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Weekend Project: Create Your Own 3D Printed LED Mason Jar Lanterns

Picture of Tyler Koslow
by Tyler Koslow
Mar 3, 2018

Instructables content creator Becky Stern shares her latest 3D printing project: LED Mason Jar Lanterns. This beginner-level project will help you improve your design and DIY skills, and you’ll have some lovely new lanterns to light up your home! 

If there’s one type of container that has become synonymous with the stereotypical hipster, most people would probably put their money into mason jars. But these popular receptacles aren’t only good for holding your neighborhood bar’s newest cocktail, you can actually do a lot with them.

Becky Stern, a Brooklyn-based content creator for Instructables and Autodesk, recently shared a how-to guide for LED Mason Jar Lanterns. This unique 3D printing project is perfect for beginners, and will help you improve your design and DIY skills.

These DIY LED Mason Jar Lanterns are a simple, yet stunning project that will fill your house with decorative light. The lanterns contain a simple LED, a battery circuit, and whatever ornamental touch you decide to put on them. Not only will you get more familiar with your 3D printer, Stern’s project also connects you with TinkerCAD, basic circuitry, and artistic creativity.

Here’s what you need to know to get started on your own 3D printed LED Mason Jar Lanterns.

LED Mason Jar Lanterns: What Do You Need?

Aside from your 3D printer, you’ll need a few other components and tools to create your own LED Mason Jar Lanterns. Luckily, the parts on required for this Weekend Project are easily obtainable. Here’s what you need:

LED Mason Jar Lanterns: Putting it Together

Once you have your materials ready, it’s time to start digitally crafting your LED Mason Jar Lanterns. For those who want to take an easier path, you can simply download Stern’s lid model. Conversely, you can also customize your own lid using the Glow Circuit Assembly in TinkerCAD. This 3D printable lid is designed to hold and connect the battery and LED together.

On her Instructables post, Stern shares the TinkerCAD files for two different sized lids, both of which fit the common mason jar. After finding the 3D model that fits your jar, it’s time to 3D print the 3D printed lid and incorporated Glow Holder. The content creator states that she prepared her model on Autodesk Print Studio. In Stern’s example, the lid model is 3D printed with 20 percent infill, no supports or rafts required. If you want to design your own lid, Stern also supplies easy-to-follow TinkerCAD instructions on her post.

Once the 3D printed lid and Glow Holder is ready to go, it’s time to insert the LED and battery into the mount. To do so, you must trim the leads of your LEDs, and then insert the battery and LED into the holder (place the positive side/leg facing the + on the 3D printed holder). Finally, fit the lid into the mason jar and secure it into place with the metal band.

After the assembly process is complete, it’s time to get creative. Stern suggests decorating your lantern with paper cutouts, and even provides some instructions on how to make a Jack-O-Lantern design. All you have to do is cut the paper to match the inside of the mason jar, fold it, cut out a design, and voila! The Instructables content creator states that you can use the LED color and paper color to enhance the design of your lantern.

You can also achieve a striking visual effect by painting the inside of the mason jar with glitter glue, or filling it with translucent beads, seaglass, or any other ornament that will help disperse the light throughout your DIY lantern. Feel free to experiment with other decorative ideas, and be sure to share your 3D printed LED Mason Jar Lanterns on Stern’s Instructables post!

License: The text of "Weekend Project: Create Your Own 3D Printed LED Mason Jar Lanterns" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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