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Jar light bulb covers for our basement!

Oct 17 2016 -
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If you’ve been following along lately you know that I am slowly hacking away at finishing our basement into my workshop. Two things you need to know about this situation before I proceed with this tutorial: #1 I am doing everything as inexpensively as possible with little to no regard for how things might “look” and #2 There is little to nothing here that I am doing conventionally and I know well that some people might think it looks “weird” and I’m ok with that! 🙂 Anyway, my basement needed one thing first and foremost before I could start work on it at all. LIGHT! Up until I started in on this job I had three bare bulbs wired up down there because we had to have something but they were really adding to the creepiness factor. It was time to light this basement up like a Christmas tree! Problem was though – I had no budget to do it! So, I went to the drawing board to make my own jar lights.

(Hey guys go and check out my other jar light idea over at the DIY Idea Center! I flipped over pickle jars and glued solar lights in them! All it took was a couple of pipe clamps and we now have such cute lighting all around our deck.)

Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.

I have a certain amount of “extra” electrical wire laying around from when I ran all of the electrical in our home during the renovation and I’ve been recycling it into various projects by stripping it down to the bare copper wires. I love copper, it is so pretty! I also have a whole pile of leftover jars (some Mason, some not) that my grandma left behind in her passing so I went through them all and came up with enough matching jars to do the whole basement! I may have went a little overboard but this basement has been so creepy for so many years that I wanted light, upon light, upon light! All in I put ten new bulbs down there in only 400 square feet of space! I love it!

Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.

To make the jar lights I wrapped one copper wire (this is 14 gauge so it is really easy to work with) around the head of the jar as low as I could and as tightly as I could by using my wire pliers and twisting the wire around itself. From there I cut a six inch piece of wire and made a loop on the opposite side. After installing the keyless lampholder to my round electrical boxes that I installed across the ceiling, I put a bulb in it and then grabbed my new jar light cover. I simply looped the copper wire over the top of the electrical box, tightening the jar right up completely over the bulb and then using the little loop I made to “tie” the wire off by looping through it and giving it a couple of twists. All done!

(Yes, that is a mix of 12-2 and 14-2 wires that you can see there, my lights are on a 15 amp breaker, I had some extra 12-2 laying around so I used it here instead of buying more 14-2. Also, the reason I did not drill the wires through the joists was because we are not going to be finishing this ceiling so I didn’t see any reason to weaken our floor joists by drilling unnecessary holes.)

Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.
Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.
Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.

*clears throat* For those online who like to pretend to be licensed electricians and/or electrical inspectors: My basement, with all ten of these jar lights installed passed inspection this spring. I always encourage everyone to double check with their local codes before doing anything, however, my state has some of the strictest electrical codes in the country and these jar lights passed literally without a second glance. Thanks for your concern though.

Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.

So that’s it guys! I can’t wait to finally get some more things done in the basement so I can show you some more projects! If you notice the square light surrounded by 2x6s in one of those pics that looks like an old window – that’s a florescent light I got free from a friend that needed a cover so, I made one! That’s the project I’ll be posting about next week, it was amazing how much more light it added! Because I already had the jars, the wire, the tools and the electrical boxes this project cost my less then $1.30 a light! You can see the exact keyless lampholders here on amazon. These things WORK guys! I have already wacked them several times with boards and they barely even move keeping the bulb safe as can be. One note here: If you’re using LED bulbs remember some of them can not be entirely covered. Thanks for coming by!

Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.Make money by shopping online by using Ebates!

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34 Comments

  1. November 21, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Such a fun idea, Tarah–who says our basements shouldn’t get some special treatment?! Great instructions, too, for those of us who want to borrow your idea. Thanks so much for linking up with Vintage Charm 🙂

  2. December 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    You did an really good job with the lighting Tarah. It must make such a difference in the basement. Can’t wait to see what projects you come up with now that you’ve got some light on the subject 😉

    • December 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Michelle, for sure, all that light made the basement a place we actually want to hang out now! Thank you!

  3. December 20, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing at the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

    • December 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Helen, have a happy holidays!

  4. January 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Happy New Year, Tarah! What a clever idea! I’m with you on the darkness problem – seems like my husband can see in the dark but I sure can’t! Great work & I love that you used your Grandmother’s jars, too! Blessings, Janet

  5. January 6, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Wow! I wired our basement for lights last year, its so much nicer to go in a basement with lights. Looks like you have it great charm. Thanks for joining us at #HomeMattersParty

    • January 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      It is truly amazing what light can do! Thanks for coming by Emily!

  6. January 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

    That is such a clever idea and I like the farmhouse jar look even in the basement! Great stuff! Thanks so much for sharing at Sweet Inspiration this weekend!

  7. Jann Olson
    January 11, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Very cute! I have some jar light covers in my basement kitchen, but I didn’t make them myself. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  8. January 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I love this look and it’s perfect for a garage!
    Thank you for sharing this week at Brag About It link party on VMG206 (Mondays at Midnight).

    ~ Megin of VMG206

  9. January 11, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing at Over the Moon. I’ve enjoyed following the progress with the house.

  10. January 12, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Looking forward to your basement projects!

  11. January 18, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Those lights look excellent in your basement! Great job!

  12. January 19, 2017 at 2:40 am

    I love it! Clever idea. Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday Blog Hop!

  13. January 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I love that you’re finding such creative solutions for your home. These jar lights are so fun, and look like they’re a lot better than just a few hung up light bulbs! Thanks for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!
    Leslie recently posted…5 Fantastic Birthday Party Themes Perfect for WinterMy Profile

  14. January 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Smart idea for a basement workspace! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  15. February 5, 2017 at 12:47 am

    I really love this!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  16. February 9, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Great idea for mason jars. Thank you for sharing your idea at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  17. April 4, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for coming to the Blogger’s Pit Stop last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    • April 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks for coming by and commenting Janice!

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