Mason Jar Light Tutorial

I must say... this project freaking ROCKS!  I'm so in love with how it turned out, it's SUPER simple, and I'm so excited to show you how you can make one!!! It's part of my outdoor living space for True Value.  It was inspired by something similar I saw on pinterest, but I didn't see any tutorials out there that really show just how you can make one.... until now!  The big reveal.......

I had a few ideas for what I wanted to do for lighting in the gazebo.  I had seriously considered spray painting an old broken chandelier and wrapping it in christmas lights and hanging that from the center of the gazebo....  it would have been fun, maybe someday when I get bored with this I will still do that... but for now, I'm loving this!

What you need-
A big board!  You can decide how long you want yours, mine is 4.5 feet of a 2x12 board.
Hole saw bit the size of your jar lids.  I picked up my bit and jars both at True Value so I was able to match up the size right there.
Large, wide mouth mason jars (True Value)
White christmas lights
Stain, I like dark wood so we used a mahogany stain
12 feet of rope
Palm or circular sander (mine's a Dewalt circular sander from True Value)
Construction grade adhesive in a caulk gun
One long screw (or something like it, I'll explain later)
measuring tape

I determined how long I wanted my overall fixture by laying my jars out at a spacing I liked and cut the board to length.  Make sure you use a measuring tape and make all of your spacing even (including the space between the two rows)

Mark where each of your jars center falls and drill your holes with this awesome hole bit.....  Drilling tip- drill all of your holes (including the ones for the rope later) from the same side, that way if you have any splintering you can hide it all on one side!

Getting the wood out of your bit can be a challenge.  If you have an extra set of hands it's a lot easier, but not required.  There is a hole at the top of your drill bit, stick your long screw into the hole and use your hammer to pound it down.  The wood will pop right out.  If your screw gets stuck into the scrap you can simply back it out (that's why a screw is ideal).

With a drill bit the size of your rope, drill two holes in each end (see picture for placement).  Once all of your holes are drilled, use your sander to go over everything.

Dust the board from any sanding residue and stain to your liking.

String 6 feet of rope through each end.  If your rope frays, wrap the end in some masking tape like a shoe string, it will help it go through the hold.

Now for the jars..... remove the lids, you won't need them for this project so put them somewhere for a later date.  Put a line of construction adhesive in each hole and insert jar.  The adhesive isn't pretty, but you won't be able to see it once the lights go in and it's hung.  Just be careful not to let any ooze out the side that the jars come out.  If you space your jars out on the ground and do a dry fit, then put the glue in the holes, you can place the board on top of the jars which will use the weight of the board to hold it all together until it cures.  Ours took 48 hours to cure, but once it's cured it's rock hard.  The threads on the jar help give it something to grab onto.

tick tock..... waiting for things to dry is no fun!  Once its cured you can fill each jar with some christmas lights and hang that baby!  We hung ours from the poles of the gazebo using some fancy knot my husband didn't know the name of..... not much help to you... Obviously if this thing fell it would be a huge glass mess, so make sure if your not a knot person that you look into fancy knots before you hang to be sure you get something really secure (or call a boyscout troop).


  1. It's SOoooooo pretty! Can't wait to see the entire patio!!

  2. Love the step by step instructions and pictures to match. I didn't know True Value carried canning jars. Wonder what else I have been missing there??
    Thanks for the DIY

  3. What a nice idea. Makes me think of fireflies caught in the jars.

  4. amazing!!! i LOVE this!!!

  5. This is absolutely amazing! Thanks so much for the tutorial! I plan on using it for my wedding next year! I have to share this on my blog! That cool?

    I'm having a giveaway on my blog to celebrate 50 followers. Come see!


  6. This is amazing! I love it!

  7. I so want to make this. Great idea

  8. Such clear instructions. And a fun project. Thanks!

  9. Where did you find the white lights with the brown cord?

  10. I found the lights in the patio decor section of a home store. They were not the best quality in the end :(

  11. I absolutely love this project and I know just who I am going to make this for!! I just wondered about how many strands of Christmas lights you used for this project? Thanks for sharing!!

  12. The Livingston Crew, there is only one strand of christmas lights in the jars. Thanks!

  13. Sooooooooooo AWESOME. TFS

  14. Hello:

    This is an awesome project! We want to feature you and this project on our site. I sent you an email yesterday. When you get a chance can you shoot me an email? Deirdre@houselogic.com

  15. very nice project. looks so easy to do!

  16. i love this project,thank you.
    do you think it would be effective to use tea lights or maybe small candles instead of the christmas lights? we have a cabin with no power in our woods and im always on the look out for nice lighting.

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  19. AnonymousMay 09, 2013

    Its ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!! Thank You ....This is my husband's next project!!!!! I;m saving the tutorial love it...Thanks again

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  21. Barbara PhillipsMay 14, 2013

    how neat. saving this to do for my house. Let me tell U about a gift I got. Lady took one of those glass bricks, with the wide opening. Put Xmas lights all inside. Left plug end out so could plug in.
    Laid it on side. Put wooden stuff like tree, gifts. etc on the flat glass side....She gave me this at Xmas. Put wide ribbon around glass to hide opening ....
    I would try to think of other themes to do to be able to use it all year, but I do use mine every nite even though it is a tree and gifts on it...Makes a terrific nite light.
    Barbara Phillips, Meadows Place Texas 5-15-2013.

  22. AnonymousJune 06, 2013

    Love this idea and great tutorial. I have a suggestion: Put the ring bands on the jars and glue the rings onto the wood. That would hide the glue and allow you to replace a mason jar should one get broken. Having the ring bands on the jars when you glue them on ensures that the jars are all oriented correctly. Just be sure you don't get any adhesive on the glass jar itself.

  23. AnonymousJune 30, 2013

    I will be using mine under my gazebo so there is a good chance the jars could become filled with water after a good rain. So...here's my suggestion. As Anonymous said on 6/6/13, I will glue the rings into the board in case of a replacement need in the future. I will drill holes in the middle of the lid big enough to allow the cord to go in & out. I will then use tin snips to cut from the side to the middle hole. I will gently "twist" the lid so I can get the wires into the middle hole. I will then use hot glue to seal around the wires & around the edge of the lids to hopefully keep the water out. Hot glue is easy to remove should I need to replace the lights. There are also some patio lights that are colored balls over the white lights. I will be placing 2 or 3 in each jar. I also make window clings that can make the jars have a stained glass look. I will send you a picture once I have made mine! I am extremely excited to get this hung under my new gazebo! Wish me luck!
    Thanks for the idea & wish me luck, Shawn Shepherd (theshepherdzoo@sbcglobal.net)

  24. Now I can find a use for my tote of misfit Christmas lights. This is going in my kitchen to replace my sad outdated ceiling fan

  25. This is an absolutely wonderful idea!! Thank You for sharing!!!

  26. è veramente fenomenale.... complimenti seguirò il tuo blog perchè mi pacciono molto queste idee...

  27. I love this light fixture too, how clever .

  28. amazing !!! good work. keep it up. find sprayer point

    from here.