Category: How To’s & Quick Tips


DIY Concrete Letters

This DIY monogram project takes simple materials to new heights.

When we came across this DIY concrete letter and ampersand from Katelyn at Learning, Creating, Living, we had to share it. This project is proof that even the most humble of materials can be downright decorative. Katelyn used cardboard letters to make her initial, with plans to make her husband’s as well. Take a look at her tutorial.

DIY Concrete Letter

MATERIALS
- bucket
- 10 lb bag of concrete
- sheet
- cardboard ampersand and letter (these can be purchased at a craft store)
- stirrer

DIY Concrete Letters Materials

STEP 1

DIY Concrete Letter Molds

Before mixing the concrete, I cut off the top parts of the cardboard, that way I could pour the concrete into the letter & ampersand. This was really easy to do & once you get a cut going, you can pretty much pull off the rest.STEP 2DIY Concrete Letter Wet ConcreteI then mixed the concrete & poured it into the letter & ampersand. I didn’t care that it wasn’t smooth because I planned on sanding it once it dried. I let it dry for a day & then sanded certain areas that needed it.DIY Concrete Letter AmpersandDIY Concrete Letter KSTEP 3Once they were dried, the cardboard was moist, so all I had to do was peel off the cardboard, super easy!DIY Concrete Letter Finished
That’s it you guys! I find it weird that the texture is so different with both of them considering I used the same concrete & poured it in at the same time, but I love the texture & look of them both. I plan on making my husbands initial and a few other things, but I ran out of concrete this time around since I did a few other things with it.Thanks, to Katelyn from Learning, Creating, Living for sharing! Check out her site for even more concrete projects.


DIY Concrete Lamp

Cold, hard concrete meets warm and homey lamplight in this inventive DIY.

Concrete is one of the most versatile materials. And unlike many raw materials, concrete can be molded into any shape you like with little more than the proper form and time to set. So when we saw this concrete lamp from Meg at Happy Looks Good on You, we were bowled over. Read her tutorial to see how easy it is to elevate this ordinary material into an amazing home accent.

DIY Concrete Lamp Tutorial

If you have all of a sudden become obsessed with having a concrete lamp of your own you, my friend, are in luck.

I will show you exactly how to make one and by the time you finish reading this post you’ll think, “Well that doesn’t seem too hard. I could probably do that.”

Yep, you totally can.

MATERIALS

- glass jar (for lamp base form)
- ceramic tile drill bit
- drill
- lamp kit
- tubing
- threaded rod
- concrete
- hammer
- safety glasses
- shop brush
- felt pads

STEP 1

First, you’re gonna want to find a glass jar that you think would make a good lamp base shape. You also want to find one on the cheap since you’ll be shattering it into hundreds of pieces. Thrift stores are a great place to look. I picked this one up for $1.50.

Supplies for DIY Concrete Lamp Mold

STEP 2 

You’ll need a ceramic tile drill bit for this next part because you need to drill a hole in the glass jar. Which is not at all scary like it sounds. Promise. I have found that Rigid (found at Home Depot) is the best brand to get.

Drill Hole for DIY Concrete Lamp

STEP 3

Be sure to snag a lamp kit, 1-2 feet of tubing, a threaded rod (found right next to the lamp kits in lighting) and a bucket of Quikrete. I like the buckets of Quikrete opposed to the bags because then I have a place to mix the concrete.

STEP 4

Then you’ll force the tubing over the end of the threaded rod.

Tubing Lamp Kit DIY Concrete Lamp

Like so.

Lighting Tube for DIY Concrete Lamp

This is how the lamp cord will run up through the concrete to the socket.

Making a DIY Concrete Lamp

STEP 5

Fill the jar with concrete, making sure to keep the threaded rod centered in the middle of the jar. Also make sure you don’t get any concrete down in the rod or there are going to be problems when it comes time to wire up the lamp. Then you just let it dry for a couple days.

Mold for DIY Concrete lamp

STEP 6

I thought this part was going to be much crazier than it actually was. I imagined flying shards of glass and barely escaping with my life. It was all rather benign.

Use a hammer to crack and break the glass off the concrete. It really doesn’t take too much force to achieve this. Once all the glass is off you’ll want to go over the concrete with a shop brush to be certain all the tiny bits and glass dust are removed.

Breaking Mold for DIY Concrete lamp

STEP 7

It’s now time to wire this baby up!

Remember the tubing that is now sticking out of the back of your lamp base like a tail?

Ready to Wire DIY Concrete Lamp

Take a knife and cut it as close to the concrete as you can.

Wiring DIY Concrete Lamp

STEP 8

Then you’ll run the lamp cord through the tubing and out the top of the threaded rod.

Wired DIY Concrete Lamp

STEP 9

Lamp kit hardware is always a garish brass so I prefer to paint it. A nice glossy white will do perfectly for this project.

Painted Lamp Kit DIY Concrete Lamp

STEP 10

Wiring a lamp is easy peasy. There are simple instructions on the back of the lamp kit package.

Steps to Make DIY Concrete Lamp

STEP 11

The final touch is some felt pads on the bottom of the base so the lamp won’t scratch any surfaces. Also, apparently the inside of my jar wasn’t level. It teetered a bit, but the felt pads fixed that right up.

Felt pads for bottom of DIY concrete lamp

And here it is. In all it’s glory. I love the juxtaposition of the warm wood and the cool concrete.

Finished DIY Concrete Lamp

Thanks, Meg from Happy Looks Good on You! You can find even more inventive concrete projects at her blog.


DIY Concrete Candle Holders

Give your home a catalog look with your own DIY concrete hack.

Inspiration comes in many forms—sometimes even in a store catalog. When Diane of In My Own Style saw these Concrete Fire Columns from Restoration Hardware, she realized she could make her own inexpensive version using building tubes as molds. That’s ingenuity! We loved her inventive and affordable hack so much, we had to share it. Read on for her tutorial.

Restoration Hardware Concrete Fire Column

Here are the three concrete fire columns I made – they are not eco-friendly gel fueled, just plain old candlelight fueled.

DIY Fire Column Restoration Hardware Hack

DIY Concrete Fire Candle Holders Finished

I sit out on my patio in the autumn a lot as it is my FAVORITE time of year. I wanted to get it all ready for the season by adding some ambiance for nights I like to go outside, relax on the chaise, and stargaze into the autumn sky.

Patio View of DIY Concrete Candle Holders

The hardest part of the entire project is picking up the 80 pound bag of concrete. I had my hubby help me with that.  I bought the rocks at the Dollar Tree.

Knock Off Restoration Hardware DIY Concrete Fire Column

MATERIALS

- (1) quick tube – they sell them in the building supplies areas at home improvement stores. Cost about $8.  I used an 8” diameter one that was about 4’ high
- (2) 80 pound bags of  commercial grade Quikrete – this was enough to make all three.   This mix has fewer stones in it and will produce a much smoother surface then the other mixes.
- mixing bucket
- stirring stick
- water
- gloss paint in any color – I used spray paint
- piece of plywood or a plastic drop cloth
- level
- coffee can
- rubber gloves
- eye and nose protection
- box cutter
- sanding block and coarse sandpaper

STEP 1 

The cardboard building forms look like this. They come in many different diameters. I used an 8” one. Make sure you are getting one that is at least 1-inch wider than the glass hurricane you plan to use to put on it.

Supplies for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 2

Figure out how tall you want each column. I gauged mine on the height of my chaise and then cut the other two in  half size of each other. The smallest one can go on a table by itself when you want candlelight for dining.

Cut Building Form for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 3

The directions from Quikrete said to use a release agent when you want to remove the cardboard tube. The guy at Home Depot told me they didn’t sell it, but told me to spray some gloss paint inside the tube and let it dry. The gloss surface would make it easier to remove the tube when the concrete was dry.

Tutorial DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 4

Make sure the top and bottom of your cut tubes are level.

STEP 5

Then I made a bottom for each tube using a foam plate. I used duct tape to secure each plate to the bottom of each cut tube.

Making Form for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 6

Then I placed the tubes on a big piece of plywood I had. Make sure the surface you place the tubes on is level. You don’t want Leaning Towers of Pisa. The plywood or plastic drop cloth is to protect the surface you are working on from the concrete.

Molding concrete for DIY concrete candle holder

STEP 7

This step is the hardest only because the 80 pound bag of concrete is hard to move. Get your bag of concrete right next to your mixing bucket. Fill the bucket with 2- 1/2 quarts of water. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands—then use a scoop (I used a plastic container) to slowly add half the bag of concrete to the water in the bucket.

Supplies for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 8

Mix it gradually and make sure you stir it well before adding more mix. Do not add the whole bag you will never be able to stir it! Add slowly a little bit of mix and stir. The directions on the bag say to  wear safety glasses and one of those little white masks as you add the mix to the water. The mix is very fine and you don’t want to get it in your eyes or lungs.

You can add a bit more water if needed to get a nice smooth consistency.

Smooth concrete for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 9

Once you like the consistency, use your scoop to add the concrete to the tube. Push the PVC pipe into the tube once it is 1/3 of the way filled to make sure you are packing the concrete in and getting rid of any air pockets. Keep filling and pushing the PVC pipe  until the tube is filled. If you run out of concrete mix. Start another batch and then continue to fill the tubes.

Fill tube for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 10

To make the indent for the glass hurricane to fit in, press a coffee can into the top. This coffee can just happened to be the perfect size. You may have to find something that is a bit wider than the hurricane you are going to use.

Center it and gently push down. This will make some of the concrete come out. You want the coffee can down at least 1/2”– 1”.

Making DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 11

Smooth around the can with your gloved finger until it is smooth getting rid of the excess that has spilled out. Gently rotate the can a few times to make sure the concrete on the sides of it are not going to dry to the column. As the column dries repeat rotating the can during the first few hours of drying time to ensure it doesn’t become a permanent part of the column.

STEP 12

After a few hours you can remove the can. It will look like this. Let the column dry at least for 24 hours or longer depending on how humid the air is.

Molded DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 13

Once the column is dry, use a box knife to cut away the cardboard tube from the column. Spray it with a hose if needed to help you remove the tube. Mine came off easily.

Dried DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 14

Tip the column to the side to remove the plate from the bottom.

STEP 15

The excess concrete along the bottom edge will come off easily with sandpaper.

STEP 16

Put coarse sandpaper on a sanding block and go over the top surface to smooth.

Sandpaper for DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 17

You can also use the sandpaper to get rid of any ridges along the bottom and sides of the column as well as any paint or cardboard that might have stuck. It comes right off with the sandpaper.

Sanding DIY Concrete Candle Holder

STEP 18

Place your glass hurricane on top.

Finished DIY Concrete Candle Holders Trio

Thanks, Diane of In My Own Style! You can find even more home decor ideas on her site.


DIY Hand Planters

Here's a unique take on the concrete planter trend.

There are lots of DIY concrete planters out there, but not many are in the shape of a pair of hands. We were so struck by these hand planters from Jenise at DIY Fun Ideas that we couldn’t wait to share them. These hands could be molded to look nurturing for a year-round garden or modified to look off beat and ghoulish for Halloween. Take a look at her tutorial to learn how she accomplished this fantastic concrete project—and some lessons she learned about molding concrete.

DIY Concrete Hand Planter with Succulents

MATERIALS

- dust mask
- concrete
- mixing bucket
- garden trowel
- garden gloves
- rocks

Now, while making these DIY concrete hands was super easy, I have to admit I started out with a major fail. So I’ll start by telling you a little about how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

My biggest lesson learned here is that not all concrete is made equal. I picked up the smallest bag of concrete I could find at Home Depot. Their smallest bag was 50 lbs. But it was only $5 so no big deal. I was all ready to get started.

Quikrete DIY Concrete Hand Planter

STEP 1

The first thing you want to definitely make sure to do when you start is where a breathing mask because when you pour the concrete, there is no way you’ll be able to avoid breathing in the dust that flies up. So absolutely wear a mask.

Anyway, wearing my dust mask, I went ahead and poured my dry concrete into a bucket.

Concrete Mix for DIY Concrete Hand Planters

It was all full of rocks! Yup. Apparently, real concrete is rocks mixed with cement. Well, I figured I’d give it a try so I mixed in water based on the package instructions. Then I used a garden trowel to stuff the concrete into an old gardening glove and a few plastic gloves.

Making DIY Concrete Hand Planter

I let the gloves sit over night then started cutting and peeling the gloves off the concrete. It was not looking right at all.

Broken DIY Concrete Hand Planter

I had definitely made a mess of it; couldn’t even get the gloves off without breaking the fingers. Total sadness.

DIY Fail Concrete Hand Planter

But I wasn’t ready to give up. I headed back to the hardware store and this time I asked one of the store clerks what kind of cement I should use for casting.  The clerk went into a spiel on all the different kinds of cement (apparently there are lots of different kinds of cement), but he finally directed me to a product. So my biggest tip is to look for a cement (not concrete) that says “casting” on it. This is what I picked up…

Cement for DIY Hand Planter

STEP 2

So, back to the drawing board, I mixed up my new cement according to the instructions. Aahhh, look how perfectly smooth that is…

Mixing Cement for DIY Concrete Hand planter

STEP 3

Using a gardening trowel again, I started filling my gloves. I found that air gets stuck in the fingers.

Filling Glove for DIY Concrete Hand Planters

STEP 4

I squeezed the fingers of the glove to push the air out and then to get the cement to the bottom of the fingers you have to sort of “milk” the fingers as if you were milking a cow. (I’ve never milked a cow, but I might be pretty good at it now.) It takes a bit to make sure there are no air pockets. I had to work kind of fast because the cement I was using starts to set in 15 minutes.

STEP 5

I filled a total of four gloves this way. On the last two, using a scissor I cut a slit along the pinky side, pressed out a little cement and then pressed the two hands together so that they would dry as one.

Molding DIY Concrete Hand Planters

STEP 6

Then I shaped the fingers the way I wanted them and used some rocks to hold them in place. I did the same with the other two gloves I filled.

Drying DIY Concrete Hand Planters

STEP 7

The cement starts to dry really quickly and the hands got really hot to the touch. By about a half hour in they felt rock solid. But I let them dry a few hours before messing with them. Then I used a scissor to cut the gloves open and peel them off.

Removing Gloves from DIY Concrete Hand Planter

STEP 8

Once the gloves were peeled off, my beautiful DIY concrete hand planters were good to go.

DIY Concrete Hand Planter Finished

Thanks, Jenise of DIY Fun Ideas! You can check out even more concrete projects at her site.


DIY Concrete Tabletop

This DIY table comes together with a custom wood base and concrete top.

Sometimes we see a project that truly bowls us over. This concrete tabletop from Pete at D.I.Y. Projects with Pete is one of those projects. Using Ana White’s plans for his table base, Pete then topped his creation with a concrete top made with melamine board forms. We think the end result is as stunning as it is sturdy. Take a look at his tutorial for the details.

DIY Concrete Table Finished

MATERIALS
- orbital sander
- drill
- circular saw
- table saw
- small shovel
- bolt cutters
- concrete trowel
- flathead screwdriver or chisel
- sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper ( or a diamond pad)
- 1–2 bags of concrete (depending on size of table)
- Portland cement
- wire mesh (or Diamond Mesh)
- melamine wood
- rubber gloves
- painter’s tape
- 100% silicone caulk
- plastic cups to mix cement paste
- tub to mix concrete
- (1) 5/8″ drywall screws
- 120 and 220 grit sandpaper for orbital sander

Concrete for DIY Concrete Table
 Melamine for DIY Concrete Table

STEP 1

Determine the size of table you’d like to make. The buffet table I made is 17″wide by 52″ long by 1.5″ thick. Here is a diagram showing how I made the mold.

Step 1 DIY Concrete Table

STEP 2

Cut the bottom of the mold out of melamine using a circular saw. This piece should be the exact width and length you’d like the concrete table to be.

STEP 3

Cut the strips that will border the bottom piece. If you want a 1.5″ thick concrete slab, add 3/4″ to the strips so they are 2.25″ tall. This accommodates for the bottom of the mold.

Making DIY Concrete Table

STEP 4

Assemble the sides of the mold. Attach using 1 5/8 inch black drywall screws about every 8-12 inches. Drill a pilot hole to help it go in easier. Make sure to drill in from the side as evenly as possible.

Assemble DIY Concrete Table

STEP 5

Complete the mold. Once assembled, the mold will look like the photo below. You will now have a structure to pour in your concrete. Note: The actual top of your concrete table will be very smooth because it will cure against the smooth and flat melamine surfaces. The part that you screed and trowel later on will actually be the bottom side. You will flip the mold once the project has cured.

Step 5 DIY Concrete Table

STEP 6

Caulk the creases in your mold. In my video, I use a squeeze tube of 100% silicon caulk. You can also use a caulk gun. Then run a caulk tool to smooth it out. You can also use painter’s tape to get an even caulk line as pictured below.

Caulking DIY Concrete Table

STEP 7

Once caulked, use your finger to smooth out the bead. Have paper towels around to clean off your hands when finished! As soon as you are finished, pull the tape off while the caulk is still wet. Use a paper towel to remove any caulk that accidentally gets on other parts of the mold. Let cure for a few hours.

Smoothing Caulk on DIY Concrete Table

STEP 8

Cut re-enforcement. Once the caulk has cured, go ahead and cut the re-enforcement to size using a bolt cutter. If your table is 52″ long by 17″ in width, cut the metal wiring to about 50″ by 15″. It will leave about an inch of play on each side. Then use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to thoroughly clean the mold, making sure all sawdust and particles are out of the mold.

Wire Re-enforcement for DIY Concrete Table

STEP 9

It’s time to mix up the concrete. Follow the directions on the bag to see how much water they recommend adding. I like to pour some water into the tub prior to the concrete to minimize dust. Wear a dust mask for this process because the particles are not good to breathe. Mix 1 or 2 bags of concrete at a time. To stir up the concrete use a small shovel or garden hoe. I like to mix it to a peanut butter consistency. If it is too dry add a little more water at a time. If too much is added, put in a little more concrete mix.

*Now is the time to add liquid or powder coloring to the mix if you’d like. Another way to add color is by using concrete acid stain after the project has cured.

Pouring DIY Concrete Counter

STEP 10

Take a handful of concrete (wearing your rubber gloves of course), and start packing the concrete into the mold. *Don’t forget to make sure your work table is as level as possible prior to packing the concrete.

Packing Concrete for DIY Concrete Table

STEP 11

Once the mold is filled up a little more than half way you’ll want to add the re-enforcement. Simply put the re-enforcement in place and then finish packing the rest of the mold with concrete.

Packing Mold for DIY Concrete Table

STEP 12

Fill the mold with concrete until it is full. Take an old 2×4 or straight piece of wood and screed off the excess to level out the concrete. Move the 2×4 in a sawing motion. Continue back and forth across the entire mold (multiple times) and fill in any low spots with extra concrete. Check that your work table is still level. You can always shim if needed. A level work table will make sure your concrete table is an even thickness throughout.

Screeding DIY Concrete Table Counter

STEP 13

Once you’ve finished leveling out the concrete lift your work table slightly up and down to vibrate the concrete. Vibrating the concrete will help minimize the number of air bubbles in your finished piece. This is a very important step. Another way to help vibrate the piece is to hit the bottom side of the table (underneath your piece) with a rubber mallet or hammer. Then use the hammer (or an orbital sander ) to vibrate the air bubbles out from the sides (tap the sides with the hammer). Finally, use a basic concrete trowel to smooth the concrete. The part you trowel will actually be the bottom of the concrete tabletop. You want the bottom side to be flat so it rests on your table base.

Smooth DIY Concrete Table with Trowel

STEP 14

Now it’s time to sit back and relax. Let the concrete piece cure for a good 3 to 4 days before removing it from the mold. Cheers!

STEP 15

Remove all the drywall screws. Next, take a chisel and slowly pry the wood side away from the concrete. Make sure not to let the chisel (or flathead screwdriver ) touch the concrete.

Remove DIY Concrete Table from Mold

 

 

 

STEP 16

Use a sanding block to soften the edges. Make sure to work from the corners and not into them. In the photo below, you’d start the sanding block at the corner and move to the left. This prevents blowing out the corner. Run the block lightly around all bottom edges. (It will only take a couple minutes.)

Sanding DIY Concrete Table

STEP 17

Slowly flip the concrete. It helps to have two people. I like to take a few shop rags or foam to put under the concrete so when it is flipped vertically there is something for it to rest softly on. Continue flipping the piece and rest it on a few spare boards. Resting it on boards that are evenly spaced will allow the piece to dry thoroughly.

Flipping DIY Concrete Table

Remove top of the mold. Admire it!

STEP 18

Use an orbital sander to smooth the piece. You will expose a few more bug holes but that is okay. Run the sander on the sides and corners as well. The top edges will be pretty rough. You’ll fill in the rough area with portland cement after this process.

STEP 19

Mix portland cement (not normal concrete mix) with water until it is a toothpaste consistency. You could mix the cement with a concrete fortifier to help it bond as well, but is not necessary. Rub the paste into the bugholes using a circular motion. Fill any other areas with the paste as needed. To fill the rough edges in put some paste in the bridge between your thumb and index finger. Slide along the edge as shown below. After filling the holes use a plastic putty spatula to remove excess paste. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours and then do a final sanding.

STEP 20

Use 120 and the 220 grit sandpaper to remove extra paste and to give the table top a smooth finish. Round over the edges as well.

Sanding DIY Concrete Table

STEP 21

Use a clean rag and get any remaining dust off the concrete. Next, find a new rag and use it to apply a stone or concrete sealer. These can be found at a local hardware store. Read the instructions to find out the best way to apply the sealer. Once the sealer drys I like to wax the piece. It adds an extra layer of protection and shines the piece up a bit. The paste wax I use is Johnson’s Paste Wax and can be found in the wood stain section at the hardware store.

Apply the wax in a circular motion. Then buff it with a clean microfiber rag or terry cloth. It will be smooth and shiny!

Waxing DIY Concrete Table

STEP 22

Set the concrete piece onto your base. If needed, feel free to run a thick bead of 100% silicon caulk around the top of base so the concrete piece doesn’t shift. I’d recommend using caulk on a coffee table because your feet pushing against it will shift the concrete. On a buffet table you could go with or without.

Finished Sanding DIY Concrete Table

Finished DIY Concrete Table

 

Thanks, Pete from D.I.Y Pete! You can check out his video tutorial here and check out his site for even more concrete projects.


DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set

DIYing your own industrial fab speakers is easier than you'd think. Designer Sarah Pease shares how in this incredible DIY mason jar transformation.

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The humble mason jar can hold nearly anything—including tech gadgets! Designer Sarah Pease converted these canning jars into a set of iPhone speakers using David Mellis’ open-source Fab Speakers design files. The results are incredibly stylish.

DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set - after

Photo: Sarah Pease

MATERIALS
- (2) 66 mm 0.5W speakers
- TPA701D amplifier
- audio cable (3.5 mm stereo plug to wires)
- battery holder
- switch (SPDT, 0.1″ pitch)
- capacitor (2.2 uF, 1206)
- capacitator (0.47 uF, 1206)
- capacitator (1 uF, 1206)
- resistor (49.9K, 1206)
- resistor (10K, 1206)
- AAA batteries
- (2) mason jars
- 2-part canning lids
- diamond drill bit
- soldering iron
- wire strippers
- sandpaper
- hammer
- spindle sander (optional)
- cork (optional)

DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set - Inside

Photo: Sarah Pease

STEP 1
Using David Mellis’ documentation for Fab Speakers, solder together the electrical components using a soldering iron, making sure the speakers will fit into your jar—the 66 mm speakers should fit a small mason jar.

Alternative: Instead of creating your own, you can hack apart existing speakers. These days, you can usually find cheap portable ones that will work perfectly.

STEP 2
Now, drill your holes into the bottoms of your mason jars—a diamond drill bit will do the job. Take care and be sure to wear protective eye wear before you start drilling. Make sure the glass is wet while you’re drilling the holes—one hole in the bottom of each jar.

Note: This is the trickiest part of the assembly.

DIY Mason Jar Speakers - Detail

Photo: Sarah Pease

STEP 3
Once the holes are all set, it’s just a matter of putting the electronic components inside the jars. The speakers will fit perfectly inside—hold them in place using the metal bands of the two part mason lids. I opted to use batteries so the only cords coming out of the jars are the 3.5mm audio cable that connects to my iPhone and the wire that connects each speaker to the circuit board.

The battery pack is soldered directly to the circuit board, which fits in one of the jars.

STEP 4
If you want to make the speaker stand, you’ll need some extra materials. I made the little cork stands by drawing the shape I wanted onto the cork and using a spindle sander to shape it. And voila! Your very own DIY mason jar speakers.

DIY Mason Jar Speaker Set - Glass Vignette

Photo: Sarah Pease

Thanks, Sarah Pease!


DIY Outdoor Chandelier

Upcycled canning supplies get a new and improved look in this DIY mason jar chandelier project.

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Mason Jar Chandelier DIY

Photo: thislittlemama.com

I just love candles in mason jars. A few summers ago I bought a package of half-pint jars and some light wire and made wonderful little candleholders to hang among the trees; however, when I went to go set them out I got really nervous that I might set my trees—and from there my house, and from there the entire desert—on fire. So I put them away. It has recently occurred to me that replacing the tea lights with LED lights would solve that problem (note to self).

We’ve been having dinner outside every night for the last few weeks and I’ve been feeling like we need a little boost in the lighting. I’ve seen some cool candle chandeliers made out of mason jars and canning racks in articles about wedding style, so on Saturday Mr. Little Mama and I made two ourselves! Easy peasy!

Mason Jar Chandelier DIY - Materials

Photo: thislittlemama.com

MATERIALS
- (8) 4-foot lengths of chain
- “8″ hooks (like S hooks, but fully closed)
- 2 eye hooks
- 1 canning rack
- Box of pint-size mason jars
- Light steel wire
- Pliers
- Wire cutter
- Drill

Mason Jar Chandelier DIY - Assembly

Photo: thislittlemama.com

STEP 1
First we took the handles off the canning rack. Place mason jars into the rack; it will hold six jars around the side and one in the center.

STEP 2
We looped the wire around each exterior jar and twisted it onto the rack just to make sure each jar was at least slightly secure. To hold the center jar on we looped the wire around the lip and then secured it across to each side; the wire is fine and inconspicuous so you really don’t even notice it.

STEP 3
Mr. Little Mama supplied the tools to hang the fixture: a couple of pliers and a wire cutter. He drilled holes into the patio roof to secure the eye hooks, then manhandled the chain into place. By opening the last loop of the chain and re-closing it around the rack in four places where the bottom frames attach to the side frames our hanging mechanism was secured. We then opened an 8-hook, attached the free end of all four chains to one loop, and hung the apparatus from the eye hook with the other.

Mason Jar Chandelier DIY - Complete

Photo: thislittlemama.com

We made two of these babies in less than 90 minutes (including a break to wash the dogs after Little decided to sprinkle them with dirt) with under $100 in supplies. If I had jars and a canning rack lying around the house, or sourced them from Goodwill or something, they would have been cheaper, but for me time is money so store-bought it was. The extra pint jars came in handy for the batch of Peep-infused vodka I made for Easter.

I am using LED tea lights because I am still terrified of burning down the house. A girl can’t be too careful!

Thanks, This Little Mama!


DIY Blue Mason Jar Chandelier

With some blue mason jars and some creative thinking, this uninspired lighting fixture was transformed into a DIY chandelier.

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this project with you. I’m so in love with blue mason jars. I’ve been wanting to make some sort of mason jar light fixture for a while now but couldn’t decide what to make. I took a look at the hideous chandelier in my dining room and knew I could transform it into something amazing. Because blue mason jars make everything amazing. So I made my very own mason jar chandelier.

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Complete

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

Here is my chandelier before.

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Before

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

UGH. If that doesn’t scream builder grade I don’t know what does. IT HAD TO GO. Three years of looking at this thing was enough for me.

MATERIALS
- Old chandelier for repurposing
- Blue mason jars (with lids)
- Metal snips
- Gorilla Glue

STEP 1
First we unwired it and took it down. Actually, first we turned off the breaker. THEN we unwired it and took it down. With a few unscrews we were able to remove the glass part and we were left with the basic chandelier. After cleaning the dust off, it looked great. You’ll notice it is pretty filthy in the picture above.

STEP 2
To fit the mason jars over the lights, we used the “candle holders” on the chandelier as a guide and drilled holes in the lids.  Then we used metal snips to cut the hole bigger so it would fit over the “candle holder” on the chandelier. We used Gorilla Glue to attach the lids to the rings. Just a few small dots of this stuff will be plenty.

STEP 3
Before placing the lids onto the chandelier, we rewired the chandelier and hung it back up. To attach the lids, I slid the candle holder back into place and the lid rested on the base of the chandelier. I then screwed the lightbulbs in and screwed the jars onto the lids. I didn’t use any glue to attach the lids to the light fixture base and it seems to be holding ok. I didn’t want to use any glue since I will need to put the original chandelier back together when we move but if your fixture is going to be permanent, then go ahead and use some glue. I’m always trying to make my projects renter friendly.

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Steps

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

I so love my new chandelier!

Blue Mason Jar Chandelier - Detail Installed

Photo: herecomesthesunblog.net

Thanks, Here Comes the Sun!


DIY Mason Jar Windchime

If you like the idea of cutting glass, you'll love this DIY mason jar windchime that reinvents a summer canning staple into a charming rustic accent.

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It was only a matter of time before I tried out my bottle cutter on a mason jar. Here’s how I pulled off this mason-jar-turned-wind-chimes upcycle, just in time for warm weather outdoor decor.

Mason Jar Wind Chimes - complete

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

This project is a great stash buster for those beads and charms you’ve been stockpiling. There will be some cutting and drilling of glass, but don’t fear, you can do this!

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Detail Outdoors

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

MATERIALS
- Mason jar with lid
- 2 eye screws
- Piece of scrap wood about 1/2 inch thick and smaller than lid
- Fishing line or other clear string
- Scissors
- Beads, chain, charms and connectors of your choice
- Bottle cutter
- Butane micro torch or candle and lighter
- Dremel or other rotary tool
- Measuring tape
- Shallow container with cold water for drilling your jar (this will make sense later)
- Bucket of cold water deep enough to submerge jar
- Protective mask and goggles
- E6000 Glue adhesive
- Diamond bits for glass; I used a bit from this set
- Permanent marker
- Medium-grit sand paper
- Glass beads or wine bottle rings

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cutting

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 1
Place the mason jar on the cutter.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cutting Detail

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 2
Mark the jar so you know when you have made a complete rotation.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cutting Detail 2

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 3
Once the score line is made, it is time to apply heat and cold to it. I like to do this with a butane micro torch while rotating the bottle on the cutter jig. I have moved the blade out of the way and am just using the cutter jig to hold the bottle and give me a way to rotate it easily with one hand while holding the torch with the other.

If you are using a torch, one minute is plenty of time for applying heat. Sometimes this is enough to break the score line. If not, submerge jar into cold water, covering score line. That is all it took for me on this mason jar. If yours doesn’t separate, repeat the heat and cold until it does.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Cut Complete

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

This is what my break looked like. Not bad! Now it is time to sand and smooth the edges.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Assembly

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 4
Sand lightly with medium grit paper. Get the inner and outer edges of the break. This is pretty quick.

You will notice after a minute or two of sanding that the edge is smooth to the touch and won’t cut you.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Marking

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 5
I measured the diameter of my jar and it was 12 inches. I marked every 3 inches for drilling a hole. This gave me 4 holes evenly spaced around the jar for stringing beads and charms.

Mason Jar Wind Chime- Hole

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 6
Before drilling, put on eye gear and mask!

Place jar in shallow container of cold water. I use a square baking tin.

To begin drilling, come in at an angle to start an indentation.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Hole 2

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 7
Once the indentation is started, move drill to 90°. Every 30 seconds or so, stop drilling and rotate jar so that hole gets rinsed out and glass where your were drilling gets cooled. This prevents the glass from breaking due to high heat. Continue until you have drilled all the way through.

Do this at each mark around the jar.

STEP 8
Use fishing line or beading string to string various beads, charms, found objects, and chain to your liking in each hole.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Eye Hook

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 9
I wanted to use the old lid that was on this jar in the design, so I needed to have a way to hang the chimes by it. I used a hammer and small nail to make a hold in the top center.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - Eye Hook 2

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 10
Next I screwed in the eye screw as pictured.

Mason Jar Wind Chimes - Fishing Line

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 11
I drilled into the wooden disk and screwed the remaining eye pin to the other side as shown. I later added E6000 to the wooden disk on the side that contacts the jar lid for added strength. It gets pretty gusty around here in the spring!

I cut a length of fishing line to the eye screw and tied the other end to a wine bottle ring, tied another ring to that one, and another ring to that one for a total of 3 hanging down from the middle of the jar.

Mason Jar Wind Chime - AFter

Photo: savedbylovecreations.com

STEP 12
To finish, put the lid on the jar and add chain to the eye screw on top for hanging. Hang and enjoy!

Thanks, Saved by Love Creations!


DIY Mason Jar Solar Lamp

Country style meets eco-smarts in this spectacularly simple DIY mason jar solar lantern.

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When the words mason jar and solar lamp come together in the same sentence, I don’t care who you are—you get excited. Because this jar is awesome. And adorable. And did I mention you’re saving the planet too? So get excited, yo.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Banner

This is a great project for people with minimal crafty skills, (like me). Once you wrap wire around it and hang it in your yard, you don’t have to think about it ever again. Evening light + powered by the sun = awesome.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Complete

Photo: weedemandreap.com

Let’s get to it, shall we?

MATERIALS
- Quart size wide-mouth mason jar
- 16-gauge baling wire
- Solar-powered mason lid

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Lid

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 1
Cut a piece of wire to 12.5 inches. Wrap around the lip of the mason jar and loop together— but leave it loose.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Wire

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 2
Cut another piece of wire to 14 inches and loop the ends around the first wire.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Wire 2

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 3
After you’ve tightened both sides of your handle, you can go back and tighten the front loops on the first ring of wire.

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Wire 3

Photo: weedemandreap.com

STEP 4
Now all you need to do is put a battery in your LED solar light lid and screw that puppy on!

I have found that the solar lights need at least 6 hours of full sun to light up well at night. So as long as you hang them in a place where they can get recharged for half of the day, you’ll always have light in the evenings! After your initial investment in the supplies, it really is the gift that keeps giving. I’m thinking of placing these all around my outside table—can’t you just picture the amazing summer evenings with these to light our conversations with family and friends?

Mason Jar Solar Lamp - Night Detail

Photo: weedemandreap.com

Thanks, Weed ‘Em And Reap!