In the world of DIY projects, there are some things that I’ll admit, I’m a little hesitant to try – but most of the time I’m always up for a new challenge. So, when I began researching a DIY method for updating some kitchen lighting in our home, I knew things were going to get interesting. I kept my fingers – and my wires – crossed with this one and hoped for the best!
I have a thing for mason jars. I’m kind of a sucker for them. I love displaying vintage jars in my own kitchen. And I’m known for re-purposing them into all sorts of fun, useful jars. You can read about a few of those ideas here. And even purchase one of your own, if you’re so inclined, at my Have a Little Faith Shop too!
So why not use them for other purposes too, like a lampshade for example? Yes, I don’t mind if I do! Especially when it’s a pretty blue vintage mason jar just begging to be useful again.
We have standard “builder-grade” flush mounted ceiling lights everywhere in our house. I really don’t mind them so much, but the one directly over our kitchen sink was a bit high up and we have been contemplating changing it out for a while now. I knew I wanted something that hung lower and I really loved the idea of making it into a mason jar pendant light.
Luckily, my husband knows enough about electrical wires that we knew we could tackle this DIY project on our own. We started by removing the old ceiling light – but first we made sure to turn off the power to the kitchen.
We then replaced it with this brushed nickel pendant light kit that we purchased for about $10 at our local Menards. What’s nice about this model is that the hanging cord is adjustable in length, so we could choose the perfect height for above the sink.
That process seemed to be pretty doable. Next came the challenging part…turning the mason jar into a lamp shade.
For this part of the project we used a basic glass cutter tool, a rubber band, some duct tape and water.
We used the rubber band to measure off the portion of the mason jar that we wanted to remove along the bottom. The duct tape went over the top of the rubber band to secure it in place.
Then we took the glass cutter and scored around the tape, pressing firmly, but slowly to ensure it was making a smooth line.
The end result is that you will have a “half-cut” in the glass which makes it easier for you to pull them apart using the hot/cold water separation method. We removed the rubber band and duct tape before the next step.
Start by boiling up a shallow pan of water on your stove top. Then submerge the lower half of the jar into the boiling water and hold it in there for a good 30 seconds.
Next, remove the jar from the boiling water and immediately plunge it into another pot full of ice water.
Instantly you will hear a cracking sound, and the jar will separate along the scored line. Be careful removing the jar from the cold water, so the bottom doesn’t fall down and shatter.
When our jar separated, the line was not as clean as I had been hoping for, and unfortunately, due to the age of the jar, it also spread a small crack up the side of the glass.
I took an iron file and gently sanded down the outside edges of the jar to prevent cutting myself on a sharp piece and tried to even out some of the spots that needed it.
The next part is unscrewing the bottom of the pendant light and affixing it to the top of the mason jar’s lid. You can then add your preferred light bulb – in our case we had purchased a long Edison style bulb – and screw it into the socket. Then screw the jar to the lid and you’ve got your shade!
I’m thankful that we decided to attempt this little “science experiment” / DIY lighting project because my heart could not be happier with the outcome! I love the way the vintage jar – even the tiny crack up the side – now gives this fixture tons of character. Don’t be scared to attempt your next DIY project – just give it a whirl and see what results from trying something new!