Thursday, June 17, 2010

DIY Solar Jar

Do you love these solar jars?
photo: Solutions catalogue

I do too but at $20/pop plus shipping they are pretty pricey.
I saw this cute idea for making a solar jar here and wanted to try it.
I found this jar at Goodwill and knew it would make the perfect solar jar-it was already frosted and only $1.97! 
 I just needed to find a solar light.
I found this individual light at Ace Hardware for $4. 


 It easily popped apart and I just put it into the jar.
I took the clear plastic part off.



The tutorial says to mount it to the top of the jar but I didn't do that. 


 I may have to flip it over from time to time to make sure the solar cell is getting charged.
It looks even better when it gets really dark out but then my photo wouldn't have come out.
 I like how it turned out,even though it doesn't have the same amber glow as the inspiration jars.  I can experiment with different jars and solar lights.
Total cost=$6!



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87 comments:

Life in Rehab said...

Very nicely done! And those lights are on sale this week for $2...hmmmmmmmmmmm....

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

What a COOL idea! I was going to put candles in mason jars out on the deck but this might work better. I think we can buy etching liquid to frost the glass. Hmmm.....

The Paper Mama said...

Oh, this is great! We love to sit outside at night by the fire. This would be a nice addition! :)

Chelsea said...

Oh, that is WAY better than using candles! So cute and economical. I might just have to try that, too! :)

~Chelsea

Debbie said...

That is awesome...I am so going to try that....so many great ideas stirring around in my head now. Thanks for joining in on the party. Have a great weekend.

Yellow House said...

One of my best friends has been telling me about this project! I love the way yours turned out. It just might have to be one of my first summer projects!

McCarthy Designs said...

I haven't seen these before! What a great idea Heather. I will have to remember it as you can often find the solar lights on clearance at the end of summer! xx

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a fantastic project!! I have never seen these before and I totally love the idea of them!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!!
Debbie

Creations By Cindy said...

You simply amaze me girl! Be blessed. Cindy

Life in Rehab said...

Target has the solar lights for $2 a pop! Why do I have the feeling Heather is going to get referenced on a mess of blogs next week?

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Great idea, just in time for the weekend!
This is a friday's favorite~ come on by the linky party.

A 2 Z said...

Really neat! I'm going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

Anne-Marie

TheCraftInMe said...

Very cool, I'm gonna try this out!

La Maison Reid said...

Wow..never even heard of a solar jar but thanks for sharing! We entertain tons outside in the summer and the fire hazard here in the country is great so this will really work for us.
New Friend Friday sent me :)

beth kruse custom creations said...

stopping by from new friend friday... great idea! i actually have a few old ugly solar lights in the garage!

beth kruse custom creations said...

stopping by from new friend friday.... great idea! i actually have some old ugly solar lights sitting in my garage!

Paula@One Mom's Corner of the World said...

This is so cool! I'm visiting from New Friend Friday. I signed up to be a new follower.

Teresa @ ♥ TOO MANY HEARTBEATS ♥ said...

That's cool! Those are really pretty. I haven't seen them before. I will definitely have to check them out.

Hi, I'm stopping by from Follow Friday 40 & Over. I wanted to say hello and share some comment lo♥e. I just became your newest Follower and I would really like it if you would take a minute to check out my blog and follow me, too, if you like what you see.

I hope you have a really wonderful weekend!

Blessings,

Teresa <><

♥ Too Many Heartbeats ♥

Java said...

Hi Heather!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and visiting the Follow Friday 40 and Over Blog Hop!

I am now following you. Please follow me if you haven't already done so!!

I would also like to invite you to join the Over 40 Bloggers Club!! Take a look and join in the fun!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Mystee said...

I'm stopping by from New Friend Friday & am your newest follower.

If you have a chance, I'd love for you to stop by my blog, follow back and take a moment to enter any of the current 4 giveaways {low entries}.

Have a great weekend

http://amomentwithmystee.blogspot.com/2010/06/friday-friends.html

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Thank you for all of the wonderful comment love and Sunny for the heads up on the solar lights for $2this week.

heather

Kori said...

Oh my heck, that is so cool! And cheap! I never would've guessed you could get a solar light for $4. Gotta try this.

Charla said...

I LOVE it!!!! I am totally going to search for jars and try it!!!!
Super cool!

PaperFlora2 said...

good job...those are adorable.



http://paperflora2.blogspot.com

Linda said...

What a great idea, Heather! Just hopped over from Debbiedoos~ I never thought of doing something like this...thanks for sharing!

scrappinheaven said...

Awesome idea! Gonna have go go buy some Mason jars now. I think etching cream would work great to frost :) thx to earlier poster for the heads up on $2 lights as well!

I'm your newest follower from Friendly Friday,
http://scrappinheaven.blogspot.com

Hope you can stop by for a visit!
Happy Weekend!

KyAnn (like Cayenne Pepper, only HOTTER) said...

I found you on Friday Followback (I know it's Saturday, but I was busy) :-)

Great blog!

Hugs!

http://checketts-myers-clan.blogspot.com

Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

I do love these solar jars and I saw this incredibly complicated tutorial on making your own. This looks sooo much easier! Thanks for the tips!

beingzaraandzidan said...

what an amazing idea. thanx for sharing. & thanx also for stopping by my blog & leaving sweet comments

beingzaraandzidan said...

hey i didnt know i wasnt following u. u def have a great blog & i am ur newest follower.

Kenzie said...

This is great! I love your version way more than the $20 one!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

I love this! It looks great and inexpensive to boot. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Jingle said...

http://itistimetothinkformyself.blogspot.com/2010/06/summer-tips-4-families-plus-fathers-day.html

Happy Father's Day!

Jingle said...

brilliant post...

Beth said...

Stopping by from Sunday Showcase! Awesome idea, thanks for sharing!

Andrea said...

This is such a cute idea! I love anything having to do with mason jars! thanks for sharing, hope you have a great week! ~Andrea
http://www.andreasattic-andrea.blogspot.com

Sharlotte said...

Hi Heather,
I've never seen solar jars before...I LIKE THEM! They are so neat and with your tutorial, they look easy to make! Thanks so much for sharing!
Sharlotte
Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

What a great idea... I'd LOVE these on my patio.

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

What a great idea! Love the way these look! Fantastic! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase! Hope you have a great week ~ Stephanie Lynn

Jenn @ Seeds on a Breeze said...

What a great idea! I've been wanting to put solar lights in my garden and these would be perfect!

Life in Rehab said...

Made it, blogged it, gave you props!

Jane said...

Great idea! I love it! I think I'm going to try that, too! :) Stopping by from MM. :)

Mandy @ mintnclandycreate said...

Perfect! I've been wanting to make my own solar jar. Yours turned out great!

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

What a cool idea!! I wonder if we could frost the glass in different colors?? hmmmmmm......

Country Mouse said...

Super cute idea!!! I saved a few solar light inserts after my lab pulled them out of the ground and destroyed part of them!LOL NOW...they will come in handy!LOL

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

I have not seen this before...so thanks so much for sharing this neat idea at NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS!

Blessings.
Linda

Brambleberry Cottage said...

I love this idea! How cool! I would really like for you to link this post to my Tips and Tricks linky party Tuesday night.

You have an open invitation to join in on the fun for all three of my linky parties each week:

ASK THE YANKEE - MONDAYS
TIPS & TRICKS TUESDAY
TIME TRAVEL THURSDAY

You can get the details here:

http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/2010/06/brambleberry-cottage-linky-party.html

Each party runs for six days, so come on by!

Hope to see you there!
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Toni @ That's Beeutiful said...

Gorgeous!

Amanda@The Hand Me Down House said...

Wonderful tutorial! I hope you don't mind I used your idea and linked back to you in my post today. Thanks again-- amazing job!!

Diann said...

Wonderful! Time to start buying up the clearance solor light sticks!

Sharon said...

Hi! I have found several variations on your idea and they all linked back to you! :-) I'd love to have you bring your awesome, original idea and link up to my garden party that starts tomorrow! There will be lots of great projects to see and some awesome giveaways!
Hope you can join us!!
Sharon
http://keeninspirations.blogspot.com/2010/06/garden-party-update.html

hiphousegirl said...

I really like this! It would be fun to hang a string of these outdoors.

Embellished Bayou said...

What an interesting idea, thanks for sharing! Visiting from Sharon's Garden party...

Jenny said...

Wow - this was seriously a great idea!! I love it and am definitely going to give it a try - such a better price than $20 and you can design it however you want - Thanks!!

I am going to follow you so I can keep up with all your creative ideas!

HoosierHomemade said...

What a fabulous idea! I've been wanting to get some of those little lights.
I'd love for you to add this to my Weekend Warrior linky party on It's A Blog Party (my other blog) where everyday I host a different linky party! Sundays are for gardening and Mondays are DIY Days!
http://itsablogparty.com
Thanks for sharing!
~Liz

Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk said...

This is a great project and I'm definitely going to bookmark it. I would also love for you to share it at my Boardwalk Bragfest party on Wednesday, if you would like.

I also prefer the white tone that you have with your light. Whenever I see the gold tones, I think of bug-repellent lights...I don't know why!

Great blog and I'm going to sign up to follow! I would love for you to do the same!

Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

I just bought those solar lights on sale for $2 each and I love them. We are having a July 4th bbq this weekend and I was going to put candles in jars (I love jars), but this idea is perfect!
Thanks!
~Nancy

Rose :: FineCraftGuild.com said...

great & practical tutorial. i love environmentally friendly lamp ideas such as these.

in fact, our readers would love to be able to find you and how you've put this together.

this is where you get yourself a link back to your article :

http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-tutorial-linky-party-4/

rose

Star @ A Load Of Craft said...

Sweet! Thanks for the great inspiration :D Looks great.

Nike@TheDirtyHalfDozen said...

Awesome. Soooo copying.

Michelle L. said...

Really cool! Thanks for stopping by one of my projects, now I need to go snooping around your blog. I LOVE this idea and can't wait to fill my little side porch with these. thanks for the inspiration!

Andrea said...

As for getting the picture and capturing the solar jar in the dark, if you have the type of camera where you can adjust the exposure/aperture opening (to let more light in or rather give the "film" more time to produce the image) then you can capture the image the way you want. So I have a Nikon and Canon Digital SLR, they basically operate the same way although the buttons may look slightly different. The button on the top of the Nikon has a variety of settings you want to look for these letters (usually M, A, S and P). M stands for manual operation where you are able to choose both the time and aperture settings. “A” stands for the aperture only adjustment, which basically is a hole that determines how much light is allowed in, and your camera will automatically choose the speed it thinks it should use in this environment (we’ll address that a bit later). So the higher the number (or f-stop, i.e. f/5.6) the smaller amount of light that is let in. Lens type can affect the setting differently, but lets assume you have a standard lens on your camera. Even a fairly basic point and shoot should allow you to adjust either the time or setting or both. Each f-stop step decreases the amount of light let in by 1/2. If you can adjust your aperture to the largest opening, which on many cameras is f/2.8, and still “frame your item in the screen” satisfactorily, that is ideal.
Ok, now the shutter speed is in direct proportion to the aperture setting. Therefore, if you increase your aperture opening by setting your f-stop to lower f-stop numbers and letting more light in during the shot, then you may be able to reduce the amount of time the shutter is open (and thus allowing light in as well). If you open the aperture setting to one larger (lower f-stop number) and increase the shutter speed, you basically haven’t changed anything or how the exposure will come out in the shot. So f/4.0 at 1/250 second is the same as f/2.8 at 1/500 of a second. See, the aperture opening is larger letting more light in, and the shutter speed is quicker, therefore letting less light in than if it stayed open a fraction of a second longer. Since you want to capture the image of the glowing solar jar, you'll likely want to slow down your shutter speed significantly. This is how people are able to shoot the stars at night. If you've seen an image where the stars are streaked across the sky, showing the earth’s rotation, that camera was set up on a tripod and the aperture was opening as large as possible (to let in as much light as possible) and then the shutter was left open for 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, etc... You might want to try this yourself, to get a better understanding of how your camera functions. It's totally amazing to see when the pictures come out. Ok, I digressed...so shutter speed. If you have a fancier camera where you can manually adjust the shutter speed and aperture to get the exact exposure you desire, that’s the “M” setting, usually on the dial, then you want your aperture opening as large as the shot will allow. That means if you want a close up shot, then you may have to compensate your exposure time by slowing down the shutter speed to let in more light during the shot, and maybe increasing film speed as well (more on that later). Anyhow, you want to leave the shutter open for as long as the you need to get the exact exposure you desire. You might end up taking 15-20 shots to find the exact exposure you want. I suggest framing the shot first and setting the aperture opening to as large (lower numbers) as it will allow for the shot. Then take a bunch of shots by slowing down the shutter by leaving the aperture setting the same and moving the shutter speed 1 setting slower with each subsequent shot. You may very well end up with a 20-second or longer exposure time.

Andrea said...

Capturing the image of the solar jar glowing in the dark- in 4 parts

Hi Heather,
As for getting the picture and capturing the solar jar in the dark, if you have the type of camera where you can adjust the exposure/aperture opening (to let more light in or rather give the "film" more time to produce the image) then you can capture the image the way you want. So I have a Nikon and Canon Digital SLR, they basically operate the same way although the buttons may look slightly different. The button on the top of the Nikon has a variety of settings you want to look for these letters (usually M, A, S and P). M stands for manual operation where you are able to choose both the time and aperture settings. “A” stands for the aperture only adjustment, which basically is a hole that determines how much light is allowed in, and your camera will automatically choose the speed it thinks it should use in this environment (we’ll address that a bit later). So the higher the number (or f-stop, i.e. f/5.6) the smaller amount of light that is let in. Lens type can affect the setting differently, but lets assume you have a standard lens on your camera. Even a fairly basic point and shoot should allow you to adjust either the time or setting or both. Each f-stop step decreases the amount of light let in by 1/2. If you can adjust your aperture to the largest opening, which on many cameras is f/2.8, and still “frame your item in the screen” satisfactorily, that is ideal.

Andrea said...

Part 2
Ok, now the shutter speed is in direct proportion to the aperture setting. Therefore, if you increase your aperture opening by setting your f-stop to lower f-stop numbers and letting more light in during the shot, then you may be able to reduce the amount of time the shutter is open (and thus allowing light in as well). If you open the aperture setting to one larger (lower f-stop number) and increase the shutter speed, you basically haven’t changed anything or how the exposure will come out in the shot. So f/4.0 at 1/250 second is the same as f/2.8 at 1/500 of a second. See, the aperture opening is larger letting more light in, and the shutter speed is quicker, therefore letting less light in than if it stayed open a fraction of a second longer. Since you want to capture the image of the glowing solar jar, you'll likely want to slow down your shutter speed significantly. This is how people are able to shoot the stars at night. If you've seen an image where the stars are streaked across the sky, showing the earth’s rotation, that camera was set up on a tripod and the aperture was opening as large as possible (to let in as much light as possible) and then the shutter was left open for 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, etc... You might want to try this yourself, to get a better understanding of how your camera functions. It's totally amazing to see when the pictures come out. Ok, I digressed...so shutter speed. If you have a fancier camera where you can manually adjust the shutter speed and aperture to get the exact exposure you desire, that’s the “M” setting, usually on the dial, then you want your aperture opening as large as the shot will allow. That means if you want a close up shot, then you may have to compensate your exposure time by slowing down the shutter speed to let in more light during the shot, and maybe increasing film speed as well (more on that later). Anyhow, you want to leave the shutter open for as long as the you need to get the exact exposure you desire. You might end up taking 15-20 shots to find the exact exposure you want. I suggest framing the shot first and setting the aperture opening to as large (lower numbers) as it will allow for the shot. Then take a bunch of shots by slowing down the shutter by leaving the aperture setting the same and moving the shutter speed 1 setting slower with each subsequent shot. You may very well end up with a 20-second or longer exposure time.

Andrea said...

Part 3
Ok, film speed… if you have a “fancier” camera, you should be able to adjust your ISO, or “film speed”. Some point and shoot cameras allow you to adjust white balance and exposure balance before and/or after you take the shot. The more effort you put in before your begin shooting, the less work that you have to do afterward, in the film lab, or digitally, in Photoshop. Ideally you want to use the slowest film speed (i.e. 200 or 400 ISO) to capture your shot without using a flash, since using it would not capture the effect of the solar jar. In regular everyday shooting, using the flash can “white out” aspects that you can see with your eyes and through the lens, but don’t come out in the actual exposure. Alternatively, using the flash can highlight areas that would normally be too dark to capture. It can be confusing when to use and when not to. In general, I prefer shooting without a flash if possible, but there environments that simply require using one to achieve a finished product. For the case of the solar jar, we obviously do not want to use a flash.
Now you’ve set your aperture, set the shutter speed, and are ready to frame the shot. And take the picture. It’s a must to set your camera on a steady surface because even the most micro amount of movement will blur the picture. Some cameras have a very “heavy” shutter and that the movement from that can even blur your images. This is less common in digital cameras, so let’s hope that is not the case. Ideally, if you have a timer, you can frame the shot by setting the camera on a stack of books, a table, etc. centering or framing the item that you are shooting, then press the button very carefully so as not to move the camera or alter the frame of the shot thus blurring the image. The nice thing about using the self-timer is that it allows you to press the button without affecting the shot from you moving the camera. This is where having a tripod or a stable surface on which to set your camera will allow you to capture the solar jar image the way you see it in your mind or in reality, right in front of you, maybe just after dusk on a warm summer night.

Andrea said...

Part 4

Ok, I digress again…you’ve stabilized your shooting surface or are using a tripod and now you’re ready to shoot…almost…. I should have discussed this in the beginning, but it should make more sense to you if I introduce it now, so I apologize in advance if you have your camera ready to shoot and are following these directions step by step. But this is essential to capturing your image the way you desire. In a situation where it is dark, and in this case where you want to capture the effect of the solar jar, using a film speed, or on digital cameras setting the ISO speed to ISO 800 or ISO 1600 is probably necessary. I won’t go into how film speed works here, but suffice it to say that the darker the environment, the higher ISO you want and the higher the film speed, the grainier the image so you want to use the lowest ISO possible to achieve your shot. Ok, so you have three components with which to concern yourself: Film speed/ISO setting, aperture setting, shutter speed. Additional, things to consider are shutting off the auto flash, selecting white balance or exposure balance settings, how you want to frame the shot and in what lighting environment you’d like to shoot it, stabilizing the camera for the shot, and setting self-timer if you have one.

That’s it. I know it sounds so complicated here, but once you take a few minutes and go through it step by step, you’ll get comfortable with it…AND, even better, you’ll have these fabulous shots to showcase your creativity and beautiful projects!
Cheers~
Andrea

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Andrea..WOW! Thank you for trying to help me with this! I do have a Canon DLSR (Rebel XT) but I'm just learning how to use it manually (it's mostly hit or miss). I will try your way! I really appreciate all the time you put in to writing this out for me!


heather

Part timer said...

Hi Heather,

I am always looking for new things to put on the deck. This will be great. I have some of those old blue frosted jars, I bought them at a auction but didn't want to use them for canning. They will work great for this. Thanks Jon at solardiyinfo.org

AmandaJean said...

Great idea!! Love it and you can tint the inside of your jar with mod podge and a few drops of neon food color and it would give it the amber glow. Can't wait to make some!

D. K. Stangeland said...

These lights are on sale at ACE this week for $1.99 so I picked up 10 and will make these ASAP. Thanks for the tutorial.

Love it!

Anonymous said...

I have the solar lights that you show as having come from the hardware store... only I got mine at the Dollar Tree! Can't beat that price, and I may have to take them apart now to try the jars.

Daily Craft said...

Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with over 17,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: http://www.dailycraft.com/thank-you-for-crafting/. Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Now would be a great time to make these because garden stuff is on clearance everywhere. Also, frosted jars are a popular craft now too. Some falling leaves would be gorgeous for fall.

doula_char said...

to get the amber glow buy orang or yellow glass paint at your hobby store, and paint the tube around the LED with it. We used this to turn lights green and red for the end of our dock.

Anonymous said...

love the tutorial...re getting that wonderful amber glow of the original...I have a stack of colored cellophane that a photographer friend was going to throw out, including some orange that is often used with foil to get that sunset reflection on a face...I'm thinking wrap the light in some of that and voila!

Anonymous said...

Uh, hmm. You'll need to flip those over every day or two since you pointed the solar cell toward the ground. Every day I'd bet. Even then the sun will have to travel through glass to get to the cell.

Beloved Blackberry Cabin said...

I love the light idea. I will def do that. i also like your site and think it is very well done. I found you on pinterest.

michelle said...

So cool! I've seen them before and have always wanted to make them. An idea to tint them any color - Take a transparent colored plastic, like a water bottle label, and put it over the light. Instant color that you can change whenever.

Anonymous said...

Have been doing this for some time time. Started with hang
ing jars from tree branches with votive candles, then tried the battery votives (a little expensive to replace batteries), and then tried this. I had white sand in the bottom of my jars (from when I burned the votives) and found the sand will hold the solar light in place and leave the charger exposed for recharging. Another tip is to cut the bottom off of colored wine bottles and set over the lite. Very pretty on a table with several bottles of varying heights.
Judi

Millie Burns said...

Love it!!! I'd never thought to pull apart those solar lights...this gives me ideas : )

Anonymous said...

I found these solar lights at the Dollar Tree, and the 99 cent only store...so solar lights= $3 dlrs.

Debra said...

Love this idea...so so easy.
I have a solution to your lack of amber glow.
Get some good ol Elmers glue, some craft paint, mix well (more glue and less color) and paint it on your jar.
Voila!

Martin Clooney said...

Solar power is renewable source of energy and its clean and safe for environment. We can use it for immense time, we just need to know how.
Solar Dock

Megan Beth said...

I believe I have seen the lights you used in the jars for $2 at big lots!

MomHomeGuide.com said...

Love this! Such a great and thrifty idea! I will have to try this -- my backyard's patio has little to no lighting!

Kaylee Frye said...

Maybe you could try putting some yellow cellophane in the jar or just on top of the light?

Maritn jonson said...

congrats! for your idea about solar jar.

glass jars

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