DIY Solar Powered Coastal Memory Jar

Spring is such an exciting time for me! Not only is my birthday around the corner in less than two months, but also ArtSea Chic will be celebrating 3 YEARS of being alive on May 27! I can't believe my little blog has grown so much from the time I started blogging after graduating from college. I will be hosting a celebration with small business partners here on the blog May 27, so make sure to keep an eye out for all the party goodies!

Now that we have spring here, summer vacation is all I can think about sometimes. Every now and then surfing the web for things to do and place to go can get a bit draining, so I have to get a little hands-on and make something :) I got a really awesome solar powered moon shiner mason jar lid from one of my sponsors, Beach Grass, a coastal shop in Kennebunkport, Maine and finally got the chance to really make the ultimate beachy memory jar using sustainable energy!! I just can't express how thrilled I was to give this a try. Aside from testing out solar power, I also wanted to try making my own blue mason jar from scratch instead of buying one so I could have a faint ocean turquoise essence in the glass. Turns out making a blue mason jar is SO easy, and I want to let you in on the secret!

Grab yourself a bottle on Mod Podge, blue and green food coloring, and an old paint brush. Can you believe this is all you need to turn your mason jar blue!? Pour in a plastic cup about 2-3 TBSP of Mod Podge, 1 drop green food coloring, 2 drops blue food coloring, and 1.5 TBSP of water. Mix all that up and you will have a lovely light blue color of diluted Mod Podge. Now, you want the consistency thick enough so that when it drys to a clearer coat the blue will be dark enough, so you might need to play around with the measurements. You will most likely have more than you need so why not make another glass blue? I decided to grab a vase.

Evenly paint your Mod Podge mix onto the outside of the glass. I found that starting from the rim and painting up was the best technique so the paint could naturally fall back down if there was too much in one spot. You'll notice some of the mix accumulated in the ridges of the rim and on the bottom - this is normal and adds that natural blown glass look to your piece when it dries. Depending on how dark you want your blue color to be when it finishes drying, you'll need to apply 3-5 coats. Since I wanted a faint ocean turquoise essence in the glass so I could see the photograph I would be placing inside the jar, I only did 3 coats. The benefit to painting on the outside of the glass compared to the inside like other tutorials might show you, is that if you wanted to you could fill these with water for flowers.

When the Mod Podge mix has dried completely and no stickiness remains, grab a sealer glaze like my Folk Art spray and take your jar outside to spray it down. This will put a sealant coat on top of your dried Mod Podge mix to prevent any moister from ruining it and to just make it more durable. Please excuse the bird seed...

Viola, you have yourself a durable, awesome, blue mason jar! Now, how easy was that? Next thing to do is find sweet little keepsakes, a photograph printed on cardstock paper, and go to a quiet room to reflect on why you kept them, what memories you made, and wishes for your future.

I grabbed one of my favorite photos of me and Mr. ArtSea Chic from when we toured Galveston on a rainy day, a pink feather he found during a fishing trip, a couple favorite shells from trips to Florida, and a Barefoot Wine cork.  

First you'll want to place your photograph into the mason jar so you're able to stabilize it with sand on both sides to keep it in place. If your jar has lettering on one side, make sure the front of your photo faces the side without letters. Then one by one, put in your keepsakes. Don't forget to decorate the back of the jar.

After you're all done putting your keepsakes in the jar, make sure you have one of Beach Grass' solar powered moon shiner mason jar lids to leave sitting in direct light for at least 1 hour to charge up the solar panels. Just follow the directions in the package to make sure the rechargeable battery is in the right way. These moon shiners are awesome, you'll get hooked and be convinced every room in your house needs a nightlight mason jar. The lids fit any standard sized mason jar and the light will automatically come on once it gets dark in the room it is placed in - and it's water resistant! So yes you can make jars to sit outside on your patio table or even inside your garden.

Once you're all done, set your jar down and just for the fun of immediately seeing how awesome these solar powered lights are, turn out the lights! I'm in love.

Have fun making your ultimate beachy memory jars using sustainable solar powered energy thanks to Beach Grass!


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