Friday, July 29, 2011

The Big Reveal

Congratulations to Courtney for having the closest guess! A lot of people thought we were making a spice rack which is a pretty cool idea. We, however, did not making a spice rack. We did make a dining room chandelier.

I'm going to start with the inspiration behind this project. I have been looking for a new dining room light fixture and one day when I was looking on Pinterest, I came across this,

I liked the look of this one, but I didn't like the bare bulb in the middle. Nate and I both really liked the look of this type of chandelier and we thought it would fit in well with the age of our house so we decided to give it a shot and make it. 

Nate had noticed when we were in Christmas Tree Shops the other day that they had a lot of mason jars, so this was our first stop. We wanted multiple size jars to give the fixture some interest. Luckily for us they had two sizes, pint and quart. We had sketched out a design so we knew how many jars we needed. After creating a layout on the floor to make sure that we liked the design, I carried them over to our cart. On my way there, to my horror, the box I was carrying broke (I feel like this may be everyone's shopping worst nightmare) and 24 glass bottles went tumbling to the very hard ground. It was like watching in slow motion as they all hit, making a tremendous noise, and every single head in that store turn toward me.

The best part was after, when one woman walked over, picked up one jar that didn't break, and handed it to me. Really the best part was that, miraculously, only 3 of the jars broke. The woman that worked at the store was actually in awe when she came over to clean it up (we had picked up all the unbroken ones) that there wasn't a bigger mess. She also made me feel a little less bad about myself (even though my heart rate didn't get back to normal until we left the store). 

Despite this little mishap, we did not go running out of the store with our heads covered. We kept shopping and found the best part of the chandelier, the center jar. We wanted to make the center jar a center piece. We ended up getting a 2 gallon peanut jar. We had two jars and Nate convinced me to get the bigger one and I'm glad he did because it looks great.

We did one more design check out in the parking lot with the large jar in the center.

Our next stop was Michael's for some jute rope to hang the jars. We headed to Lowe's next to get all the necessary electrical and basically everything else. We (aka Nate) made all of the light fixtures (the electrical part) so we got the parts and didn't buy premade ones. This allowed us to get much smaller wire that didn't stand out. We did this by taking the maximum wattage, we use cfl's, that we would want to put in our chandelier, and then found the resistance since we know it will have 120 Volts (Watts = Volts^2/Resistance). Then using Volts = Current x Resistance we found that each light has about 1/10 of an Amp going through it. Since this is almost nothing, you can use a larger gauge (which means smaller diameter) wire. (This is my nerdy Physics side coming out)

Once we had all of our supplies, we headed back to Pulaski to do a dry fit of the chandelier. I first drilled holes in the top of the mason jars while Nate marked off where to drill on the board. The small hole is for the jars without lights and the big hole is for the jars with lights.

I then fed the jute rope through the small hole and braided it, put the light sockets on and tested the length of the chain.


Nate wired the light sockets and then we hung everything to see if we liked it. We didn't want to pull Nate's sister's ceiling down so we used a clothes rack to hang the chandelier.

Once we liked our dry fit, it was time to paint and stain. We used Rust-oleum's "hammered" look to give everything a more rustic look. I also stained the board to give a similar affect.

All painted and stained
 Nate wired everything up to a temporary plug so we could see how it looked all lit up! If you would like a "How To" for the electrical, click here.

We are really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to hang it in our dining room. You may be asking how we are going to get it to FL. The great thing about this is that once you unscrew the jars, it is basically flat so it will just slip right into the car!

Here is the break down in the price. We didn't want to spend more than $150 on a new dining room light and we beat that even with the ~ $18 in new cfl bulbs that we bought!

Christmas Tree Shops: We didn't have to pay for the broken ones...
Mason jars:
pint: $0.69/jar = $6.90
quart: $0.79/jar = 11.06
peanut jar: $7.99
Total w/ tax: $28.03

Micheal's: 15% off
200 ft of jute rope: $6.99
Total w/ tax: $5.94

Lowe's: 5% off
Light sockets: $4.01/socket = $20.05
Light wire: $0.17/ft = $2.55
Heavy Chain: $0.69/ft = $6.90
Light Chain $0.51/ft = $5.10
Board: $18.98
Spray paint: $3.98
Stain: Free (already have)
Cheese cloth: $1.98
Electrical Box: $0.91
Electrical Box Cover: $0.69
Hooks: $4.94
Total w/ tax: $67.80

Grand Total: $101.77

Want your own mason jar chandelier? If you don't want to build it, we'll make one for you! Click Here

Weekend Bloggy Reading , Young House Love, Bower Power, Emily Henderson, Making a House a Home, Home Stories A2Z Visit


  1. Wow, now that is awesome! I love that idea, it's very rustic chic :) I would love to make some sort of DIY chandelier, but the lighting/electrical part intimidates me!

    I'm glad your jars didn't all break when they dropped! I can just imagine how embarrassing that was!

  2. Wow this is beautiful! We have been looking for a tutorial for this also, but no one shows the wiring part (which we struggle with the most)...if you guys ever decide to do a video or something and demonstrate the wiring, please let us know!

  3. "How To" for the electrical can be found here

  4. Oh my goodness that is so beautiful. Great job, guys!

  5. Awesome job! I've been obsessed with mason jar chandeliers since I saw them on Pinterest. It's nice to know it is possible to DIY one. looks beautiful :D

  6. Great job! I love that you still used a lot of jars, but only added a few actual light bulbs so that it wasn't overbearingly bright! My light fixture was far less complicated, but feel free to check it out!

  7. So beautiful. I'm loving mason jars and this is perfect.

  8. This is gorgeous! Have seen it in stores and envied it for a while...y'alls turned out beautifully. I loved the braided jute rope.

  9. Wowwww..... shut up dude!!! This is REALLY impressive!!! : D

  10. Beautiful! I'm sure it will look fabulous in your dining room!

  11. Very, very, very, cool! This is more DIY than I could handle (especially since electricity in involved) but I am proud to know mortals that can do it.

  12. Very nice looking lights - your dining room will sparkle, well done!

  13. I really like this and am thinking a circle might be fun to work with...hmmm!

  14. Visiting from Knock Off Decor. I like this idea when doing a rustic look and it seems like it's going to go very nicely in your home. Kudos to you!

    We too did a Knock Off lighting fixture after finding our inspiration was anywhere from $200 to $2000!

    You can see ours at

  15. I ended up on this post from your latest fall post that was linked up at Overflowing. Love your chandy!!!!

  16. Great job on the light fixture! Following from your Liebster nomination @Pike's Place.

    Would love for you to follow back

  17. Love your blog and this project with jute - EPIC and AMAZING! I'm seriously just amazed and wishing I had the talent and patience! Also wanted to let you know I featured you in my roundup of jute craft projects here. Feel free to check it out if you want and hope you like it! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist