Ball Jar Lights

I’ve been wanting to do this for a year. It’s one of those things I’ve just been putting off. I love ball canning jars, especially the blue ones. The first thing you have to do to make the Ball jar lights, is take out the glass seal.

So I took the hammer and busted up the seal to get it out. Make sure to do this on a hard surface.

Once the seal was out, I marked the center of the lid.

And used the drill bit and a hammer to poke a hole where the mark was.

Then we started drilling. Hubby started drilling slowly while I held it in place. I used gloves while holding it, so I didn’t get metal shavings in my fingers.

It only took a few seconds since the lid is so thin.

I bought 2 recessed light converters years ago from Lowe’s (I think). I attached the jar lid using the converter parts.

This is what the shade originally looked like. Doesn’t go at all with my new decor ideas.

I thought these little round bulbs would look the best with the ball jar lights.

Then I just screwed the jar onto the lid.

I love how it looks.

I made one for over the sink too.

I know these have been done all over the place, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do forever and I’m glad I finally did. I’m so happy with how they look in my kitchen.

And a side note: I’ve always wondered how high lights should be hung over an island. It seems like the consensus is 6′, so that’s how high I made mine (just in case you were wondering).

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Merri Ann February 21, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Those are really clever and they look nice. I’m not a big fan of the current fashion of the clear glass with the bare bulb … they always seem to be glaring in my eyes. I suppose they wouldn’t look as cute with a white bulb in them though, would they?

    I just had a thought that I wanted to pass along … is there a chance of the glass getting too hot and breaking since this is not the original purpose of the jar?

  • Kari February 21, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Adorable Leanne! I love this look!!!!

  • JessAnn February 21, 2011, 6:44 pm

    That looks so awesome! I love it. I must share this on my blog…

  • Sibylle February 21, 2011, 6:56 pm

    what a great idea! bookmarked!

  • Amy February 21, 2011, 9:25 pm

    I love this Leanne! They look so great. I’m glad you’re happy with them! Can’t wait to see where this decor change keeps going. 😉

  • Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder February 21, 2011, 10:19 pm

    I love this. I am bookmarking this for a future project. Thanks for posting and for the instructions.

  • Sarah February 21, 2011, 10:48 pm

    I love this look and REALLY have been wanting to do it over my kitchen sink. Sadly though, it would be a huge project as the idiots who built this house opted not to center the light they put over the sink. 🙁

    ~ Sarah

  • sandi February 22, 2011, 7:57 am

    I love the jar lights, but don’t they get to hot? There is no way for the heat to escape. sandi

  • leanneja February 22, 2011, 9:33 am

    On the question of the canning jars getting too hot. Canning jars are made to be boiled over and over again while canning, so I think they are made to resist heat. I would never use a bulb above 40 watts in the jar lights though. If you are really concerned about them overheating, extra holes can be poked in the lid to help heat escape. Thank you for your questions and concerns.

  • Donna February 22, 2011, 8:59 pm

    I love the look of the jars as a light fixture!
    Very country looking.

  • tammy February 23, 2011, 8:16 am

    LOVE, thes are my fave, i can’t wait to make some. i would love it if you shared it at my party.

  • jessica February 24, 2011, 7:00 am

    I LOVE the way these look-I wish I had a kitchen where this sort of thing would work, but alas, I do not.

  • Rosanne February 25, 2011, 8:52 am

    Lovely, this is a neat idea and now to convince my husband.
    thanks for sharing!

  • Tina February 25, 2011, 5:05 pm

    This is a wonderful idea and a great tutorial. I love anything that uses canning jars. Hope I get brave enough to try this one! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  • WEST FURNITURE REVIVAL February 25, 2011, 9:13 pm


  • Agatha February 26, 2011, 4:52 am

    I love that, thanks for sharing.

  • Robin W. February 26, 2011, 7:39 am

    Love. Love. Love this!!!! I am going to have to do this!!! Thanks so much for posting the great tutorial!!!

  • angie February 26, 2011, 10:01 am

    Lovely! I would like to feature this on my site today 🙂


  • Funky Junk Interiors February 26, 2011, 11:07 am

    Love this! I’ve yet to try it myself and your tutorial was just awesome! I hope you bring this one back to the fray when we select Ball jars as a theme one weekend soon.! 🙂


  • kristol faucheux February 28, 2011, 7:38 am

    we are looking to buy an old farmhouse, and I will SO be doing these fixtures in the kitchen. FAB-U-LOUS!! Thanks for the Tutorial.

  • kristin March 1, 2011, 8:36 am

    THis is fabulous!
    Thanks for the easy tutorial, I’ve been wanting to try these as well!
    Have a great week, thank you for linking 🙂

  • DDekor April 1, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Creative and beautiful

  • Doreen@ Redesin by Grace April 1, 2011, 6:09 pm

    These mason jar mini pendants are really clever!

  • Angela Dicken April 2, 2011, 7:42 am

    Oh my! This is so cool! I cannot wait to try this! I have a ton of my grandmas old canning jars… I have passed this on to my family! Love it!

  • aLittleTweaked May 17, 2011, 11:42 am

    Such a cute idea!

  • Holly May 17, 2011, 6:48 pm

    I LOVE Ball jars and I LOVE this project! Very clever!

  • jamie slay May 20, 2011, 6:48 pm

    I woul.d LOVE to try this in my new studio, but I am not having any luck finding any blue ball jars

  • home improvement June 1, 2011, 4:39 pm

    that is SO COOL. I definitely want to try that!

  • Erin{LavenderandLemonDrops} December 30, 2011, 11:41 pm

    Love them! Great Job 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Trish March 20, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Love the idea. I wonder though … the glass lids are SO hard to find. I hated to see you have to bust it up. I wonder if folks might not do just as well to save the glass lid, if they have it (can always sell it if you don’t have something you want to use it on) and make do with another ring instead. I know it won’t be quite as authentic, but you could always do an aging technique to blend it in better. I do love the idea. 🙂 And I agree, I see people always concerned about heating mason jars, but they were designed to be used in a pressure canner. They should be ok. 🙂

  • Petula July 13, 2012, 11:54 am

    They look great. I would have never thought of doing that ’cause I would have thought it’d get too hot in there, but I guess that’s silly ’cause it’s just like a regular screw on one, huh? 🙂

  • Karen October 3, 2012, 6:29 pm

    I made this light also. The problem I had is the zinc lid expanded when it got hot and the jar fell off. I ended up using an led light bulb and it did not get hot.

  • leanneja October 3, 2012, 7:49 pm

    That is so weird. I’ve had my light up for almost 2 years and that’s never happened.

  • Emily February 26, 2013, 1:23 pm

    My dad did this for my mom in her kitchen. Only he put three on a track kinda deal and put his old marbles in the bottom of the jars. So pretty!

  • Marilyn July 2, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Where did you get the big blue ball jar from?

  • Paula July 3, 2013, 3:08 pm

    I have so loved these jars for years… I have seen these in the new remodled Bob Evans, with the bottom of the jar cut out. I am investagating how to do this without breaking my old jars. I so want 3 in my kitchen soon, but no matter how many Saturdays I drag my husband to breakfast so we can see the jars, it has still not been made.. Thanks so much for the quick lesson on how to make them, I might venture out and do my own!

  • leanneja July 7, 2013, 7:59 pm

    It’s just a regular size canning jar. I got it at an antique store in Cedar City, Utah but they can be found at many antique stores and even thrift stores. Good Luck!

  • Stacy October 12, 2013, 11:28 pm

    I love them, made my own finally. After reading different reviews other places just wanted to ask you again since you’ve had your up for awhile. No issues still with overheating? What watt bulb are you using? My jars are the 1/2 gallon and I used 60 watt in the vintage style bulbs.

  • leanneja October 13, 2013, 9:34 am

    I haven’t had any problems at all with overheating. I only use 40 watt bulbs but mine are the regular size mason jars. I’m sure yours look beautiful!

  • Kiki July 3, 2014, 7:38 am

    I LOVE these lamps and the thought I could make them myself is so exciting. But I don’t understand how you made the top cone-shaped part above the lid? And how did you get it to match the lid?

  • leah October 7, 2014, 11:20 am

    where do you find the lids?

  • Kristin Butler January 27, 2015, 8:30 am

    Hello I was reading some of the posts and I have a couple of these lights but have been looking to update them, which is what lead me here. I read on another website years ago to use a LED light bulb b/c it doesn’t get very hot and that’s what I do and haven’t had a jar explosion yet :). I use a low wattage bulb though. Thanks for the tutorial I’m going to get the conversion kit today. Hope the light bulb suggestion helps!

  • leanneja February 27, 2015, 2:08 am

    The lids came with the vintage jars.

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