northstory + co

The Story of the Upcycled Mason Jar Lamp

Awhile back on Instagram I innocently posted a photo of a mason jar lamp in our living room, asking people if they ever felt like they had outgrown a certain style or look in their homes that they used to love.

That for me is the issue with this mason jar lamp.

I did originally have a post about this jar lamp written up but it was part of a series of posts that I deleted back when I went on blog post deleting bender. I was getting rid of old blog entries that were watermarked with my first blog name (northofseven). There are still lots of those entries that I keep saying I need to edit the watermarked
photos in them, but we all know that’s never going to happen unless you invent a 25th hour in my day.

Also the more you blog, the more you’ll notice a jarring difference with how you write your blog entries, how you take your photos and so forth, than when you started out. One of the other reasons I deleted the entry (and so many others) was because it was a flat out really badly put together post. The older I get, the more I believe that if something doesn’t represent your work or your life anymore on your blog, get rid of it and move forward. For me these entries were acting like anchors and when I looked at them I thought, if I don’t want to read these, how can I expect others to want to?

Well that little photo on Instagram actually incited quite a few emails asking about how I made it and a request to show the Before/After. So I thought now is as good of a time as ever, to maybe revamp some of the old posts and give some new life to some old projects that I could have shown or written about better the first time around.

I found the mason jar lamp looking like this at Value Village on a cold winter’s day.

The Before.

Mason Jar Lamp Before -

Mason Jar Lamp revamp - Before -

 If you love country charm and filling your mason jars with a million different holiday decorations, this is not the post for you.

And if you’re all “Why did you paint the wood!!” let me assure you I am a person that does not generally like to paint wood. I like natural wood, pine, birch, you name it. I cringe when I see antiques covered in chalk paint. This was not wood. Despite the photo looking all glowy and amber like, this was some bizarre plastic product formerly known as wood that had some coating on it that felt like I was running my fingers over saran wrap. It looked really bad in real life.

I wanted to give it a bit of a modern touch, so I went with the famous Oil Rubbed Bronze spray from Rustoleum (this was done 2 years ago when this was absolute the “it” product of the blogosphere).

Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze -

Painting a mason jar lamp -

PSA – Do not spray paint on an uneven surface, such as your grass, in the sunlight on a windy day.

The fact this paint even came out smooth is nothing short of a miracle.

The After.

Upcycled Mason Jar Lamp -

Mason Jar Lamp up close -

Mason Jar Lamp -

Underneath in order to hold the lampshade, because many old lights do not fit modern lampshades, we added a rubber gasket (that was either found in the bathroom or the washing machine parts section of the hardware store) to hold the uno fitter style lampshade.

Use a rubber gasket to hold up your lamp shade on old lamps that don't fit your base -

The drum pendant lampshade we bought at Bouclair in case you’re like me and wondering why the hell drum lampshades are so hard to find.

And because I know you’re about to ask about the typewriter – that’s a $7 thrift store find and that was reduced from $14 because no one wanted to buy it. Really people?? It’s a Brother Opus Tabulator and my kids are fascinated by it.

Vintage Brother Tabulator Aqua Typewriter -

I always say if you love something, decor trends shouldn’t matter. Want leopard wallpaper? Get leopard wallpaper. Craving a neon green chair? Get the neon green chair.

The truth is I don’t know if I want this lamp in my living room anymore. I love the actual lamp, but I feel like it’s not fitting in with our living room decor. I am trying to find another spot for it and am right now drawing a blank.

It’s one of those things where you can love a style but realize that it just doesn’t flow with the rest of your home. And I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe it’s the Pinterest and Mason Jar trend that has absolutely worn down my love of them and in many ways feels dated to me. Maybe despite loving a lot of rustic farmhouse decor, our home has slowly evolved into a modern, Scandinavian look instead and it feels out of place. It’s hard when you actually enjoy the item but know it needs a new home or to be saved for another time. Maybe one day it will fit into a future farmhouse that we buy down the line.

But I wanted to share the post for those who asked.

The typewriter however? Yeah that’s not going anywhere.

DIY Mason Jar Lamp -

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  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Personally, I think the best uses for mason jars is pickled onions, red cabbage or beetroot. Otherwise, it’s just a mason jar disguised as whatever! Perhaps it’s an “age thing”. 🙂

    • Reply
      June 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      LOL! Not an age thing at all. There are certain things that I am not a fan of that are huge in the decor and DIY world. Washi tape on walls as decor comes to mind. I can’t even use sticker stencils as my kids always inevitably wound up peeling it off.

  • Reply
    Kristen S
    June 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I current have a major hate on for my bedside light. Maybe we should all have a lamp swap. Someone will love our lamps.

    • Reply
      June 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Ok now I need to see a pic of this lamp. And I have to make one of the hanging copper ones you did.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    If you have storage it might help to put it away for a while. I have had things that I loved and grew tired of. Often I find that when I put them away for a while, I have a new appreciation for them when I pull them back out. If not, then off to Goodwill it goes.

    • Reply
      June 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      That’s a great idea! I do this with our kids toys from time to time and then when you bring them back out, who needs to go Christmas shopping. Maybe it’s high time I do this for myself. Great suggestion!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2014 at 3:33 am

    What!?!? You hate something mason jar-ish? How can we continue on as friends!?!?

    I say, sell it. Someone will want it. And then you can buy something that you really love.

    Or… put some white paint in the inside and shake it up. Could be cool…..

  • Reply
    June 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Glitter fixes everything. But I hear ya on not letting the typewriter go. Seriously? On sale? C’mon people! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dani @ lifeovereasy
    June 7, 2014 at 12:20 am

    I think the best thing about decorating is getting rid of old stuff to make room for something new. If it’s done it’s job, just say thanks and goood bye. Someone else will love it.

  • Reply
    Alex C. (@HydrangeaGirI)
    June 9, 2014 at 6:41 am

    This. Is awesome. You’d pay a helluva lot of money for that style of lamp anywhere else. Mad props. Amazing transformation.

    xx A

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