Upcycle a Vanity Light Strip to a Hanging Pendant Light

Next up in our holiday guest series is the very talented LZ, who took a basic “Hollywood style” light strip from her bathroom and turned it into a chic rustic chandelier pendant light!
DIY chandelier from Hollywood-style vanity light | The Summery Umbrella on @Remodelaholic #pendantlight #upcycle

Think how versatile this could be — just swap the mason jars for another style of glass shade!

Here’s LZ with the tutorial:

How to Upcycle a Vanity Light Strip into a Pendant Light or Chandelier
by LZ from The Summery Umbrella

rustic reclaimed dining room with upcycled mason jar chandelier - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

Hello Remodelaholics! I’m LZ Cathcart and I’m the creative mind behind The Summery Umbrella. I enjoy sharing my adventures in DIY projects with my super talented husband, as well as my love for creating wall décor from reclaimed wood in my shop. You’ll find that I primarily focus my attention on what I call the 3 R’s. Rustic, Repurpose and Repaint. I like to keep it simple, but pretty and unique at the same time! To illustrate my design style and also some of my all-time favorite DIY projects check out these beauties: Upcycled Lamp Shade Pendant Light, Rustic & Industrial Bucket Light, and Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins.

Recently Mike (aka. super, talented husband) and I bought a new home in the middle of nowhere, and we are in a DIY heaven! Overall the house was in good condition, but it lacked A.) a lot of our own style and B.) lighting. Our mason jar pendant light project that I am sharing with you today was definitely needed in a terrible way, but wasn’t exactly high on our priority list at the time we came up with the idea. Even though we try to tackle only one DIY project at a time, it doesn’t always work that way in our house! We had just finished remodeling our spare bathroom, and had the leftover bathroom light vanity strip that I did not want to throw away. So, Mike and I began tossing around ideas for an original dining room light fixture to hang over our table. By combining my love for using reclaimed wood, repurposing old items, and my husband’s handy-man skills, this mason jar pendant light was born. Read on to see how you can have this beautiful light in your home as well. Enjoy!
mason jar pendant chandelier light from bathroom vanity light strip - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
Important note from LZ, June 2015: Mason jars are designed for boiling water (aka. canning foods) so the heat they are supposed to withstand is at the boiling point. With that being said, the heat from the bulbs will be significantly smaller than anything compared to boiling water. So, I can ensure you that the risk of these jars exploding is incredibly small. If you do have any issues whatsoever with your jars then the company who created them has a huge problem. 
Materials and Tools We Used:
  • 40” L x 8.5” W x 1” thick piece of reclaimed barn wood
  • Repurposed Bathroom Light Vanity Strip
  • Spray Paint
  • 6 Mason Jars
  • 6 Edison Light Bulbs
  • Drill and Bits
  • Screws
  • Rope

Steps:
1.) First, I painted the light fixture (remember to tape off the light sockets!). This item was repurposed from our guest bathroom DIY make-over so all it needed was a little paint. I used my all- time favorite color of spray paint: Rust-oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.
how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 1 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 2 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

2.) Next, drill a hole into the barn wood with a 2 1/8 inch drill bit for the electrical wires.

how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 3 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

3.) Pull apart the light fixture so it can be attached to the barn wood. Drill four holes; one on each end and two in the middle to secure just the inside piece of your light strip to the piece of barn wood.

how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 4 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 5 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

4.) Attach the exterior part of your light fixture (this particular one just clipped back into place).

5.) Drill holes into the Mason jar lids using 1 3/8 inch drill bit for the light socket opening. Use a 1/8 inch drill bit to pre-drill two holes into each lid so they
also can be securely fastened to the fixture.

how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 6 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

6.)  Place the Mason jar bands on first, then the lids and finally screw them in. You can also screw in the light bulbs and Mason jars at this point if you want to get a preview of
your new light.

how to make a vanity light strip into a hanging mason jar chandelier 7 - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
 *Note: The type of light bulb you use is totally up to you. We added Nostalgic Edison Squirrel Cage style bulbs that we found on Amazon for a great price!
7.) Using a ¾ inch drill bit, drill four holes (two on each end) of the wood to allow access for the rope that will hang your light fixture.
8.) Install a ceiling hook. As you can see we have slanted ceilings in our home which makes hanging this light a little more complicated. Also, our electrical outlet in the ceiling is too far over in this corner to be centered with our table (which drives me a little insane). So, we decided to install ours approximately 8 inches from the electrical outlet so it would be centered with our table, and also allowing me to sleep soundly at night!
how to install a hanging mason jar chandelier pendant - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

 9.) Measure from the ceiling down to approximately how high above your table you would like your light fixture to hang. The length of the rope and height of the light fixture will depend on where you are hanging it and the height of your ceiling.

*Note: If you don’t have your Mason jars attached to your light at this point make sure to account for their length when measuring for your rope.
10.) Cut your rope. You’ll be cutting four different strands. Two will be used for the sides of your fixture, and will go approximately three-fourths of the way up. The third will be to combine the first two, and then hang your entire fixture to the ceiling hook. The fourth is for decoration (I’ll get to this one in just one second!)
Use one strand on each side of the board and knot it underneath. Fold the third in half and use it to bring the two sides together; tie a knot at the top. Run the electrical wire from your fixture up the back of one side of the rope. Preferably use a strand that will not be facing out.
diy mason jar pendant light chandelier - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
11.) Shorten the electrical cord if necessary, and then add a plastic electrical cap if you have an existing hole in your ceiling (like we did).
use rope to hide a rustic chandelier cord - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
 12.) Twist a smaller piece of rope around the main rope that is hanging the fixture all the way up to the ceiling
to hide the electrical wire.
rope-hung mason jar chandelier upcycle - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
13.) If you’re anything like me I’m sure that the little bit of black electrical cord on the ceiling is an eye sore. All you need to do is add some white paint, and you’ll be good to go!VOILA! You are finished!
mason jar chandelier with edison bulbs, made from a hollywood style lighting strip - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
rustic mason jar and wood hanging chandelier pendant light DIY - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
rustic wood mason jar chandelier tutorial - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
rustic reclaimed dining room with upcycled mason jar chandelier - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic

Time and Cost Involved:

We absolutely LOVE how our Mason jar pendant light turned out, and it is definitely at the top of our list of favorite DIY projects in our new home. The cost of this project will ultimately depend on the materials you already have on hand.

The wood piece we used is from an old barn that my husband tore down, and it is made of Hemlock Pine.

Since we repurposed our former bathroom vanity light there was no cost here either, but you can find one similar to this on Amazon for $28.

We already had Mason jars, but you can find them for around $10 for six, and this particular spray paint is typically $6 a can.

The cost of rope varies depending on the material used, diameter, and length; prices range from $10-$40.

As for the light bulbs, this is where we spent most of our money. You can choose whatever lights you prefer, but we bought a 6 pk of Nostalgic Edison Squirrel Cage style bulbs on Amazon for $32.

It’s hard to say how long this project took because we did it over a 2 day period, stopping to take breaks and then entertain our now 3 year old daughter. If you had all of the materials on hand and focused on this project alone, it would probably take 2-4 hours.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share this DIY project with you today! I would love to see you stop by my blog, The Summery Umbrella, the shop or even just to say hello! I truly love to inspire with projects like how to upcycle a birdhouse, create your very own wire mesh basket, or even how to use your own handwriting to create a reclaimed wood sign. My upcoming project to do list is never ending, and I can’t wait to share them all with you!

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Such a creative upcycle, LZ! Love, love, love it!

Be sure to pay LZ a visit over at The Summery Umbrella to check out more, like easy wire mesh baskets and reclaimed barnwood kitchen countertops.

And be sure to subscribe to follow us by RSS or email so you don’t miss a single one of our amazing holiday guests!
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More DIY chandeliers:

Knockoff Crystal Orb Chandelier how to make a Restoration Hardware crystal orb chandelier, Vintage Romance Style featured on Remodelaholic

Faux Capiz Shell Chandelierhow-to-diy-faux-capiz-chandelier-600x358

Painted Wood Bead Chandelierdiy wood bead chandelier tutorial, Life on Virginia Street on Remodelaholic

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38 Comments

  1. I would like to learn more DYI, something to do when I retire and to replace or refurbish items. Always looking for simple expensive ideas to fix up my home. Like the Manson jar lights would look great over my counter/bar.

  2. Do the mason jars get hot when the light is on? That would be my one worry that the jars would get too hot from the light bulbs.

    1. Hi Rose, and great question! I’ve had this particular light up for about four months now, and haven’t had any issues with overheating. My daughter loves to turn this light on all the time so as of right now…. no problems here 🙂

    2. If you think about it, mason jars are used for canning and most items need to boiling hot when they are put in the mason jar and then the seal & lid are put on and then the full mason jar must be put into a boiling pot again to sterilize & seal the jar.
      Light bulbs won’t put off that much heat! I hope your enjoying your new lights!

      1. I don’t worry so much about the jars getting hot, as I would the wood they are attached to…does the heat transfer from the lids to the wood?

  3. Just curious..before you screwed in the jars, did you have to drill any holes into the jars for ventilation? I would think the jars would get too hot from the light bulb. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer! We did not. We were very fortunate, and were able to use the existing wiring in the vanity light as well as the electrical outlet in the ceiling. However, if you’re not familiar with electrical wiring please consult a licensed electrician. Great question! 🙂

  4. I think I have 1 of those fixtures with 3 lights. Could I wire that to a lamp type cord and plug in, rather than hard wire in ceiling??

    1. I believe it could, but it all depends on the wattage and wattage ratings of your fixture and cord. If you are not familiar with electricity it wouldn’t hurt to consult a qualified electrician. Safety first! 🙂

  5. What size mason jars did you use here, quart? Wide mouth quart? And what rope did you use? thanks!! I’m going to attempt this with 2, 5 light fixtures we’re taking out of our master and use over our large dining tabl . Very excited!

    1. Hi Molly! That’s awesome, and how exciting! I used wide mouth, quart size mason jars (I believe Walmart has the best price for buying in bulk), and then the rope is Blue Hawk Twisted Sisal Rope that is the 48 lb and 100 ft version (I believe I purchased it from Lowe’s). Just let me know if you have any other questions!

      1. Ok I’m stuck on step 10 and can’t seem to figure out from the intructions how you secured the ropes. I understood that one rope is long enough to go up to make the loop and then wind around for the “noose” look but did you tie off the others somewhere? Thanks for your help.

        1. Hi Molly! The ropes are secured by the knots underneath the board. For instance, one strand is for the left side (the length) and after you knot each corner you’ll be left with a “handle” for that side. You’ll repeat this step on the right side. With these two “handles” you’ll take your third strand, and then loop the two strands together. Last, tie a knot at the top on your third strand. The fourth strand is just for decoration to make everything look pretty. Hopefully this helps, but if not, just let me know 🙂

  6. How did you drill the hole in the lid? Like, how did you keep the lid steady while drilling? A clamp or did you hold the bottle with the lid on?

  7. Hi Karissa! If you have trouble holding the lid while you are drilling in your holes I highly recommend using a clamp. This is definitely my favorite method!

  8. Had a question I ordered some vintage bulbs online from Amazon but mine are too big and the ones you tagged seem to be the same size. Mine were 6.5″ long and about 2.5″ wide. The widest Mason jars I’ve found have been 2.25″ inches and only 6″ or so deep. Any suggestions?

  9. Do you have a problem with the chandelier spinning off center. It would drive me crazy if it didn’t stay parallel to the table.

  10. I love this idea. Our local Habitat Restore had several of these vanity lights. So, I’ve decided to do this,this weekend .

  11. Hi. I love this. I have all my items to make!! Just wondering. Did you do anything to let the heat from bulbs able to come out?
    Thank you

  12. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this project!! You did a fabulous job and it shows!! Thank you for all the instructions too!! ❣️❣️❣️

  13. Did your old light fixture have a super long wire? Mine has a hot, cold, and ground, (black, white, & green) and they’re only about 10″ long. I’m guessing because it was mounted against the wall, they didn’t need the length?
    I don’t understand how you got the single cord to go all the way up the rope and connect to the recepticle. Maybe I missed something? Thanks for any advice!

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