Spring is in full swing here in Minnesota, the backyard is calling me…and telling me it needs some new decor and more cleaning (like picking up sticks which I hate doing). So I will leave the sticks for another day and focus on making things pretty. Winters can be exceptionally harsh here in good old Minnesota and most things left outside tend to rust or disintegrate. While having a wonderful backyard is a major priority for me, the only things I leave outside are either created for the outdoors or things that I don’t really care if they get wrecked.
So when it came to lighting my backyard table, I needed something that would last outside, but I also needed it to be inexpensive. I have seen a lot of adorable outdoor chandeliers with solar lights instead of using regular lights. This is an idea that I can get behind, but a traditional chandelier doesn’t really go with my decor. So with a lot of help from my dad, I was able to create a rustic mason jar outdoor chandelier with solar lights.
I love how it doesn’t necessarily look like a solar chandelier. The mason jars and wood really give this chandelier the “look” I was going for and will also withstand the unpredictable Minnesota weather.
This outdoor mason jar chandelier DIY has lots of rustic charm, it doesn’t require a lot of supplies, you can make in one afternoon, and it’s even solar powered.
You will need:
- One 1×6 wood board (barnwood is a good idea in my opinion)
- 5 mason jars with metal rims
- 5 outdoor solar lights (like these)
- 2 eye screws
- 3 s-hooks
The tools you will need are:
- Circular saw (like this)
- Electric Cordless Drill (like this)
- or a Drill press (like this)
- or a Jig saw
- Hole saw with a pilot drill bit (measure the jar’s opening to determine the size of the hole drill; I used a saw that was 2.75 inch in diameter)
- Hot glue
- Extra strong glue or epoxy
- Flat head screwdriver
Start by figuring out how long you want your wood board by placing the mason jars on top.
Doing this will help you see how long you need the board and how far apart the mason jars should be. I chose to cut my board to 2 feet 6 inches with 6 inches in between the jars with 3 inches of space on the ends.
Then cut your 1×6 board to the length you want.
I must say that I was fortunate enough to get a piece of barnwood. This not only looks great, but since it’s actually been outside for a very long time, I don’t have to worry about staining or sealing the board. If you are unable to get your hands on a genuine piece of barnwood, there are lots of tutorials for aging wood online, or you can go for a more modern look by either painting or staining your 1×6 board.
After you have cut your board, mark where you want each jar centered on the board.
You can use a cordless drill with a hole saw and pilot bit to create the holes that the mason jars will fit into. Place the pilot bit on the mark you made for the jar and slowly drill the hole. Because it’s such a large hole, it does take a little time to drill it. It’s important that you keep a firm grip on both the drill and wood so nothing decides to run away from you. Also after each hole you need to remove the wood cylinder from the saw by using a screwdriver in the holes on the side of the saw.
You can also use a drill press to make the holes.
You use the same process as the cordless drill, but with a drill press it is a little easier to get that straight vertical cut. Another option is using a jig saw, but it’s more difficult to get a perfectly round circle.
After all five holes are made using whatever method is easiest for you, now you need to attach the hardware to the board.
First you need to mark in between two jar holes on each end in the center of the board. Start an eye screw with your fingers. Then continue to screw it into the board using screwdriver in the center of the eyelet. After you’ve done both sides, open up the S-hooks and use two of them in the eyelets and attach to chains to the other end of the S-hook. The third S-hook is used to join the two chains together and hang the chandelier from a branch or an arbor.
We are nearly done! Yay! Next it’s time to glue the mason jars in place.
Place heavy duty glue around the metal rim of the mason jar and then shove it into one of the drilled holes. And repeat for all the jars. Gluing the metal rim to the wood is not only easier and more sturdy than just gluing the glass to the wood, but also allows you to unscrew the glass and clean it if need be.
Or if you don’t use solar lights, you could place tea lights in the bottom of the mason jars. To light the candles, you can unscrew each jar, light the candle, and screw it back into the chandelier.
But we want this chandelier to be solar powered right? All you need is solar lights and hot glue.
Most solar lights will come apart at the top and that’s the part you need. Apply a generous amount of hot glue around the rim. Then press into the top of the hole in the board. Gluing the solar tops in place will keep them from being blown or bumped off of the chandelier. It also helps keep out the rain of those spring showers.
Next hang the mason jar solar chandelier from a tree branch or from a beam of a pergola and enjoy!
Lovely isn’t it? I just loved how it turned out. I’m looking forward to outdoor dinner parties this spring and summer. As well as showing off my rustic mason jar solar chandelier.
I’m also looking forward to the dusk hours in the backyard with family and friends around a warm bonfire. But I think I’m going to need a bit more light in my backyard. Thankfully Heartland America has a great selection of solar lights available right now.
So no matter what look you are going for, there are a solar lights that will add the ambiance you want in your backyard. Or if you are looking for a gift idea for a gardening mom, solar lights will add a great glow to her cherished garden.
Next week I’ll be bringing you more gift ideas for your mother and the women who have been like mothers in your life. I’m looking forward to spending time with my mom. Hopefully we can spend some time in her welcoming backyard.
I’m so glad have joined me here and remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.