by Texas Homesteader ~
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Right next to the house lies our barn paddock. It is a small paddock that features our amazing 1880’s barn as well as a small fenced area. This paddock is used often to wean calves, work the herd or separate specific cows for whatever reason.
In this paddock was a huge, very old cedar tree. I loved that thing, it was massive!
But last year it died and RancherMan had to pull it down. Broke my heart, y’all! The once-beautiful tree was hauled in large pieces to our burn pile.
But with our annual family reunion coming up I panicked. In a few days that bonfire will be lit & it’ll be gone forever!
So I asked RancherMan to salvage some of that beautiful wood. And I specifically asked him to go to the burn pile & cut off about 5 ft of that huge tree. Puzzled, he still placated me…
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He’d already taken one of the huge limbs and made me a laundry pole, I love that. And he used several of the straight branches to make beautiful walking sticks too.
But after RancherMan fetched the sections I requested, I sat out to make something decorative with them.
Decorative Idea For Cedar Log
I told him I wanted to make a solar light feature for our home’s front walk. Then I asked him to saw the cedar log into different and graduating sizes.
One log should be around 2 feet long, another 1.5 feet and the last about 1 ft. He sawed them to length for me.
How I love that cedar’s red heartwood! Oh, and that smell of fresh cedar. (breathes deeply) Delightful!
I’d already purchased 3 *solar lights. There are many different styles and although I could have purchased some plainer ones for almost nothing, I wanted these because they were a little more decorative without being too flashy.
I like the design with a small cap over them. To me they’re classy without being just too much. They’ll look perfect in my new solar light feature!
Making The Solar Light Feature
After the logs were cut & sat up on their ends RancherMan took a paddle bit and drilled a hole into the top of each log.
This hole was the perfect size to receive my solar lights.
I bundled the three logs together and we used heavy wire to bind them tightly.
RancherMan then used industrial staples to attach that wire to the logs for extra durability.
But that wire is ugly & I didn’t want it to show. How can I soften that look? Humm….
I took some jute and twisted several strands together to make a thick rope.
I wrapped the rope around the logs covering the wire and fashioned a rustic knot that I thought looked cool. It hid the wire bindings too. Yeah, I like it!
Finally, we cut the stake of each solar light down to only about 3″ long & pushed each solar light into a log. That would allow the lights to sit flush to the surface of the logs.
Soft Lighting For Our Home’s Walkway
Let’s stand back & see what we think. OH YEAH! I love it! The rustic look is exactly what I was looking for.
These lights come on automatically at dusk and light the sidewalk to our front door.
The project was quick & it only cost the price of those solar lights and a short length of twine that we already had in the shop.
And now even though it’s gone, that beautiful cedar tree continues to serve us well!
Another Solar Light Feature Made
We loved our cedar light feature so much, and the cost was so little, that RancherMan & I decided to make another one as a gift.
This one was made for our daughter and new SIL. For this Solar Light Feature we used old Bois d’Arc Wood and a brass elephant embellishment.
Our daughter is crazy about elephants. So it was a personalized gift that was very well received indeed!
Personal, hand-made with love. That’s what we like to do with our gifts.
So if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add a little pop to the gardens and light to your walkway, give it a try!
Easy Beginner’s Crafts & Projects We Love
- Repurpose Greeting Card Into Small Gift Box
- Old Barnwood Wall Photo Feature
- Rustic No-Sew Denim Coasters
- Upcycled Fingerless Gloves
- Quick Pocket Hand Warmers
- Make Your Own Clothespin Apron
- Cute Repurposed-Denim Baskets
- Diaper Wreath Baby Shower Gift
- Light & Beauty – Affix Lace Directly To Window Glass!
- Lavender-Scented Hand Scrub
- Decorative Pillows From Flannel Shirt Fabric
- How To Make A Pretty Porch Lantern
- MYO Beeswax Wraps
- 1882 Barbed Wire Wall Crosses
- Make An All-Natural Air Freshener
…And Much More
See All Make-It-Yourself Posts
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How did you get all three lights to light up at the same time? When I made one, the top light gave the other two enough light to think it was daytime and they wouldn’t light up.
Oftentimes the top light comes on first, delaying the other two for a very short time – probably only about 15-20 minutes. But they all three come on and say on all night. Not sure why yours would be different. ~TxH~
Good idea! We go to the beach fairly often. I wonder if I could find some driftwood and do something like that. I have some smaller driftwood branches that I put small eye screws in. Then I got a smaller link chain to hang the branch. My mom loved hummingbirds and on the way home from her funeral the friend driving stopped and bought a small hummingbird wind chime. I have since bought small wind chimes when I go places and I use that to hang them. I love the look of driftwood.
I love this – we’re clearing land and when we come across that next cedar tree I’m going to do something similar. Thank you for sharing!
I think this light feature looks great Carole. And I love that this beautiful old cedar tree is still beautifying our home. ~TxH~
That was a neat idea! My mom gave me solar lights years ago and some of them have broken. I need to replace them and was wanting to do something different. When they’re stuck in the ground, the ground swells and contracts, and my lights are always catty-wompus. I may have to do something similar. Thanks for the idea!
Couple months ago I had my son–in-law cut me a few sections from a tree that had blew down on his property to do a project very much like yours, but as yet, haven’t had much time to work on them. I have gotten some of the bark off but slow process with everything else going on.
I like what you had done to yours; combining all 3 together like that Hopefully…………….someday I will get mine finished. They make for a pretty outside decor
It turned out just like I wanted, Colleen. And with the exception of the solar lights, I used things I had around here to assemble it. So the overall cost was very low. Use Whatcha Got! ~TxH~
Been trying to remove all the bark; sand smooth and then will put on a few coats of Poly sealer on them. More work involved than what I thought but eventually; someday mine will be finished.
We also have some sections of 4×4 posts that I thought about doing the same way.
I just gotta do what I can when I can. Between canning, building the shed, gardening, baking, etc. it does keep me very busy.
Canned some Jalapeno hot dog relish up the other day; along with zucchini relish and strawberry jam(small batch of jam). AQlso made and canned some banana pepper mustard.
Never ending process with things that need to be done around here.
What an amazing idea! I love that you used what was once a favorite tree standing & repurposed it after it had died into such a simple, yet decorative function. So very clever, & it looks so cool! Thanks for sharing with us.
Thanks Debra! It’s nice when we drive up to our home at night to see that soft glow of the lights. And like you, I love that I’m still enjoying that beautiful tree even after it’s gone. ~TxH~