I love to use Mason jars in all kinds of ways. I found solar light lids you could buy online to make a solar light out of a Mason jar. I thought that was a great idea but when I wanted to purchase one they were out of them. I went online and found some tutorials on how to make your own but I really didn't like how they looked when finished. They had the solar unit sitting on top of the lid and it looked, well….. it didn't really look like a Mason jar anymore. I wanted a solar lid that still left my Mason jar looking like a Mason jar. So, I explained what I wanted to my husband and he made a solar lid for me that fit inside the jar, no big thing on top of the lid!
First we bought outdoor solar landscape lights, these were on sale for $2.50 each, woo hoo! This is a smaller light, and it fit inside a small mouth jar lid (2 ¼ inches). Of course you can use the larger size for a larger jar.
My husband dismantled the light, only the silver top where with the solar panel is used for this project, and the clear plastic diffuser if you want it. He measured the solar panel opening, made a template from card stock, and marked around the template on top of the jar lid. Then he made an X from corner to corner. He says using a pencil would work better for a more true line; we used a marker for this photo so you could see it.
Placing the lid on a cutting surface, and with a box cutter he scored the square, then cut into the X starting from the outside in. The lids are soft thin metal so they cut rather easily though it took several cuts before it began to cut through. Once it cut through, he bent the flaps down (to the inside of the lid, this way sharp edges are not on the top of the lid) making sure it created a fold on the scored line around the outside of the square. Then he bent the flap back and forth until it broke off. Obviously whenever a box cutter is involved with a project you must be very careful to not cut yourself. Do not cut towards a finger, and the edges of the cut lid will be very sharp! Use gloves please! I'm sure there are other ways a lid could be cut, perhaps with a dremel tool grinding wheel?
Now all he needed to do was Super glue the solar panel to the bottom of the jar lid with the opening over the solar panel. With the ring on and the light in the jar, it still looks like a Mason jar! Place the lid in the sun a few hours to charge it and enjoy your light.
I printed these cropped pictures on transparencies in roughly the same size as the inside of my jar, 3 by 10 inches. (I had it done at Kinko's, 75 cents each) I found that a picture with a high contrast of light and dark (like the top pic) worked best. But I also found that printing on regular paper also worked well as it became transparent with the light behind it. I liked the whimsy of the picture of strawberries inside the jar too. Wouldn’t these be great as a centerpiece for a dinner party or night time wedding reception? It would have to be dark enough for the light to be seen of course.
Thanks honey, you did a great job on the lid :) If you would like to purchase a solar lite lid instead of making one, keep scrolling, there is a link for that. Yes, they are affiliate links, thanks for supporting my blog.
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