Home-made Sun Jar (BFG Dream Jar)




Introduction: Home-made Sun Jar (BFG Dream Jar)

About: Watch this space.

A solar-powered LED lighted cookie jar reminiscent of the Sun Jar designed by Tobias Wong.

"Jam jars store jam, the Sun jar collects and stores sunshine so that you can use it at night."
Pass around the sunshine, Sunshine. (_)v

1. Ikea glass jar (AUD$3.00)
2. Solar garden light (AUD$10.00)
3. rechargeable battery (AA size)
4. Blu-tack
5. Tracing paper

1. screwdriver
2. Utility Knife
3. Glass Frosting spray

Step 1: Bringing Them Together

Step A:
Rip open the innards of the solar garden light. I know that may sound ambiguous but you'd be able to use a utility knife and surgically dissect the relevent components out (see image). Solar garden lights are easily available at your local major hardware store. If you're in Australia, try Dick Smith Powerhouse.

Step B:
Flip open the ikea jar and place the "solar garden light innards" as shown in the picture. Use blu-tack to keep it all together. Feel free to play around with the placements so the components would fit snuggly into the jar.

Step C:
Cut a strip of tracing paper and place it in the glass jar.
Use a Glass Frosting spray .

Step D:
Close the lid of the glass jar with tender care and you're done.

Step 2: Charging and Usage

1.The light sensing diode on top of the jar should cause the LED to light up once ambient light diminishes below a certain threshold.

2.Keep the jar by a window with strong sunlight to charge the rechargeable batteries via the solar panel.

3. Enjoy your home-made sun jar or give it away as a cool gift.

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355 Discussions

if you are in the uk B&Q do a pack of 2 solar lanterns for £4 but many petrol stations have them for dirt cheap as "promotions". if you fill the jar with glass beads there is no need to fix the components to the jar as they just sit buried in the beads. also colored beads would give a nice effect. i've found the solar panels to be crap behind glass (window or jar). open the lid and stick it outside if you want to use it that night. i guess the windows block some vital part of the spectrum either uv or ir which the solar panels may make use of. nice instructable, creative not complex! (the best kind)

jar 001+.jpgjar 002+.jpg
1 reply

I used a mason jar, with great results. Mine's a bit more janky though, the solar panel sticks out the top, but I like it. It's a personal touch.

I made a few of these. I used some glass beads as well. Be aware that darker colors do not let out as much light. I stuck with clear or light blue. Frosted glass beads look great too. This are how mine turned out:

1 reply

If your light is inside surrounded by glass beads or marbles, you could find already frosted marbles to give you a more dispersed light, and not have to sandblast anything.

I made a couple of these and planed on making more as christmas gifts but... Is anybody else having problems with the batteries barely lasting? I know it gets dark early but I'm home by 6 usually and mine are already out by then. I bought new batteries and have had the same results on 2 of them. And the window I put them in usually burns the leaves of plants it gets so much sun.

15 replies

Yep having the same problem too. Might need to leave them out in the sun. Worked fine for me after that. 5-6 hours of power.

I think actually it was the lights I had. I just bought new ones that work much better (all night), were cheaper ($24 for 4) and they fit better in the jar. Because the new ones I got are round I cut out the outer shell of the light so it is a hollow tube shape and placed it in the jar first. The guts of the light sit on top of it and the lid of the jar holds it all together so there is no need for the blue tack.


Hey Derek, What brand were the lights that you bought, and how long did they last? One link said to use Malibu Brand Solar Garden Lights, but they don't seem to fit as nicely as yours do.

Hi, can you tell me the size of the glass jar or the lights? there is no Ikea where I live and I don't know where to find the jar... any help? thanks

Like... It's a big stick of wax with a stringy thing in the middle... Don't you mean frosted jars?

No. i meant, there's candles. yes? well, they come in jars....okay? that just happen to be frosted...OH MY GOSH!!! I THINK, WAIT, YEP! A LOT OF CANDLES COME IN JARS, SOME ARE FROSTED!! MAGIC HUH?

The mouth of the jar is just under 3.5 in dia. and it is about that high too without the lid. I looked all over for a jar near me but ended up having to get it at Ikea almost an hour away.

thank you, i will keep looking, the closest ikea in my case is three hours away... but thanks again

Sorry if this was already answered, but what was the brand name of the lights you found at home depot? And any additional information that might help them be found? Thanks!