Mason Jar Lamp (You.Can.Do.It.)

Cliche intro:
Getting started is the hardest part.

In this case, it’s true. I’ve had these large Ball mason jars for months and months. I’ve had the lamp shade for almost as long. I’ve had the light kit for weeks. But for some reason I had a mental block on this project, which turned out to be one of the easiest I’ve ever done.

Today was, well strange. Have you ever had one of those kinds of days where you just felt, I don’t know, out of place the whole day? That was my day today. And I needed to feel good about something. That something was this lamp.

So I took my light kit (that I purchased from Lowe’s) up to my closest Home Depot (bad form?) and asked the nearest guy in an orange apron to tell me exactly what I needed. Here’s what you’ll need:

Lamp kit (Lowe’s Home Improvement), a large mason jar (antique store), a drill bit (Home Depot), hammer, screwdriver, lampshade (Cost Plus World Market).

This drill bit is for metal. I’ll go over why metal in just a sec. It’s the right size for the metal piece that connects the lamp socket to the top of the lid. And, for some reason, it’s size really intimidated me.

You may or may not know, but an authentic lid for an antique Ball jar is made of zinc and ceramic. In order to drill through the ceramic glass I would need a different bit. My thought was that if I was going to drill through it and ruin it, why not just break it? So I did. Break it. This is what you’ll need the hammer for. Just give it a light tap, break it, and dump out the glass in the trash. It will leave only the zinc (metal) lid. Which is why I only needed a bit that would drill through metal.

Warning: Chipped Manicure is likely to occur while handling power tools.

After removing the glass, I very easily drilled a hole through the lid. I attached the socket and I was almost done! If you’re wondering, the cord does not go down through the jar and out the bottom. The cord is attached to the socket at the top of the jar. More on this in a sec.

Next, time for the lamp shade. I purchased this burlap lamp shade from Cost Plus World Market. It is the “accent” size. I’ve bought this shade before (see the post on the milk glass lamp), and for some reason the opening for it to fit over the socket is too big. I have a strange and simple solution for that, and it’s called, “Nerf Gun Bullet.”

Remove the end. Cut a slit down one side. Fit  over the opening.

These Nerf gun bullets are easily found, but mostly in piles by the hundreds in my front yard thanks to my boy.

Remember that I mentioned that the cord did not go through the lamp, but is attached to the socket at the top. That comes in handy if you choose to fill your jar with anything, say, wine corks. You could even change it out seasonally. Wouldn’t it look lovely filled with seashells?

Here is the finished product:

I need more wine corks. Who wants to come over and help me with that?

It turns out that the answer to getting this done was asking the right question of my Home Depot guy. Thanks, Home Depot guy. We salute you.


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