Not Martha

to make: homemade sun jar

We made sun jars using these instructions by Cre8tor at Instructables: Home-made Sun Jar. It’s based on the Sun Jar design by Tobias Wong. These notes are what we learned along the way.

The short version:

– Ikea Slom jar, smallest size, about $3

single Malibu brand solar garden light, about $10, from Lowes (see notes below for pictures of the specific one as there are a few variables) update: In the years since I wrote this tutorial it’s become easier to find individual garden lights that pop off their ground stake and are small enough to fit inside the lid of a jar. See the update note at the end of this page for pictures. End of the update.

– glass frosting spray

– some Blue Tak or sticky stuff

Disassemble the Ikea jar and spray the bottom half with glass frosting spray. Get the solar panel and battery pack out of the solar garden light and mount it on the underside of the jar lid (see below for specifics). Reassemble the jar and you’re done.

The long version:

The guts of the homemade sun jar are made using a solar garden light. These can be found at hardware and garden stores, and there are lots of types to choose from. Obviously since we’re ripping it apart we’ll be using the cheap ones. I love the solar garden lights for their intended purpose and will probably get some for our front walk. They work like this: the solar panel charges the NiCAD battery during the day, the batteries power the LED light when it turns dark, and a little diode turns the light off during the daylight hours. You put the jar on a sunny window sill and that’s it, it runs itself.

At stores I also found solar lights for floating in pools, and ones made to sit on patio tables, a lantern and even, oh my gosh, a light-up squirrel.

After my first try where I discovered that the components had been glued into place, I compared a few kinds until I found one that worked. I found that the components needed to unscrew easily, and have one battery. My unscientific testing and general assumptions bring me to say two batteries take longer to charge during the day. These are the ones that didn’t work: set of 4 Hampton Bay lights from Home Depot, glued in place; set of 6 Malibu brand lights from Fred Meyer, had 2 batteries; set of 4 Westinghouse brand lights from Sears, I was completely unable to get open. There might be other kinds out there that work just great, but at this point I was tired and running up against a deadline.

update: In the years since I wrote this tutorial it’s become easier to find individual garden lights that pop off their ground stake and are small enough to fit inside the lid of a jar. See the update note at the end of this page for pictures. End of the update.

I settled on Malibu brand lights from Lowes which come individually packaged, about $10 each:

These come apart easily and there is no separate light sensing diode as shown in the Instructables site, if you cover the solar panel the light comes on. The LED light is mounted underneath the battery already, making it very simple to assemble for the jar. Also the solar panel is just the right size to fit inside the jar lid and still allow it to close. The light in these is amber.

However, after this initial happy find I bought six boxes of these (we were making them as gifts) and found that the components inside were not always the same! Tragedy! Here are the three kinds we found:


BAD – Two batteries, couldn’t get open.


BAD – Two batteries.


GOOD! Single battery. That little orange strip is blocking the battery from engaging.

If you feel like you can get away with it while in the store, open the box and peek inside. You want the one that looks like the picture just above.

Unscrew the four (or sometimes two) screws that are holding the solar panel into the frame, you’ll need a tiny phillips head screwdriver. Do not unscrew the screws holding the battery pack to the electronic bits, that can stay just as it is. The solar panel and battery bits which are attached to one another with wires. Discard the protective plastic sheet and plastic frame, as well as the rest of the bits that come in the box, let’s hope they are recyclable in your area.

We used Ikea jars – the smallest in the Slom series (about $3) which you can find in the kitchen marketplace area. The jars seem really small in the store but we found the medium jar too large for the reach of the LED light to do a good job.

Happy surprise: the Ikea jar wire bits come off easily with a little pushing and pulling.

The only part which needs some help is the hinge:

This makes painting the jars far easier. We used a glass frosting spray paint which worked nicely. You don’t want to spray the jar top, it needs to stay clear as that is where the solar panel will be mounted to collect sunlight. We put the jars up on some skewers so they wouldn’t stick to the paper.


Say hello to Scott.


Two coats, it dried pretty quickly.

Now we prepare the light guts. In these pictures we used a silicone sealer glue (it’s essentially clear caulking, I think), but the Instructables project uses Blue Tak, aka that sticky moldable stuff you used to hang posters in high school. We decided to use glue because we were shipping the jars across the country and didn’t want them to shake apart in transit, but when we make our own I’m going to use the tacky stuff as it worked plenty well in my test. Also, if the battery should need to be replaced it will be easier to get to.

This is what we’ll be doing: attach the solar panel to the inside of the jar top so that it catches light during the day. But first we’ll attach the battery and light to the bottom of the solar panel so that when the jar is closed the light is pointing down inside.

Stick the battery and light to the bottom side of the solar panel with the light at the center, pointing straight up:


(In this picture we’re using a skewer to prop up the battery back while drying.)

Then dot the four compass points of the inside of the jar lid with the sticky stuff of your choice:

And put the solar panel, with the top of the solar panel facing towards what will be the top of the jar, on the sticky bits, centered carefully:


(Those wooden things are simply propping up the battery while the glue dries, they’ll go away.)

Now, reassemble the jar and you’re done.


The solar panel, mounted on the inside of the jar lid.


You can see the dark bits through the jar, and also the strip blocking the battery which will be removed to use.

This was a lot of fun, but of course the homemade jars won’t look as good at the real thing. Also, we tested these during a rainy, overcast Seattle December and found that the battery was barely charged by the end of the day. We got a few hours of light before it faded. We’re sure there will be stronger light during the summer months, but we’re pretty happy anyhow.

update April 2007: My homemade sun jar made it into the pages of ReadyMade Issue 28, thanks ReadyMade.

UPDATE: It’s been a few years since I first made this tutorial and the option for lights to fit inside a jar are easier to find. I found the following at Lowe’s, they are individually sold garden lights and the small top portion simply pops off of the ground stake they are mounted on. The top component is small enough to fit inside the top of a jar and wouldn’t need any modification. All you need is some glue to mount it underneath the lid of the jar. Neat, eh?

garden lights on stakes

garden light, popped off of stake

I also found these being sold individually:

individual garden LED light, easily removable top

individual garden LED light, easily removable top

individual garden LED light, easily removable top

individual garden LED light, easily removable top

156 Comments

156 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sarah // Dec 27, 2006 at 10:19 am

    oooooooh!
    i love it!
    i’m going to make some! thanks for the step-by-step!

  • 2 Fred // Dec 27, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    That looks like a very simple circuit. I would think that something like it could be built from components for much less than ten dollars.

  • 3 megan // Dec 27, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    Fred – I agree, however I consider the $10 a reasonable price for the savings in time and ease on the part of somebody who doesn’t know how, or have the correct tools to, create these from scratch. Especially if somebody is only making one or two.

  • 4 susan sobon // Dec 27, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    how much lite does one of these babies put out? comparing it to something i mean….

  • 5 Beth // Dec 27, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    i made these too. i used the two AA battery malibu lights from lowes that came in a 4-pack and they seem to work ok, but i’ll see after a few days. i hope they work since i’ve already given them out as presents. other things i found that may be useful – i sprayed the inside of the jar, so it isn’t gross to touch on the outside. also, you don’t have to take the jar apart to glue the stuff to the top. i used this glue stuff made by GE that i found at AC MOORE and i just applied it to the four corners of the top of the solar panel, and affixed it to the interior of the lid of the jar, with the lid of the jar laying flat on the ground. then you can carefully close the jar once it is all dry. another heads up – buy the amber led lights, because they look a lot prettier than the white ones. as far as how much light it puts out, think like a really really soft nightlight.

  • 6 megan // Dec 27, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Beth – I took them apart only to spray paint them. I considered spraying the inside but I was afraid it would be patchy (and we only had one dry afternoon before Christmas to get it done so I didn’t have time to find out). How did spraying the inside of the jar work out? Did you have trouble keeping the spray from bleeding onto the top or hinge?

    Thanks for your input.

  • 7 megan // Dec 27, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Susan – I couldn’t say with any authority. It’s not as bright as a candle, it certainly isn’t bright enough to use as a way to see in the dark. Really it’s just a decoration you don’t have to turn on and off.

  • 8 Home Solar Power Kit Can Cut Power Costs | // Dec 30, 2006 at 9:28 am

    [...] not marthathis: the solar panel charges the NiCAD battery during the day, the batteries power the LED light when it turns. the bottom half with glass frosting spray. Get the solar panel and battery pack out of the solar garden., if you cover the solar panel the light comes on. The LED light is mounted underneath the battery already, making it very simple to assemble for the jar. Also the solar panel is just the right size. Unscrew the four (or sometimes two) screws that are holding the solar panel into the frame, you’ll need [...]

  • 9 steph // Jan 3, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Where did you get the glass frosting spray? My mom and I turned over every craft and paint store in our area and found nothing! Was it called anything mysterous or special?

  • 10 megan // Jan 3, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Steph – I found mine at Home Depot in the paint aisle among the specialty spray paints, I know I’ve seen Krylon brand in the same area at Lowes stores.

  • 11 Dan V // Jan 8, 2007 at 3:23 am

    I followed your directions, and was able to find everything at the local hardware store in Sicily. I now have a well lit terrace in the evenings. Very nice for when friends come over!!! Thanks!

  • 12 Cre8tor // Jan 12, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Nice! damn, you’ve got prettier pictures than me…lol I wonder if Tobias is aware of us recre8ting his design.

  • 13 confused // Jan 15, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    i can only find the ones with 2 batteries… how would that affect everything else? would it take longer to charge?

  • 14 megan // Jan 16, 2007 at 8:35 am

    confused – I’m not certain, but I think it would take longer to charge. You might need to be certain to leave it in a very sunny area.

  • 15 leahpeah : Blog Archive » Two Many Links // Jan 17, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    [...] Not Martha made awesome rechargeable sun jars. Her step by step instructions rule. These are definitely a contender for next Christmas. [...]

  • 16 Justin // Jan 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

    So I made a couple of these but ran into a few problems… First off, I can’t find glass frosting spray anywere. Lowes, HD, all the area craft stores… I ended up using a matte clearcoat, and it worked pretty good, just not quite as frosty as I would like. The other thing is that I too am in Seattle, and they usually drain the battery of any energy by the time I get home from work. The circuit doesn’t look that complicated, and if there are any electronics gurus out there, I would love for them to take a look at this and figure it out. I’m sure you just have to replace the resistor, or one of the transistors with one of a higher or lower capacity to change the threshhold of the circuit.

  • 17 gadget_brain // Feb 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    These lights typically have very simple circuitry.

    The one that I’m looking at right now consists of a:
    LED
    diode
    transistor
    resistor
    cadmium sulfide cell.

    The diode is to block the voltage from the batteries discharging into the solar cell which would happen during periods of darkness (nighttime).

    The cadmium sulfide cell is a light sensitive resistor it’s at the top between the two solar cells. This light sensitive resistor is going turn the transistor on or off.

    The transistor then acting as a switch either allows electricity to flow through the LEDs or not.

    Bypassing the cadmium sulfide cell and the transistor with a manual switch would allow you to do the same thing physically.

    gadget_brain

  • 18 Angie // Apr 9, 2007 at 6:12 am

    I found your website a couple of days ago and I will honestly admit I am addicted! I’m getting the stuff to do this tonight so I can put it together tomorrow on my day off! *happysnoopydance*

  • 19 Farah // Apr 12, 2007 at 11:16 am

    I found jars that will work at Hobby Lobby! Yay! They are squared but should look fine. One last question though – how did you attach the battery pack to the bottom of the solar panel? My battery pack (and I am pretty sure it is the same one you used) has two little “feet” on it so there isn’t a flat surface for glue. Thanks for your help!

  • 20 Corvus // Apr 15, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Oh, I love this project. I’d like to give it a mention in my blog, and was wondering if I could use one of your pictures (linked back here, of course) to do so?

  • 21 Adam K. // Apr 18, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    This is great. I was headed to Ikea this coming Friday, anyway. Glad I saw this before the trip out there. Thanks, NM.

  • 22 Jack Of Most Trades // Apr 18, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    I saw this in “Readymade” and made one for my Friend’s Easter basket. She was QUITE impressed, and I had a blast making it.
    The glass frosting spray was dificult to find, but I did find it at Michael’s. The Malibu lights I used came from “The Evil Empire” 4 for $12, single cell, amber, snap apart. Fun project!

  • 23 Haven // Apr 23, 2007 at 1:08 am

    I have attepmted – and failed miserably – at trying to make a Sun Jar. I now live in New Zealand and, sadly, am without an Ikea or a Lowe’s. I found a jar that resembles the Slom and a cheap solar garden light with single battery (which I was pretty happy about). BUT when I tried to remove the battery, etc, it was all glued and the battery was held in by a chunky plastic tray. SO I thought I’d break all the plastic off and find another way to hold the battery in place – huge mistake. Also, the solar panel was too big for the jar lid, the corners stuck way out and prevented the lid from closing. Arrrgh. I’ll try again with a different brand of light.

  • 24 Bohemian Revolution » Blog Archive » Craft Project Roundup // Apr 23, 2007 at 1:39 am

    [...] The Homemade Sun Jar from Not Martha. A frosted jar with lights inside, beautiful in a garden or inside the home. [...]

  • 25 yippee pup // Apr 23, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    wowee! i’m gonna try this!

  • 26 blueshoes // Apr 29, 2007 at 6:23 am

    If you are in Oregon or Washington and near a Bimart, you can get an 8-pack box of these Malibu solar lights for $29.99.

  • 27 tennispjb // May 23, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I can’t believe I saw this on stumbleon.com. My husband was just looking at these for over $100 each! I will definitely try this!

  • 28 anna mccrummen // May 23, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    THANK YOU for the pictures. i read pictures C:

  • 29 Annette // Jun 15, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Ok, this is so fabulous! I’m glad I “stumbled” here! Off to Ikea and Target I go!

  • 30 Tessa // Jun 16, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you soooo much, Megan! I’m putting this in my tree house!

  • 31 Shane // Jul 17, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    I finally found an excuse to make the sun jars but didn’t have time to get to Ikea for the Slom jars so I ended up using straight sided jars. I didn’t like the fact that the shadow from fron the battery showed so much so I placed a small mirror that I bought at Michael’s in the bottom. I haven’t tested it yet but I hpe it will help.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 32 megan // Jul 17, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Shane – I do hear you on the shadow thing. Good thinking on the mirror – please do let us know if it works out!

  • 33 Andee // Aug 2, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I’m thinking maybe Etching Cream might work well to frost the glass. I have used it a lot before (on christmas bulbs), and it’s smelly, but easy to use and it’s permanent. It’s easily found in craft stores. I think I will try it with that.

  • 34 megan // Aug 2, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Andee – I considered that, but a friend reported that she was having uneven results when using etching cream on medium sized patches when she did designs on drinking glasses. I was afraid of going through the trouble only to have uneven results.

  • 35 Andee // Aug 2, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    If you coat it a couple of times, the unevenness goes away. You can redo the process several times. With the ornament glass, though, it gets fragile. But I think with the thick glass on the jars, it will work fine. You can also get Amaco Rub ‘n’ Buff,(at art supply) that coats the etched glass and it makes it look even brighter, and it comes in colors that will tint the glass. Use silver if you don’t want color.

  • 36 Janice Handy // Aug 24, 2007 at 5:17 am

    I love it
    Thank you for the step by step instructions. I’m going to try this.

  • 37 Ashley // Sep 8, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Im looking for just the guts of the solar panel garden light because i want to make a whole bunch of these for an event. Does anyone know where i can find a vendor that will just sell the guts? i dont want to be wastefull.

    cheers,
    ash

  • 38 Dog Mom // Sep 16, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Long time lurker at notmartha, first time crafter with notmartha’s instructions.

    I bookmarked this page a while back and got a whim the make some of these sun jars this weekend. Firstly, I’d like to thank notmartha for just spelling out what we needed…*I* didn’t have to hoof it about town to figure out what would and wouldn’t fit! That was the bomb…THANK YOU!

    To answer some of the questions in previous posts…I quessed that the spray might scrape off and I wanted to use these camping (which means that they would get a lot of bumping and scraping). Since I already had some glass etching acid (you can get it at a good hobby shop), I elected to use that. I etched the sides of the glass from the glass ridge down and about 1/4 inch of the bottom. I left the bottom clear. It was fine. Maybe it wasn’t a even as if I done 2-3 fine sprays of frosted glass spray, but it looks really really good…and definately will not scratch off.

    I also tried several different glues …
    silicon – fail
    super glue gel (the cheap kind) – fail
    JB Weld (24 hour set) – black goo – fail
    Devcon Clear Epoxy (5 min set) – SUCCESS!

    Devcon cost about $3.45 and rocked!

    Well – thank you notmartha…I now have 4 excellent sun jars…and will be making four more soon!

    Oh – one recommendation, you might want to be sure that the solar lights are not faulty BEFORE you take them apart and start glueing them. Luckily mine worked…

  • 39 zack // Oct 31, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    First, thanks for creating this step-by-step. More helpful than the instructables version. I just made a couple of these this weekend. Spraying the inside definately looked better than the outside. The outside scratched in places and flaked off of the bottom. I used a GE silicone for mounting. It worked well for mounting the panel to the lid but not at all for mounting the battery and board to the panel. I had to go back and remount with super glue that seems to be holding much better.

    Does anyone know how to find the right light setup without tearing open the box and light unit? The malibu lights that i got at Lowes had only one battery, but everything was mounted to the underside of the light unit. The battery holder was actually molded into the base. (looks like the first picture but with only one battery) I had to hack saw the whole thing apart to get it to fit.

  • 40 megan // Oct 31, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Zach – My only advice is to stand in Lowes and open box after box of lights to find the kind that don’t need to be broken to take apart. That box I have in the picture is one I found at Lowes and of twenty boxes, every third one seemed to have a different set of components. So, I dug until I found the kind I needed.

  • 41 Deb // Dec 13, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Hi — does anyone have suggestions on how to get the glass frosting spray to go on evenly? My attempt has it looking very splotchy, drippy, runny.
    What I know I did wrong was to spray them in below 50-degree weather, but I had all components inside at room temp before dashing out to the porch to paint. Didn’t want to paint indoors due to gas pilot lights and smelliness.
    Advice, anyone??

  • 42 megan // Dec 13, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Deb – Are you spraying the inside or the outside of the jar? How close are you standing? How many coats?

  • 43 Deb // Dec 13, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Hi Megan — Thank you for the quick reply! I was trying to paint the jar’s insides, with the paint can about a foot away. The first coat was sort of okay, and I could swirl the wet paint around to make it more even, though still far from perfect. (it wanted to pool in the jar bottoms.) I tried two jars. The second coat was more of a dribbly, uneven mess than the first, but one coat was ‘clearly’ not going to be frosty enough. My guess is the jars might have been too cold. Good thing IKEA is a short drive from home!

  • 44 megan // Dec 13, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Deb – You need to do lots of very light layers. I suspect that if the paint is running it’s not setting up the way it’s supposed to, and probably not creating the right surface to grab the subsequent layers.

    Or try painting the outsides of the jars? I didn’t have too much trouble doing the outsides while standing on my back deck ankle deep in snow the second time I made some jars.

  • 45 Matt // Dec 13, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    TRY SANDBLASTING! If you have access to a sandblaster, or talk to a local sign shop, machine shop, body shop, painter, etc. They would probably be glad to sand blast them for you for a couple of bucks. It’s permanent, more environmentally friendly and will give better results!

    You could sandblast either the inside or outside of the jars.

  • 46 diysolarlights // Jan 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I bought a homemade solar jar on etsy. You can read about my experience with Solar Jars, but basically the one I bought mustve been made out of bad quality (dim and short lasting)

  • 47 IllTemperedCur // Feb 29, 2008 at 7:40 am

    I made bunches of these for Christmas gifts this last year, based on the Instructables article. They were HUGE hits! Everyone loved them. A few points from my own experiences.

    Just like any project, don’t rush things. Especially when you’re dealing with paint/glue setup times.

    +1 on multiple, light coats of frosting paint. I did mine with two light coats (on the jar interior), and they came out just fine.

    I also frosted the outsides of the jar lids, because the assembly looked really ugly through the clear glass. Don’t worry, the solar cell will get plenty of light through the frosting.

    The NiCad batteries typically shipped in these solar lights are cheap garbage, with only about 600mAh capacity. They’ll only last about 6 hours when fully charged. I replaced these with AA NiMH 2300mAh batteries that I have around the house for all my battery-powered electronics. I got mine at Fry’s Electronics, but they’re pretty much available anywhere. Be sure to fully charge the battery before swapping them out. When fully charged, they will power the light for about 4 days continuously.

  • 48 Jenn // May 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    ok this sounds GREAT but I am in one of my last two classes to graduate being single mom still going through divorce, just lost my mother and job of nine years…………blah I need to make a less than ten dollar gift for the house for assignment for class…any ideas? This was almost perfect but I don’t think it will be less than ten.

  • 49 bbb // Jun 12, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    the post about substituting AA NiMH 2300m
    Ah batteries is great.

    but how do you mount them in the jar?

    thanks

  • 50 Kristian // Jul 8, 2008 at 1:49 am

    I got an Idea in mind!!

    you can make a SunJar with 4 LEDs colored, Amber, Blue, Green, White(or what so ever you like). So you wouldnt have only 1 color!!! just use 2 switches(it’s the switch that you can slide 3 times.)or even better?

    and I think that this idea doesnt need the solar panel. Cmon.. charging takes few minutes/hours…(well it’s up to you)

    You can even customize!! put a brighter light?, better batteries? MORE LEDs?

    yep it sounds hard but it’s not.. buy battery pack, switches, then connect to the LEDs BAAM! home made SunJar with 4 lights!!! of course by Kristian… unless someone has already thought of it….

    Well anyway.. this site is great that I even for got that I have work at 10am… I dunno what to say to my boss…

    Hey boss I made you SunJar, you like?

  • 51 Kerin // Jul 15, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    These are very beautiful. It upsets me that there is a blatant disregard for the future of our environment by encouraging unecessary consumption and waste of plastic! Give our world a chance – spend the extra few dollars – and just buy the components :)

  • 52 REGINA // Aug 5, 2008 at 12:16 am

    achei super legal!!!!!
    tentarei fazer!!!!
    obrigada!!

  • 53 Kristen // Aug 16, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Okay, this is a fabulous idea and my husband and I got everything we needed (well, almost…) and started to try to make one of these bad boys…

    I was the one to go to Home Depot while hubby watched our toddler at home, and after trying to rip open box after box of solar lights without being noticed by employees, I decided it would be easier to buy a bunch, take them home and return the ones that wouldn’t work. I found a box of 4 garden stake lights that were about $20 for 4. The panels unscrewed easily and everything seemed perfect until…I tried to glue the component inside the jar (Walmart, $8) and I realized that it was too big to fit inside the lid. I didn’t look carefully to see that the photos showed the glue being on the rim of the lid, not inside. So I decided to trim the panel a bit, after asking my husband his opinion. I cut the panels down to as small as I could get them without cutting the thin blue strips on the other side. The funny thing was, that the light kept going on and we couldnt’ figure out why…until my husband remarked that it must be on such a low voltage that it was picking up electricity from our bodies and charging the battery with it!

    After putting our hands on the lid for a few minutes (my son played with it and LOVED IT), the sun jar stayed lit for more than 2 hours!!! We assembled everything at night so there was no way it was partially charged by the sun while it sat out.

    Anyone else have this happen? Was it because I cut the panel or would it happen otherwise?

  • 54 Kristen // Aug 17, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Okay, we are officially idiots. We just realized that there was a sensor on the top and that the battery came partially charged…so we must have been holding our hand over the sensor without knowing it. We feel ridiculous but at least we made 3 more sunjars without needing to trim the panels :)

  • 55 melanie // Sep 8, 2008 at 11:30 am

    In response to the comment about wasting all of the plastic casing from these light kits…

    I agree :)

    I’m going to keep mine around and see if I can do something with them… and give the cooler looking glass ones away as gifts.

    To the end of saving us all some money- and saving on all of the wasted parts-

    I found that replacement parts can be bought for all of the Malibu brand lights at this website:

    https://www.intermaticstore.com

    I looked at the solar panel part, which includes the battery, for several different models, and they were priced $4- $6 dollars.

    If the original poster can tell us the exact model # of the kit that came apart easily, we could just buy that specific part :)

  • 56 megan // Sep 8, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Melanie – This is fantastic, thank you. The part number on mine is 501025-5000, and when you search for that at the site you get a whole bunch of products returned. I’m not sure if there is any way to ensure it is the exact one you need. If anybody does order it please report on what you receive.

    I will note that the part with the amber LED is less expensive ($5) than the part with the white LED ($9.50).

  • 57 Kelly // Oct 20, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Just a quick comment about where to buy the glass frosting spray/etching medium: if you cannot find it at your craft store and you are located in a major city, it could be that you have to go to a suburban craft store to find it. It has to do with certain ordinances that attempt to prevent graffiti and similar vandalism using etching products, spray paint, etc. Just a tip!

  • 58 HomeMaker // Nov 1, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Picked some up from this guy:

    ottawa.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-home-garden-24-New-Malibu-Solar-Accent-Garden-Lights-W0QQAdIdZ81976864

    Works perfectly. He shiped them to me.

  • 59 Mia // Nov 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    i cant figure out how to get the light part out. its all glued and welded together and even if i do get it out the plastic rim part is attacked so its not like i could just get the pack with the square part like your picure…and i dont have anything to cut the plastic either…what do i do?

  • 60 megan // Nov 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Mia – I talk about this in the instructions above, you need to buy one that is easy to disassemble.

  • 61 Anima // Dec 1, 2008 at 1:42 am

    The closest IKEA is 200 miles away from me – any substitute for the SLOM jar?? I’m thinking old bail type ball jars, or what? HELP, I want to do this for Christmas.

  • 62 Jenny // Dec 9, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    You could try the Container Store…

  • 63 Susan Hannum // Dec 10, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    You commented:

    “https://www.intermaticstore.com

    The part number on mine is 501025-5000, If anybody does order it please report on what you receive.”

    I ordered 4 of these, and they came just like your picture, and were easy to assemble. The battery and light were not easily glued to the solar panel, but that was resolved with some cardboard strips as a filler.

  • 64 Melissa // Dec 20, 2008 at 5:20 am

    Just made one yesterday! It was a nightmare getting the jar back together, will never take it apart ever again!!
    I was pretty disappointed with the light, you can hardly see it. Will leave it charging all day see if it makes a difference, if not, would it be possible to buy just the LEDS and replace them? Any ideas?
    The solar light I bought were the cheapest I found but pretty expensive anyway!

  • 65 Eddy // Dec 22, 2008 at 3:39 am

    So I am in the process of making 6 sunjars, I used hampton bay 8 pack solar LED landscape lights(amber) for 25 bucks at Home Depot, and I also bought ‘RUST-OLEUM’ specialty frosted glass spray as well. The lights I got were glued to a plastic casing, which I eventually cut up through much effort, however I found that when ‘custom fitted’ to each jar, they did not need to be glued to the lid, and when the lid was fastened, it was secured quite nicely. Basically the square of plastic catches on the mouth of the jar, and the lid closes above it.

    I also had an idea to make some patterns towards the bottom of the jars, so that when frosted they would have the designs with clear glass.

    I was thinking of frosting the outside which the instructions say, and I was reading through comments and came up with the following questions:

    1)when frosting the outside, does the frost chip away? I read that it can and it concerns me :/

    2)can the spray be sprayed onto some sort of dabber and dabbed onto the inside? this sounds like it will probably end up not working.

    3)if you decide to spray the inside.. i guess how do you go about doing it? people are talking about drips n stuff

    anyway hope someone can help, and this is a great guide to making a great gift.

  • 66 Sharlyn // Jan 24, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Just a FYI..Wal Mart has Westinghouse brand solar path lights for $4..in Arizona..UPC 756233074805..Works great in the cleaned out glass candle jar with glass lid..that was also purchasded at Wal Mart..Great to be frugal…

  • 67 Get Ready for Spring with these Home-made Sun Jars – Mai Magazine // Feb 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    [...] Martha does a great job of breaking down the instructions for these Homemade Sun Jars based on the Sun Jar design by Tobias Wong. For your less than 5 items supply list, you’ll [...]

  • 68 How to Make a Homemade Sun Jar | How To Jar // Feb 17, 2009 at 6:12 am

    [...] found several great sites that provide a tutorial on how to make them (Instructables, not martha, cinemazement), I tweaked the process a little and would like to share the idea with you. A [...]

  • 69 Sarah // Mar 8, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I love these little things! I, like a whole buncha other people on here, would suggest using etching cream though. And using etching cream would also open up a wide range of design possibilities (or at least make them easier)… Little clear or partially transparent polka dots, leaf patterns, grass shapes along the bottom… I’ve found shapes in the same aisle as the etching supplies that work really well. One problem, though, is that the sticky paper you use to do those designs like to give you a hard time when you use them on round objects…

  • 70 Alicia // Mar 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I made one two days ago and let it charge up all day in the sun yesterday – It started glowing at 6:30 pm last night, and was still glowing at 6:30 am today! It stayed on until about 7 when the room brightened up enough. I was amazed at how long it stayed on!

  • 71 Emily // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I’ve actually found that with the path lights from Walmart that I didn’t have to disassemble anything. I just took the top part off and glued it into the top of my jar. I am using a different jar though because I didn’t have much time to look for one. Frosting the glass is my current hang up on getting this baby finished.

  • 72 Nathan // May 19, 2009 at 4:16 am

    I made these, but did it differently then described. Walmart and Target sell mini lights for $4 that are self-contained and small enough that you don’t have to dismantle them, just remove the stake. I got jars at the Container store, filled them with light colored vase filler/glass marbles, and just shoved the light in the jar and closed the lid. If you leave the deflector on, it makes the light brighter. They turned out amazing-looking.

  • 73 pepperberryknits // Aug 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    My artists team is brainstorming about how to light up our vendor booth for a weekend craft show using no electricity. This is a fun idea. I could envision these hung from the canopy ceiling. The booth with the best non electrical lights wins a prize. Wish us luck.

  • 74 Em // Aug 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you so much for the step by step directions. My boyfriend and I made 4 today for my birthday present and they turned out great. We ran into some minor trouble, but we found our way out and the lamps are now just plastic shards. The perfect amount of light comes out and theyr’e fantastic! Thanks!

  • 75 katie // Sep 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I love these directions, as a crafter though I plan to adapt them to my own style. I have several small cousins who will be getting these ‘nightlights’ for Christmas but I will be personalizing them with translucent paint and translucent gems that are used in mosaics so it casts a rainbow of colors. and i will be using plastic recycled jars so they are not breakable. i was considering adding handles to the plain ones to use as camping lanterns.

  • 76 Ann // Sep 16, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I made these last night, but couldn’t find frosting spray. So instead I sprayed the inside w/ spray glue and coated it w/ glitter .They turned out great.

  • 77 BJ // Sep 28, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Out here in the desert of Arizona we use solar lights to help friends and family find the driveway at night!! I bought 3 sets of 4 each with plastic housings. Unfortunately they are only good for about a year and then the plastic is rotten from the sun. With a new battery and these awesome jars, I have had a great time recycling and upgrading. They have also become my gifts of Arizona sunshine in a jar.

  • 78 Kim // Oct 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Hi. Has anyone created a write-up to give to the recipient of your present? with info about how it works, etc.? Just wondering.

  • 79 Jamie // Oct 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I went to the dollar store and bought some glass rocks for $1 a bag, then I went to Jo-Ann’s fabrics and got some sheer fabric remnant with a floral pattern on clearance for less than a buck. I found a larger jar with the clamp & seal at Wal-mart for about $5 and at the same store, found some Christmas solar lights with the round top on sale for $4. To put it all together, I removed the clamp/ring from the jar, fit the fabric around the inside and used the glass rocks to hold the fabric down at the bottom and replaced the clamp/ring over the fabric on the jar to keep it in place. I need only to paint the christmas red solar disc and attach it under the lid (which fits perfectly).

    Here’s a pic of what I put together:
    http://jamiejoyce.net/CIMG0065.jpg

    I considered fire hazard and realized that a. the light is just slightly warm and hardly hot enough to burn even the sheerest of fabric and b. you need air to burn which the jar is sorely lacking. So, nope, no fire hazard with fabric.

    Thanks for the awesome idea!

  • 80 Shelley // Oct 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I finally made a few. I may try some different techniques next time. I didn’t want to frost the glass so I used translucent plastic instead. Here are there photos and all my sources: Thanks!

  • 81 Korgan // Nov 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve just gone and made one of these and I have advice for making them without using a few of the listed materials. If your light comes with a lens shaft attached(a plastic tube that clicks into place and covers the led, magnifying the light), as mine did, keep it attached and tie a bottle knot around it. You can then tie the string ends together underneath the jar. I used good looking yarn to do this, and some simple ropework to make it look great. This saves on buying any apoxies or glues. Also, instead of frosting the glass, I used translucent plastic from a very thin, plastic grocery bag. This saves frosting, allows for colour if you choose a coloured bag, and recycles the grocery bag.

  • 82 DIY Solar Lamp: Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Sun Jars | Designs & Ideas at Dornob // Nov 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    [...] simple, less-technical approach involves buying a conventional solar-powered yard lamp and then essentially harvesting it for key [...]

  • 83 50 Homemade Green Holiday Gifts That Rock // Dec 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    [...] homemade sun jar is a great gift for adults as well as little ones, but kids will be especially [...]

  • 84 Homemade Gifts For Any Occasion | Green Eco Services // Dec 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    [...] homemade sun jar is a great gift for adults as well as little ones, but kids will be especially [...]

  • 85 Marie // Jan 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    This person sells something like this here http://www.etsy.com/shop/themasonry

  • 86 Rachel // Jan 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    So, I tried the individual lights that you found at lowes, but the lights are florescent, is there anyway we could experiment with differnt colored lights? OR is there a glass frosting thats colored?

  • 87 yvonne // Feb 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    your website is absolutly wonderful, I just love itand will try to do alot of the projects

  • 88 pal // Feb 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Fantastic! I will be using the sun jar project with my students. Instead of frosting, we will paint on pastel tissue paper patterns with the Vano starch.

  • 89 12 Fun DIY Projects for the Chic Green Geek | EcoSalon // Apr 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    [...] And not too complicated to build, either. Have a look at the detailed walkthrough over at Not Martha (but pay attention to their closing comment that in this case, the real thing is far superior in [...]

  • 90 Craft Project Roundup | Bohemian Revolution // Apr 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    [...] Homemade Sun Jar from Not Martha. A frosted jar with lights inside, beautiful in a garden or inside the [...]

  • 91 Sam // Apr 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Walgreens is having these lights 2/$3 next week! I plan to get a couple & see if I can make the jars with them. I dont care if they are not super bright – I just want some ambient lighting for the deck at night. Thanks for the idea!!

  • 92 Earth Day 2010: Save the planet, save the world | Geekend | TechRepublic.com // Apr 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

    [...] used in place of electric lighting. You can purchase them from Think Geek, or you can follow these tutorials to make your own. I think making it yourself is fantastic geeky [...]

  • 93 Rose :: FineCraftGuild.com // Jun 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    absolutely excellent. we love green craft and this is 100% perfect for the season. thank you for this excellent tutorial.

    may I invite u to add it to this linky party so our readers can find you, and more people can share this wonderful idea:
    http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party/

  • 94 Great American Backyard Campout | Recycle Your Day // Jun 25, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    [...] – Create a homemade sun jar. [...]

  • 95 Fragglered // Jul 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I just purchased some of the solar lights for $2.50 each from Menards. The solar part detaches easily. I didn’t have any mason jars, but I did have some plastic Libby’s fruit jars. I simply placed the solar light on top of the jar (without its lid) and it made a lovely flower light pattern on the table. For fun I colored the relief pattern on the jar and it predictably made the light pattern colored as well! Great recycling project for scout group or play group, as the plastic jar makes the project kid friendly.

  • 96 Kimberly // Jul 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    This is great! I’m excited to out some together!

  • 97 Kimberly // Jul 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Oops! I’m excited! I can’t wait to “put” some together!

  • 98 kathy // Jul 29, 2010 at 5:14 am

    I have also been putting these together. Does anyone know where you can buy just the cell. I hate to have to throw the other parts out.

  • 99 Designer Latterns for Your Budget | The Lodge at Spring Shadows // Aug 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    [...] got these simple instructions from notmartha.com who credits her budget friendly design to the late Tobias [...]

  • 100 Stacy // Sep 13, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Anybody try colored lights?

  • 101 Vanessa // Sep 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I am making these now, jars sitting in my garage drying with the frosted glass spray. I bought the mini solar yard lights at Menards for 88 cents each, Large jars about $4.30 and small jars $1.99 at Hobby Lobby. That makes the small homemade sun jars I’m making about $3 each for materials and the large jars about $6. I used clear tacky glue to attach the solar lights to the jars.

  • 102 Micah // Oct 1, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I am trying Stained Glass Paint with a layer of Frosted Glass Paint over that. We’ll see.

  • 103 Cheri // Nov 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Just watched CNN Heroes last night and am thinking I want to start making solar lights for children in Kenya and found your site. I am very thankful for your detailed instructions and hope it can bring enough light for these children to see at night with. Imagine the beauty of lighting and how it can truly change lives! I also like the idea of painting something on it too! Thank you.

  • 104 Trav // Dec 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    SO is there a place I can buy just the solar light guts, reading through the comments I didn’t find anything. But maybie I missed a link or something.
    Please if anyone knows a dealer post a comment!
    thanks

  • 105 Terri // Jan 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Also would like to know if you can directly buy the solar light guts? No need to waste, and it will be easier and probably less expensive to do so.

  • 106 megan // Jan 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I’ll look and see what I can find! Thank you for the prompting.

  • 107 Kris // Feb 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Here is the link to just the guts…..

    https://www.intermaticstore.com

  • 108 Miami Foreclosure Defence // May 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

    This is so cool and very nice. thanks for the post

  • 109 Kirsten // May 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! I’ve loved sun jars ever since I saw them on ThinkGeek… but didn’t love the price so much, so this is a great alternative.

  • 110 DIYing type of day | Digital Dollhouse // May 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    [...] these solar jar lights? Great for the warm spring nights we are all looking forward to! Thanks Not Martha for the great [...]

  • 111 Janet // Jun 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Hello! This is a lovely idea and I am planning to make some of these jars as graduation gifts! Wondering if you could answer some questions. I am looking to make the jar with amber/yellow and blue lighting as seen on instructables.com. Is there any way to switch the lightbulb in the garden lights?
    Or do you suggest any other colored lighting source? (simple and low cost)
    Thank you!

  • 112 megan // Jun 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Janet – I know that you can buy individual garden lights at Target that are labeled with “white” or “amber” light. For these I don’t think you’d be able to break open the light and switch out the bulb (they are made, sadly, to be disposable) but you might be able to cover the LED with a bit of clear colored plastic. Best of luck!

  • 113 No Spark For Art « The Paper Phantom // Jun 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

    [...] I made solar jars .  Super fun and easy.  Here are some quick phone photos I took of [...]

  • 114 Marian // Jun 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I am currently making theses lights, and I am using a mix of thrift store found jars and Ikea jars. I actually opted for the taller jars, as Ikea was out of the midget jars. I am actually going to go to Home Depot to buy the lights (they have small, stake lights for $2.00 a pieces), and Michael’s has the glass spray.

  • 115 LED Solar Jars « Birdie Bloggery // Jun 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    [...] I remembered that I had seen a blog post about homemade versions somewhere, and after a bit of googling, I found it on Not Martha’s blog: Homemade Sun Jar [...]

  • 116 Question... // Jul 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I saw in your update that you used a silver circular solar lamp that was all enclosed. What I’m wondering; however; is how would you attach that to the inside of the mason jar. I found a few of the lamps you showed for .99 cents at walgreens and I’m dying to make some of these for my nephews, however I’m having difficulty with this part. Please help! thanks

  • 117 megan // Jul 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Question – I used a craft glue, clear Gorilla Glue I think, or something like e-6000. You could also use a clear silicone glue or clear caulk if you have it. A few dots in the corners work just fine.

  • 118 I WILL be making some of these « julielnsauer // Aug 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    [...] simple, less-technical approach involves buying a conventional solar-powered yard lamp and then essentially harvesting it for key [...]

  • 119 terry // Sep 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    i got the lights at walmart for <$1. they are red white and blue (and a little ugly) but i got them for the holiday. and took them in after july 4th… now i can use THEM

  • 120 Katie // Sep 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    This is great and I’ve got it mostly done, but HOW did you put the jar back together?

  • 121 Pat // Oct 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    We have two solar lights hanging on a double shepherd’s hook in our front yard. When the sky starts getting dark with a bad storm coming, we go out and take the lights from the hook and bring them indoors in case the electric goes off. It would work with these handmade jar lights, too.

  • 122 Let there be light « what maddy did next // Oct 15, 2011 at 4:37 am

    [...] seeing this project on the notmartha blog I thought I was one I should definitely try because I love candles, lamps and lights in [...]

  • 123 Shirley from Funchkins // Nov 2, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Dear Megan,

    My name is Shirley and I write for Funchkins: The Funky Art of Design
    blog. We loved your tutorial on Sun Jars that we featured them on our blog a
    couple of days
    ago, you can visit the post here:
    http://funchkins.com/2011/10/26/stylish-scandinavian-designed-canes/#.TrE3ufSIm0s


    Kind regards
    Shirley

  • 124 Shirley from Funchkins // Nov 2, 2011 at 5:42 am

    And the link should be: http://funchkins.com/2011/10/27/sun-jars-you-can-make-at-home/#.TrE43_SIm0s

  • 125 Laura Cusick // Nov 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I have not read all of the comments/answers but wondered if anyone has used color on the glass instead of frosting them? I want to send them to some young nieces and nephews and am looking at options for decorating.

  • 126 megan // Nov 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Laura – Color would be easy to do! I don’t know if there are colored glass sprays but you could certainly do something with colorful LED lights.

  • 127 Emily Riggs // Dec 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!

    And to give this a bump, I found a few tips to help.

    The parts site no longer works, so in the absence of finding a less wasteful way or being educated in simple circuits(I am not, hubs is), I just bought three of the lights at Target that look just like the last ones pictured for $3.99 a piece:

    http://www.target.com/p/SOLAR-STAKE-ANODIZED-PLASTIC-ASST/-/A-13693864

    Michaels was an awful place to find jars with a terrible assortment-very few choices. The spray frost was just around the corner from the rest of the Krylon products. Krylon also makes colored glass spray that now comes in red, yellow, and blue and is translucent. This would be a great way to color the jar when changing the LED is not possible. Also, tinting jars would work great. Here’s the tutorial for that below:

    http://www.momtastic.com/diy/168908-diy-tinted-mason-jars-in-rainbow

    Hobby Lobby really has the best assortment of jars ranging in all sizes and they generally have a printable coupon for 40% off, which would make the frost spray much cheaper than the normal $10 a can!

    I bought a color changing single battery solar stake from Lowe’s and hubs took it apart. It won’t fit a mason jar, but we have others it will, or we may sand down the lip to make it fit. It was still pricier than the others. If that works out well, I will let you all know.

    Thank you for the fantastic gift idea!

  • 128 Vicki // Jan 8, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Can you use an ordinary Mason jar with metal lid and mount the light inside on the bottom of the lid? Or will this not work because the lid is metal? Thanks, I have a bunch of antique mason jars and would love to do something like this wtih them. Vicki

  • 129 megan // Jan 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Vicki – You need the top of your container to be clear to let the light hit the solar panel, so a mason jar wouldn’t work unless you replaced the inner flat disc lid with something like a plastic or glass piece that fit in there just right or found a way to mount the solar panel so that you could leave out the top of the jar. I hope that helps you out!

  • 130 Emily // Feb 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I bought the individual solar lights from Walmart…they’re about $3 each. If you screw off the top and use the Ikea jars, the light fits so perfectly within the lid that you don’t need any glue. I’ve made about 10 jars this way and they’ve held up perfectly. I did swap the batteries for longer life though.

  • 131 Ashley // Feb 14, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I just finished making my own sun jar. I couldn’t find any colored window frost spray but I did get the last available can of clear frost color at home depot. I sprayed the outside and inside of he jar with about 3 layers, so the color is less transparent. The clear frost doesn’t hide the solar light and I kinda wish the battery wasn’t so visible. I also had trouble finding the right solar garden light. It was hard to get the top section separated because the one I bought had wires through both ends of the light. :( But I figured it out. I cant wait to give them to my boyfriend for valentines day. He’s going to love it.

  • 132 Dawn // Mar 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    This will be fantastic addition to the vintage/victorian look that I hope to create this spring for my back yard. Thank you so much!

  • 133 Joe C // Mar 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Bought the lights at Dollar Tree for … a dollar – fit in nicely to the ikea jars…right now just using some clear packing tape around the rim of the light to hold it in. And if you want it tinted, there is no need to buy colored frosting spray… use a little piece of colored cellophane. Or you can find a transparent colored label from a soda or water bottle and use a tiny piece of that. Spraying the inside of the jar works just fine – not sure why anyone wouldn’t do it that way. I have these little battery operated tea lights (also from the dollar store) I plan to wire them in – and use them instead of the LED because they flicker like a candle. :)

  • 134 Solar jar: how to make a DIY Sun Jar from an old solar light lantern // Apr 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    [...] a more extensive step by step, read this sun jar article. .gplus #___plusone_0, .gplus #___plusone_1,.gplus #___plusone_2, .gplus #___plusone_3, .gplus [...]

  • 135 Solar jar: how to make a DIY Sun Jar from an old solar light lantern // Apr 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    [...] a more extensive step by step, read this sun jar article. facebook   twitter   pinterest   plusone   stumbleupon   tools [...]

  • 136 Sun in a Jar: DIY Solar Lamp, Aglow with Awesome | WebUrbanist // Jun 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

    [...] materials. One of the simplest methods involves tearing apart a solar-powered yard light and re-seating the light inside a frosted kitchen storage jar. Of course, creative types with a bit of mechanical know-how [...]

  • 137 Sun in a Jar: DIY Solar Lamp, Aglow with Awesome | iPhone - Mania // Jun 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    [...] materials. One of the simplest methods involves tearing apart a solar-powered yard light and re-seating the light inside a frosted kitchen storage jar. Of course, creative types with a bit of mechanical know-how [...]

  • 138 Sun in a Jar: DIY Solar Lamp, Aglow with Awesome | Indoor Digital Billboards // Jun 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    [...] materials. One of the simplest methods involves tearing apart a solar-powered yard light and re-seating the light inside a frosted kitchen storage jar. Of course, creative types with a bit of mechanical know-how [...]

  • 139 Jenny Knits Can you capture the sun or moon? Yes! | Jenny Knits // Sep 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    [...] looked up a couple of tutorials and found this one to be the best.  Took me a couple of days to pull together the bits and [...]

  • 140 Jo // Oct 2, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I love this idea and have Jar’s that i would like to turn in to Solar / Sun lamps, but they have nomal screw tops, how would you go about turning them in to solar Jar Lamps?

  • 141 megan // Oct 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Jo – I’m afraid you do need a clear top to create the jars they way I’ve shown here.

  • 142 Kathi // Oct 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I found solar lights and an apothecary jars (with lids) at the 99¢ Only Store. The lights needed only to be unscrewed then glued into the lid, and the switch turned on.
    Only problem is . . . not enough light! Bigger bulb?

  • 143 Michael Moore // Jan 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I must try this! Thank you for sharing the idea! These are beautiful and inexpensive! My wife will love the idea. I am thinking of a way to drill a hole in the bottom of the jar so as to mount them on the railing of our deck. They would be beautiful spaced between the post atop our deck railing! Cannot wait to build them!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • 144 Solar jars DIY » The Homestead Survival // Jan 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    [...] http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/homemadesunjar/ [...]

  • 145 Lisa // Mar 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I purchased my jars for 1.00 each from Family Dollar and the small lawn lights for .99 each from Walmart. The jars are also squared and the light just barely fits in the jars with the plastic still on, could work either way. Still cold in MN so I haven’t sprayed the jars yet but I think I may attemp etching. When I saw this on Pinterest it said something about painting the inside with tinted Elmer’s glue. Has anyone tried this yet? Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous idea with all of us!

  • 146 amee // May 18, 2013 at 7:25 am

    so cool! i’m going to try this. one question: is there an easy way to turn it on/off? do these lights come with a switch, or is there an easy way to interrupt the flow from the battery, which looks like it’s not super removable in that setup? (i know nothing about electronics, so apologies if this is a silly question.)

  • 147 Ollie // Jun 16, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Thank you now I know what to do with my garden solar lights cap.. The lower part broke due to the hot and cold weather and I’m thinking of ways how to recycle it. Hopefully I can get hold of the frost paint here down under, cheers!

  • 148 How To Make Your Own Sun Jar // Sep 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    [...] via not martha [...]

  • 149 Hillary @ The Friendly Home // Oct 15, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Hey, there. I used your tutorial as inspiration for these solar powered path lights. Thanks for the idea! http://thefriendlyhome.blogspot.com/2013/10/solar-powered-mason-jar-path-lights.html

  • 150 joel // Oct 17, 2013 at 4:18 am

    If you have access to a Harbor Freight Tools store, they sometimes sell boxes of 10 solar lights for $10.00 (when they are on sale), and they are perfect.

  • 151 Rick Shinholt // Oct 21, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I found the lights at the dollar store. I think it was 2 for a dollar.

  • 152 How To Make Sun Jars — Homestead and Survival // Oct 26, 2013 at 5:01 am

    [...] Click Here To Make Sun Jars  Sponsored Link  Filed Under: Home, Shelter & Decor [...]

  • 153 DIY Solar Lamp: Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Sun Jars | SHTF R U Ready? // Dec 26, 2013 at 2:07 am

    [...] simple, less-technical approach involves buying a conventional solar-powered yard lamp and then essentially harvesting it for key [...]

  • 154 Sonne im Glas. Zum Mitnehmen. | Cool Camping Deutschland // Jan 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

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  • 155 Tony // Apr 20, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Hi, these look like a fun thing to make and even if they don’t throw off a lot of light I intend to put them on patio steps for an outline, thanks for the play by play on the how to. Tony…

  • 156 Here comes the rain again » Hurricane Dad // Jun 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    [...] for area lighting.  If you’re the handy type, you can make your own solar charging “sun jar” and have them always ready.  On the other hand, there are various lanterns available on the [...]

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