I am on a bit of a firefly kick this summer. I have already shared my Glow-in-the-Dark Firefly Key Chains with you. This project centers around the same idea – the joy of catching fireflies in a jar. This DIY requires only three supplies and will take you all of 15 minutes to put together. When you are finished you will have firefly lanterns that look like you have caught fireflies in a mason jar!
FIREFLY MASON JAR LIGHTS
What Do You Need to Make Firefly Lanterns
To make a firefly lantern, you will need a mason jar, adhesive mounting dots, and a string of miniature LED lights. You can also make a solar lantern by using solar lights that use sunlight during the day to power the LED lights by night. I don’t recommend using solar mason jar lids for this project because you won’t get the pretty firefly effect.
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How to Use Mini LED Lights to Make a Mason Jar Lantern
These teeny LED lights were one of my favorite craft supply discoveries of 2013. I used them for my Plaid Christmas Centerpiece, and I have been looking for another way to use them ever since.
These light strings are operated by a twist on/off mechanism and powered by a watch-style battery. The flexible wire strand can be wrapped around craft projects AND the lights are fully submersible in liquid so you could even add them to vases of flowers. For our purposes, the fact that they are waterproof makes these lights a perfect addition to your outdoor lighting.
How to Make Firefly Lantern Mason Jar Decor
Watch this quick video to see the process I used to make these simple lanterns or scroll down for the full step-out instructions. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more video tutorials like this!
Peel just one side of the backing off of an adhesive dot and position the dot as close to center as possible. These dots are meant to be permanent, but I have not tested how well they withstand water. If it comes loose after being exposed to the elements, you can easily replace it with another dot.
Remove the remaining paper backing and press the battery pack portion of the LED strand onto the adhesive dot. Press firmly to secure it in place. You will still be able to twist the mechanism on and off, just be careful not to twist the battery pack right off the mason jar lid. The adhesive dot will hold the battery pack in place so that it is mostly out of view.
Wind the strand of LED lights into the mason jar and replace the lid. Even though I took this photo in the middle of the day, you can still see how brightly the miniature LED lights shine.
As dusk falls, the LED lights will seem to shine even more brightly and the wires will become less apparent. Place the jars on a bistro table or patio set to create some lighthearted ambience in your outdoor space.
How to Use Firefly Lanterns
I designed this project to look like fireflies caught in a jar, but you could easily adapt it for other purposes. Since the lights are submersible in water, you could add some fresh citrus into the jar with the lights and fill the jar with water. Replace only the ring of the mason jar lid and add fresh flowers to the jar. Now you have a gorgeous floral centerpiece to display at your next alfresco dinner party.
I think these would be beautiful on tables at an outdoor wedding reception. If you are worried about the jars blowing over in the wind, you can add some pebbles to the jar to weigh them down a bit more.
Alternatively, you could wrap twine around the next of the mason jar, looping the twine to make hangers for the lights. Hang several of these jars from your apartment balcony or from the low-hanging branches of a tree in your yard.
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