Repurposed Gatorade Bottles into Solar Light Luminaries
This is an easy DIY project using repurposed Gatorade bottles and turning them into pretty solar light luminaries.
I enjoy having fun and colorful surprises in my gardens, and I also love repurposing and upcycling things. Especially things that I can pull right out of my own recycle bin.
Like these Gatorade bottles that I’m using to create some fun and easy solar light luminaries. The solar light and the blue and clear glass gems are from my local dollar store.
You’ll also need some Marine Goop adhesive or E6000 glue, and painter’s tape.
Supplies needed for this project
- solar lights
- glass gems
- Gatorade plastic bottles
- Marine Goop or E6000 glue
- painter’s tape
- xacto knife
Cutting repurposed Gatorade bottles
Step One: Cut off the bottom and top of the bottle. Gatorade bottles come with built-in indentations that can be used as a guide for a utility knife. I inserted the knife and turned the bottle while keeping the knife in place.
The goal is to make as flat a surface on the top and bottom as possible. But if you make a mistake, you can just toss the bottle back into the recycle bin and try again with a new bottle.
After cutting both bottles you’ll have two mid-sections.
STEP TWO: My solar lights are rather tall so I combined two bottles into one by inserting one into the other. With a little manipulation this is easily done.
The bottles have a lovely shape and this gives you seven equal sections that are perfect for gluing on decorative elements, like the glass gems I’m using.
STEP THREE: Do a dry fit of your solar light to make sure it fits before you start gluing.
Adding glass gems to repurposed Gatorade bottles
STEP FOUR: Start gluing on the glass gems, using the sections of the bottle as your guide. The glass gems need to be held in place while the glue cures. Painter’s tape is perfect for this because it’s tacky enough to hold them and it pulls off easily. I decided to go with alternating rows of blue and clear.
STEP FIVE: After you’ve completed one half of the bottle, let it cure for 24 hours. The tape can usually be removed after about an hour, but I left it in place the whole time.
Here’s what it looks like with half of it done. Doing this first half is easy because you don’t have to worry about the size of the gems, but do try to mix them up to make adding the rest of the gems a little bit easier.
When you’re filling in the second half of the bottle, you do need to make the gems fit. After doing one row I found that I could fit 14 gems of various sizes around the bottle, and that made doing the rest of the sections much easier.
Repurposed Gatorade bottle decorated with glass gems
After letting the second half of the gems cure with painter’s tape in place, here’s what it looks like all finished. The Marine Goop dries clear so you don’t really notice it. And if you can see the glue through the gems up close, you certainly won’t be able to from a distance when your luminary is outside.
I decided to make two more because I love doing things in threes. I tried something different with the middle one by alternating the blue and clear glass gems.
Here they are in the garden with the solar lights in place. The reason I cut out the bottoms was so I could insert the solar lights into the ground to give the whole thing more stability.
My camera doesn’t take the best night pics, but this gives you an idea of what they look like. I have to say that they look so much better in person, and do give off quite a bit of light.
I think they look great in the daytime as well.
Glass gems are so much fun to work with. I also used them to create these DIY silver tray garden flowers, and these repurposed garden trowel flowers. They really do add a lot of sparkle to projects, and who doesn’t need a little sparkle in the garden.
It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.
Thanks so much for reading and until next time,