Shine A Light{9}

Last night I decided that it was time to get going on another project in the kitchen – the mason jar lamp that I’ve mentioned before. The goal is to replace the light (below) that I’ve never liked but couldn’t find a sconce that I liked enough to replace it with. Not anything I could afford, anyway.

I wanted to go to the hardware store to buy parts but it was raining and I wasn’t on my fully fendered bike so I just went down the street to Urban and picked up their lamp cord kit for $12. In hindsight, I should have held out because I could have gotten something much cheaper and more minimal. But I digress…

Pair that with the antique Crown mason jar that Alex gave me and the cap that I found in the lobby of my office building and we’re puttin’ ‘er on pucks, bahd.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

Because the old mason jars used glass tops vs tin I had to find something else to secure the lamp fixture so, for the time being, I just trimmed and center punched the top of the cord kit packaging.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

Tharr she be, for now anyway. Step two is going to be to remove the wall plug end and hard-wire the fixture into the wall / to the switch which should be fairly straightforward. I also thought I had another Edison Bulb kicking around here somewhere which would look much nicer in there but I can’t find it so the little CF will have to do for the time being.

While I was at Urban I spotted these shelf brackets which were 50% off. I don’t know if I’m all that thrilled about them and may not use them once I find something I like more but for $5 I figured they’d be good enough to get that barnboard shelf hung in the kitchen that my new mason jar lamp will sit on.

With a stud-finder and a level in hand hanging it took all of 10 minutes but I think I hung it about 10″ too high.

I let it sit over night and if I still feel like it’s too high and I’m up to it today (oh yeah, I managed to come back from Philly with a really bad somethin’… cold, flu, i dunno, which might also explain my lethargy at night while over there) I’ll drop ‘er down tomorrow.

Update: Still haven’t decided on shelf height but I went ahead and finished up the jar lamp today while home sick… If you’ve never hard-wired a plug style lamp, it’s pretty simple and here are the steps that I took to do it:

First; Make sure that the breaker is off and if that’s not an option, I’ve never had a problem with just having the switch off… Be careful with this, though, electrocution is no joke!

Second; Cut the wire to the desired length plus a few inches, peel the outer casing back and then separate the white and black wires inside. Then carefully cut the ends off the casing on those wires and you’re now ready to start. I like to tape things up with electrical tape to keep things clean but I don’t think it’s necessary at all.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

Third; Wrap the newly exposed wires around the exposed wires of the corresponding colour sticking out of your electrical box and twist some marrets around the two until tight. If there is a ground wire, screw it down to the electrical box but in the case of most cheap lights like this you’re not going to have one so it’s not going to be an issue.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

Fourth; Test ‘er out, see what she does.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

If it works and nothing blows up then you’re ready to button ‘er up. In my case, there was a small challenge because I didn’t want to the plate to sit on a diagonal and didn’t have the right stuff to level it out… Sooooo, I took the old light fixture that was there and stripped it for parts.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

I took the threaded center rod to use to fasten my cap but unfortunately I needed a hollow one and this one had a fixed end. No biggie, I threaded a nut onto it to protect the nearby threads (I’ll still need the rod to work) and gave it a couple of rips with the hacksaw.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

I cleaned up the edges of the rod with a file and my drill (for the inside) to remove any metal burrs or sharp edges so as not to damage my wiring, screwed it into the box and fed my wires through it – fed the cap over-top and screwed it all down.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp

Not the most elegant solution, perhaps, but it works. The wall could use a little patching and I could, in the end, use a nicer cap but again… it works. The beauty of this project is that it didn’t cost me more than $15 (and could have been done cheaper) so if there is anything I don’t like about it down the line, and I already know that there is, I’ll just change it!

Et voilà!

DIY Mason Jar Lamp