Hanging Mason Jar Solar Lights

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One of the best things to do on a clear night is sit outside and watch the stars. It’s so calming and soothing, the chaos of the day is gone (as in all the neighbour hood kids as well as my own are sawing logs in their beds), the sun is not making a person a hot sweaty mess, you can actually relax because you can’t very well start the mower at 10 pm.

Now that I think of it though, the man who lived in the house that was behind us did that once, 9:30 pm and his mower starts up. Drove me nuts, he was cutting a foot of grass (& dandelions)…..with no bag & his yard was so large that he did 5 rounds of the perimeter and then quit. It was like a crop circle gone wrong. When 7:30 am rolled around and my angelic boys – by angelic I mean, crazy, out of control, louder than loud, nerf gun-toting, did I say crazy? boys – asked if they could go outside I opened the door and let the Calvary out. Hey, fair is fair buddy. Needless to say the lawn stayed partially mowed for a couple of weeks but he never mowed late at night again.

Now, back to star filled nights. I love the ambience of sitting outside with some soft patio lights, chilling with some friends and family. One thing we are lacking on our deck is soft lighting. I’ve mentioned building a pergola a time or 100 to Eric mainly for the sole purpose of having lots of hanging twinkling lights above my head, so we’ll see if that happens by the end of the summer! If not, well here’s how I ‘temporarily’ solved my lighting problem.


I picked up a box of various sizes and styles of Mason jars last week, they were ones that I haven’t been able to find in stores so I’m thinking they’re old school, as in my grandma probably canned with those jars. Minus the little ones, ha! I picked up these 3 solar lights from Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago with the intention of using them in another project that totally bombed out so I was glad to be able to find another use for them!

I took the tops off of the lights and covered the solar panel with Frog Tape. I spray painted both the tops as well as the lids in Oil Rubbed Bronze (a new old fave).

patiolight1 patiolights7

Once the lids were dried I drilled a hole through the top to accommodate where the light would hang down a bit. Although my method looks a little rogue, no glass jars were damaged in the making of this project!


I placed a bead of carpenters glue to the outer edge of the solar top and placed in on the lid. The light hung down through the hole and the rest of the top sat flush with the lid, once placed on I screwed the lids to the jars.


patiolights6Deciding I wanted to have them hang instead of just sitting in a bunch on the table, I took some wire that I found kicking around and leaving around 2″ of overhang wrapped the wire twice around the around the jar. When I got to the opposite side of where I left my overhang I looped the wire over to meet the other piece and twisted them together. They were charged up from having been in the sun all day so I hung them from an apple tree in our backyard and watched as they started to glow!

solar solar1 solar2These are such a great way to utilize those extra mason jars you’re not sure what to do with and will be so fun to hang around our campsite once we get out camping!


65 thoughts on “Hanging Mason Jar Solar Lights

    1. I Love the idea of hanging them In a tree In the back yard
      I will try that
      Thank You

      1. Thanks for sharing such a great idea! I’m going try making some to put on top of my fence posts.

  1. I’ve been kicking around ideas for solar lights lately, and seeing this blog got me psyched to go pull out my old glass paints (like stained glass…both permanent and temp/removable) to start drawing on all the clear vases I collected one year to paint and give as gifts. They have all those notches and grooves that would look beautiful hanging ad a colored solar light. I once handpainted a forest scene with moose, bear, and squirrels on clear glass to make pencil cup. I will hang on to your website and try to find pix 2 share. Have u tried using decoupage glue/sealant on glass? I have big collection of geometric patterned vellum paper, and it is like rice paper when lit up. Another idea is use those appliances for Windows. Sold in Lowe’s or home depot. But

    1. As I was reading the instructions on how to make these lights I was thinking about adding color to the jars for additional mood setting. Live love love this idea

  2. Hi.. Love the idea! What size was the hole you drilled in top?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. It’s been asked several times. What size was the drill bit you used? Please let us know

  3. Were the solar lights able to charge while under the tree branches?
    Thanks for,this fun project, I will use your idea.

    1. Yes thy were! Our backyard gets maximum sun exposure through the day and they hung low enough on the branches that they were able to charge nicely throughout the day!

    2. In my opinion they are not going to charge through the canopy of a tree.
      I have to trim leaves away from solar lights in the garden all the time so they are not blocked. Otherwise for an open space I think they sound great. But believe me they are not going to charge hanging from a tree.

      1. We’ve had some pretty good luck with them charging! Our trees aren’t very dense though so I think that’s attributed to it!

      2. I have similar solar lights in my trees, they work great! But, I do plan on making some of these! Like anything in life, nothing works for everyone a 100%. You need try it and move it if it doesn’t work. There is always a place for a bit of mood lighting in my yard/gardens.

      3. Actually I have made these. they hang from 5 various trees in my back yard at camp on Lake Champlain. They shine beautifully and Bright every night.

      1. Chandra, not understanding the frog tape, that goes over the light part???

        1. you’ll want to use tape to cover the part the sun charges prior to spray painting. If you don’t then you’ll paint the part that charges and it won’t work!

  4. Chandra – a really cute idea/project – could you please add details regarding the more tech aspects – such as hole size, parts of the solar light to use, how to take the solar light apart, etc – sure would help much -thank you!

    1. Thanks Cheryl! The drill bit size I used was 3/8. I was able to just twist the top off the solar light that I had purchased and it removed the whole top portion. That included the charge pad, battery area and light. You should be able to twist off the top to any solar light and use it!

  5. Just a thought…If a person does not have a drill and/or a large drill bit, I would think you could make your own lid by using a scissors or utility blade to cut a circle from a piece of plastic, such as the cover from an old food container. If it isn’t sturdy enough, maybe two layers could be glued together. Once it’s painted, it would look the same as a mason jar lid.

    1. you’ll want to use tape to cover the part the sun charges prior to spray painting. If you don’t then you’ll paint the part that charges and it won’t work!

    2. The frog tape is only used temporarily while you paint the solar light to cover up the solor grid.

  6. Love this, we camp all the time. Will have to made a half dozen or so. Great for all around the camp site. Heck even hand one to the kids to walk up to the bathroom. 🙂

  7. I love this idea. I have just purchased a condo in Ballantyne and I have a patio that I think these would look awesome hanging from the top (there are neighbors above with a balcony, so their floor is my roof/cover). I can hang these from the edge and they can get sun. I thank you dearly for posting this wonderful idea ?

  8. Love this! Assembling 4 of them. Waiting for the paint to dry … tomorrow they will be finished. Thanks for this great idea! Make adorable gifts too … ?

    1. Sue, your jar top will need to fit the solar light. I dont think baby food jars are lsrge enough to fit.

  9. Great idea now I’m gonna be on the hunt for small Mason jars. But I’m going to hang mine in the pool area. My granddaughter will just absolutely love these. She’s only 9 but very crafty.

  10. They would be great hung under a porch umbrella alsoglue small glass beads onto the outside of your jars or just drop some colored ones into the jar for added color.

  11. Does anyone have any ideas on how a person could add colored glass stones inside the mason jars to add some colored sparkly effects? Dont think that one solar light would eliminate the stones enough to work.

  12. Precious!
    I have saved nearly 100 OUI yogurt jars to make little lights/lanterns. Have you done anything with those? (I was just going to use twinkle lights and use wire to make hangers. )

    All tech help appreciated.

  13. Maybe I missed this…….you put tape over the solar lighting spot, so what happens the next day? You have to remove the tape and allow the jar to stay out in the sun?

  14. Chandra…
    Those little lights are Sooo… Cute…
    I was wondering how might you
    Make the solar top more flush with
    The lid… I’m not a fan of the sticking
    Up Sooo far… You have any ideas?
    Thank You for Sharing…
    And All the Direction’s…

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