Vintage Jar Lighting {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Heidi @ greendoodle for her win of the Knock-off challenge of season 16*

Wow!  Thanks for the votes.  This project has elements of super frustration (cutting glass and photographing glass) and really easy rewarding elements (like coloring the glass).  If you can get past the bottle cutting phase you are sure to have a really cool D.I.Y. light fixture.

Supplies:

bottle cutter

large bottle/jar (can be purchased here)

food coloring

colored nail polish

Modge Podge

small paint brush

automotive chrome tape

medium base porcelain socket (hardware store)

desired length lamp cord

chrome spray paint (optional)

 

Step One: Cut

Research bottle cutting on YouTube.  Then research some more.  This is by far the hardest step. I am super cheap frugal, so I only bought a glass cutter and my husband rigged up a bottle cutting device.  His tool worked like a champ, but it is still very tricky to get a perfect cut.

 

Score the glass then slowly pour HOT water over the cut.  Pour cold tap water, then HOT water again.  The bottom of your bottle should fall off at this point. (Again, YouTube is your resource for this step).

Throw away the junked bottles and get ready to paint any that are to your satisfaction.  (I cut three bottles with one perfect success, and one that had a large crack.  When painted however, the large crack was undetectable).

Step Two: Color

Mix 3T hot water, 1/2 c Modge Podge and desired food coloring.  I used 20 drops of blue and 10 drops of green.  Your finished product will dry much lighter.  Add colored nail polish if desired.  This creates a seed glass look, however clear nail polish will be your enemy.  Also, color all of your glass from the same batch.  It is really tricky to recreate the exact color. Trust me.

Pour a small amount of glue mixture and slowly swirl. I found this part of the project to be really fun.  Keep turning the bottle until all the glass has been covered.

Set right side up on paper to drip dry for 5-10 minutes. Paint any handles with mixture.  Place in a warm, dirty oven (170 degrees) for about 30 minutes.

Step Three: Chrome it up

 

I was unhappy with my first attempt to trim the light with chrome.  I used a chrome tape from the auto parts store, the price was great ($4) but ended up bubbling and lifting.  My second try was more successful.  I still used an auto chrome tape – but this time bought the more expensive product ($20).  I used custom chrome flexible interior exterior molding and lays beautifully. I used 3/4″ but would have preferred 1/2″.  This tape is firm and covers any imperfections in your cut.

Also, I spray painted the lid chrome (but don’t love it).  The original pendant reminded me of an oil dispenser so I grabbed one from the dollar store.  The look is similar, but unnecessary.

Step Four:  Electrical

This step varies for each bottle.  I experimented with a pendant kit ($15 Home Depot), but found the fixtures to be too big for this bottle.  I ended up using lamp cord and a porcelain keyless light socket.  This part was not hard, but will you will need to customize the electrical for each bottle.  Best of Luck!

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Comments

  1. says

    Love it!! I recently saw a lamp at Target that I loved but its more than I want to spend and I am thinking about attempting to recreate it.