Friday, February 25, 2011

How To: Make a Mason Jar Light

There was a lot of activity this weekend in apartment land. We went shopping all over the tri-state area and bought a counter top, toilets, sinks, and all the tile we need in the apartment. I feel very accomplished; DP, I think, just feels poorer. I also went on an awesome Michael's trip and saved tons of money and bought tons of stuff. This weekend, in terms of crafts, I made pillows (of course) and DP made this amazing kitchen fixture. We originally saw the piece on Pottery Barn but because of the size and price we decided it was better to custom make it ourselves. Above is a picture of the piece from Pottery Barn.

You will need the following:
* Mason jar with metal lid x 5
* 40 watt mini light bulb x 5
* Porcelain lamp socket x 5
* 1" long steel nipple x 5
* Hex nut x 5
* 15' of rayon covered lamp cord
* Snap on lamp plug (to test the lights)
* Wire cutters
* Drill and 1/4" bit
* Sharpie

I got most of the supplies from Home Depot, but ordered the lamp cord online. (See the supply list above.) The fabric covered cord will fray when you cut it. To avoid this, wrap the cord in clear packing tape where you are planning on cutting.

1. Measure and cut the cord into the appropriate length. Since I am making my fixture roughly 2' long, I cut each length between 18" and 24".
2. Place a piece of masking tape over the center of the lid and mark the exact center.
3. Drill a 1/4" hole through the tape.
4. Thread a piece of lamp cord through the steel nipple about 2".
5. Strip 1" of the fabric off of the short end of the cord.
6. Strip the insulation off the white and black wires.
7. Cut the green wire off completely; since the bulbs are not grounded you don't need it.
8. Insert the stripped wires through the metal ring of the porcelain socket and connect them to the screw terminals.
9. Screw the steel nipple into the metal ring on the porcelain socket. This has to be in several threads because it will be holding the weight of the jar.
10. Screw a bulb into the socket.
11. Run the jar lid over the unattached end of the cord and secure the nipple to the lid with a nut.
12. Screw the lid onto the jar. 

That's it! We decided to do this 5 times because we wanted a large wattage fixture and something similar to the Pottery Barn fixture.   We also tested the light with a wall socket to make sure if works but if you are not comfortable with that get an electrician to install and have him test the fixture.   We have only finished 3 so far but we will update the post with the final photo and steps to connect all of them when it is completed. 

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