I used to live and breathe canning. For years, I found it to be a fun way to use all my extra fruits and veggies from the garden and store up for the winter. But nowadays, I simply don’t have the time to devote hours every day to gardening and canning. To say I’m swimming in canning supplies would be the understatement of the century.
What’s a person to do with dozens (hundreds?) of mason jars? Repurpose them, of course.
I decided to turn one of my plain, everyday mason jars into an elegant yet rustic-looking pendant light. The project was remarkably easy and extremely affordable.
Here’s how to make a mason jar into a pendant light for under $15.
Collect the Materials
To make a DIY mason jar light, you’ll need the following materials:
- Mason jar of your preferred size
I chose a wide-mouth, 24-ounce jar with a subtle floral design.
- Canning jar light kit, pendant light kit, or similar product.
Depending on the style you’re looking for, these range from about $12-$20. I chose the basic white version because I may paint it later on. I found my kit in the Lowes lighting department, but you can find these kits in almost any home improvement or lighting store near the pendant lights.
- Light bulb that meets your light kit specifications (usually no more than 60 watts)
- Small nail and hammer
- Sharp scissors
- Glass tint or paint (if applicable)
Prepare the Jar
Thoroughly clean your mason jar with soap and water. Then, make sure it’s dry before you begin working on it. If you want to tint your jar, now is the time to do that (before you start adding any electrical components). I’ve had luck tinting mason jars with Vitrea glass paint but mixing a few drops of food coloring with Modge Podge also does the trick. Allow any paint or tint to dry a full 24 hours before you start. Don’t forget to add the lid and seal back on the jar when you’re ready to start.
Get Ready to Cut
After you unbox your mason jar pendant light kit, you’ll find a plastic ring that’s screwed underneath the fixture. This piece helps to secure the pendant to the light fixture. Unscrew this ring and center it on the top of your mason jar lid. Using a marker, trace around the ring. Then place the plastic ring to the side in a safe spot.
Make the Cut
Place your small nail somewhere along the marker line. Using the hammer, hit the nail so that it goes straight through the lid. Repeat until you've traced the marker line with holes. Once you have between 6-10 nail holes, unscrew the lid. Cut from hole-to-hole with your strong scissors or tin snips. Be careful as you cut; the aluminum is very sharp.
Secure the Fixture
Pull the light fixture through the lid and seal. Then, use the plastic ring to secure the fixture in place.
Attach the Light Bulb
Screw in your preferred light bulb.
Put it Together
Finally, place the lid and seal on top of the glass jar with the light bulb pointing downward. Then, tighten the seal.
Now, you have a perfect mason jar pendant light. Mount it above your countertop, in your entryway, or anywhere you see fit.
Safety Warning: It’s possible that your mason jar will get hot to the touch from time to time. If you notice this, take that nail and hammer and poke a few extra holes in the top lid. These holes allow the heat to escape the fixture.
Other Uses for a Mason Jar
If you have an ample mason jar stash and you’ve already made one or two pendant lights, consider these other DIY projects featuring mason jars.
- DIY Fairy Lights in a Jar:
Place a string of battery-operated and timer-enabled miniature LED lights in a jar. Then, place them indoors and outside for a magical twinkly experience. These fairy lights make an elegant dining room centerpiece during the holidays.
- Outdoor Mason Jar Candle Holder
Use tea lights or small votives to create a unique outdoor light source.
- Mason Jar Outdoor String Lights
For a rustic-chic look, purchase a string of lights (in any size), and thread it through two holes on the outer edges of your mason jar lid. Use steel cable to reinforce the string and to help hold all the weight when you go to hang the string.
As you can see, mason jars aren’t just for canning. Create this DIY mason jar pendant light, or come up with your own design. We’re eager to see what you come up with!