This DIY project started as just a whim; however, it ended up being one of my most favorite Christmas crafts of all time. Pledging not to spend one dime for any materials, I searched high and low throughout my house. I looked in cabinets, closets, bags … and every nook and cranny. With no directions to guide me, I just let my imagination take over. Never did I imagine just how adorable and sweet the final Mason Drinking Jar Lights would become!
My goal was to make several quaint-looking Christmas Lights that would go up the stairwell of our home. After much thought, I decided not to use real candles. Even though I love the look and feel of a real candle’s glow, I knew that was not a safe and practical application in our stairwell. Since I had no intention of standing guard by our stairwell for hours on end, I decided to use LED Tealights instead of real candles. I used an assortment of red and green tealights, as I wanted the nostalgic look of traditional Christmas colors.
Now, contrary to what I usually see on the internet, I decided to use some of my Mason Drinking Jars for the candle holders. It would appear that most people typically use regular Mason Jars, not Drinking Jars. While I could have used either, I decided on Drinking Jars (with handles) because it gave a more “turn-of-the-century” look. A lot of candle and light holders back in the day had finger holes or handles, and so I decided to go that route.
My next decision was to determine what filler I wanted for the candle holders. You could use an assortment of materials – from fake snow, epsom salts, sugar, etc. I decided on rice … more precisely, brown rice. I liked the aged look of the brown rice versus stark white rice, and since I wanted the aged look – brown rice was the winner for this project. I had a big bag of it in the pantry, so again – no added cost!
Every year, after opening up our Christmas presents, I will usually save scraps of ribbon and garland. I looked in my stash from last year and picked out some colorful choices. I then chose a few Christmas balls to use – in different sizes and colors. I threaded them on the ribbon and tied them around the neck of the Mason Drinking Jars. The nice thing about the Drinking Jars was that they had a neck (as opposed to a straight-sided canning jar). Once the ribbon was placed around the neck of the jar, they easily stayed put … no tape or glue was needed.
At this point, after decorating the jars, I filled each about 1/3 full with the brown rice. It is up to you to decide how much of the filler you want to use. I then placed the LED tealight in each. All was good, except for one thing … trying to get the tealights out when I wanted to turn them off. I found a great solution by using Silicone Tongs! Regular tongs would work too; however, I used silicone ones because I did not want to mar the shiney finish on the tealights.
Basically, at this point, the jars could be considered complete. I; however, was going to be using them for my stairwell – which is wide and dark. I wanted to add some contrast, so I added a small rustic wreath around the bottom of the jar and underneath that – a white doily. I used a 10″ paper doily and a 6″ grapevine wreath for each candle jar. In my opinion, these two finishing touches really made a huge difference in the overall result.
Once all the Mason Drinking Jar Lights were made, I placed them on the stairwell. I liked how the white doily contrasted with the dark-colored carpet. The wreath added a rustic look. The handles on the jars reminded me of yesteryear lighting. The LED tealights added just the right amount of light, and great ambiance. More importantly, the candles were safe. I was not going to have to stand guard at the stairwell, or worry about a fire breaking out. In the end, I was very pleased. They are beautiful touches that help make a home picture-perfect for the holiday season. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays everyone!