DIY (Solar) Address Sign… gift for Dad?
Written by on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I think it’s very important to make sure emergency crews can easily spot your house, even at night, so it’s been on my mind for over a year to replace a lighted address sign I have that’s no longer working.  When it WAS working, not only did it require 4 “D” batteries (which, by the way, didn’t even last through the month!), but it started falling apart soon after I bought it.  When I looked for a replacement, I definitely wanted a more eco-friendly version.  On line, the prices start around $50.00 and that’s for another battery hog… pass.

Then, one day I stopped in a Goodwill store and came across a solar-powered, outdoor lantern that only required the aid of one AAA battery.  The lantern was brand new and originally from Target, but lucky for me… Goodwill purchases their overstock.  I’ve seen these lanterns in stores like Ross and Home Goods, but never this inexpensive – only $3.99!  At home, I installed the battery, sat it outside & let the sun charge it.  Within 24 hours, it was working perfectly and lit up so much better than I thought it would.  That’s when it hit me!  This lantern could be turned into my lighted, address sign.


As you can see, it turned out great so if you want to make one too, here’s what you’ll need:  opaque, white shelf liner, an outdoor garden hose guide and self-adhesive vinyl numbers.

s_parts 3

The lantern I found has a faux candle (inside), 3 plexiglass sides and is open in the back (for quick, easy access to the battery compartment).s_numbers_stuck on 2

I cut 3 pieces of the shelf liner to match the size of each plexiglass pane.  Placing them inside (up against the panes) disguises the candle and also provided me with a surface to adhere 3 self-adhesive numbers to, matching my address.

glue gun    glue dots box

Using a low-temps_lantern before stand hot glue gun OR glue dots, will keep each vinyl shelf liner piece in place.   I chose to use glue dots so I can easily remove the vinyl panels.  You’ll see why as you read further.  But here’s the finished look…

Next, look in your DIY store for hose guides.  Sand the top of one hose guide and the bottom of the lantern to create a rough surface to create “grip” for the glue.  hose guide_boxed s_lamp and stand together

Using a weatherproof super glue, adhere the lantern & hose guide together.   I found that Loctite Quickset Epoxy worked best.  Once it’s dry, the stake will enable you to place the lantern in your front yard, where it’s visible from the street.

s_Lit _front yard

If you purchase a really large solar lantern, that would be visible further away, you could hang it from a shepherd’s hook or place it on top of a half-wall or bench in the garden.  Either way, I love the idea that this DIY project serves 2 purposes… lighting & information.  And as I mentioned earlier, I made my vinyl shelf liner pieces removable because I want a 3rd option – to create cool designs during the holidays.  Here’s a couple of ideas…

Lit_Halloween Spider

A SPOOKY look for Halloween!


s_Lit_decorated candle 2

Remove the vinyl shelf liner pieces to create a holiday accent lantern, near the front door, to greet holiday guests!

The total cost of this project was apx. $8 and because it was so easy to put together, I think this project would make a great Father’s Day gift… one the kids could easily help with!

Enjoy the Creativity!



  1. Sam Bender says:

    What a great idea…I love changing it out for the different holidays.

  2. mbolles says:

    Thanks Eileen! I am heading to Target to get a lantern and make one!

  3. Rachel says:

    Love the latern. You could also hang it from a sheperds hook

  4. Sue says:

    Fantastic idea, grandkids can help and make great gifts.

  5. Alanna says:

    Do u have to turn the candle on each night

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