Thursday, April 19, 2012

This is NOT what my Jeweler's Saw Was Made For: DIY Solar Jars

I am a big believer that just because something is functional doesn't mean that it has has to be ugly. I manage to spruce up many of the mundane items in my house just because I have to look at them all the time! I cover storage cans and jars with fancy paper, I stencil adorable animals onto my note paper, I match the curtains to the table legs in my studio. 

It is almost "stay outside as long as possible season" and I am looking forward to hours spent wrist-deep in the dirt and evenings basking in the glow of a hard days work and now, the light coming from my solar jars.

Like most people that I know, I have a batch of utilitarian solar lots from the big chain stores. Handy and functional, but not very attractive. Recently while browsing around pinterest I saw photos of these jars and decided to give them a try. Some aspects were a little trickier than anticipated, but I love the results!

My first finished beauty in the zen garden.

Okay, so this project has 2 decidedly tricky bits:
extracting the light mechanism and finding the right jar.
I tried to cut out the light and the solar panel with snips, scissors, an exacto,
a box cutter, a steak knife, and finally had success with my jeweler's saw.

After FINALLY extracting the lighting bit, it is time to mount it in the jar.
I used a swing top jar from IKEA that I had in the pantry, but think you could
also use an inverted wide mouth mason jar. It would be trickier since the light has to
charge the panel through the glass, but if you jar was wide enough and the light
narrow enough it would work. I hot glued my mechanism to the inside of the lid after making sure it
would close properly.

Many people use glass frosting spray once the have mounted the light, but
I layered a piece of vellum and a strip of brightly colored
tissue paper instead. If you wanted to make these for a party or
wedding you could use coordinating tissue.
In my next round, I may decoupage different colors of tissue
inside the jar for a mosaic look.

I popped into the pantry to see how the
jar would look at night. I am very pleased with
the result. I look forward to completing the set!

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