A Terra Cotta Pot Solar Lighthouse Craft

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Lighthouses have been conversation pieces as decorations for decades.
Lighthouses have been conversation pieces as decorations for decades. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Even if you don't live in the Northeast, lighthouses are an attractive option for exterior decor that will make your house an attractive feature in your neighborhood. Many different options for lighthouse accessories exist, including fixtures on a lamppost, mailbox designs, and garden decorations. Along with some seashells and perhaps even a foot locker or treasure chest out on the porch, a lighthouse can make your home look like the newest place on Cape Cod.

Base

For a terra cotta solar lighthouse, you will probably want to paint the pot so it is a more nautical color. A sea green, a dark green or even a dark blue would work -- as would a sandy tan. Find a dark, round flagstone that will sit inside the pot, a few inches from the top, and fill the pot with sand up to the place where the flagstone will rest.

The Tower

For the lighthouse tower, you will need a piece that is wider at the bottom, tapering up toward the top, like a cone with the tip cut off about one-third of the way from the end. You can take a log to a specialty lumberyard and have them cut it so that the diameter of the base is an inch less than that of the flagstone, and that of the top is about half as wide. Then, have a plywood circle cut that is the same diameter as the flagstone. You can use epoxy glue to attach the plywood to the flagstone, and then the wooden base to the plywood. Then, make marks around the circle at the top of the base to divide it into eighths. Draw lines down the sides from those lines to the bottom, and paint the sections between those lines alternating colors, such as black and white or red and white, all the way around. Choose colors that match your home and outdoor decor. Also, paint a door and some windows, following the stairs as they wind their way around and up.

The Light

Take a large tin can with a diameter slightly less than that of the top of the base. This could be a gallon paint can, or a family-size chili can. Paint the bottom half a color contrasting with the base colors, and paint windows around the top half. Then, use the epox glue to secure the can on top of the base, centered. If desired, glue a dowel sticking straight up from the top of the can with a tiny American flag on it.

Other Decor Items

Once you've set this lighthouse out in your garden, some other items would complement it. If you can find an anchor at an antique store or flea market, as well as an old lifeguard ring and some wooden oars, your scene will be set.

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