Instructables
Picture of How to make a Chandelier using Mason Jars
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We made this chandelier to be the centerpiece of our dining room.  You can check out this DIY and Design projects like this one on our blog, www.KaraPaslayDesigns.blogspot.com.

And before I get started, I want to make a DISCLAIMER: I am not an electrician and will not assume responsibility for any damage that occurs as a result of you attempting this project.  If at any point you feel uncomfortable, hire an electrician!  We have had this chandler installed in our house for about two years without any problems.  

There are a lot a steps involved but I will do my best to explain things in terms anyone can understand. So, here goes. . .


 
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Step 1:

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First gather all your materials. You will need:

- Canning Jars with lids (6 large, 9 widemouth, 6 small)
-Wire (18-2 Lamp Cord)
-#10 Washers
- Hex Nuts (that will fit your nipple (which is the threaded metal rod))
- Steel Nipples
- Small Hose Clamp
- 4 Keyless Sockets
- 4" offset crossbar
- 4" 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" machine screws (to attach the ceiling plate to the crossbar)
-2 Acorn nuts
-2 wire nuts














txbd752 years ago
I built one of these as a prototype with a 40 watt bulb and had hung it in the basement overnight to see if the heat of the bulb in a closed container would cause any problems. Here's what I found:

1. The jar glass was dangerous to touch
2. The insulation of the wire coming out of the jar was hot and very soft, which is how it feels before the insulation melts, which would be dangerous.
3. It is beautiful!

You make these things, so maybe you are doing something else to dissapate the heat. Any ideas? I'd like to make a chandelier with these jars, but frankly I don't consider it safe (As an electrical engineer, I worry more than others).
Geedox txbd7517 days ago

Cooling is the BIG word here: Cooling holes should be drilled on the metal cap - at least 4 1/2 in diameter. Also use compact fluorescent bulbs - they run cooler than standard incandescent bulbs. Drawbacks: color of light and possible mercury contamination issues. You can also use LED bulbs, which are also cool running AND very low effective wattage. The main drawback here is cost.

I´m currently designing outdoor low wattage lighting fixtures using large (1 to 1 1/2 gallon condiment jars, which use the same kind of lids.

Keep it up!

timpaslay (author)  txbd752 years ago
I like that you prototyped and tested it on a small scale and I really appreciate that you are trusting YOUR gut and not just going off of what someone else told you.

Besides the four holes in the lids I haven't made any other considerations for heat dissipation. We have had ours up for two years now without any problems.

Let me leave it on for a while and check jar temperatures and the insulation. I will get back with you with what I find out.

wildviolets2 years ago
this light is beautiful. I have made one from an actual standing lamp, that my daughter's bunny chewed the wires on. I just bought a swag lamp kit and turned it into a mason jar lamp. I love it....thanks for sharing
Vinsu2 years ago
Funky :) 4 stars.
bg_askins2 years ago
great look! I'll be making one for my grandmother's house.
I love this! Very cool, nice work! Redneck chic? I was thinking more hillbilly whimsy. ;)
Patrik2 years ago
You could also try inserting a bunch of the flickering candle LEDs (see e.g. http://evilmadscience.com/component/content/article/189), for a "jars of fireflies" effect. Maybe put one bright bulb in the center, so you can switch between mood lighting and bright illumination.
lsmith2542 years ago
Hi...I hope you don't mind, but I have a suggestion. Since only about a quarter of the jars have working lights why not cut your materials list by using coated cable(similar diameter, look, and less weight) that is folded in half at the top and draped over a short rod or bolt? You can then save time cutting all those short nipples, and use the zinc sleeves which are compressed over the cable ends. You might even get the hardware clerk to do that for you! If you use the "folded cable" method, you might even be able to manually alter the height of individual jars to change the look by pushing one cable up and/or pulling the other side down (watch for movement) coated or uncoated cables, weigh the desired qualities yourself.
One last thing...I think I would paint the cardboard socket cover white or silver, and glue the tiny clear glass glitter or beads all over it, to increase the sparkle factor. Great instructable!
timpaslay (author)  lsmith2542 years ago
You sure could save on your material cost by forgoing the speaker wire for all the jars. I only used the nipples on the lighted jars so there were only 4 or 5.

I agree on the painting the cardboard socket covers. It would help a lot!

I appreciate the suggestions. It is great to hear different perspectives on projects.
This is awesome!

Does the light diffuse well through the jars? I find that lights with just a clear glass casing cast too harsh of light for me. I would be tempted to frost the inside of the jars with a glass etching solution so the light is softer.
timpaslay (author)  Strombergundy2 years ago
The jars do not really diffuse all that much. We have ours installed on a dimmer switch and it helps. I know lowes carries an aerosol "frosting" spray. I don't have any experience with the etching spray, but I would go with whatever you are most comfortable with.
Look up simple sand blasting tool on here. It's very easy to make, and there is also a simple sandblasting box made from a bin...I made the tool, and just need to decide which bin I am going to cut up and use for my sandblasting box. Great way to use canning jars that have small chips on rims, or can no longer be used for food!
imbigman2 years ago
I love this, Something differant.
One thing though. You wrote in your disclaimer:

"I am not an electrician and will assume responsibility for any damage that occurs as a result of you attempting this project. "

You may not want to assume responsibility. Could get you in big trouble.

Great project. I think i'm going to give it a try.
timpaslay (author)  imbigman2 years ago
Sorry I thought I had already responded, but it isn't showing up. Thanks for the complement and thanks for the heads up. I have fixed it.
l8nite2 years ago
redneck chic ! love it