Ten Minute Project: Mason Jar Light Shades

I have long loved mason jars, and I usually favor using them in the practical application for which they are intended – food storage. But mason jar light shades are great – they lend a little bit of homestead flair to the kitchen, without being too gimmicky.

There are quite a few tutorials out there for how to do them,  but the one at Three Little Black Birds for Mason Jar Droplights was the easiest to follow and didn’t necessarily require power tools (replace the cordless drill with an awl and hammer, and you’re all set) or insane things, like attempting to drill through glass. Simply modify a jar lid by punching a hole in it, and voila – you’ve got a light. She didn’t call for adding vent holes to the top, but I did punch some smaller holes around the top to allow air flow – I’ve heard a few stories about the light fixtures over heated otherwise, and causing the glass to shatter. So better safe than sorry – I’d recommend adding them.

So, theses were the ugly-in-my-eyes light shades that came with the house – a faux stained glass nineties situation. This is what they looked like in the listing photo –


And this is what they look like now, after my brother-in-law magically got them to come off (they were seriously stuck!), and another ten minutes of my time punching holes in the lids –

mason jar lights

I absolutely love them! I’ll likely get a more decorative light bulb soon to put in there, and I may go with just a standard pint jar (these are pint-and-a-half jars), but we’ll see. I probably won’t do an Edison bulb here, as this is over our peninsula so we need brighter light for when we work in this area, and Edisons are not easy on the utility bill so I definitely do not plan to have them all over the house, despite my affection for their appearance. I’ll probably get some kind of standard, decorative chandelier bulb to dress them up a bit. But even with the plain bulb, these are a huge, huge improvement. I continue to be amazed and excited that the little updates make such a huge difference – and for me, these were basically free as I’ve always had an excess of jars and the light fixture was already in place.