I’m always looking for an easy and fun project and this one fit the bill. I needed some lights for my stone path in the front yard and wanted something unique and finally concluded I needed to make my own. They needed to be solar so they would not require any exterior wiring and could be easily moved as needed.
I search all over to find a suitable candidate for the outer containers. They needed a top so they would not fill with water in the rain and still allow a wire to exit so the solar cell could be positioned to catch the light. I found the Droppar Jar with Lid at IKEA to be perfect as it has a lid and a clear top which allowed me to put the solar cell inside, making them completely self-contained.
I started by cutting 2″ PVC pipes into sections about 5″ long (your needs may vary based on the thickness of the solar cell on your string lights).
I then cut notches into the top and bottom as shown. This does not have to be pretty as none of this will show when you are done.
I then took the last light on the string and hooked it into the notch on one side of the tube as shown, twist the wire as I went to ensure the LEDs pointed straight outward as much as possible, then continued to wrap the string around the PVC tube until I ran out of bulbs.
I then wrapped the extra wire through the notches on the other end until it was secure. Lastly I placed the solar cell on top.
Then I simply slid the whole assembly into the Droppar and put on the lid.