Jam Jar Night Light (Castle)




About: I graduated from Cardonald College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 1999. He has worked as a Tattoo Artist, Community Artist, and Freelance Artist ever since. I like making instructables that ...

In this instructable i am going to show you how to recycle an old jar into a charming nightlight that can be used in side or out doors and can be left unattended as it doesn't use an open flame.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials


A Jar.

Polymer clay.

Grey (or in my case mixed black and white) granite, metallic gold, green and brown but you will come to see that you can use any colours you want.

A set of cheap lights. For this example I am using a set of string lights from the pound shop but you can also use battery operated tea lights to give that candle light effect.


A baking tray that you are not going to use for cooking again

Craft knife

something to roll it flat with

old pizza cutter (optional) not pictured

Step 2: Clean the Jar

If the jar has any labels still attached you want to clean them off. there a few different way to do it but i find soaking it in boiling water then scraping it of works well and you can even use a bit of white spirit to get rid of any stubborn glue residue

Step 3: Covering Your Jar

Start rolling out your clay until it id long enough and wide enough to cover your jar. there is no hard and fast rule for figuring this out as jars vary in size and shape.

you may find that there is an over lap where both ends of the clay meet, simply trim these ends with the craft knife until the are flush with each other.

once you have got it almost covering the entire jar (but not over the neck) you can start kneading it over the areas it hasn't covered.

finally once you have covered the entire jar trim off any excess at the top and bottom with your craft knife.


Step 4: Doors, Windows and Covering the Lid

Using your craft knife start cutting your door, windows and any thing else you think would make a nice portal for light top escape through, like missing bricks or cracks. peel off those shapes and add them to the trimmings that you didn't discard in the last step.

Ideally you want to have enough clay from your trimmings to cover the lid.

As before need it until it covers the top surface of the lid with a slight over hang. you don't need to cover the whole thing at this point.

Step 5: All That Glitters.

Now we start decorating.

This can be done with any metallic clay. I am using gold because I think it looks warmer.

Roll out your gold into a long snake and then flatten it out with your roller. you can use either the craft knife or a pizza cutter to start cutting it into bars for your castles windows and portcullis.

The size and shape of your windows will dictate the length of your bars. just remember not to make them too thick that the block up the entire window.

Note: if you want to go that bit extra take a cocktail stick and poke a small indent where the bars cross to make them look like rivets

Step 6: Laying in the Brick Work

Okay, Now grab your granite clay (this can also be done with a lighter shade of grey)

Roll it out into a thick snake and flatten it own slightly with the roller. you don't want to make it as thin as any of the previous clay you have rolled thus far. you are aiming to be able to cut it into cubes that will form the ramparts. once you have a few cut out start lining the edge of the jar lid with them.

Once this is done roll out some more of your granite clay slightly thinner than above and start cutting them into smaller cubes and start using these to line your door and windows. the cubes don't need to be all the same size as it adds to the look of the castle.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

And here is where you get to go wild and really make the castle your own. I will share a couple of ideas but I'm sure you guys can come up with some brilliant ideas to make your castle special.

For the vines I rolled out to snakes of brown clay and tapered them at one end. I then twisted them round each other until about 2/3rds of the way up and attached them to the castle wall.

For the leaves i simply rolled out a thin layer of green clay and with my pizza cutter cut it into strips then diamonds.

In addition i made some gold coins and a trap door for on the roof BUT don't limit your self. your castle could be the home of a knight or a ghost or even a dragon.

Once you have put on all your finishing touches its time to put it in the oven. preheat the oven to in accordance to the directions of your polymer clay, put the lid and the jar on the backing tray separately and leave it to bake for your clays directed time.

Step 8: DONE!

And there you have it, your very own jam jar castle nightlight. once its cooled put your lights in and close the lid.

However the fun doesn't stop there! using different shapes of jars you can make all sorts of night lights and for any occasion.

You can even use smaller jars to make decorated keep sake jars.

I Hope you have enjoyed this instructable as much as i did and hope to see your night lights soon.

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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago

    You Dremmel a hole in the side near the bottom and wire the light with a lamp kit.

    1 reply
    Barry Neesontwighahn

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I would imagine you could but i would be wary of dremelling through the glass (only because I have never done it before)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a great idea. I especially love the creepy clown and monster-y looking ones in the last step. So cool!

    1 reply
    Barry Neesonseamster

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, the clown looks fantastic with some colour changing lights in him

    and by fantastic i mean traumatising ;)


    5 years ago

    What a cool concept! And I love the other ideas at the end...those mushroom cottages are adorable :)

    1 reply