Summer’s here and that means camping, BBQs, sunny days, and cool nights. It also means hanging out in the backyard as much as you can. Get-togethers, special events, you name it. The backyard is the place to do anything in the summertime.
But what are some things you can do to spruce it up beside expensive patio furniture? How can you illuminate your garden while sitting around the firepit with your friends and family? How about some awesome DIY firefly mason jar lanterns? They’re fun, quirky, and easy to make! Just follow this simple tutorial that I tried myself and light up your next backyard get together!
What You’ll Need
I got most of these items at my local Dollar store, but you can probably get them at any Walmart or craft supplier like Michael’s or Amazon. Either way, super cheap and definitely easy!
- Glow sticks in at least three colors
- Large mason jars (I used three, but use however many you want. Just make sure you have one glow stick per jar)
- Glitter in an assortment of colors
How to Make Your Firefly Mason Jars
Open the mason jars and let them air out. Make sure they’re super dry so the fluid from inside the glow sticks adheres to the best of their ability. I even took a dry cloth and wiped out the insides just to be sure.
Take one glow stick and crack it, activating the fluid. Most will require you to shake it as well. This is an important step because if you don’t crack the stick first, the fluid won’t glow when you pour it in the jar.
Next, take your trusty scissors and carefully cut the tip-off of the stick. Be sure not to spill any, and if you do wipe it up immediately. Then, dump the content directly into the first mason jar.
Now for the sparkle! Choose a colored glitter that pairs well with the color of the glow stick and sprinkles a little in. If you’re worried about the amount, I used about one-quarter of a teaspoon, so not much! A little bit goes a long way when it comes to glitter.
Glitter is made from tiny particles called micro-plastic. Consider using an organic alternative that breaks down over a short period of time and reduces your carbon footprint.
Put the lid back on the mason jar and give it a really good shake. You’ll notice the contents begin to stick to the insides, but it’ll also start to pool back on the bottom. This is because the fluid isn’t totally dry yet. That’s okay. Wait a few minutes and shake again. Repeat a few more times until you begin to see the fluid and sparkles sticking to the jar’s sides
Repeat these steps for however many mason jars you wish to have! I did three; one blue, one green, and one purple.
Place the firefly lanterns on your front porch, patio stairs, in a window of a child’s room, around the perimeter of your backyard, etc. There’s really no wrong place to show off these cute decorations! As long as it gets dark, you’re all set!
The fluid from inside a glow stick will lose its ability to glow after a few days. So, these are ideal for special, one-time events. However, if you’d like to have these cute mason jars light up your backyard all summer long, swap out the glow sticks for glow-in-the-dark paint! Follow the same steps.
I hope you have fun trying out these DIY firefly mason jars! Remember to be careful when handling the glow sticks and cutting them open as some brands use toxic materials. Always wash your hands directly after handling them and be sure to thoroughly clean your scissors.
You could get super creative with different versions of this tutorial, too! Get a set of mini mason jars and string them up on your patio. Attach black cut-outs so it appears as though little fairies are inside the jars, too! The sky’s the limit! Be sure to share your experience with making these lanterns by commenting and sharing below! And if you have any cool backyard DIY projects like this one, let us know!
*You might also like: Everything You Need To Know About How To Make Garden Lanterns.