• Easiest Ever Solar Nightlight

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    This tutorial may have come about because I have a little guy who must sleep with a nightlight, and I dislike going through batteries so often.

    Solar Nightlight

    Solar Painted Nightlight Jar

    Supplies for this project are: Glass Jar, glass paint, a solar LED path light (where the top, light-part can be easily removed), hot glue, and hot glue gun. I chose to decorate my jar with a stencil with which I used a spray-on stencil adhesive. (I do NOT recommend this method!)

    Steps for this project: 1) select and clean the jar,  2) paint the jar, 3) remove the top from the top from the light, 4) hot glue the light-top to the jar lid, and 5) turn on light and close lid!

    1) Select and clean the jar

    Jar in nature


    A wide variety of jars/ containers should work for this project. This is just the kind I had stuck in my mind for this project. You just want to make sure that the lid is clear enough that light will get through to the solar charger.

    2) Paint the jar

    Painting the jar

    Stenciling the jar

    This was the most challenging part of the process for me. I didn’t use an adhesive stencil (for example, as used here), so I primed the back of my stencil with spray adhesive. The instructions for a sticky, but not permanent, bond, instructed me to spray the adhesive on the desired surface, let dry for 3-5 minutes, then use as desired. Not so much.

    I had 2 problems. First, it took me 3 coats with the spray before my stencil would adhere to the glass. Second, my surface had a lot of curve, so any stenciling involving a template was going to be a challenge.

    Within the stenciling, I wanted a yellow to orange gradient effect, so I placed part of the stencil against the glass, dabbed some yellow at one end of the stencil then started adding orange paint in with the yellow as I moved down the surface of the jar. My stencil was large in comparison to the jar, so I rotated the stencil, getting a fresh surface, for each side of the jar. (In case you’re wondering, the jar is propped up on a box to get it up a little higher to make it easier for me to paint.)

    If I do this again, I will use masking tape to create a stencil for the paint and/or use stickers. I think orange paint with some of the little, cute pumpkin face, Halloween stickers would make this into a cute little sidewalk light for trick-or-treaters.

    3) Remove the top from the top from the light

    Jar, light, and hot glue gun

    Ready to insert light

    4) Hot glue the light-top to the jar lid

    Make sure that the hot glue isn’t covering the solar panel

    Solar panel ready to be applied to jar

    Make sure the hot glue is applied so that the solar charging panel will face “up” when the jar is closed

    Place the solar lantern top, with hot glue applied, onto the inside of the jar lid

    Underside of solar lantern

    This will be the “underside” of the lid when the jar is closed

    5) Turn on light and close the lid!

    Painted solar lantern

    Shine on, little light!

    A note about solar lights: some lights will be on, but not light up until it turns dark, or the solar panel is covered. (A “friend” might not have realized this until she had taken apart the light.)

    If you have any questions or make one of these for yourself, be sure to let me know!

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