One of the simplest but most effective ways to create atmosphere in a room is through lighting. Making lights from jars ticks a number of ‘trendy’ boxes right now. It’s creative, cheap and takes items which might otherwise have been thrown away and re-uses them in a completely new way.
If you’re looking for original gifts to give for Christmas, making jam jar lights will really surprise and impress people who might otherwise have received yet another pair of novelty Christmas socks or cheap port…
How to make jam jar lights
You can DIY pretty much any jar into a lamp shape, but you will get particularly interesting results from unusual or decoratively shaped jars. Coloured Mason jars make extremely attractive lamp shades. You can buy jars specifically for the purpose or re-use old jars, but you must make sure you use a well fitting lid.
You use the lid to attach a light fitting to the jar. Light fittings can be found in any good DIY store. Make a neat hole in the centre of the jar lid, large enough to fit your light fitting inside. Screw a light bulb into the fitting and then screw the lid onto the jar. You can paint the lid to match or contrast with the light fitting and cable, if you choose. Consider looking for attractive bulbs, such as Edison style bulbs, for a quaint look.
Once you have assembled your basic light form, you can leave it plain or consider decorating it to match a particular theme – wrap the top half of the jar in brown rope for a seaside chic effect, or use glass paint to create silhouettes on the glass.
Jam jar lights in different formats
You make make individual jar lights or you can put a few together to make something more dramatic looking. Hanging a group of three lights together but at slightly different heights is very simple but incredibly effective. However you could also try something more ambitious. As an example, take a piece of driftwood or used scaffold board – something with a bit of character. Cut three quarter size circles along the borders of the wood – say three on each side. The circles should be the same diameter as the neck of your jars. Assemble the light fittings as above, then push the necks of the jars through from beneath the wood. Once the lids are screwed on, these should hold the jars neatly in place in the circles you have made and form a unique pendant light.