DIY Project: Capture sunshine in a jar!

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

1. Gather your supplies.

  • Glass jar with a flip top lid
  • Solar lantern
  • Batteries (if needed)
  • Frosted glass spray paint
  • Glue

For the Mason jar variation, you will also need:

  • Quart or larger wide-mouth Mason jar and ring
  • Clear plastic food container or lid
  • Scissors

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

2. Frost your jars.

Paint the outside of your jar with a light coat of frosted glass spray paint. As with all spray paint projects, be sure to do this outside or in a well-ventilated area. Allow the paint to dry completely before you move on to the next step (overnight is best).

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

3. Disassemble the solar lantern.

Unscrew the solar panel and bulb portion of your lantern from the housing and/or stake. This may require a screw driver, based on the style of the solar lantern you’re using, but both of the ones shown here were easily disassembled without additional tools.

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

4. Affix the solar panel.

Use a strong adhesive to glue the solar panel to the underside of the jar lid, so that the solar panel faces up to the top of the jar.

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

5. Assemble your new solar lamp.

Once the spray paint and glue have dried, reassemble your flip-top jar with its new solar-powered lid. Your solar lamp is now ready to be charged!

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

6. Mason Jar Variation

You can easily adapt the lid of a Mason jar to make this project work. Using a clear plastic food container (in this case, the lid from a take-out dish), use the jar ring to trace a circle and cut out a piece of plastic just slightly smaller than the ring. This will become your new jar “lid.” Glue the solar panel to the underside of the plastic “lid.”

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

7. Assemble the Mason jar lamp.

Once the paint and glue have dried, screw your new lid onto the top of your Mason jar. Voila, solar lamp!

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

8. Harness the power of the sun.

Set your solar lamp, solar panel up, in a sunny spot for several hours to charge.

diy, how-to, recycled, craft, kids craft, solar power

9. Light it up.

Once the sun has set, turn on your solar lamp and enjoy its cool glow!

RELATED | HOW TO: Make a Recycled Lava Lamp with Your Kids

Images via Cat DiStasio for Inhabitots.

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