I love mason jars, and I use them any chance I get. I use them for storing ponytail holders. I use them to hold leftovers (it’s greener and healthier than plastic containers). I use them as vases. I use them as soap dispensers. I use them as drinking glasses. I love them so much I spend time trying to invent uses for them. The only idea I’ve vetoed so far is as a tampon holder. I decided my kids would use it as an opportunity to be creative, and the last thing I want to deal with is my six-year-old making animals out of feminine hygiene products.
A few years ago, during one of our many home improvement projects, we tore off our dilapidated deck (we were beginning to feel like the Clampetts) and replaced it with a patio. The contractor quoted what seemed like an outrageous sum of money for lighting. So we decided to hold off and since then I have been on the hunt for good alternatives.
A couple months ago, I found one. Instead of $5,000 custom lighting, I put battery powered LED string lights inside mason jars. I hung them around the perimeter of my patio on shepherd’s hooks for approximately $200 (that included the shepherd’s hooks). I love them. They’re rustic, quaint, and they match our home’s cottage style.
I’m repetitive by nature, so I’m on the hunt to find other areas to use them too. We have a small, shaded sitting area in front of our house that has no lighting. It’s the perfect candidate for hanging mason jar lights. I’m going to hang the lights from a tree on sisal rope (but you can hang it from anything, with anything).
The lights remind me of nights in my childhood spent trying to catch fireflies. One of the things I miss the most about Kentucky is the lightning bugs (still wondering why Colorado doesn’t have them). When we go home every summer, I dedicate a little time to sitting outside with my kids and watching them. So for me, there’s a magical, charming quality to these lights that you can’t get from expensive lighting.
What you need:
- mason jars in a variety of sizes
- wire mason jar handles (Target sells them for regular mouth jars, and you can buy wide mouth jar hangers on Etsy)
- battery powered LED string lights (I got mine on Amazon)
- sisal rope or another natural fiber rope (Ace hardware sells it)
How to do it:
- Make sure batteries are in the lights and insert lights into mason jar
- attach a handle to a mason jar and use the sisal rope to hang the assembled light from a tree branch
- arrange mason jars by varying the height and size