikrete in the red bag, also from Lowe’s. This stuff sets up really quick – which is good and bad. It’s great because your posts will be ready in about 24 hours. The only bad part is that if you’re making multiple posts you’ll need to mix it in small batches. The only other thing you’ll need is some water (which we used straight out of the hose.) I only used a tiny portion of the bag, so I’m pretty sure you could probably make about 20 out of one.
Also, tap out the empty oatmeal box to get rid of any lingering particles, so that it’s ready to hold the concrete.
Next, mix together your concrete, adding a little water at a time until it’s about the consistency of thick pancake batter.
Put something on top, so that it holds the tube in the concrete, if you don’t it will just float to the top. You want the tube buried, ya know?
After 12 hours, carefully peel off the oatmeal container. After 24 hours, it’s cured and ready to go.
Jenny Lynn says
They would look great around a pool where you might do some night swimming.
Savannah Warren says
A few of these would look great in my garden.
beth jillette says
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beth jillette says
Love this. Must make some
Great idea! I don’t have oatmeal cartons, but I think I could cut down a concrete tube form from HD or Lowes. I had some of these lights stuck in the ground, but my horses keep knocking them over (and breaking them, grr), I think the concrete would stop at least some of that, lol
20 North Ora says
What an ingenious idea!
Clever, clever idea. I’m trying to think of some other containers to use. We don’t eat oatmeal and even if we did, it would take a long time to get enough cartons to make several of these. Suggestions?
Tricia Hicks says
Gina, this is genius! I am making some of these!
Shannon Fox says
These are really cool Gina! What a smart idea!!
Just what I need! Sticking them in the ground at my front steps isn’t working. Sometimes they get run over by the lawn mower and at night they are too low to the ground so instead of lighting the way they make a strange illusion and I can’t see the steps.I will most definitely do this. Thanks for the idea.
I’ve always been apprehensive about mixing & using concrete in crafts or small projects because I’m afraid I’ll not get the consistency correct & the whole project will have to be scrapped. These instructions are pretty straight forward, except I was wondering if I someone can give me an approximate amount of water to add to the dry concrete, so I have a starting point, at least. I love solar lights & can’t wait to try this in the spring! Thanx!
This is so cool! Finally a light that the dog won’t knock over! =) I would love to link to this in my next Outdoor Roundup if you didn’t mind.
I love working with concrete. Thanks for the great idea.
Kaitlyn @ FreshlyMessyLife says
I just wanted to let you know; I plan to do this! This is one of the COOLEST DIY crafts I’ve run across (originally found on Pinterest). I haven’t made it yet, but I will be 😉 I think I’ll do it in November for my mom’s birthday, since this upcoming week will be so crazy with everything before this years’ mother’s day. My mom LOVES her garden/pond, and 3-4 of these to go out at her pond would be absolutely amazingly fantastic! I know she would have to love them! I’m so excited about it! I just created my new blog and my first real post was 24-Mothers Day Gifts that don’t Break the Bank! I shared this, and wanted to let you know in case you need any additional kind of credit/linking.
But your blog is amazing, and I thank you for sharing this!
Just make sure to use a solar light that has a replaceable, solar battery. 🙂
I don’t get it … why not just insert the stake at the bottom of the light into the ground? … it would look better …
Great idea. Is it safe to assume that you cut the bottom of the oatmeal container out in order to get the cement mold out? and did you say 1 bag of cement makes 20? If so, what is the weight of the bag i.e. 60lb or 80 pounds to get 20?
Wonderful idea. Is it safe to assume that you cut the bottom of the oatmeal container out prior to putting the cement in it? Also, if you were able to make 20 out of 1 bag of cement, what size bag of cement did you purchase? I await your response would love to try this.
I like this idea I’m going to see howeasy it might be to stain the concrete perhaps a terra cotta road or a bluestone colL
Tom O says
Very clever idea, thanks for sharing. I have two stone pillars at the end of my driveway with no electricity to them, this will work perfect! I think I’ll add some dye to the concrete for a little different look… 🙂
I was just curious to know if anyone had done this and if any problems with the cement cracking during the winter with any moisture that may have gotten in the pipe and froze.
Gina Luker says
I haven’t had any issues, and it’s been over two years now.
This is bloody brilliant. I love my solar lights, but my dog thinks they are snacks. Snacks that leave glass and plastic all over my lawn. Maybe now I can have some lights below the 6ft mark!
Gina Luker says
Ha ha Hannah, yes, these might just do the trick for you 🙂
Jitka West says
It’s September 2019 and I’m just seeing this post. Aaargh!
I tried this out and it looks really good. I used containers from a different brand of oatmeal and those had a vertical seam. So I didn’t get the super-industrial swirls on the outside. Still, I have sturdy light bases the cats won’t push over when they rub against them!
I had a little trouble with the first one because I couldn’t get the aggregate (rocks) out from under the post when I pushed it into the concrete. One the remaining two, I put the post in and poured in a little concrete, slid the post back to center, filled a little more, re-positioned the post, … That was troublesome, especially working against the clock with fast-drying concrete mix. Next time, I think I’ll try using mortar mix because it doesn’t have rocks in it and taping the pipe to the container to hold it in place. Also, I’ll mix in some concrete pigment.
This idea is so pretty and USEFUL. I know my friends will want some of their own. How wonderful. Thanks so much for this idea!
Gina Luker says
Thanks so much!! So glad you liked it Jitka!