Introduction: DIY Solar Powered Mason Jar

Picture of 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 :

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Mount the Solar Light

Insert the prepared solar light into the lid.

Then screw the lid onto the jar

Step 9: Finishing

Picture of 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 !!!


MNT4Life85 (author)2017-08-31

Very cute.

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!

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?

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.

Ronaldd46 (author)2016-10-16

Nice DIY for kids over 8

deba168 (author)Ronaldd462016-11-20

You are right.

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.

deba168 (author)Kampoland2016-11-20

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

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

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

deba168 (author)techucation2016-11-04

Congrats !

Your lights are really awesome.

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.

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

hunt2sp (author)2016-10-04

Creative, wow :)

deba168 (author)hunt2sp2016-10-12

Thanks !

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.

deba168 (author)MarichuO2016-09-28

Thanks for the appreciation. Its really means a lot.

kierabarbie (author)2016-09-21

Awesome work!!

deba168 (author)kierabarbie2016-09-22

Thank you.

KateH36 (author)2016-09-21

A nonprofit called Liter of 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.


deba168 (author)KateH362016-09-22

I am also member of liter of light ( India )

nubiman (author)2016-09-21

rocket science duh

kimsanamm (author)2016-09-20

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

butterflydtx (author)kimsanamm2016-09-21

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

deba168 (author)kimsanamm2016-09-21

Click the Amazon link in the step-2

antonio.c.piresmesquita (author)2016-09-21

LOL! I'm sure he just want to make things easy for the ones that are new on the DIY projects, and don't go to stores anymore. i myself like to keep the local store in businesses, is good for the whole community, jobs, taxes stay in, and so on. Where I live, on a 15 miles range, we had 8 small local hardware stores, now only two True Value, family owned all gone. Go to HD or Lowes and you spend 1 hour just to get a single washer or a screw. Some people thinks that modernization at hi speed are a good thing, but it come at hi price at the end.

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.

deba168 (author)snorkledorf2016-09-20

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

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.

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!

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.

MichelleC127 (author)2016-09-21

awesome idea. will put this on my project list

morganhillchris (author)2016-09-21

Thanks, this is great!

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.

deba168 (author)longlady2016-09-20

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

deswiger (author)2016-09-20

Nice, thanks

deba168 (author)deswiger2016-09-20

You are welcome.

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!

deba168 (author)HelenaTroy2016-09-20

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

MadeByGloria (author)2016-09-20

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

deba168 (author)MadeByGloria2016-09-20

Cool !!!

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.

deba168 (author)ttaylor102016-09-20

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

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 :-)

deba168 (author)MarkW1842016-09-20

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

big dawg1 (author)2016-09-20

Nice ible.

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

deba168 (author)big dawg12016-09-20

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

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.

deba168 (author)thepoisonivy2016-09-20

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

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?

DarrinD2 (author)JohnF482016-09-20

Use corrugated plastic instead of cardboard.

About This Instructable




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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