How To Make a Mason Jar Lamp: This Is One Bright Idea!
Do you want to learn how to make a mason jar lamp that looks as good as the fancy “designer” jars at the store, but at a fraction of the cost, with easy to locate materials?
Great, because I did too! I learned how to make this beauty you see here, back in 2007, one fine day I was bored and looking for something to do that was artistically challenging.
I saw an actual ball mason jar lamp filled with seashells at a local antique shop and of course I was thinking “I could make that!”
Now here she is, 10 years old and this baby still works like gangbusters with semi-continuous use!
Not only will you have a real working lamp made out of inexpensive materials but you can also fill the mason jar up with cute treasures! I chose a bunch of my childhood miniature trinkets, but the sky is truly the limit!
Materials List For Your DIY Mason Jar Lamp
- A quart-size Mason/Ball jar with its respective lid
- A “make-your-own lamp” kit
- Small needle-nose pliers
- Lampshade harp and finial
- Small lampshade
- Acrylic paints or objects to go into the jar
Object suggestions include: Seashells, wine corks, miniature building playset bricks, candy, or heck, you can steal my miniature toy idea 🙂
Your “make your own lamp kit” contents may vary in appearance overall, but they should include: An actual electric cord, light socket base, light socket cap, threaded “nipple”, check ring.
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Decorating Your Mason Jar (Optional)
First decide if you want to paint your jar or fill it with cute objects…if you’re opting for the former now is the time to do that part! You need to paint or stain your mason jar from the inside; you can use a brush or sponge or distribute it by squirting a little and rolling the jar around in different directions.
It’ll probably need a few days to dry before proceeding with the rest of the lamp.
Steps To Make A Mason Jar Lamp
1.Take the jar lid and make a mark with a permanent pen or similar, right in the middle. Cut the marked area crosswise. This opening will be for the threaded “nipple” to go through.
2. Drill a small hole near the bottom of the jar. If you are like me and a stickler for neatness, I recommend doing this so the electric cord can pass through easily. and there’s less of it to be exposed.
Thankful that my ex at the time performed this task as I was a little apprehensive about doing it myself. If you feel uncomfortable about it, though, don’t worry; as the lamp kit socket base has a small opening that the cord can thread out of.
This step here is purely optional, but it must be done before the assembly of the lamp socket. Your included electric cord has a plug on one end and an “unattached” end that was two slightly exposed wires. You’ll paint yourself into a corner if you assemble the cord and the anatomy below but forget to thread it through the hole because the other end is that of the plug!
3. Thread this wire side through the jar lid opening and then through the “nipple”.(Don’t laugh, I don’t know why it’s called that)
4. Thread the check ring over these parts next. Thread the metal harp over the check ring. The metal harp is the device that will support your lampshade. Next push the socket cap into place over the lid, nipple and check ring.
Check out my follow-up post to see what I experienced when I decided to remove the lamp harp – it was kinda hairy 🙂
5. The electric cord separates and each end has a golden look to it. There are two inner screws inside the socket base. One is gold and the other is silver. Wrap the non-ribbed wire part around the gold screw and the ribbed wire around the silver screw. Don’t worry if this sounds confusing, when you’re looking at the parts up close it’ll become clear.
The needle nose pliers will come in handy for this to secure the wires down snugly.
6. Attach the socket cap part (this is where you will screw in the light bulb) into the base firmly.
7. Now comes the most fun part – if you want to put some cute objects into the jar now is your chance! When you’ve got them arranged the way you like them then go ahead and screw the jar lid back on.89. Attach the lampshade you have chosen. The shade can be as flamboyant or plain as you want, but the important thing is to choose one that complements the lamp in both proportion and shape.
If you want you can decorate your lampshade; I did so with the use of some crafting stencils.
8. Secure your lampshade (if you don’t have one with metal clamp prongs) using a finial, which can also be decorative, and goes into a threaded area on top of the metal lamp harp. And I think you know where this is going….
9. Grab a bulb and now switch ‘er on to make sure she is working! I just use the average output 60 watt.
Bravo! … Give yourself a pat on the back as you have learned how to make a mason jar lamp that is unique and one of a kind and will grace your nightstand,desk, living room, etc. (My cat happened to be all tuckered out for a nap when I took this picture.)
Have fun! If you get stuck at any point don’t hesitate to drop me a message in the comments.
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