Introduction: $5 Solar, Firefly Lantern

Picture of $5 Solar, Firefly Lantern

This is a simple/cheap way to add a little light and charm to your favorite hang out spots. My wife says they look like captured fireflies hanging from our patio, and I would have to agree. All you need is a $2 mason jar, $3 solar light and a few other odds and ends to complete this project. 

For best results I would recommend making a minimum of 3 of these lights and hanging them in clusters at different lengths. Also using different colored mason jars might add a cool effect.


Step 1: Collecting the Goods

Picture of Collecting the Goods

To get started collect these tools:

1. wire cutters
2. needle nose pliers
3. caulking gun

Now you need:

1. Liquid Nails
2. outdoor caulking
3. fishing swivels (optional)
4. $3 solar light from Bed Bath and Beyond
5. mason jar with removable center
6. about 6 feet of bailing wire or garden wire
7. brackets to hang your jars from (optional)

Step 2: Constructing the Solar Cap

Picture of Constructing the Solar Cap

1. Remove the center from the mason jar lid and set it aside. 
2. Now dismantle the light by pulling the support tube from the main body of the light and twisting the clear reflective part until it comes off.
3. Double check to make sure that the body of the light now fits within the hole of the mason jar lid.

Step 3: Constructing the Solar Cap ..Continued

Picture of Constructing the Solar Cap ..Continued

Step Three, Round one


1. squeeze a fat ring of liquid nails around the top edge of your solar light housing to hold the light in the middle of the lid.
2. now insert the light into the lid with the solar end up so that when you screw the lid back onto the jar it will be facing out.
3. place little pieces of wood or cardboard under the lid but not the light to help hold the housing in place so that it slightly protrudes from the cap.
3. give it about an hour for the liquid nails to dry, before you go to round two.

Step Three, Round two


1. flip the light over so your are looking at the solar end and use your outdoor caulking to fill the seam where the the lid meets the light housing. This will help keep the inside of your jars water free, and lightweight.
2. give it an hour to dry.
3. turn the light on if it has an on/off switch, replace the reflective piece.

Construction of the solar cap is complete!!!

Step 4: Jar Construction

Picture of Jar Construction

1. get you jars and wire together.
2. now this part is a little tricky so be careful, tie some of the wire around the neck of the jar a few times and make sure it is extremely secure and tight. Now make a little handle that arches over the jar top and be sure to place a swivel on it before you safely secure it to the wire around the neck.
3. now tie or hang your jars from where ever you feel like, but remember that if you don't make sure they are secured well than you risk your jars falling and scattering broken glass all over the place.

Hint:

I would hang your jars at different heights for added character.

Step 5: Done!!

Picture of Done!!

Now all you have to do is screw your solar light caps back to your hanging jars, and enjoy their beauty.

If you hung them in a sunny enough spot they just might stay lit all night.

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Bio: I'm 25 married, a firefighter, and a full time student. I just bought a house, that I love to work on, and love my ... More »
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