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Dollar Store Crafts | How to Make Mason Jar Solar Lights

mason-jar-solar-lamp-01
Dollar Store Crafts | How to Make a Mason Jar Solar Lamp
Spring is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for grilling and patio parties (yay!). How you light your get together can really set the mood and bring the party to life! We have been doing some amazing mason jar crafts recently  and have a couple jars left over, so we decided to experiment with some mason jar lighting. Plus, the dollar store just started selling the solar lights that you can stick in the ground around your patio.
In this tutorial we are going to show you how to make your own solar light with a mason jar. This is an inexpensive and easy way to add charm to any outdoor space.
Let’s get started.

How to Make Mason Jar Solar Lights:

Supplies:

  • Solar light (the stake kind) $1 each at Dollar Tree
  • Mason Jar with lid
  • Some sticky foam tape
Supplies: Solar Lights, Mason Jars, Foam tape
Supplies:
Solar Lights, Mason Jars, Foam tape

Step 1:

Start by removing the stake part of the light. It should just slide right off. You’ll be left with the solar panel and light component. We kept the plastic casing around the LED.
Remove the stake piece of the solar lights so you are left with the top solar panel piece.
Remove the stake piece of the solar lights so you are left with the top solar panel piece.
We kept the plastic casing around the light because it has a metal reflector that helps intensify the brightness of the lamp.
We kept the plastic casing around the light because it has a metal reflector that helps intensify the brightness of the lamp.

Step 2:

Grab the jar and unscrew the lid. Remove the flat part of the lid and just keep the ring. The top part of the solar light should slide through the ring nicely with a little bit of snugness. In order to make sure the light doesn’t fall down into the jar, you’ll need to put the foam tape around the top of the light. This will keep it snug.
Remove the lid from your jar.
Remove the lid from your jar.
Wrap the foam tape around the solar light.
Wrap the foam tape around the solar light.

Step 3:

Once you’ve put a single layer of tape around the light, slide the light back into the ring until the top of the solar panel is flush with the top of the lid.
Squeeze the light into the center of the lid so it's mostly flush with the top of the jar.
Squeeze the light into the center of the lid so it’s mostly flush with the top of the jar.

Step 4:

Screw the lid onto the jar and enjoy your new solar light!
Your first solar light is complete!
Your first solar light is complete!

Dollar Store Crafts | How to Make a Mason Jar Solar Lamp

mason-jar-solar-lamp
Dollar Store Crafts | How to Make a Mason Jar Solar Lamp

Published by

Stephanie

Stephanie is the executive editor of DIYready.com. She is curious, creative, and an expert mess maker who is not afraid to try anything a couple of times to get it right. Her specialties are inventing things, writing no nonsense clear instructions, artistic endeavors, paper crafts, digital media, kids crafts, creating recipes and figuring out new and better ways to do almost anything. Stephanie is a DIY guru who thinks maybe she should have been banned from DIY forums years ago, but enjoys being part information junkie, mad scientist, uncertified gourmet chef and mom of three budding DIY enthusiasts.

52 thoughts on “Dollar Store Crafts | How to Make Mason Jar Solar Lights”

    1. I made these on the weekend and I love them. The only problem is there’s quite a bit of condensation accumulating in the jar. Any advice?

  1. I’m definitely going to give it a try. This looks like a great project and I think I already have everything besides the foam tape. Have you had issues with water leaking into the jar?

  2. I would exchange the cheap NiCad batteries in the for Lithium Ion (LI) or Nickel Metal Hydride(NiMH)ones that last longer, hold their charge longer and can take a many more charges than the cheap NiCad.

  3. Hmmmm, the last picture shows the light with solar panel facing the ground? How exactly does that work to power the light? BTW I’m on eastern standard time and can’t figure out what time of the day it would be exposed to the sun LOL.

  4. Well if you let it charge all day long you can turn it upside down and the battery will still light up because the battery is fully charged. and it is dark out side and they don’t work off of MOON light

    1. They are wide mouth, which I didn’t know. Regular sized jars the solar light doesn’t fit inside. You can, alternately, just glue them on top of the lid if you already have the regular sized jars. Doesn’t look quite as flush but it also works. On the other hand, I bought the blue vintage jars so it’s a better look in that respect.

      As far as turning over, etc., we are just going to stack them around the house for pathway lights – I’m going to put some small rocks inside the jar so that a strong wind doesn’t blow them over but this will definitely beat just using the stake – they are fine but if you so much as graze them, the stake always breaks and then they are useless. This prevents that!

  5. For additional light reflection you can cut out an aluminium foil disk the same diameter as the inside bottom of the jar and double-side tape it to inside of the jar’s bottom. This should help generate more light outwards.

  6. I like the concept, but I hate to waste a good wide mouth canning jar and ring. I’ll inspect my jars and see if any are cracked around the seal area. This idea would be a good recycling project for the cracked ones.
    I have seen this done using globes from ceiling fan lights, so I might try that too.

  7. The problem is that you cannot leave these out all of the time. You are not properly sealing the jar, water will get into them. My wife tried this project and all of the jars got water in them.

    1. You might seal the tops with some clear silicone seal applied to the top circumference before you put the metal lid over it. That should prevent any rain water leaking into the jar. Leaving in the rubber lid seal might work too.

  8. You can also use some spray glue on the inside of the jar… Then throw some glitter in ( your choose the color) and shake it around, that way the whole glass jar has glitter stuck to it. With the light it adds a colored light.

  9. you show the lights upside down. They’ll have to be the other way to get light and charge. So we’re supposed to turn them upside down every day? What gives?

  10. I think it’s a waste of good canning jars. You’ve already bought the lights. Why destroy them and use good canning jars? This looks like a Martha Stuart commercial to me. It’s about as useful as a macaroni necklace for Mom on Mother’s Day.

  11. I’m not sure why some people feel the need to post rude comments, but I think this is great idea! The lights themselves can’t sit on a patio table unless some alterations are made to them or they are stuck into a pot or something. This idea is great because you can also decorate the mason jar to match your color scheme. So I love this “Martha Stewart” idea and I also love and wear the macaroni necklace my daughter gave me!

  12. This article is a disappointment! Anyone can buy cheap dollar store solar lights. I thought you were going to teach us something more useful and sustainable that just putting something made in China in a jar. I recently saw a solar skylight made from a soda bottle with some bleach and water in it that was equivalent to a 40 watt

    1. WOW! Why so negative?? Its a cute little decoration idea, not something to light up your house with. geez!

  13. I filled mine 3/4 full a colored glass, also from the dollar store and leave them upright at night. For hanging them just wrap bailing wire around the neck works great.

  14. I think this would be a good idea for those times that the electricity goes out and you need a little light to move around or to put in different rooms in your house. You’d have to keep them charged of course.

  15. One question. Is the foam tape sticky on both sides? Or is it just the thickness that keeps it snug and in place? Love the idea!

  16. I love this idea! We’ve lost our power due to storms, twice already this year. I mean, I lost my freezer and everything in my fridge; it was off that long. The second time the power went off, we got the idea to use our solar lights; GREAT idea!! It’s such a bright light, better than an oil lamp or candle; I actually read by it! We set them throughout the house and everything was very well lit. Just an tip I wanted to share with everyone!! Hope you don’t need it, but if you do it’s great lighting!

    1. Hi Laura,

      I am so sorry for the delay in responding. Preferably wide mouth jars, but you can use either.

      Thank you for your question – and good luck with making these lights.

      Best,
      Renee

  17. Kind of neat for outdoor event. I drilled a hole in a piece of wood to accept the shaft (square or round board). Leave them out most of the time on our deck, move them around to where you like them.

    I live in the Sierra foothills and power is out frequently when we have lots of snow. I bring the lights inside to give us useful light.

  18. Made these and love them. Have a couple hanging and some on the deck. Gave as gifts too to the parents and in laws who both have campers. You can buy hangers for the jars at Pat Catans for a dollar. I put colored stones in some of mine. I also use clear caulk to seal them up.

  19. My goodness – so much grumpiness directed at someone who has offered her ideas *for free* to whomever wants them. Don’t like it? Doesn’t match your particular values? Just click to the next site. There are plenty of them out there and, really, it’s not all about you. Thanks, Stephanie, for sharing this.

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