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How to Make a Lighthouse for Kids

Updated July 20, 2017

Finding a unique and functional craft for kids to create can seem daunting. A homemade lighthouse made of terracotta pots and a solar light is a piece of art that has a purpose. Kids work on their cooperation skills as well as broaden their artistic horizons, all while creating something they can be proud to display to others. This one-of-a-kind lighthouse allows kids to work together creatively and take pride in their work.

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  1. Prepare a work station for the children. Place drop sheets or newspapers on a large table as well as the surrounding floor. Have each child wear old clothes or a painting smock.

  2. Collect three terracotta pots in three different sizes; small, medium and large. Ensure they fit one on top of the other. Place the large pot upside down on the ground and stack the medium pot upside down on large pot. Set the small pot upside down on the medium pot. Each pot should slightly overlap the one underneath it. Unstack the pots when you are certain they fit together properly.

  3. Fill empty yoghurt containers with water-based varnish. Give each child a sponge brush and have them apply two coats of varnish to each pot. Assist them if they need help. Allow the varnish to dry.

  4. Fill empty yoghurt containers with white, acrylic paint. Give each child a medium-sized paint brush and instruct them to base-coat each pot with the white paint. Have them apply two coats and allow each to dry.

  5. Use two pieces of painter's tape to tape off one wide stripe on each pot. Allow the children to take turns painting between the two pieces of tape with the acrylic paint colour of your choice. Red and blue are common colours for lighthouses. Allow the paint to dry.

  6. Have one of the children paint the door of the lighthouse in the bottom centre of the largest pot. Have him use a fine-tipped paintbrush and black acrylic paint. Instruct the children to paint small round windows in various places on all three pots using fine-tipped paintbrushes and black acrylic paint. Assist them if needed. Allow the paint to dry.

  7. Have the children apply two more coats of water-based varnish to the pots and allow them to dry for 24 hours. When they are dry have the children carefully stack them one on top of the other starting with the biggest pot and working to the smallest.

  8. Let the children help you insert a standard solar light in the top of the lighthouse tower. Terracotta pots come with a hole in the bottom of them for plant drainage. This hole is the correct size for a solar light post to fit inside. Secure the solar light by applying silicone where the light meets the pot.

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Things You'll Need

  • Drop sheets (optional)
  • Newspaper (optional)
  • Large terracotta pot
  • Medium terracotta pot
  • Small terracotta pot
  • Empty yoghurt containers
  • Water-based varnish
  • Sponge brushes
  • White acrylic paint
  • Medium-sized paintbrushes
  • Painter's tape
  • Red acrylic paint (optional)
  • Blue acrylic paint (optional)
  • Fine-tipped paintbrushes
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Standard solar light

About the Author

Elizabeth Vander Heide has been writing since 2003. She owns and operates a successful mural and hand-painted furniture business. In addition to art and decorative painting, she is an experienced hairstylist and makeup artist with a wealth of knowledge of the beauty industry. Vander Heide writes decorative painting instructions and seminar guides for professional tole painters. She studied at Cappa School of Hairstyling.

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