How to Make Mason Jar Solar Lights

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Ball Jars & Insulators 
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I’ve been enjoying collecting Ball jars and have seen plastic topped mason jar solar lights and came up with this simple way to make my own.

First, gather common canning/mason jars and inexpensive garden solar lights.

(My solar garden lights came from K-Mart and were on sale for $1 each.) Be sure to bring your lids with you when you shop for lights. Some lights are larger (and more expensive) and may not fit your lid. Notice the mason jar lids are two part. If your garden lights fits in the top you’re good to go. If not, like mine, I substituted vintage presto canning jar lids with a smaller carve out.

Take the solar garden light an unscrew the light from the stake. You won’t need the stake. Holding the light against the lid, use removeable type glue, reminds me of silly putty, to hold the light in the jar lid; wedge the glue between the walls of the lid and the light. Screw the lid onto the jar and place in the sun. Be sure to remove plastic tab, if any from the light battery or turn the light to “auto” or “on”.

I plan to use the jars as lights on the path up to our cabin and on the deck railing to provide soft lighting when we’re entertaining. They’d make very romantic wedding decorations.

Tropical Twister

 

How to ID Antique Ball Canning Jars

Posted by Tropical Twister under Ball Jars & Insulators , Ball Jars and Insulators 
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jars 2-1

While in the Smokies last week, enabled by my husband, I meandered the various flea markets and garage sales in our area. I found this beveled glass arch for $5 at the Methodist Church garage sale in Silva…

arch window and jars

I haggled for jars, bought jars at a cooperative antique mall at 40% off, and found my “prize”/favorite jars at Bob’s Flea Market between Bryson City and Waynesville. Didn’t pay over $3 for any jar except I splurged on one, $9. You can see I favor the blue glass. All had zinc lids but I’m not certain they were originally matched with the various jars as a couple don’t fit too well.

HERE is a great resource for dating Ball Canning Jars. Bob Clay has wonderful history with lots of photos and sketches. I’m a novice but this is what I came up with:

1910 - 1923

1910 - 1923

1923-1933

1923-1933

1910-1923

1910-1923

1910-1923

1910-1923

1896-1910

1896-1910

1893-1896

1893-1896

1893-1896

1893-1896

I’m obviously a novice, I bought the jars because I like the glass. I love the irregular shapes and bubbles in the old glass. Please comment and feel free to correct me if my dates are off or if I have anything of any value, I’d love to know. (Thank you Bob Clay for correcting identification of first jar; I’ve updated this page.)

I’ve picked up insulators over the past few years and have a number but this one is unique. Usually I try to only collect ones without knicks or “bites” but this one is so unusual I took it with it’s small chip. Does anyone recognize it?

insulator 1-1

The other two I picked up aren’t uncommon but I like blue glass:

insulator 2-1insulator 3-1

Not my usual fiber related post, but something fun and may be of interest.

Tropical Twister