Rain Proof Solar Lantern

5 Materials
$2
30 Minutes
Easy

I’ll show you how I made a rain proof solar lantern using a tea light jar.

Dollar store tea light lanterns

These lanterns were only $1.00 each

A more expensive tea light lantern

I chose to use an inexpensive Dollar Store lantern. Another option would of been to use a more expensive jar or a canning jar, but I didn’t want to spend a lot for a DIY solar lantern.

Along with the Dollar Store lantern, I used a Dollar Store solar light stick, and a take out Panera Bread salad container.

All the supplies I used for my solar lantern are pictured here. I used the larger lid from a Panera Bread take out salad container, but you could use any clear plastic container. I chose to paint the top of my lantern so it would look like a canning jar, but you could skip this step if you don’t have craft paint.

First I traced the top of a lantern onto a piece of clear plastic. I then cut my traced circle with a pair of sharp scissors.

I applied glue around the edge of the solar light and placed the plastic piece on top. I made sure the plastic was completely glued to the light before proceeding to the next step.

I then applied a bead of glue around the lip of a tea light jar.

Before the jar glue dried, I placed the solar light with plastic lid inside the jar and let dry.

Once the glue was dry and the lid was securely attached to the jar, I painted the sides and top of the jar. I also used a silver sharpie to clean up the edges on the top of the jar.

My jar was now rain proof and ready to hang outside.

Store bought solar lanterns are not as bright as diy lanterns made with solar lights sticks. DIY lanterns using solar light sticks are brighter because they have a reflective material on the inside base.

So far my light has remained water tight despite heavy rains and wind.

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Bren
    on Jun 16, 2019

    How do you change the battery when it won’t charge anymore?

    • Doreen Kennedy
      on Jun 16, 2019

      The solar Malibu lights I used are just cheap dollar store ones. I don’t replace the batteries on these since the batteries are more expensive than just buying new ones. These Malibu lights usually last 3 to 4 years. I think I’ll just replace the top plastic lid and Malibu once the Malibu stops charging. I used to buy the nicer glass expensive Malibu lights, but they didn’t seem to last any longer plus the batteries were expensive to buy.

  • Janet
    on Jun 16, 2019

    How long do you think the plastic will last before it deteriorates? Do you think when it does you would be able to remove it and replace? I love this idea.

    • Doreen Kennedy
      on Jun 16, 2019

      The plastic last a long time. I have a large light-post mounted solar light that had a broken glass globe. I chose to replace the glass globe with a piece of a clear plastic 2 liter soda bottle. It’s been seven years now a the plastic shade is still looking good. Also I find the plastic and solar cells of the cheap Malibu lights deteriorates in three years. I’m just going to replace the lid and Malibu once it stops charging. I save my old spent Malibu’s for various art projects to help keep them out of land fills.

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