Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Mason Jar Lamp

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The Mason Jar Pendant is extremely popular lately, and for good reason. I have seen them in clusters and rows, tinted and clear, and all shapes and sizes, but it never gets old.

Finished pendant with a 32oz. jar.

I have to tell you, Mason Jars in general just charm my socks off. It just so happens I have about 15 of them in different sizes to play with- so this is just the beginning!

Jars of all sizes for an elegant centerpiece
We used mason jars for the centerpieces at my sister's bridal shower (above) and had a lot left when the festivities were over, however they're extremely cheap by the case at Ace Hardware. For my DIY I was choosing between the two largest jars, both which had the wide mouth opening and fit the same lid. I can (and already have) switch them back and forth until I decide which one I like best and as of right now, I remain undecided...

Ok, but is it really that easy?

Decisions, decisions...
64oz and 34oz wide mouth,
 Ball Mason Jars.
There are tons of tutorials out there that will have the different ways to accomplish this project, so let me just say this; I have no particular way of telling you that mine is better or worse than the rest. What I will tell you is that I decided to do this project on a whim, just using stuff I had lying around the house and figured if it doesn't work, no harm no foul. I am floored that it was as easy as I hoped and will do my best to clearly convey the steps I took.
Maybe these same steps, or even parts of them will lead your to your own version and that's ok too!

The existing pendent light I had in my kitchen.
Purchased at Lowes with lots of shade options
at a reasonable price.



- Mason Jar of your choice and the lid.
- a preexisting pendent light.
- hammer.
- 1 nail.
- a block of wood or safe hammering surface.
- permanent marker
...and that's it!

The Steps:

First, make sure all power to the light fixture is turned off. Then, unscrew your light bulb and find the attachment piece on your pendant that holds the shade on to it. Usually it's a small metal piece that screws on to the socket.  
The metal piece that attaches the lamp shade and the mason jar lid insert.

Next, take the metal disc insert from the mason jar lid and flip it over so the white side is facing up. You are going to be tracing the opening for the metal attachment piece to settle in. Images are below, but the best suggestion I can give that might not be 100% clear in pictures is to pay attention to how the original shade attached to your pendent. Your basically using the same process, but we have to create the hold in the top of the shade, which in this case will be in your lid.

Centering and tracing the inner ridge of the
attachment piece. 
Then, Use a permanent marker to trace the inner ridge of the attachment piece. You could also trace the hole in the existing shade, something I discovered later that would have been easier the first time around. The hole has to be big enough that the top part of the attachment piece fits through it, but not so big that the entire thing will slip through.

Side note: If this seems confusing, read ahead a few steps first and check out the images that show the assembly after the hole is cut.

Now it's time to cut out the hole. This is where the hammer and nail come in. If you're like me, you don't have a slew of saws that can easily slice through metal at your disposal. This was where the real experimentation came in for me. I knew the hole didn't have to be pretty, it just had to be the right size so I use the nail and hammered holes around the the perimeter of my traced circle, spacing them about 1/8 in. apart initially. I did this right on my kitchen counter with a scrap of wood underneath.

Notice the 2 tracings. The better of the two
created by tracing the hole in the lamp shade
Close up of two hammered holes.

At this point you may have figured out how all this hammering tin will eventually lead to a bigger hole, and if you have a saw that will work for this, by all means give it a go, but this worked well and was probably only slightly more time consuming.

After the initial 1/8 spaced holes you'll go around once more hammering hold in the existing spaces and carefully punch out your circle.

Tip: I used the claw side of the hammer at times to wedge into some of the more stubborn areas.

Putting it all together: The fun part!

Now you're finally ready to put your super-cool Mason Jar shade in place! 

First, get that attachment piece and make sure it fits in (but not through!) your hole. (See right---->)

Finally, put the other part of the jar lid around the disc and hold the attachment piece from the bottom as you screw it on to the pendent. Once you have the lid attached to the pendant all you gotta do is screw your light bulb back and then attach the mason jar to the lid. Just twist it right on there and voila!

A cute and easy way to add a little funky style to your space.

The 64oz jar attached. A bigger statement,
but still not sure if it's just TOO big.

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