Light up summer nights outdoors with colorful DIY solar lanterns. Small solar lights and glass frost paint turn ordinary jars into a string of environmentally friendly mood lights to enhance your backyard or garden.

This is an easy, inexpensive craft that goes pretty quickly. You can leave your solar lights plain or dress them up with decorative twine that’s glued in place with a few dabs of your trusty industrial-strength glue. If a light exhausts its lifespan, you can replace it for less than a dollar.

Be sure to use transparent paint made especially for glass when decorating the jars. Go all out and use a variety of colors or choose one that matches your décor.

The best thing about this DIY, besides its great look, is the sun does all the work so you’ll never have to flip a light switch!

DIY solar lanterns instructions
  • 6 solar lights
  • 6 spice jars
  • box cutter, if necessary
  • painter’s tape
  • glass frost paint (multi-colors optional)
  • sponge brush
  • industrial-strength glue
  • 18′ twine
  1. Remove both the tops of the solar lights and lids of the spice jars. Attach each solar light to each spice jar—they should pop right on.
  2. Next, tape off each jar with painter’s tape along the top of each jar. Get your glass frost paint and apply onto jars with a sponge brush—we used multiple colors but you can use just one color to cut down on costs. Let dry.
  3. While the jars are drying, apply a little industrial-strength glue to the sides of a solar light and wrap with twine. Start from the top and work your way down. Repeat with each light then allow them to dry.
  4. Lastly, get an 18′ piece of twine and fold it in half. Starting at the fold, tie a knot to make a loop for hanging. Tie another knot 10″ from the previous one. Separate the two pieces of twine, wrap them around the jar then secure with a knot. Tie another knot 10″ from the previous one then repeat steps until all jars are spaced evenly, tied and knotted. When you reach the end of the twine, make another loop for hanging.
  5. Your lights are ready to hang immediately.
The lights should fit on top of the jars easily. If you have trouble, carefully remove one of the light’s two inner flaps with a box cutter.


Make inexpensive DIY solar lanterns using spice jars and glass paint