How to Upcycle a Aqua Mason Jar into a Pretty Solar Light
We continue to downsize the number of things in our home. It’s taking forever and is seriously brutal on my stash of unused goodies. It also means I am rediscovering things that I really love, like two aqua blue vintage mason jars. Today I am sharing how I used these pretty jars to make some DIY mason jar solar lights.
The two aqua jars are my absolute favorite vintage jars because of the colour and age. I think they will be beautiful with solar lights, but I need to make sure they aren’t damaged in any way.
I first saw mason jar solar lights while checking out my friend Chas’ blog, at Chas Crazy Creations, here is the link to her Light Up Address Numbers Post.
To make your own mason jar solar lights, you need a jar you love and a solar light that fits inside the opening of the jar. I recommend buying dollar store lights, especially for indoor use, you don’t want anything too bright and glaring.
The thing with using the vintage mason jars, they aren’t easily replacable, I would freak if I cracked one. Also the lids are wide like modern wide mouth mason jars, so you have to be aware of the narrow neck. In theory, you want to purchase a solar light small enough to fit inside your jar. Taking the glass lid shopping with me, I made sure the light fit within the lid. I thought the light would fit inside the neck of my jars, but I was wrong.
I planned ahead only to find the solar lights were still a bit too big. Not willing to jam the solar lamp inside my vintage jar and perhaps crack the jar, I decided to try and downsize the solar lamp to make it fit. Turns out it was easy to do and worked just fine.
Remove the top portion that includes the solar lamp and light. Throw the rest including the stand away.
If your lantern fits inside your jar properly, your golden, and can skip the next several steps, just skip down to assembling the mason jar and solar lamp.
To Disassemble a Dollar Store Solar Lamp
Taking the lamp apart only takes a couple of steps, place the top part of the solar lamp on a hard surface. With a hammer and a flat headed screw driver, tap the screwdriver very lightly, it doesn’t take much. Punch the plastic all around the outside of the lamp to remove the outer ring.
There should now be two parts, the light and the solar panel connected by wires. With a wire cutter trim off the excess plastic. Make sure not to crack the solar panel or break any of the wires it doesn’t need to be really small, just small enough to fit.
Trimming the plastic was pretty easy to do, all I did was snip the plastic a little bit with the end of the wire cutters. Then I twisted the wire cutters to break off the plastic in little pieces. This took about two minutes.
Assembling the Mason Jar Solar Lamp
Using the mason jar and a piece of cardstock, on the wrong side of the paper trace out the top of the jar.
Chen cut a circle 1/4 inch larger than the drawn circle. This will leave extra paper to fold over the edge of the jar.
Place your solar panel on top of the paper and trace the outline. This time follow the lines and cut out a hole in the middle of your paper.
Align the solar panel and the central hole, tape around the outside with white masking tape.
Tape the battery pack to the back of the solar panel.
Flip everything over and tape the top side making it as neat as possible.
Fit the light portion inside the jar, and wrap the paper over the lid.
Clamp your glass lid back onto the jar, securing the light in place.
We have also made some solar lamps that feature lampshades. They work well outside and continue to work really well, even surviving some Canadian winters.