Mason Jar Light

Mason Jar Light

mason jar project


Okay.  So today is supposed to be the day that I show off a really easy project with Kelly and Linda and Andrea and Karah.

As in it’s a cinch.

As in easy peasy.

And while I do have a project….that is easy and fun and you should totally make it and then invite your friends over so they can see how great and creative and talented you are and make them think that they should be reading blogs that have easy projects, so that they, too can look like creative geniuses….just like you.

But you see….even though I do have a project.

That is so not even the point of this post.


mason jars


It all started when I remembered that I had these.

And then I saw this.

Did you see it?

Did you see that amazing photograph?

Did you see the candles in the jars with that beautiful sunset in the background?  As if they were hung there for a late-night garden party.  A garden party where there was fresh-squeezed lemonade and hay bales and fiddles and crickets chirping and soft music in the night and dancing under the stars.

And fireflies.

Of course there would be fireflies at the lemonade, fiddle-playing, cricket-chirping-hay-bale party.

And as soon as I saw it I knew.  I knew that I was going to make that project and take a picture.

A picture just like that.


mason jar project


So I gathered up baling wire, jute cord and glue dots and mason jars.



And then I wrapped the wire around the rim of the mason jar and created a handle….like this.

(see how easy it is…so far)



Then I took battery-operated candles….flipped them over and added glue dots to the bottom to keep them in place.

I put the candles in the jar and tied the jute rope around the wire and my husband tied them to branches in a tree.

And I waited until sunset.


Everything was ready.

Everything was in place.

The candles were hung and swaying in the breeze.  The sun was setting on the horizon.  The stars were just starting to twinkle in the sky and I heard a cricket chirp.

This was it.

This was the moment for the lemonade, fiddle-playing, dancing under the stars picture.


mason jar candles



Where’s the sunset in the distant background?

Where’s the stars twinkling in the night sky?

This is only a picture of a black empty background and an out-of-focus mason jar with a candle.

There is nothing remotely romantic or fiddle-playing about this picture.

It doesn’t inspire me or make me want to sit on a hay bale or hum Cotton-eyed Joe.

It doesn’t really even make me want to drink sweet tea.




This is a great project.

You should really make it.  Or this version.  Or this version.

It is summery and romantic and incredibly easy.


And if you happen to make these candle mason jars and you are a really great photographer who knows all about aperture and slow shutter speeds and higher ISO numbers….will you take the picture?


Especially if there are fireflies 🙂

PS  I am sharing this over at Funky Junk.


PPS  If you want some other really easy and fun ideas with mason jars and pallets and tea tins….check out these easy projects:


 anthropologie_paint_drip_mason_jarits_a_cinch_12May pallet bed with view thumbnail (2)its_a_cinch_diy_sun_jarits_a_cinch_tea_tin


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  1. i love it! ez pz with a capital EZ PZ — the end result is picture perfect — i love the picture : ) makes me want to look beyond and see what i can find! this was a wonderful project presented in wonderful Kari way!!! hugs…love doing these features with you!

  2. you crack me up girl – your jar still turned out darling and it was….kinda….romantic. ha! xo

  3. great project. Love the new little dust bunnies blog!

  4. Oh gosh darn. I could have sent you my picture that was all romantic. It even had Ryan Gosling sitting at my picnic table sipping drinks with the sunset in the background. Next time…just ask! :). Great project!!

  5. oh yeah….we made these for the wedding party last summer. Some are still hanging in my trees. Maybe I’ll even light some one evening…… 🙂
    I love your photo!!!

  6. Oh, I disagree. I see some romance (I mean, you fabulous husband went out in the dark and hung this up for you in the tree, right? That counts as romantic). As for the fiddle playing? I’m not one for the fiddle playing tunes, so that’s a o.k. that I can hear the strumming (which just brings up Deliverance nightmares) …

    Love the easy and peasy … and had fun at our virtual “It’s a Cinch” craft party!



  7. I do love that look. I can imagine it. After all, the only reason the background isn’t showing in your photo is because you wanted the focus on the easy peasy jar. Right? ♥

  8. I so feel your picture-taking pain! It’s a victory that you know the solution is to be found in shutter speed and ISO numbers. (And I know a tripod is involved, too–but that’s about all I know!) Some day we’ll both take beautiful night shots. In the meantime, we can take solace in the beautiful summer evening scenes we can see in our heads. 🙂

  9. I love this! It’s so simple and rustic and romantic (even if there is no sunset) !

  10. Well, you gave it a shot. Love the idea though.

  11. I love making mason jar lanterns!! And your picture brought back memories of being outside on my grandparents farm… we would turn off the mercury light (and hope the folks across the road turned off theirs) and listen to the crickets and the locust… looking off into the inky blackness of the Wild Cat Range with glances up at the starry sky unless it there was a storm a brewing… and then we would lay there just looking up into the pitch black sky… just waiting for the lightning to fill the sky!

    Yep good memories!!

  12. I love me some mason jars!!! Love the hanging jars, love the candle idea, love the black hole of Calcutta backdrop. Great job KariAnne!!

  13. I love this! I absolutely love anything with mason jars and I happen to love your picture! I too have trouble with ISO, shutter speeds, etc, but if I had a picture as good as yours, I’d be pretty happy! 🙂

  14. I like it Karianne! Have a wonderful week. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  15. I have the same problem with my Sun Jars! My picture looks like a drunk, swaying woman took them (I’m not telling if I was or wasn’t – that’s beside the point)!

    So hard to get those nighttime pics – maybe your mason jars and my sun jars should run away together – to a home of a fabulous photographer!

    And curses to you for getting that Cotton Eyed Joe song in my head!


    • a drunk, swaying woman… I have quite the image of you now Kelly!! lol too funny (and I don’t agree with you either, I thought your photo was quite artistic!)

  16. These are great Karianne!~ I love anything mason jars…I may have to give this a whirl sometime!

  17. Many years ago, I sat with my sisters making those mason jar candle holders for my niece’s outdoor wedding….but back then, there were no battery operated candles…so maybe flickering candlelight would attract the flickering fiddle playing fireflies and call out to the stars to flicker the night away…

    It is still a great photo!!! Cotton-eyed Joe would be proud and ask you for a glass of sweet tea!

  18. I still love it 🙂

  19. What? I heard fiddles in your photograph! I saw sunsets in the background! I tasted sweet tea! I think your monitor might not be calibrated correctly, because it was all there when I looked at your photo.

  20. What a cute idea..and so easy..good look..hang on to that imagination of yours…

  21. For the record, I’m humming “Cotton-Eyed Joe” while I’m typing this. LOL! I think every single last one of your photos was beautiful…did you get that? Every single LAST one! 🙂 This is such a fun idea and if I lived closer to you I would be bringing over the sweet tea and my fiddle right now. I’d have to stop and buy one first but then I would bring it right over. 😉 And maybe if we spiked our tea with something a bit stronger you wouldn’t notice that I don’t know how to play a fiddle and we could just stare wistfully up at the beautiful mason jar candles hanging from the trees on your gorgeous property! 🙂
    P.S. Sorry if this is a weird comment…I haven’t had my coffee yet…and I’m weird.

  22. Cool! I might need to try this for our back yard; thanks for sharing!

  23. I think I know what was missing…..
    Were you wearing lipstick? 😉

    excellent project!
    dee dee

  24. I love this idea! And so wish I was that person with the aperature and shutter speed knowledge. Easy peasy for sure, the project that is, not the photo. 🙂

  25. lol–the jars are awesome even without your picture being how you want it! 🙂

  26. I still think it looks romantic ! Wonderful idea!

  27. You are TOO funny! I can relate to hoping that my picture will look the way I intended and it sorely disappoints. Oh well. I don’t have a fancy schmancy camera to “fool the eye” so you see what I see in my pictures. I like your project just fine though. I think it would be cute for a party.

  28. Really?… First it was Kool and the Gang, and now Cotton Eyed Joe?? How am I supposed to get these songs out of my head? 😉 Next you’ll have us all humming the Bee Gee’s or something!

    I love the candle idea, and I TOTALLY feel your pain with the photography thing! I even went to an 8 hour class, that was supposed to have me operating my fancy camera like a pro. -Two words… EPIC FAIL. Maybe it’s the numbers, or the dials, or the different options you could shoot in,… I don’t know, but I find the whole thing both intimidating, and mystifying! 😛

    Maybe we should at least go to the photography workshop at Haven?

    Your candles turned out great. Sit on the porch at night and just enjoy them!


  29. I don’t need a fancy picture….my imagination is working fine today! Great idea!

  30. I like your picture. Maybe I dont have an eye for photography or art, but I do have an eye for Mason jars, candles and cuteness and yours definitely scored on all three counts!

  31. Your jar is the cutest idea! I appreciate the tutorial on making one! Night time adds a touch on romance! My imagination is working well today! 🙂

  32. We’ve all been there. Just ask my poor camera that was forced to take a zillion photos of the sunset last night on all the different settings, only to delete all of them out of frustration.

    I have that picture pinned too. And I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and saw some mason jars and thought of this exact project. I shall add it to my to-do’s!

  33. Super cute! Sadly I don’t have any mason jars. I know I should be ashamed of myself. Great project!

  34. Aww…I’m so sorry you were not astounded with the results, but, if you had five or six up there, I think it would look amazing. I would love to try that some time in the future.
    Hugs, Cindy

  35. Ok not quite the same but pretty cool anyway, not your fault it didn’t turn out the same it’s the nights fault how does that sound lets blame the night………..

  36. You never fail to inspire/make me smile/laugh/cry/think… Great post, Karianne. I do have to say I did notice that your jars are beautifully crystal clear and I think I saw the hint of branches in the background 🙂 With my photographs, the only thing that came out clear and sharp were the water spots on the jars!

  37. If I make them I will take that picture for you. When the stars all align, the project gets done, the husband hangs them in the tree, and I get my sweet tea for the sunset before the jars fill with rain water. For you I would do that.


  38. waay cute! i love the ones with the floating candles, too–tfs!!

  39. Yes, my daughter sends me comments to improve my pictures that say things like “open the aperture” and “close the shutters” and “stand on your head” and I don’t know how on earth to do any of them…..

  40. I think your mason jar lanterns look great! They still shine in the night 🙂

  41. Oh how I wish we had fireflies in California!


  42. Beautiful! Night time pictures never do the project justice. Our grape arbor lights up at night and I can never capture it. I’m inspired to add some mason jar candles. 😉

  43. Great project! I’m going to pin it to my craft board. But I won’t be the one who captures the lemonade sipping setting…I wish though.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class