Introduction: DIY Solar Powered Mason Jar

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In this Instructable, I am going to show you how to make a Solar Mason jar. This is a great project for people with minimal electronics skills and its completely wire free.You can make this within a hour.This is an inexpensive and easy way to add charm to any outdoor space which give off beautiful glow well after the sun sets.It is perfect to gift your beloved and the most important thing is, it is environment friendly.

If you are an electronics enthusiast, you can make the circuit also.Earlier I have written an Instructable on that.You can find it here .

Step 1: Materials and Tools Required :

1. Mason Jar ( Amazon )

2. Solar Garden Light (Aliexpress / Amazon )

3. Frosted Glass Spray Paint ( Amazon )

4. Card Board

5.Masking Tape ( Amazon )

6.News Paper

7.Scissors ( Amazon )

8.Hobby Knife ( Amazon )

9.Glue Gun ( Amazon )

Step 2: Separate the Solar Light

The Solar garden light comes in variety of size and look.All lights are not adequate for making this mason jar.

So buy the light as shown in the picture.I have purchased it from aliexpress, link is given in the earlier step.

Simply unscrew the Solar light from its plastic bulb. The entire solar unit is self-contained and can be used without further disassembly.Don't forget to remove the plastic covering from the solar cell.

Step 3: Clean the Jar

Apply glass cleaner on the surface of the mason jar.

Clean it thoroughly with a soft / microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Cover the Base

Cover the base of the mason jar by using masking tape and then cut out the excess portion.

This step is needed to leave the bottom portion unpainted.This will helps to use it as a flashlight.

Step 5: Frost the Jar

Why frosting is required ?

Frosting the jar helps to diffuse the light all around the surface and gives a nice glow to the entire jar.

Steps :

Spread a news paper on the floor, then place a piece of cardboard on it.

Remove the mason jar lid and keep it on the cardboard, with mouth to the down side.See the above picture.

Apply frosted glass spray over the entire surface.Then leave it 10 -15 minutes to dry out.

Repeat the same process for 2 to 3 times ( 2-3 coats ).Its depends on you, how much frosting you like.

Safety : Wear nose musk during the frosting.I will recommend to do it outside and a well-ventilated space.

Step 6: Make the Cardboard Ring

While the jar is drying, unscrew the lid from Jar and remove the flat part (disc shape ) of the lid

Use a a marker to trace the shapes of the disc onto the cardboard.

Place the garden light ( solar panel down side) at the center of the earlier trace out and trace around it.

Cut the traced portion by using a scissors/hobby knife.The final cut out is a ring shape.

Note : To make the light water proof , you can use a plastic sheet instead of cardboard as described above.

Step 7: Prepare the Lid

Insert the Solar garden light in to the cardboard ring.It should fit tightly.

Then apply hot glue around it.

Removed the glass bulb.

Step 8: Mount the Solar Light

Insert the prepared solar light into the lid.

Then screw the lid onto the jar

Step 9: Finishing

For quick test, just slide the solar light switch to ON position and cover solar cell by your hand.The light should turned ON.

Place the Jar in the bright sun light, the solar cell will charge the battery.

When sun goes ( during dark ) ,it will be automatically switched ON.

You can make few of similar jars and place them in your garden or lawn.

Now enjoy your new solar mason jar.

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to pass it along!

Follow me for more DIY projects and ideas. Thank you !!!

Comments

author
lexpres61 made it! (author)2017-07-08

I made 5 of these today but not exactly the same way. I didn't frost the jar and I made a looped wire collar to add jack chain for hanging and I put some glass vase gems in the bottom of the jars. Thanks for the tutorial. I love it!

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author
Lisadphill (author)2016-10-17

I was wondering if you could use some wire, make a hole in each side of the top ring where it can be hung in tree limbs or something like that? What do you think?

author
lexpres61 (author)Lisadphill2017-07-08

Hi Lisadphill, you could do it that way but I prefer to add floral wire under the bottom lip where the lid screws on, and twisting it to make 2 loops, one on each side of the jar. You can then attach some jack chain to your desired length for hanging. Hope the pics are clear enough to show what I mean.

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author
Ronaldd46 (author)2016-10-16

Nice DIY for kids over 8

author
deba168 (author)Ronaldd462016-11-20

You are right.

author
Kampoland made it! (author)2016-11-20

Good project. I tried both cardboard lids and plastic (yogurt container) lids - the cardboard is easier to work with.

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author
deba168 (author)Kampoland2016-11-20

Wow !
It looks really awesome.
Thanks for sharing the picture.

author
techucation made it! (author)2016-11-04

This was a really fun class project. Thanks for sharing.

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author
deba168 (author)techucation2016-11-04

Congrats !

Your lights are really awesome.

author
BarbaraH88 (author)2016-10-17

I have made these before but never with the frosting on the jar. Such a nice addition. I will be adding it to my gift jars in the future. Thank you so much for the great idea and for the link to these lights. Much better than what I've been using.

author
savagemom2 (author)2016-10-13

Nice ible!! Instead of just painting your jar, you could use Armour Etch - a glass etching cream, also available on Amazon for a permanent change to glass. Paint will chip. Not 100% positive it will work on canning jar but canning jar lids will fit on other jars. Can also easily use to create designs in etching - stripes, swirls, zigzags, etc

author
hunt2sp (author)2016-10-04

Creative, wow :)

author
deba168 (author)hunt2sp2016-10-12

Thanks !

author
MarichuO (author)2016-09-27

I need to try this! Keep on doing what you do to help the environment. This is one great way to cut on electricity cost.

author
deba168 (author)MarichuO2016-09-28

Thanks for the appreciation. Its really means a lot.

author
kierabarbie (author)2016-09-21

Awesome work!!

author
deba168 (author)kierabarbie2016-09-22

Thank you.

author
KateH36 (author)2016-09-21

A nonprofit called Liter of Light.org makes similar solar lights from clear plastic water bottles to illuminate homes in developing energy poor countries. Night lighting provides light for school work, or home businesses. www.literoflight.org

Awesome!

author
deba168 (author)KateH362016-09-22

I am also member of liter of light ( India )

author
nubiman (author)2016-09-21

rocket science duh

author
kimsanamm (author)2016-09-20

could not find these lights at amazon do you have a part number and price range

author
butterflydtx (author)kimsanamm2016-09-21

I buy them at Walmarts. Have also seen them at othet stores

author
deba168 (author)kimsanamm2016-09-21

Click the Amazon link in the step-2

author
snorkledorf (author)2016-09-20

Nice! I myself would frost the inside of the jar. The frost can scratch off but less likely to if on the inside.

author
deba168 (author)snorkledorf2016-09-20

You are right.But frosting from inside is little bit more difficult.

author
HelenaTroy (author)deba1682016-09-21

I'd need to cut the lid on a mason jar anyway; long time since I've seen one, so no idea how thick those lids are. Still, worth thinking about, thanks.

oh, is there a size limit for the jars? I have a stack of those mini-jam jars [like these if the link takes! if not, I got the link by putting "mini jam ras" in search] - don't know if those lids would be wide enough to take the solar panel unit.

author
HelenaTroy (author)snorkledorf2016-09-20

Think it would look nice to have lights at different levels; adds the third dimension. Wonder if jam jars would do? I've got a lot more of them than I have mason jars!

author
TaniaD4 (author)HelenaTroy2016-09-20

Jam jars would work if you can cut out the lids as in step 7 to mount the solar unit.

author
MichelleC127 (author)2016-09-21

awesome idea. will put this on my project list

author
morganhillchris (author)2016-09-21

Thanks, this is great!

author
longlady (author)2016-09-20

Would this work with clear plastic jars? Would like to make some for our community pool area, but not allowed to have glass in that area. I imagine the light would be a little dimmer, but I'll take whatever light I can get.

author
deba168 (author)longlady2016-09-20

You can use clear plastic Jar.You may see this tutorial also

https://www.instructables.com/id/BUILD-A-NOCTURNAL-SOLAR-LIGHT-BULB/

author
deswiger (author)2016-09-20

Nice, thanks

author
deba168 (author)deswiger2016-09-20

You are welcome.

author
HelenaTroy (author)deswiger2016-09-20

I have several solar lights, all original "stake" type, bought at various times from various places. Some of them are still going at 3am - wish I could remember where I'd bought those!

author
deba168 (author)HelenaTroy2016-09-20

Because these cheap lights have very small solar cell and low quality battery.

author
MadeByGloria (author)2016-09-20

Fun! I think I'll try this with a colored jar.

author
deba168 (author)MadeByGloria2016-09-20

Cool !!!

author
ttaylor10 (author)2016-09-20

Hmm I always paint the inside of the jars as it gives a cool look and keeps the paint from getting scratched.

author
deba168 (author)ttaylor102016-09-20

Looks wise I have seen no such difference, but no doubt it can prevent unwanted scratches.

author
MarkW184 (author)2016-09-20

Hi, have you thought about using glass etching paste to frost the glass, you could then use stencils to create a pattern. The other advantage is that the frosting won't scratch off :-)

author
deba168 (author)MarkW1842016-09-20

Wow it's great idea.Have a try and share your pictures here :)

author
big dawg1 (author)2016-09-20

Nice ible.

If the battery is fully charged, approximately how long will the light shine?

author
deba168 (author)big dawg12016-09-20

Its depends on what capacity battery is included in your light.

author
thepoisonivy (author)2016-09-20

Nice 'ible! Clean looking end result, simple and very doable with stuff already on hand. Thank you. Glad you included the bit about not all solar lights being equal; the ones they sell at Dollar Stores are NOT suitable for something like this.

author
deba168 (author)thepoisonivy2016-09-20

It is better to buy the jar first.Then according to the lid size take the solar lights

author
JohnF48 (author)2016-09-20

I'd like to make a bunch for outside use...How would you recommend protecting the cardboard from the elements?

author
DarrinD2 (author)JohnF482016-09-20

Use corrugated plastic instead of cardboard.

author
deba168 (author)DarrinD22016-09-20

Yeah you are right.Then it will be waterproof.

author
iowa4freds (author)JohnF482016-09-20

Use the original lid. Trace light and cut out with scissors. Worked great.

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Bio: I am an Electrical Engineer.I love to harvest Solar Energy and make things by recycling old stuffs. I believe ""IF YOU TRY YOU MIGHT ... More »
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