Candy Jar Lamp




About: I enjoy taking a pile of junk and making something unusual out of it. I like wheeled vehicles, and currently own two motorcycles, two electric bikes that I've built, and an electric scooter pushed by a soc...

My wife just happened to have an old candy jar that was missing a lid.  With all the facets molded into the jar, she thought it might make for an interesting lamp, so I decided to give it a try.

Step 1: Materials Required

The first thing required, of course, is a candy jar that is missing a lid.  Well, I suppose if your jar still has a lid, you could use it if you're willing to ignore the lid.....

You also need a lamp socket, switch, and lamp cord.  I found a candelabra cord at a building center that had all three items included.

The base for the lamp I built is the decorative cap from a ceiling light fixture. 

You will need to cut a plywood disk that fits inside the ceiling light fixture cap.  And, you will need two L-shaped screws (photo 3).  I made my own screws by bending a 1/8th inch diameter copper rod and threading the long end for 6-32 threads.  You will also need a couple of nuts to screw onto these L-shaped screws.

For an adhesive, I used high temp hot glue, but epoxy would work just fine as well.

The tools I used were a hot glue gun, soldering iron, drill and bits, and a rotary tool with grinding stones.

The candy jar will be inverted and placed on top of the ceiling light fixture part, and attached by using the two L-shaped screws to pull the inside shoulder of the jar against the base.  I suppose you could just glue these parts together, but that would make it rather difficult to replace the light bulb in the future.  By using the screws, everything can come apart with ease.

Step 2: Preparing the Base

The first thing I did to the base was widen the two mounting holes just enough to match the inside diameter of the candy jar's opening.  I used a rotary tool with a small diamond bit, but it could also be done with a needle file.

I also used the rotary tool with a grinding stone to enlarge the center hole just enough so that the candelabra base could be press fit into it (photo 1).

Next, I measured and cut a thin plywood disk to fit inside the flat part of the ceiling light fixture part.  This will keep the two L-shaped screws very straight, and make it much easier to install the candy jar onto the base.  You will see how this goes together in a later step.

Step 3: Installing the Electrical Socket

I cut the candelabra socket from the lamp cord to allow it to pass through the mounting hole on the ceiling light part (photo 1).  Then I pressed the candelabra socket into the base, flipped it over, and reinforced it with hot glue (photo 2).

Next, I passed the lamp cord through the wooden disk and soldered the wires back together and insulated the connections with heat shrink tubing (photos 3 & 4).

Step 4: Assemble the Base and Test

I bunched the connected wires into the "dome:" area of the base and glued the wood disk in place.  Using a rotary tool and small grinding wheel, I made a relief area on the bottom of the base to let the cord pass through.  After the glue cured, i used hot glue to attach the lamp cord and route it through the area I had relieved (photo 1).

The L-shaped screws were installed from the top of the base, and the nuts attached, but not tightened.

Photo 2 shows the completed base (with a candelabra bulb installed).

Step 5: Attach the Candy Jar to the Base

The final step was to place the candy jar over the base, then turn the L-shaped screws until they contacted the shoulder of the jar, and tighten the nuts until the mounting was secure.

This made for a really neat lamp.  The facets molded into the candy jar make an interesting lighting effect.



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    15 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Love the idea, the result looks amazing. I'm curious as to what heat the bulb puts out. How hot does the lamp get after being on for any given time? I'd love to make these in the future but I wonder about potential fire hazard.


    5 years ago

    I have an old chandelier I am putting solar lights in instead of electricity and light bulbs. I'm going to hang it above my patio furniture outside this summer. I bet you could do that on your porch.


    5 years ago

    I absolutely love love love this idea. !! Looks amazing. I have lamp shades from 1930 that almost look like that but they hang from the ceiling and I don't have fixtures to go with them. I may try making something like yours with the extra globes I have. Thank you


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Knife141, I love this project. I am going to try it though my jars are not faceted like your lovely jar is. My idea is to do a paint wash inside the glass- translucent look-so its not a bare bulb thing going on.

    1 reply
    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Simple. elegant and outstanding! The light in the jar gives a "snowflake" effect, great for the holidays! (Also love the retro clock & radio in the last few photos;-) 5 stars!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! If I had 4 or 5 more of these jars I think I would make a new light fixture for our patio.