The highly anticipated DIY Mason Jar Chandelier Tutorial is ready to make its debut.
Before I get started, I must make a DISCLAIMER: We are not electricians and cannot assume responsibility if you burn your house down trying to follow these instructions!!!! If at any point you feel uncomfortable, hire an electrician!!!!!!
There are a lot a steps involved but I will do my best to explain things in terms everyone can understand. So, here goes. . .
First gather all your materials. You will need:
– Canning Jars with lids (6 large, 9 widemouth, 6 small)
-Wire (18-2 Lamp Cord)
– Hex Nuts (that will fit your nipple (which is the threaded metal rod))
– Steel Nipples
– Small Hose Clamp
– 4 Keyless Sockets
– 4 in offset crossbar
– 4 in PVC cap (found in plumbing section. We used this as the ceiling plate because it provides a lot of room to accommodate all the wires that are coming from the fixture.
-3 in machine screws (to attach the ceiling plate to the crossbar)
-2 wire nuts
Step 1- Drill one hole in the lids of your canning jars.
Step 2- Choose 4 (2 large and 2 small) canning lids to drill multiple holes in. These lids will hold the lights and need extra holes to release heat. The center hole must be big enough for the nipple to fit through.
Step 3- Cut 21 lengths of wire at 2 feet each.
Step 4- Use wire strippers and/or a razor blade to split the plastic coating and reveal the metal wire underneath.
Step 5- Push the wire through the hole in your lid.
Step 6- String a washer onto one wire and then twist the two together to secure it.
Step 7- Now it’s time to work on the lids that will hold the lights. First we have to cut our nipples down to about an inch. You may be able to buy these smaller, but I was not able to find any.
Step 8- Screw your hex nut onto your nipple.
Step 9- Push the nipple through the hole in your lid. And then screw on the Keyless Socket. Tighten everything together.
The keyless socket looks like this (below) when you open it. Just remove the cardboard wrap to reveal the body of the socket. DO NOT THROW THE CARDBOARD AWAY!!
Step 10-Push wire through the nipple and separate wires onto each side of the keyless socket. Feel the outside of the wires. The one with the ridges should go to the silver screw and the one that is smooth should go to the brass screw.
Step 11- Loosen the screws and wrap wire underneath them. Then tighten them back down.
Step 12- Replace cardboard wrap.
Step 13- Drill a hole through the middle of your PVC cap and spray paint desired color. If the cap is too deep for your liking, you can cut it down. We took off about an inch.
Step 14-Screw all your jars to your lids. Gather the wires together raising and lowering different ones to get the shape you want. It is good to have a husband or friend nearby to help with this stage because the jars can get heavy.
Step 15- Once you have the shape you want, push all the wire through the PVC cap/ceiling plate and then through your hose clamp. TIGHTEN YOUR HOSE CLAMP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! It will be holding all the weight of the jars.
Step 16- Cut all the wires back that are not connected to the keyless sockets (see above). It is best to tag these wires from the very beginning so you don’t cut something you shouldn’t.
Step 17- Cut back the plastic coating from the 4 useable wires. Then twist all the neutral wires together with all the hot wires. HOT WIRES=Smooth plastic coating NEUTRAL WIRES= ridged plastic coating
Step 18- Create a “pig tail” from a small piece of wire.
Step 19- Attach one side of pigtail (using same rules from above) to the other wires and use wire nuts to tighten and secure the wires together.
Step 20- Last, drill holes in the PVC cap/ceiling plate that correspond to the crossbar and use 3 in machine screws to hang. And obviously wire the unused “pigtail end” to the wires in your ceiling. (wires in ceiling BLACK=hot WHITE=neutral)
Step 21- Step back and admire your creation!!!!
PS- Tim and I recommend that you use four 25 watt light bulbs spread throughout the chandelier to keep things from overheating.
I would love to see pictures if anyone decides to try this out in their space!!!! A big thanks to Marian, Kristen, and Yanet for purchasing a chandelier to make this DIY tutorial possible!
Thanks so much, send some pictures if you decide to take this project on. Obviously you can get them cheaper at garage sales, but if you have to you can by the jars new for about $10 a dozen depending on the style. Each socket will cost about $3 and the PVC base about the same. The wire is the most expensive component and should run about $40 for 250′ which will should be enough for two chandeliers depending on how far you want them to hang. So I would say $75 should get you everything you need. Hope that helps and thanks for reading.
Just finished making one of these and I absolutely love how it turned out! Thanks for the great tutorial.
I was online looking for ideas on making mason jar soap pumps and some how stumbled onto your blog. All I can say is I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!!
I have been obsessing over how to make one of these for a customer, since the PB version at nearly $400 is just out of the question.
I thought maybe one could just get their own jars and use a cord/socket set for those of us more electrically challenged (like myself!) Was so glad to find your posting.
I’m going to hang mine as separate pendants, grouped together, with Edison bulbs inside.
Hey Kara! My husband and I used your tutorial to make a chandelier, and we’ve gotten so many compliments on it from our family and friends. Thanks!!!
Here is a link to how it turned out!
This is such a great idea, I would love to make one for my hallway in my apartment. I have a piece of wood I would like to hang the jars from do you think that would work? Also I have never done anything electrical and I live in an apartment building so I am a little scared of causing a fire. Can you recommend a way for the non electrical inclined?
Hello! I’d absolutely love to buy one of these..whereabouts on the internet can I do that?
Hi Kara, just wanted to thank you so much for the tutorial! Your instructions were easy to follow and so helpful. My husband and I made a chandelier for our dining room and 3 pendants for over our little bar/counter area. I don’t have a blog yet but here are my pics of it on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150403942282421&set=a.10150381045717421.377322.781667420&type=3&theater
Can’t wait to make our own.
2 quick questions –
1) would it be possible/wise to put a bulb in more jars than just 4?
2) to reach your result were your jar sizes & wire length in the cluster decided totally randomly or was it a bit more strategic?
Glad to see another guy around here.
1. It is definitely possible to add more “wired” jars, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t remember the exact details, but I know at one point we were making one with fewer total jars, but still 4 “wired” jars. I think the bulbs kept bursting from heat. I assume the empty jars provide a little cushion for heat dissipation. You could always wire a few extra and if they give you problems just take the bulb out.
2. Our personal method for finding jar heights that we like is to leave all the wires a little long and then have me (tim) hold all of the grouped together while kara adjust the individual jars how she likes them and then stand back and stare for a few seconds (feels like hours) and make sure she likes it from afar. Then we use the hose clamp to lock it in. Not the most efficient way, but it works for us.
Good luck with it and happy thanksgiving,
Thank you so much for the detailed instructions! I just finished mine tonight!
I just finished mine. Its going to be a christmas present t to my girlfriend. Crazy thing is she first told saw one for sale for $250 and only end ed up spending 45.
But I wired six jars and used two different sized light bulbs. Thought it might look cool with different brightnesses. Im no electrician so I have no clue if this will cause problems. Ill post back and let everyone know my findings.
I have been saving for a milk jug chandelier, however, I like this even better! Thank you for sharing your creativity.
Hi Kara! Would you be interested in making another chandelier to sell? I’ve found ones similar but not one with as many jars, I love the one you made & would be perfect for my new mud room!
Please let me know,
LOVE this. I might be using this in my kitchen! I just posted a link to this post on my blog so others can find it! 🙂
I am sorry, but at this time we aren’t taking any orders for chandeliers. If this changes we will be sure to check back in with you. I recommend trying to sweet talk some you think could follow this tutorial to make it for you. Work your magic. That is how Kara gets everything.
Thanks. Send us the link we would love to see your blog!
Nossa que interessante esta ideia,nós brasileiros já adoram reciclagem e ainda mais quando é útil assim. pvhsustentabilidade.blogspot.com
How did you mount the board to the ceiling? I am doing the same for my kitchen and am trying to figure out a way to hang the board without “seeing” any hardware. Ideas…?
Thank you so much. I priced one of these light fixtures and was shocked at how much it cost. Now I can make my own! Thank again ..
Glad you found it. We have had quite a few readers make their own and they turn out great. Feel free to put your own spin on it. We have seen some pretty cool spins on this.
Thanks for posting this!!!!!! I am going to make 3 single pendant lights to hang over my kitchen island, but I am going to use the old blue jars. I might even trade out the light over my kitchen sink with one, too.
I did it!! Here are my pictures: http://thefriscokid.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/craft-project/ Thank you SO much for your well-planned directions!
Way to go! It looks fantastic! Thanks so much for sending me the link! Would you mind posting pics on our “kara paslay designs” FB page?! Again, great job!
wow, that is beautiful!
Looks cool! I would be concerned about using the hose clamp on the wires – both from fear of it cutting into a wire, and that there may be slippage at some point in time. Look up the underwriter’s knot – maybe you could incorporate that instead? Or maybe look at some commercial fixtures for additional rigging inspiration. I might try my hand, too, since they look so neat!
Wow! I love this, I am totally going to attempt making this! Just one question though, I live in a prewar building in Brooklyn, NY. My apartment has no light fixtures in the living/dining room, how would I know where to place my chandelier once it is finished?
I have totally done that type of wiring, I’ve made lamps that were supposed to be wired into a wall into plugable types. it’s just as you say, take one of those extension cords (cheaper than buying by the foot) and chop the plug off – split, strip, and wire up. They are usually rated for pretty high wattage, read the label though!
Hi Tim & Kara! I love this project, thanks for a great tutorial. I would love to feature you guys on my blog, so my readers can come over here and check this out as well. Is that ok?
Also – I’m a little confused on the part where you are putting the wires through the ceiling plate, how do you attach the PVC part the ceiling plate?
The “unlit” jars have a loop and washer under the cover to secure the cable to them (very reliable way to mount them). I didn’t see anything that is similar for the “lit” jars. Are you just using the screws on the fixture to keep the wire in place and take the weight of the jar? Seems like that could be a lot so strain on the electrical connection.
Not criticizing, just want to be as safe a possible when I build mine.
Great suggestion Arm2008!
Well, that is a problem. Maybe you could make a version that plugs in?
Hey Jesse! Of course you can feature the project on your blog! 🙂 We just ask that you link to us! 😉 You have to drill holes in the PVC that match up with the screw holes on your electrical box. Then use long screws to attach the PVC plate to the box/ceiling.
Hey Scott! The screws are holding the weight of the jar. So far (2 years in) we haven’t had any problems, but if you are uncomfortable with the idea, we definitely recommend trying a different option. Maybe tying a knot before securing the wires underneath the screws would be a good idea? We’d love to see photos when you take the project on!
I love this idea! I have a log cabin full of primative antiques and this would go great in my kitchen.
I’m intimidated to try it, but hope to try. I love love mason jars, we can food and it’s a creative way to use some of those jars. Thanks for sharing this.
I am SO excited about this. I’ve had an idea for a chandelier for our kitchen… Drew out the plans for it and everything… For almost a year now. But we’ve been stumped because we couldn’t figure out how to wire it. We knew we needed multiple sockets, but we couldn’t find any info on how to take the one wire (in the attic) and run multiple wires for it to each bulb. We gave up about a month ago, pretty sure we’d have to hire an electrician to do it for us. But this is exactly what we’ve been looking for… Something to explain the wiring puzzle step-by-step.
The chandelier I have planned doesn’t look anything like this, but your explanation here has made it so clear as to what we need to do, I’m already envisioning custom lightning solutions for the crap lighting we have in our house everywhere. (we’ll start with the kitchen chandelier first!)
Thanks so much for this! Can’t wait to start putting it together!
I didn’t go through all of the comments above but wanted to know if you are selling these! My e-mail address is magsmatt (at) hotmail (dot) com.
Thanks so much for your time!!
Great, let us know how it turns out. Can’t wait to see.
You are welcome. I am glad it was helpful. I would love to see how your lighting project turns out, will you send us some pictures? Good luck, I know it will turn out great!
I have a maybe really dumb question.. if I dont have a place with wires in my ceiling as I wanted to hang it in my bedroom how would I go about doing this?
Hi, Just came across your web site and think it’s awesome! We are finishing up a kitchen reno and just had a 5 jar pendant installed today that I purchased from PB. My daughter in law is going to have my step son make hers and I will be sure to tell him about this web site! Great instructions! The light cast from the jars is beautiful, so unique!
Sorry I am just getting to this question. You can convert any chandelier/light fixture by wiring an extension cord to it. Just cut off the female end of the extension cord, strip the wires, and use a wire nut to connect the matching wires. That will get power to the fixture, now you will have to figure out how to physically hang the fixture. That will really depend on what kind of ceiling you have and each individual fixture. It is definitely doable, it will just take some figuring.
Did you spray paint the wires or leave them as you purchased them?
I come to know about your blog post by The Nest Community! I like to read & share DIY on home improvement. Honestly, This is good DIY for mason jar chandelier. I’ve one question for you to re-publish this project on my home decor blog! I’m quite eager to get reply from your side.
love this idea, have been working on it with a friend for a few weeks. One additional note is that some mom/grandmothers/relatives/friends have old ones and i know our family has been saving old canning jars for decades. So this project not only goes amazing with the decor in te kitchen, but serves as a “family tree” homage to the amazing women in my life. The lids come with gems such as “2010 Vanilla Peach Jam”. What a conversation piece!!
We love the idea of using “heirloom” canning jars. We aspire to incorporate history and personal stories into our designs. This sounds like the perfect way to do it. Please send pictures of the finished project or better yet post them on our facebook wall.
We did not paint the wires. You can find all sorts of different wires that would work for this project. This wasn’t our first choice, but it was what we had at the time.
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