Light Up the Night With a Firefly Mason Jar

This sweet illuminated firefly Mason jar lantern is the perfect addition for summertime cookouts, parties and sleepovers.

Some of my fondest summer memories as a little girl were catching fireflies in my backyard. Once darkness was upon us, my friends and I would each grab our converted bug-collecting Mason jars my Dad made for us. Running barefoot through the freshly mowed lawn, we would dance like fairies running to each little blinking light in the air. Sometimes they’d land on our shirts. It was magical. Once we had caught a few, we would perch the jars upon the picnic table and admire our new friends and their blinking light. Some nights, we’d even be lucky enough to make a temporary home in our jars by tucking in grass, fresh leaves. We would spend the night with our firefly jars at our bedside. They made the perfect nightlight as we drifted off to sleep.

Mason Jar with pretend fireflies.

Make a Firefly Inspired Summer Mason Jar

Capture the magic of catching summertime fireflies this summer with this kid-friendly craft.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

The other night I caught a glimpse of our first firefly. There just aren’t as many as I remember as a little girl.  I told my daughter the story that I shared with you about when I was a little girl. She wished for a jar just like mine, so we made one.

Supplies are laid out on the table.

Supplies for Firefly Mason Jar Craft

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Tools + Materials

  • Mason jar
  • battery-operated mini LED string lights
  • glow-in-the-dark fabric paint
  • small piece of lacy fabric
  • hot glue gun
  • hairdryer

Begin by cutting out small wings from the lacy fabric. Hot glue them to the backside of each of the lights on the LED string of lights.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Apply a drop of glow-in-the-dark paint to the back of each light on top of the wings. Use a hairdryer on low warm heat to aid in speeding up the drying process. Work with a couple lights at a time to apply the paint and dry.

The mini-light bulbs have turned into fireflies.

Add Glow in the Dark Glue to Make Fireflies

Add a droplet of glow in the dark fabric glue to make the tiny fireflies.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Next, flip over the lights and apply the glow-in-the-dark paint to the front of the bulbs using the same process as the back. Allow the lights to dry completely before assembling the jar.

Decorate the outside of the Mason jar. With the glow-in-the-dark paints, we added some grass at the base. Try adding some swirls, dots or even a moon to the jar. Set it aside to dry.

The light sits on a table outside in the evening.

Display the Firefly Mason Jar Light

Add this light to a tabletop evening gathering, by the bedside or even bring it camping.

Photo by: Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Once the light strand is dry and if the battery fits in the lid of the jar, hot glue it into the jar's lid with the switch facing out. (Battery changes are easy. Peel the case from the dried hot glue lid. Replace the batteries and re-hot glue it into place.) If the battery doesn’t fit, feel free to simply place it into the bottom of the jar.

Wait for nightfall and enjoy! This Mason jar light adds the perfect touch to evening gatherings, relaxing on the porch or drifting off to sleep as the sounds of summer fill the nighttime air.

Next Up

13 Fun Rainy Day Projects for Kids

Cure indoor boredom with these clever crafts.

DIY Fruity Play Dough

Save money by making your own play dough with ingredients in your pantry.

DIY Lava Lamps

This fun craft will entertain the kids for hours.

Summer Fun with Freezer Paper Tie-Dye

An alternative approach to tie-dying that the kids will love.

10 Ways to Banish Winter Boredom

Entertaining and occupying kids during long winter days isn't easy, but it can be fun. We have lots of ideas to get you started.

Make This DIY Dyed Sand for Summer Crafts

Get creative with a homemade colorful sand kit, and entertain the kids all summer.

Kid-Friendly Wooden Stamps

Find out how to upcycle ordinary branches into a fun and easy summer craft project.

Have a Blast With Water Gun Painting

Put an alternative twist on playing with water guns in the backyard this summer by creating your own unique works of art.

Yarn Bomb It!

Whether you're a skilled knitter, crafter or just a kid at camp, use yarn to transform an array of objects.

Whip Up Some DIY Slime

Treat your Halloween party guests to their very own slime-making fest.

What We're Loving Now

We're crushing on these trends, recipes and DIYs.

More From the Archives

Browse through our archives to discover "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" projects, cool hacks and  genius DIY ideas.

Read Our Previous Posts

Meet the Team

About the Team

Get to know the crafty, creative writers and editors behind DIY's Made+Remade blog. 

Go Behind the Blog