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DIY Decorative Solar Lights

Learn how to use markers for drawing on glass vases to create these cute decorative solar lights. An easy outdoor solar lighting idea.

It is so easy to use oil based paint pens on glass to create any design. These pink vases are the perfect backdrop for a white marker and they work great on glass.

I have used the oil based markers to make Dollar Store solar lights before and I just love them. This time I decided to try the pink vases and a tea light holder to create an ensemble of decorative solar lights.

If you love painting and making glass crafts and gifts you will love it here.

AND…

If you LOVE Dollar Tree crafts and gifts then you are definitely in the right place.

Finished DIY decorative solar lights in a cluster on the patio table.

DIY Decorative Solar Lights

When I made Dollar Store solar lights before I used the same size vases. This time I wanted to vary the sizes and change the design but they were still as easy and fun as before.

How To Make Solar Lights

The first step is to pick out your glass pieces.

Make sure the solar light your are using will fit into the glass.

You can test this by removing the stake from the solar light and just placing it into the vase to see if it fits.

I used two vases and a tea light holder. The varying sizes appealed to me. And I loved the pink vases.

Dollar Tree has other colors of vases as well. Or you could paint clear vases to get the same look.

Supplies needed to make diy decorative solar lights.

Materials Needed:

I have added some affiliate links for your convenience. You can see my full disclosure here.

If you can’t find these items at Dollar Tree check Dollar General or other stores. You can usually find them for a $1 each.

You also need a white marker for the project but I would go ahead and get the other colors. You can decorate other things.

What Paint Is Good For Glass

There are a few great paints that work on glass. For these we are using the oil based sharpie markers. When baked, they won’t wash off your glass (hand washing only) and the design will last for a long time.

And you can draw your own designs or use a stencil with these markers.

A stencil could be used with a spray paint as well but it would take a little more masking of the rest of the glass.

If you are wanting to spray the entire glass vase then a spray paint or a brush on would be perfect and you can buy them specifically for glass.

Now that you have gathered all of your supplies and have the correct paint, let’s get started!

Step 1: Cleaning the glass for painting

Make sure the glass piece is clean and ready for paint.

You can use alcohol with a cotton ball or your can simply wash them in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. Either way works.

Step 2: Drawing your design

In this step we will actually be drawing or writing on the glass with markers.

If your markers are new then you need to get the paint primed inside the marker. Turn the marker upside down like you are going to write, but push the tip of the marker up and down until you see the color start to show. Keep going until you can write with it.

The dragonfly body

Start with the body of the dragon fly. It is basically one pen stroke on the glass.

You can turn the glass and make them as many places as you want on the vase.

Drawing full dragonflies on the pink glass vases with oil based sharpie marker.

Then make the wings and the little antennae at the top of the body.

So cute!

Drawing full dragonflies on the pink glass vases with oil based sharpie marker.

Then draw the flying marks. (that is a technical term)

If you get too much paint from the pen and it drips just use a q-tip to wipe it off. You could use alcohol if needed.

This is also a great tip if you need to start completely over. Just know that the longer you wait, the harder it is to rub off the glass.

Drawing full dragonflies on the pink glass vases with oil based sharpie marker.

The dragonflies don’t have to be perfect. Mine are far from it but they still look cute.

These are handmade, after all. Here is my painted vase when I finished with the dragonflies.

You can paint whatever you like:

  • butterflies
  • flowers
  • dandelions
  • cats
  • dogs
  • birds
  • or even a fun pattern.

The sky is the limit!

Drawing full dragonflies on the pink glass vases with oil based sharpie marker.

Let the design dry completely before moving onto the baking!

Step 2: Bake the glass in the oven

So you need to bake these got them to be a permanent design.

Place the vases or glass pieces on a baking sheet.

Place them in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees and bake them for 2 hours.

After the 2 hours, turn off the oven but do not remove them.

Once the oven is completely cooled, you can take them out.

Step 3: Add the lights

When you are done baking the paint onto the glassware, it is time to add the solar lights.

Remove the stake and the little tag that is on the light. Once this is removed it activates the solar light and it can start charging in the sunshine.

Just place the light into the vase.

You can glue it if you want but I don’t. I want to be able to replace it easily when needed.

I have some of these lights that I have been using for years but you never know. Make it easy on yourself.

Finished DIY decorative solar lights in a cluster on the patio table.

If it rains and water gets inside the vases, just pour it out and put the light back in. It should be just fine. They are made for outdoors and weather.

You can bring them inside if you don’t want them outdoors all of the time. I do bring mine in if I know there is going to be a lot of rain and in the winter months. They are really only out during spring and summer.

Finished DIY Decorative Solar Lights

Finished DIY decorative solar lights in a cluster on the patio table.

Finished DIY decorative solar lights in a cluster on the patio table.

Here they are at night time.

Finished dollar tree vases lit up at night.

They look good, right?

Finished glass solar lights lit up at night.

Do you think you would make these easy DIY decorative solar lights for yourself?

I have included some printable instruction just in case you want them.

DIY Decorative Solar Lights

Finished DIY decorative solar lights in a cluster on the patio table.

Learn how to use markers for drawing on glass vases to create these cute decorative solar lights. A great outdoor solar lighting idea.

Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $0 - $15

Materials

Tools

  • Oven
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-tips

Instructions

  1. Clean your vases with alcohol and cotton balls or wash them with warm, soapy water.
  2. Use the oil based sharpie marker to start creating your design.
  3. If you are making dragonflies start by drawing the bodies.
  4. Then draw the wings and the antennae.
  5. Continue with the flying lines.
  6. Add them all over the vases or teas lights in random places.
  7. Bake them according the the instructions on the Sharpie markers.
  8. Enjoy!

You can find more solar light inspiration by clicking the links below:

DIY Solar Light Chandelier

Hanging Mason Jar Fairy Lights

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Michelle

Finished DIY decorative solar lights in a cluster on the patio table.

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