How to Make a Mason Jar Lamp
Modern Farmhouse anyone? This is a simple and gorgeous DIY! You can customize it however you like and it's fairly inexpensive. Cover it in glitter, coat it in milky white paint, stain it with a colored gel, just get creative!
Here's what you'll need:
1 quart wide-mouth mason jar with 2 piece lid - must have a 3 1/2" opening
15w bulb with size B10 base - note: the socket used here can handle up to a 75w bulb, but since we're enclosing this completely in glass, we want to use a bulb that won't put off much heat.
4 1/4" Nuts
2 3/8" washers, or any washers with a hole smaller than the nut, but large enough to overlap the mason jar lid (see instructions)
Hot glue gun
Needle nose pliers
Socket wrench with 7/16 socket
3/16 Allan wrench (hex key)
You're going to love how simple this is!
First, hold the flange with the center part pointing upward. Then, insert the 4 bolts from the bottom and set it down on your working surface.
Spin a nut onto each bolt, and hand-tighten. You don't need to worry about getting them very tight just yet. This is your new lamp base!
The candelabra socket comes with a little metal piece around the socket end. This is so you can make a light fixture out of a wine bottle or something. It has two tabs on the sides that you pinch together and when you put it into the top of the bottle and let go, it holds tension so it doesn't fall out.
The only problem here is, it's meant to fit in a 1 inch hole, but the flange has a 3/4 inch hole. I tried to bend it a little bit using the needle nose pliers so that it would fit, but that type of spring metal isn't meant to be flexible. I accidentally snapped off one of the tabs. So, in the spirit of DIY, I finished breaking it completely off of the socket. Tip: it slides down, so shimmy it down around the cord and give yourself a little more room to break it off.
The good news is, now the socket fits through the center of the flange. The bad news is, it falls right back out. I needed to find something that would fit over the cord, and hold the socket in place.
My husband is a car guy and an electrician so I raided the garage and found a little plastic thing that looked perfect. I had to text him while he was at work to ask him what it was called. It's a romex connector!
Feed the socket up through the bottom of your new lamp base.
Then take your romex connector (come on, would you have known what that thing was?) and slide the opening over the cord, like so.
Position the cord in the center of the romex connector like this. It will help everything sit straight when you put it together.
Squirt some hot glue around the inside of the flange and press the romex connector in firmly, making sure it's in straight.
I'm kinda picky, so I filled the little gaps with more glue and then used my finger nail to pick off the excess and clean it up a bit.
Flip the base over and add some more hot glue to the under side of the romex connector, making sure to get it into the threads of the flange. This will help keep in in place. Hot glue doesn't stick to metal all that well, so this will give it a little more grab.
Flip the base upright again and add a generous amount of hot glue to the inside of the romex connector.
Pull on the cord and then press the socket down into the hot glue. Work quickly and straighten it the best you can.
Take the lid off your mason jar and discard the center part. You only need the ring that screws on the jar.
Here's another part where I had to improvise. Originally, I planned on hot gluing the rim of the mason jar lid to the flange. This failed miserably. Like I said, hot glue doesn't adhere to metal very well at all. I tried it and it fell right back off without me even touching it. No go.
So I went back to my husband's stash of bits and pieces in the garage, and found two washers. These are 3/8" washers, but it would make more sense to use 1//4" washers, since that's the size of the bolts. If you buy 1/4" washers, make sure the outside diameter is no larger than 3/4", otherwise, they won't fit between the bolt and the lid ring.
Remove two of the nuts and set them aside.
Place the lid ring upside down on the base and center it.
Place the washers over the two bolts without nuts and then spin the nuts back on. The 3/8" washers have a little too much wiggle room on the bolts, so try to make sure the washer overlaps the edge of the lid and that the nut covers the center of the washer so it will sit straight when you tighten it.
Using a 3/16 allen wrench and 7/16 socket wrench, tighten each nut and bolt.
Now is the really fun part! Screw in the lightbulb. I want to emphasize again, use a low wattage lightbulb. There's no airflow inside the finished lamp so if you use a bulb that gets super hot, your lamp might shatter unexpectedly. Not cool! I've had this lamp on for about 3 hours now, and it's still just barely warm to the touch.
Then you can screw on the mason jar and voila! Plug in your new lamp and switch it on. Isn't it pretty? Again, you can decorate this and personalize it even more if you like.
My husband and I are expecting our first baby boy so I'm going to use this as a soft light for when I'm up nursing him at all hours of the night. I think it will make a fantastic accent in a little boy's nursery, don't you?
This Mason Jar Lamp, with its industrial elements, makes a great accent to any home.
Modern Farmhouse, a style of home decor, has exploded over the last year or two. This would be beautiful on a buffet table, or even as a night light in a kid's room.
Now that you have the basic design, go build one and make it your own!