Home Decor

Solar Lantern



SKILL LEVEL intermediate

Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Adding a glow to your oasis is easy with solar lighting. Give your lighting a finished look by creating these simple modular lanterns using your favorite tools from the Dremel brand!

by Dremel ®


Grid View List View

Supplies Needed For This Project


SM20 Saw-Max Tool Kit

Model # SM20


678-01 Circle Cutter & Straight Edge Guide

Model # 678-01


SM510 3" Metal Cut-Off Wheel

Model # SM510


  • 1

    150 1/8" Drill Bit Dremel
  • 1

    561 Multipurpose Cutting Bit Dremel
  • 1

    1 inch x 6 inch x 6 ft. cedar
  • 1

    12 feet 1/8" metal rod
  • 4

    Outdoor solar lights
  • 1

    Wood Glue

Let's Get Started

To reduce the risk of injury user must read instruction manuals for all tools used in this project. Wear eye and respiratory protection. Use clamps to support work piece whenever practical.


Step 1

You will begin this project by measuring and marking cut lines for the top and bottom of your lanterns. We chose to make 4 lanterns. Base the dimensions of your lanterns to the size that seems to best compliment your lights. We chose to make our lanterns 5.5" wide and deep by 8" tall. We measured and marked eight 5.5" by 5.5" squares on our cedar plank.


Step 2

Next, mark the drill point for each of the four rods you will place at the corners of the lanterns. Mark that point diagonally 1/2" from each corner of your marked squares.


Step 3

Finally, trace the circumference of the light's bulb in the center of each top square (in our case, we made four lanterns, so we traced 4 circles) and mark a pilot hole in the center of each circle. The top lip of our light sets on top of each lantern, holding the light in place. Therefore, you must make the circular cut-out just large enough to set the bulb in place but not so large that the entire light will fall through.


Step 4

Cut along your marked circular lines using the NEW Dremel 4200 tool. Begin by attaching the Circle Cutter Guide to your tool & inserting the 561 Multipurpose Cutting Bit. Plunge into your mark in the center of the circle to create a pilot hole. Next, set the diameter of your guide to that of the traced circle (in our case that was 4") and began cutting with your tool set to full speed. Cut in a clockwise direction using consistent, moderate pressure. Tip: To assemble the cutter, unscrew the pivot foot knob and turn the picot foot over so that the center point is down. Next, remove the nosecap of the 4200 tool then thread the Guide onto the threaded portion of the tool, turning clockwise until tight (do not over-tighten).


Step 5

Next, cut out each of the 8 squares using the Dremel Saw-Max tool equipped with the SM500 Wood & Plastic Wheel. With your plank clamped into place, the tool on and guide the wheel along your marked lines.


Step 6

To complete the top and bottom of your lanterns, drill 1/2" deep holes at each of your marked corners. Remove the Circle-Cutting Guide from the tool and replace the nosecap. Next, remove the 561 bit and replace it with the 150 drill bit. Switching between bits is easier than ever with the 4200 tool! With your tool set to high speed, hold your tool perpendicular to the cedar board and plunge in 1/2 way through the material.


Step 7

Next, cut the rods you will place at each of the four corners of the lanterns. If you made 4 lanterns as we did you will need 16 rods. You can make your lanterns any height (so long as they are taller than the lights themselves) We chose to make our lanterns large enough to add a small plant underneath each light. Therefore, we marked our rods to 8". Cutting the metal rods is simple with the Dremel Saw-Max. Replace the SM500 blade with the SM510 Metal Cutting Blade. With your rod secured in a vice, guide the blade across each of your marked lines.


Step 8

Finally, fill all of the holes for the rods with a dab of wood glue and secure the rods between the top and bottom of each square. Let dry overnight. When ready, take the top off of the lights, place it on the top of the lantern and from the bottom connect the housing of the light to the top through the hole.

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