Introduction: Glowing Jar Decoration

About: Special Education Teacher

This is a project I completed with my students intended to be a Christmas decoration. However the paper insert and color of lights could be changed to match any occasion or season. It is easy and cheap enough to provide all the materials for a whole class without breaking the bank. It's engaging enough that it keeps students interest, gets them doing design work with Google Drawing and provides them an opportunity to play with some LED tape which is just fun stuff.


-Pint Mason Jar

-LED tape with sticky backing and appropriate power source

-Tempera paint (I used white)

-Computer with printing capabilities to create 8.5" x 2.75" paper insert

-Scotch Tape

Step 1: Step 1: Prep the Jar

I choose white paint to use in the bottom of the jar, however depending on the theme your going for I'm sure any color would work. Perhaps if you were going for a Halloween theme you might use orange lights and perhaps black paint.

The paint helps send more light through the paper and makes for a nice glow.

Step 2: Step 2: Design the Insert

I used Google Drawing to design the paper insert to go inside the jar. I set the dimensions to 8" x 2.75" and then shared the document with my students via Google Classroom. This way they could design to their hearts content and not worry about going outside the boundaries. Simple designs taking advantage of clip art or simple shapes are the best. The key to a good insert are bold dark shapes. Fine details will not show up when lit up in a dark room. When cutting out the final insert you will want to cut it out as 8.5" x 2.75".

Step 3: Step 3: Set Up the LED Tape

For my project I provided students with a small segment of blue LED tape with sticky backing. Not a lot is needed for this project. I used snap on battery connectors so I could power it with a 9v battery.

Step 4: Step 4: Put It All Together

I first inserted the printed scene upside down. A little Scotch tape helps to hold it in place. I then attach the LED tape to inside lip of the jar.

Step 5: Step 5: Light It Up!

When ready just plug in the battery, replace the jar cover and turn the jar upside down. In a dark room it makes a beautiful glow showing off the scenery pattern.

Make it Glow Contest

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest