Homemade Lighthouses

By Ocean Malandra
You don't have to be structural engineer to build a homemade lighthouse.

Originally designed to warn ship and other sea going vessels that they were close to shore on dark nights, foggy days and during stormy weather, lighthouses have become an iconic symbol of the sea and seaside living. Making your own lighthouse, whether to add flair to your front lawn, give your kids a fun structure to play on or actually light up your backyard garden path, brings a rustic and salty element to your home.

Functional Lighthouses

If you live on the coast or on the shore of a lake, river or lagoon, making a homemade lighthouse lets any water craft know they are near a private residence in low light conditions. For a real functioning lighthouse you will have to use a high powered commercial light bulb and an industrial power source like a generator or a solar powered engine. You don't have to keep your homemade lighthouse on at all times though, just on especially dark nights, times of heavy boat traffic-like major holidays and when you want to show it off.

Yard Lighthouses

As part of the back yard, homemade lighthouses can fulfill a variety of roles. As a centerpiece for a vegetable garden, a lighthouse can double as a tool shed and hold all the necessary equipment to maintain the garden. In the children's playground, a lighthouse allows the kids imagination to run wild as they look out to an imaginary sea and watch the ships come in over the horizon. In the front yard, a lighthouse mailbox lets everyone know a maritime fan lives here. A lighthouse on the lawn will make passersby stop and admire.

Lighthouse Furniture

Homemade lighthouses can also be used inside the house to add coastal design elements to living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. Lighthouse lamps accompany late night readers in their favorite armchairs while lighthouse waste baskets make disposing of soiled napkins fun and entertaining.

Lighthouse Toys

For kids that like building cityscapes or playing with toy boats, a homemade toy lighthouse is sure to delight. Toy lighthouses can include living quarters for you child's favorite dolls or action figures and can figure prominently into the scene of mock battles. For those who want to impart a bit of creativity to their children, making a toy lighthouse offers a chance to practice woodworking, ceramics, papier mache or even origami.

About the Author

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.