Mason Jar Solar lights for my back deck!

Jun 27 2016
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First things first I have to admit that I actually ended up NOT using my Grandma’s old mason jars for this project. Instead, I used some of her other jars that were much smaller and easier to get my hand in. You’ve probably already seen this project floating around the internet and pinterest, solar mason jar lights is definitely not a new idea. However, I had a bit of a problem with the mason jar solar lights tutorials I’ve seen online. Every tutorial I’ve read had you cut a square out of the lid and attach the solar light to the lid. This always bothered me, it seemed like then wouldn’t the jar fill with water and become all nastiness? So, I got to work on my own design. Why not flip the jars over and glue the top of the light to the bottom of the jar instead?

How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.

I went to walmart and found the solar lights for 97 cents a piece and then headed to Ace for the pipe clamps and outdoor adhesive. Then, it was a trip out to the barn to check out my stash of jars from my Grandma. At first I was going to use Mason Jars (so iconic and so much coolness) but it turned out they were a bit big and very hard for me to get my hand in. I also didn’t really want to use my Grandma’s mason jars for this project anyway, I would rather use them inside where they would be safer. So, I grabbed some smaller, matching jars that came with bonus bright green lids that happen to match the fabric on my outdoor furniture. (My mom tells me they’re just plain old pickle jars but I still love them.)

How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.

Remember to remove the tags on your solar lights or they won’t light up! I added a big dollop of adhesive around the solar panel of each light and then flipped it over and glued it right into the bottom of the jars. It was simple and easy and I didn’t even get much glue on myself! Here they are, all lined up on my kitchen counter.

How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.

The adhesive said to give it 24 hours so I just left them there like that for a couple of days before I hung them. These pipe clamps are serious business, I had to use a hammer and nail to make a hole large enough to fit a regular screw. I read online to buy “thin” screws for this project, lol, if they do sell screws thin enough to easily fit through those slats I certainly am not going to be using them outside where they need to hold up the the elements.

How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.

On my deck I chose to leave several posts eight feet tall (about every twelve feet) for hanging plants, bird feeders and, now, my solar jar lights 🙂

How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials. How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.

I’m very happy with how this project turned out! All in each one cost me (because the jars were free) less then $2! It was easy and I think they really add something to my back deck! I may have to add them to my front posts too because they’re just so darned cute!

How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.mason jar solar lights water proof wet rain how to tutorial easy cheap inexpensive frugal diy do it yourself backyard outdoor deck


  1. Linda
    June 29, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    What size of pipe clamps did you buy? Can’t wait to do this project!

    • June 29, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Linda I’m thinking that they must have been 5 inch hose clamps that I used because they were much bigger then they needed to be. I bought the largest they had available at Ace hardware because I was thinking at the time I was going to be using Mason Jars and the pickle jars I ended up using were quite a bit smaller. So I would say choose your jars first then go buy hose clamps to fit! 🙂

      • Linda
        June 29, 2016 at 7:43 pm

        Thanks so much for the info! I’m going to do this and I think I will add some hot glued stones to the glass for some extra pizazz. This is just THE BEST IDEA EVER!! Thanks so much for sharing this idea how it is done!

        • June 29, 2016 at 7:53 pm

          Linda, now that is a great idea! I also heard someone mention in the comments that they were planning on spray painting the lids and the hose clamps with bronze rustoleum spray paint – that would look nice too I think! Thanks!

  2. July 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Where did you find those lights?
    My Walmart did not know what they were.

    • July 3, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Laurie, the little solar lights were in the garden center at my local walmart. They are called “solar path lights” and sell for about 97 cents a piece. They come on little plastic stakes that I had already removed in the picture. Hope that helps!

    • Linda
      July 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Check another walmart or in the garden section – I just bought these yesterday at my walmart, though they were $1.97 each. There is a whole solar light section in their garden area.

    • bob setliff
      June 19, 2017 at 12:26 am

      In answer to the question of where to get the lights, MOST Dollar Tree stores carry them too.

  3. July 7, 2016 at 8:22 am

    This is an amazing post and incredible solar mason jar. You are such a sweetheart for sharing this awesome post virtually. This solar mason jar is cool stuff for backyards and garden.

  4. August 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

    What happens when the lights burn out? How do you replace them?

    • August 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Vicki, I found with a little elbow grease you can remove them (depending on the glue you use) and replace them like that 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Linda B
    August 22, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Could they be used without the jar lids?
    It seems there would be more light that way

    • August 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Of course! The reason I opted to put the lids on was just to keep creepy crawlies out of there, seemed like a perfect spot for a spider to make his home 😉

      • Linda B
        August 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        Thanks…that makes sense. Didn’t think of those critters.

        • Jan
          August 29, 2016 at 5:12 pm

          I love this project. I’m suggesting that you glue the lights to the cover instead of the bottom of the jars in case you have to adjust the lights for any reason

          • August 29, 2016 at 5:34 pm

            Good idea Jen! I’ll have to try that next time!

  6. September 21, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    So much easier than cutting out the lid, Tarah! You are SO clever. I’d love to have some of these on my deck. Thanks for sharing your insights at Vintage Charm 🙂

  7. Mary
    September 29, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Hi, I love this ideal. I bought the mason jars because I don’t do pickles. Well I did one as a tester and learned this.. The mason jar is a little curved (not a flat bottom) so I used outdoor double sided tape with outdoor glue to attach the solar light. Trying not to get the glue on the charging area. And it lasted for about a month. Then the weather cooled down at night. And the jar got condensation and the glue let go. So I’ll be making a few holes in the lid (very small) to solve that problem.
    Question: Did you place your glue over the charging area? Also what glue did you use. Thank you for you time.

    • September 29, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Mary, we used Indoor/Outdoor adhesive made by Ace. I put a dollop of glue around the solar panel but because it was clear I wonder if it might have been just fine to put it right on the charging panel? I should try testing that. The bottom of the pickle jars were pretty darned flat and after gluing them I let them dry for over two days before flipping them over. We had a VERY hot summer for northern MN, temperatures in the triple digits but, despite that and now some very cold nights, I have had only one light come unglued so far! It seems like something more serious like liquid nails or just plain outdoor silicone would probably work better but I couldn’t find any of it in a small tube.

      Thanks for coming by!

  8. November 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  9. November 10, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    What a wonderful way to use these jars!! Thank you for sharing this idea at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    • November 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for coming by Marci!

  10. November 11, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Tarah, these solar lights are fantastic!! I like your design so that the jar stays clean. They look great!!

  11. November 11, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    This is so cute and rustic. I really love this look. Great job.

  12. November 12, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful post at #OverTheMoon. I look forward to what you will share next week! Do something special. Give yourself a standing ovation today! We hope you’ll come back again next Sunday when we open our doors at 6:00 PM EST. “Like” someone in person today!

    • November 14, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you so much Marilyn, as always!

  13. November 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    How CUTE! I have tried making Mason Jar solar lights in the past, but something always goes wrong. The last bunch I made were not water-proof, and now I have Mason jars full of rain water…needless to say the lights no longer work. Have you had trouble with water getting in yours?

    • November 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Heidi, these are totally water proof! It always bothered me when I saw DIY jar lights online because it seemed like they would always fill with water, that’s why I flipped these over! So, the jar is bottom side up 🙂 so they don’t leak at all! Thanks for coming by!

  14. Jann Olson
    November 23, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I have never tried making my own solar lights. What a clever idea! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • November 23, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      They were SO easy! Thanks!

  15. November 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    This is a great idea and I love how easy they are to make. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. It’s great having you. Have a great week.

    • November 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Vanessa, have a great week!

  16. November 30, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Those solar lights look amazing! I try to stay away from Pinterest as much as possible so I can still feel like I’m doing an okay job at life, so I hadn’t seen this idea before.

    • November 30, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      lol oh Jenny, I know exactly what you mean about Pinterest! So much of the traffic I get for this blog though comes from Pinterest so I have an excuse that I have to be on there!

  17. November 30, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Oh, they’re so awesome Tarah. I don’t think I’ve ever seen those solar lights here in Australia. I must look out for them. They’d look so good in my garden. Thanks so much for linking up to Thriving on Thursdays. Always lovely to catch up each week. I’m featuring this post at tomorrow’s party.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

  18. November 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    How cool are these? I am definitely making some of these for my deck. 🙂

  19. December 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Very cool! They sound much more cost effective and easier to put up than the cafe lights we installed a couple years ago!

    • December 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you for stopping by!!

  20. December 1, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I’m seeing lots of holiday versions of this also. Great idea and thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story link party and have a great weekend.

  21. December 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    OH I just LOVE these!!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  22. December 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Tarah, I did something very similar for our gazebo. We needed a lighted path to get out there because it’s so far away from the house. I attached them to the pine tree trunks and they look so pretty when they light up at night xo

    • December 6, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Oh I bet they’re just lovely on the trees! Great idea!

  23. Beverly Whitehouse
    January 22, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    This is a great idea…I will be doing this…thank you!

    • January 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for coming by Beverly, it was such a fun and easy project!

  24. January 24, 2017 at 5:26 am

    Super cool idea! I wish I was that crafty! Maybe I will give that a try this summer.


    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  25. January 25, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    These are GREAT! I’ve tried making Mason jar solar lights before, but mine totally bombed. That’s because I had the lid on top, and precipitation got inside the jars, ruining them! I’ll be turning them upside down and clamping them next time! Thanks!

    • January 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Thanks Heidi! That’s exactly what I was thinking when I flipped them over!

  26. January 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    These are so great! I love the lights glued to the top of the jar too. It looks beautiful and much better protected. Thanks for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase party.

  27. August 19, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Great idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  28. September 5, 2017 at 12:14 am

    These are so neat. I just love anything with mason jars.

  29. September 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    These look really good Tarah. I love the clunky old pickle jars as well. Vintage mason jars are too valuable to be left outside in the weather, I agree with you.

    Very cool simple project that must make a big difference to your yard.

  30. September 12, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Those are adorable! What a great way to add some ambient light. Would be perfect in our backyard. Pinning this! 🙂

  31. October 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Ooh, such a simple idea, but they turned out so cute! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  32. November 12, 2017 at 12:01 am

    These are beyond cool! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop, we really enjoy your projects!

    • November 14, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you so much for coming by and commenting!

  33. February 13, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Love these. I think I might have to make some for our garden too. #dreamteam

    • February 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks for coming by, have a great week!

  34. February 13, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Oh, we have solar lights in our garden but I love the idea of homemade alternatives that are fairly easy to make. Thanks for sharing #dreamteam

    • February 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks for coming by Chloe!

  35. February 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Thos are really cute! I can see us using these at our camp. What a great idea! #dreamteam

    • February 13, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks for coming by Tracy, have a great week!

  36. February 13, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    These look great and a really cheap and easy idea. #dreamteam

    • February 13, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Sophie, have a great week!

  37. February 13, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Wow, they look great. I bet they’re really useful too!

    • February 13, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Morgan, have a great week!

  38. February 14, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    These look great, and really easy too! Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam

  39. February 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    I love that you found a way to improve on the tutorial version. And I don’t blame you a bit for wanting to save your grandmother’s jars for an inside use.

    • February 15, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks Michele, have a great rest of your week!

  40. February 16, 2018 at 1:24 am

    This is such an awesome idea! #DreamTeam

  41. February 16, 2018 at 10:22 am

    That’s a very creative solution. Thank you for sharing the inspiration and the tutorial at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

    • February 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks for coming by, have a great week!

  42. February 19, 2018 at 12:52 am

    OMG! I want to do this NOW! I have to get the materials. We could all make them and light up our backyard! I LOVE thIs! Thanks so much! #dreamteam xoxo

  43. Charity
    September 13, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    I made the Mason jar solar lights last summer. I put 6 on my front porch concrete stairs to be able to see them at night. All the things I make HAVE to have a use. I live in TN and our summers are scorching. I had used E6000 and hot glue on them. Within 3 days, they had melted apart. I love your idea. And I have TONS of pickle jars. I’m going to try it this week!

    • September 13, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Charity – that’s what I was worried about too! Even here in northern MN rarely will glue last outside for very long. Sometimes when it gets really cold that’s when the glue will give out too! I hope these work for you we’re still enjoying ours – happy fall!

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