Monday, July 11, 2011

magical mason mondays

so, one of the best things about mason jars is their uncanny ability to do just about anything. not only are they versatile, but also uber stylish. i'm going to dedicate mondays to the reveal of a new use for the standby mason jar. so, prepare to be amazed on mondays + inspired to find a clever use for the pantry staple.
this week's mason jar magic inspiration:
swoon. if only our cluster of 3 peach trees weren't a) dying and b) tiny, i would have so many dinner parties set up beneath them. but, these little hanging mason jar lanterns are super easy + super functional.

we made some of these last summer from recycled baby food jars, but now i want to mix in some of the large mason sizes for varied depth. for the sake of redundancy, you can follow this tutorial to make your own. the steps are simple:

1. clean your jar
2. cut mid-to-heavy gauge wire long enough to wrap around the jar's neck, plus an extra two inches. at least 16 gauge wire is recommended, even stronger for your heavier jars.
3. create a "necklace" for your jar's neck by wrapping the cut wire around the jar's neck one time. as you wrap, create a small wire loop on each opposite side of the neck. let's call these little loops "ears."
4. fasten the "necklace" to itself by twisting the ends together. you want it to be very tight so that it doesn't slip over the jar's rim.
5. determine how you want to hang your lanterns--if you want them to blow gently in the breeze, use twine. if you want them to stay pretty still, use your wire.
6. cut the twine/wire to desired hanging length. wrap one end of the hanging twine/wire around a jar's "ear," and tighten by twisting. repeat with opposite end of twine/wire and opposite "ear."
7. fill your jar with sand
8. insert candle - tea lights for the baby food jars, votives for the regular sized masons, and even larger pillars for the larger jars for drama
9. light + enjoy the ambiance
10. if you feel like getting fancy, you can wrap your lanterns in ribbon, paint them with spray paint, or heck, even be-dazzle them for extra sparkle.

abracadabra. from mason jar to romantic night lights.

ps - these guys are sturdy enough to keep outside year-round in most climates. just dump out the water after it rains. if you live in a super hot climate, you may want to remove the candles during the summer so they don't melt. the wire will rust over time, but it just adds to the charm.

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