I’m a little bit afraid to post this because I’m worried what you’ll think of my mason jar lamp craft.
You’re either going to proclaim me the cleverest crafter ever or the tackiest crafter ever. (Frankly, I can’t decide.)
But I’m going to show you my mason jar lamp with its handmade faux zinc shade and hope for the best. (Actually, you may remember it from my kitchen tour earlier this year.)
As you may know, I collect mason jars, (along with every other blogger on the planet).
My mom found a mason jar lamp at a yard sale and bought it for me.
Alas, it had no shade.
So I had the
crazy brilliant idea to turn a coffee can into a shade for my mason jar lamp. (Actual aluminum coffee cans are hard to find these days; most bulk coffee is sold in plastic containers or cardboard-type canisters. But I finally found a real coffee can in my local grocer’s store brand.)
My plan was to make the shiny aluminum can look like the zinc tops you find on the oldest mason jars.
I know it looks like Windex in my little plastic bowl there, but it’s not.
This is the coolest stuff ever; it makes it so easy to give shiny new metal the patina of age.
All you do is dip a rag into the solution (be sure to wear gloves) and dab it onto your metal surface. Instantly, the metal begins to age.
Just continue dabbing on the solution until you have the desired patina. Let it dry between coats, and if it’s too aged, you can sand away what you don’t like. Finally, you can seal with wax — though that step is not necessary if it’s not a surface you will be touching often.
You can see how my shade turned out after I sanded it back a bit. It’s all aged and pitted, just like an old zinc jar lid.
I would love to age a metal table tabletop with this antiquing solution. That would be AMAZING! But so far, I’ve only used it on small projects, like my mason jar lamp, and some little tin buckets hanging on my keeping room Christmas tree.
But I digress. Back to this project.
My mason jar came already outfitted as a lamp. But it’s super-easy to turn a mason jar into a lamp. Crafts Unleashed has a great how-to tutorial. All you need is an $11 canning jar lamp adapter, which you can buy from Consumer Crafts.
Or, if you’re feeling particularly DIY industrious, you could buy a lamp kit and drill a hole through a real jar lid. The price is the same, so I recommend the easier option so you don’t have to mangle one of those coveted zinc lids.
Turning your aged coffee can into a shade is as easy as 1-2-3. Five seconds and you’re done.
Just get yourself a clip-top lampshade ring and slide it into your coffee can. Mine fit snugly under the rim of the can. I used a 6-inch clip top flush fitter lamp shade ring from The Lamp Shop. It cost me $2.51, plus shipping.
Be sure to measure your can to get the right size lampshade ring.
Depending on the height of your coffee can shade, you may want to use get a wire ring with a recessed clip. It will make the shade fit higher on the lamp, revealing more of the neck. I actually ordered both a recessed and flush fit clip and decided I liked the look of the flush fit best. It’s really personal preference and trial and error. I didn’t mind spending another $2.51 to be sure I’d get the best fit for my shade.
If you make one of thee lamps, be sure to use a low-wattage bulb. And don’t leave the light on for too long. The metal coffee can conducts heat and it can get very hot very quickly.
What’s the verdict? Brilliant crafter? Or tacky crafter?
If the answer is the latter, I don’t think I want to hear it!