Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DIY Mason Jar Pendant Lamp

If you're ever on Pinterest surely you've seen a version of this, a million times. But I liked the look, and we wanted to replace the pendants that came with the kitchen without spending too much. I looked into changing just the glass shade but nothing would fit properly. A decent-looking full pendant assembly costs at least $50 per lamp, and we needed three. Making our own mason jar lamps looked like a good alternative at a cost of $20 a piece. Worth it!

mason jar pendant lamp

I showed Chris some photos of different ideas and we rigged up this plan that worked out pretty perfectly.

mason jar pendant lampYou'll need:

  • pendant kit (it includes all the electrical components to make it work)
  • A quart-sized regular mouth mason jar
  • A light bulb, we used these "Edison" type bulbs.
  • flathead screwdriver
  • hammer
  • Black Rust-oleum Textured spray paint
  • a good work surface

The first thing we did was prep the jars. In order to match the "oil rubbed bronze" finish of the pedant kit we purchased I sprayed the rings of the jars with Black Rust-oleum Textured spray paint. It gives in a finish similar to wrought iron. The cap of the can is textured like the final product so you can literally get a feel for it before you buy it. I've used this stuff on a lot of things, and it truly does have a great finish. I've painted floor lamps to make them match, on metal outdoor furniture and even drawer hardware, and it doesn't look like you're faking it. But I digress. Now the top of the jars matched the pendant - almost as if they were one piece, wink wink.

I won't pretend to know anything about installing a light fixture. Chris handled that part. The kit does come with instructions, but prior knowledge of such things is probably helpful. At this point the pendant assembly was hanging from the ceiling and the rings were drying. Which brings us to the trickiest part, cutting a hole in the mason jar lid so that it would sandwich together with the pendant and hold up the jar. We outlined a circle on the lid, the size of the inner screw inside of the pendant. Working on a small piece of 2x4, we used a flathead screwdriver and hammered along the circle. After a few punches on the line we could punch the whole circle out, jagged, but it didn't really matter.

mason jar pendant lamp

In the photo above you can see the rubber ring of the mason jar lid. The pendant screw fits underneath that and screws into the domed pendant. If you can follow along with my little hamburger-looking sketch you can see how they layer on one another to form a tight fitting unit. When you finally screw the bulb in, take care to not touch the actual glass part with your fingers. Oils from your hand can cause the bulb to burn hotter in those spots and burn out. After the bulb is in place, the jar easily screws into it's jar ring and hangs safely. Got it?

edison bulb spiral filament

You could use any type of bulb, but we really liked the like of the "old timey" look with the mason jars. They're a little spendy at $6 a bulb, but we put these together in March, so that means the bulbs have so far lasted 9 months of daily use. My initial concern with these handmade electricals was the thought of the bulbs overheating within the jar, but we haven't experienced any malfunctions (we've tested them and left them on for hours at a time under supervision). But that doesn't mean that it couldn't happen under the right conditions, so always be careful.

Our kitchen is far from where I'd like it to be, but little projects like this really help it along!

cottage rustic kitchen
*If you try this remember we are not electricians! Exercise caution when assembling these and always err on safety. 

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