Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY: Re-Purposing Holiday Lights

I mentioned in my Thrift Shop Challenge blog that I was accumulating glass jars to use for a decor project in our apartment. It's finally time for me to post about the project!!

Here's the finished look, and then I'll go into the steps I took to put it together:

DIY: Re-Purposing Holiday Lights

During the months of December and January, a yoga store on 4th Ave was displaying something similar to this along their entire storefront window, using dozens and dozens of mason jars of different sizes. I thought the idea was so pretty and since it only required two "ingredients" - glass jars and holiday lights - I could not pass up trying to recreate the design at home. We even had a perfect surface for the project, on top of a wooden dresser in our bedroom.

And so, several weeks back, I began holding onto our empty glass peanut butter and pasta sauce jars, as well as any other miscellaneous glass jars we emptied.

To make sure they were extra spotless, I took care to soak them and clean them well to remove all of the sticky residue left behind by their labels:

You can remove any additional stubborn sticky stuff from the jars by rubbing it off with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.

My neighbor even donated a few actual mason jars to the project! Once she gave me those, I finally felt like I had enough jars to set them all up with the holiday lights on the dresser top.

I took some time to arrange and re-arrange all of the jars until I found a configuration that I liked. That was probably the most difficult part of this entire project! After that I just began carefully stuffing each jar with the strand of lights, one jar at a time. Be careful not to break any of your tiny little light bulbs on the glass jars while you're doing this. You'll really get pissed if that happens.

I ended up leaving a couple of the smaller jars empty, which seemed to work out fine and still looks nice. I love the finished look!

This provides so much more light to our bedroom - it's wonderful! And, if you ask me, it's a pretty classy way to be an adult and use holiday lights in your decorating. When was the last time outside of a dorm room that you thought holiday lights were a good year-round decor decision?

Let me know if you like this or if you try it out as well :)

Update 12/2/13: Hey guys! These jarred holiday lights have been a staple in my home decor for almost a year now. That has given me time to notice that after a couple of hours the lights do become a bit warm inside of their jars. Just wanted everyone to have that on their radars so that you would know not to leave them turned on for too long. When they're warm enough you might notice a strange plasticky smell in the air, from the cords warming. Just sayin'! #BeSmart. #SafetyFirst. #MyDadIsAFirefighter #CanYouTell?

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  1. So pretty Bailey! AND it's budget-friendly!

  2. Bailey, this looks awesome! Pinning :)

  3. Thanks ladies! It was super budget friendly fo sho! Thanks for pinning Elena :)


  4. great idea!Follow me that i'll following you! Kisses from Rome Federica

  5. I just adore twinkle lights -- and I love this year-round idea!!! So simple and yet genius and classy!

    Thanks so much for linking up at our holiday mason jar party!

    :) Linda
    It All Started With Paint & Mason Jar Crafts Love

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