It’s Power Tool Challenge Day and the Theme is Lanterns. I have an old solar powered light post top that I bought years ago to go on my deck stair posts. It was only a few dollars, but it didn’t fit because it is made for wood posts and my vinyl posts are a little larger. I’ve been hanging on to for just the right project. I thought it would be fun to use that old top and transform a two quart mason jar into a mercury glass solar powered lantern for my porch. The mason jar solar lantern was a fun and simple project and it turned out neat.
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How to Make a Mercury Glass Mason Jar Solar Lantern
- 2 quart Mason Jar
- Solar Powered post top or yard light
- 2″ x 2″ board
- 1″ x 4″ board
- wood glue
- 1 1/4″ brad nails
- Mirror Effect Spray
- Silver metallic spray paint
- 50/50 white vinegar and water in a spray bottle
- paper towels
- glass beads/pebbles if desired
Creating a Mercury Glass Mason Jar
I followed the instruction from Rust-Oleum on using the Mirror Effect spray to create a distressed mercury glass look.
- Wash and dry the glass you want to spray. Mine is a 2 quart Mason Jar.
- Mix up 50% water and 50% white vinegar in a spray bottle. I mixed up 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar and that was more than plenty.
Normally you would spray the inside of the jar, but the neck was too small so I did the outside of the jar and it still worked great. Also the instructions say to spray paint, then spritz with vinegar water, but on my practice pieces I had better luck spritzing the jar with water then spray painting it.
- In my spray shelter, I turned the mason jar upside down and lightly spritzed it with vinegar/water.
- Then quickly spraying a light coat of mirror effect spray paint on the mason jar.
- Grab a paper towel or cloth and lightly dab off the water droplets, leaving little dots of distressed mirror.
I also sprayed some old crafting glass bead/pebbles to give the light something to reflect on at the bottom of the jar.
Making the Wood Lantern
I gathered some scrap wood and made a really simple wood lantern shape to fit the mason jar.
Mason Jar Lantern Cut List
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 8 3/8″ (2×2’s)
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ (2×2’s)
- 8 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ (1×4’s)
- 4 – 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ with 45 deg miter ends (1×2’s or 1×4’s)
- 4 – 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ with 45 deg miter ends (1×4’s)
Mason Jar Lantern Cut Diagram
Wood Lantern Assembly
Mark the inside center of the 4 – 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ miter pieces and the 8 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ pieces. Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails to secure the 3 1/2″ pieces to the inside edge of the 7 1/2″ miter pieces. Repeat for all 4.
Mark the center of the 4 – 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ and about 3/4″ in from the long side of the miter pieces. Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails to secure the 3 1/2″ pieces to the 3 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ miter pieces. Repeat for all 4.
Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails to nail the top ‘square’ onto the legs.
Turn the lantern over and repeat for the bottom ‘square’.
Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails to attach the feet to the bottom, about 1/2″ in from the edges.
The wood lantern got a quick coat of linen white chalk paint, then a distressing on the edges with sandpaper. To add a little dimension, I applied a small amount of Kona to the wood edges.
I scuffed up the plastic solar top with sandpaper and covered the solar element with painters tape. I applied a quick coat of metallic silver spray paint and let that dry.
Once everything dried
I placed the mercury glass mason jar in the wood lantern
dropped in the mirror glass beads
and set the solar light on top.
Let it charge in the sun, and at night you’ll have a glowing lantern.
Check out the cool and unique lanterns the rest of the team made!
My Repurposed Life – Landscape Timer Solar Light
Just the Woods – Scroll Saw DIY Lantern
H2OBungalow – DIY Wood Lantern Tutorial
Virginia Sweet Pea – Easy DIY Decorative Lantern
The Kim Six Fix – Clothespin Lantern
Her Tool Belt – Wood and Mason Jar Solar Lantern
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