Saturday, June 09, 2012

Dollar Store Sun Jars

My sun jars were originally a big craft fail.  Last summer I decided to make my own sun jars following a tutorial that I found on the web.  The tutorial called for removing the stake from a garden solar light, then gluing it to the inside of the glass lid of a wire bail canning jar.  It worked great.......for about a week.  Then the glue failed.  I don't think it could take the hot and humid greenhouse conditions inside the jar.  My husband and I tried four other types of glue before I gave up and threw the jars on a shelf in the garage. 

This past week I saw the jars and decided to try again.  I took one of them to the dollar store and wandered around trying to find a solution.  I came home with.........don't laugh........plastic shot glasses and a package of mini disco ball party favors! 

Dollar Store Sun Jars by

My plan was to make the solar light free standing by gluing it to the bottom of a plastic shot glass and setting it the bottom of the jar.  The LED bulb hangs down so I had to make a hole in the shot glass to accommodate it.  I did this be heating a metal skewer in the burner flame on my stove, then gently pushing it through plastic and twisting it to widen the hole (this is dangerous, attempt at your own risk).  My husband had first tried drilling the holes, but this cracked the plastic.

Plastic shot glasses with holes in the bottom

The LED's on my dollar store garden lights were very weak so I decided to place half of a disco ball underneath to reflect the light.  After some gentle twisting and pulling I was able to pull apart the two halves.   

Two halves of disco ball party favors

With super-glue, I attached the solar light to the bottom of the shot glass making sure the LED was sticking through the hole.  I also glued the disco ball in the middle of the bottom of the jar.  I thought about gluing the solar light/shot glass assembly to the inside of the jar, but left it unattached in case I needed to change the battery.  All that was left was putting the solar light in the jar, closing the lid and setting it outside to charge.

I envision filling the space around the solar light with glass gem or sea glass vase fillers from the dollar store.  I'll post a photo when I get around to trying it out.


  1. That's some creative thinking and great innovation!

  2. these are really great. What a good idea

  3. Well, aren't you smart!?!? I bet they look great in your yard at night. Thanks so much for sharing this totally unique idea at the Motivated Monthly Garden party at Etcetorize~

  4. What a neat idea~love your cute little invention! I bet they do look awesome at night!