Reuse Your Old Mason Jars To Light Up Your Outdoor Living Space. Here's How

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Creating your dream backyard oasis looks different for everybody. Many wish to transform it into a beach, tropical, or boho theme for a more peaceful place. Some of the most common furniture and decor you can include are firepits, beach chairs, a swimming pool, and sandy landscaping. While a backyard can have various lounging chairs and entertainment, minor decorative elements like lighting are still important features to include. 

Whether you incorporate string lights, torches, or solar power lights, finding ways to illuminate the space can prolong your outdoor gatherings. Instead of purchasing expensive lighting, DIY lights by reusing old Mason jars you have at home. Fill them with sand, pebbles, or shells, and add a tea light to create the perfect table light. Or, hang them on trees for an even more unique aesthetic.

You can personalize your Mason jars any way you wish to fit your backyard's theme, but to make a beachy Mason jar light, you'll need a mix of sea shells, which cost $2.99 Joann Fabric and Crafts, tea lights from Walmart for $2.87, wire from Home Depot for $4.93, needle nose pliers, and wire cutters. If you don't want a live flame, use battery-operated tea lights. Amazon has LED lights for $4.99. If you're not a fan of shells, Joann Fabric and Crafts also has earth-toned pebbles for $3.99 or brightly colored stones for $9.99. Prep your Mason jars by giving them a quick rinse before starting on your DIY lights.

DIYing hanging lights

Create your DIY light by filling less than half of a Mason jar with shells or your chosen material. Then, insert your tea light inside so that it rests on top of the shells. Next, create the hanger by wrapping wire twice around the lid to measure double the circumference, as YouTuber BFranklinCrafts demonstrates. Take a third of the wire, bend it to create a loop, and put it on one side of the jar. You'll have a short end piece and a long piece of wire on each side of the loop. Then, wrap the long piece around the jar to the other side and make another loop opposite of the first one. Twist the remaining ends together to secure the wire to the jar, and cut off any excess with your wire cutters. Finally, insert each end of another piece of wire through the loops, twisting them together, to create a handle.

Make as many hanging Mason jars as you want to display around your backyard. Set them up on a patio or side tables, or hang them from trees. If you hang them from tree branches, tie a piece of twine around the tree and the handle. If you want to brighten up an entire area, like a large table under an overhang, dangle multiple lanterns from above by hanging the jars from nails. 

Protect your Mason jars from rain and windy weather

You can make the most out of your backyard with chic Mason jar lights, but they won't last long if they're not protected from ever-changing weather. Rain can quickly fill up the jars and kill the battery or flame. Heavy wind can knock over the jars if they're not secured. Luckily, there are easy fixes. For instance, cover the jars with their respective lids. Of course, if you've had your Mason jars for a long time, they might not have their lids. So, covering the tops with Saran wrap and a rubber band should do the trick. You can cut off the excess wrap so it doesn't hang off the sides too much.

To protect your jars from the wind, set them up in protected areas, such as between branches or next to fences, to prevent them from flying around. If the jars are hung from your porch, tether them to another post with a strap. Tie the strap around the jar's base, then mount it to the post, and they'll have a more substantial chance of fighting against the wind. Or, you can always check the weather ahead of time and remove the jars to take them indoors until the winds calm down.