Have some fun this summer with these fabulous and creative Mason Jar Ideas perfect for decor, entertaining, gifts, and more! Get more out of your summer living. #MasonJars #Summer
Mason Jar Ideas
Great for Summer Living
Summer is a great time for having fun with friends and family. If you are looking for some special ideas that a creative and easy, this roundup DIY Mason Jar Ideas fits the bill. I know you are going to love these fabulous ideas from these very talented bloggers. Enjoy!
Make your summer nights beautiful by creating your own outdoor ambiance with this Solar Lamp DIY project.
Solar Lamp DIY
Add Some Style to Your Outdoor Living
I have been wanting to make a solar lamp for our backyard patio area for a long time. So, I kept an eye out for the perfect base to accomplish my goal. Luke and I stumbled upon a tall candlestick with a concrete base that we thought would work perfectly.
Gather What You Need:
Since this lamp is tall and will be outside (where you may get a breeze), we needed a heavy base to support the lamp. We found our base on clearance at one of our favorite craft and hobby stores. You could also find a heavy candlestick or lamp base at a thrift store or garage sale.
We picked up a hanging plant basket, a solar yard lamp, and a long screw with a washer to complete our project needs list. Choose a yard lamp and planter basket that fit the proportions of your base stand. We already had a can of black spray paint, some fine-to-medium sandpaper, and a couple pieces of scrap wood. You will also need zip ties, a pair of vice grips, saw, miter box, and a drill.
The first step in our project was to assess our components and come up with a plan that would work the best to provide stability and durability. Make sure you measure everything, so you can be sure to have the proper length screw(s), etc. for your project. Having a solid plan helps the work go together faster.
Get Started with the Fitting Process:
We removed the glass candle holder (I used that for something else later). As you can see in the first photo, our glass candleholder sat down inside a metal dish attached to our stand. A second metal piece inside the glass allowed for a screw to hold the glass to the stand. This second piece turned over and fit perfectly over the first piece. We made a wood block to fill the space to give strength and stability to support our yard lamp and planter basket. We marked it with an “X” to find the center for drilling a hole for the screw.
Take the stem off your solar yard lamp. Measure the stub on the lamp that the stem fits over. Then, decide how tall you want your lamp to be with the planter basket shade on it. Once you have the proper height, measure and cut the stem. We used a saw and miter box.
Now, you want to find a scrap of wood that you can cut (and file if needed) to fit snugly inside the stem. This will add strength to your stem to support the weight of the lamp head and planter basket. You want to cut this wood to a length where your screw will go from the top of the wood and screw into the base of your lamp. This screw is what holds the lamp together. Make sure there is plenty of room for the screw head and lamp stub to fit easily into the stem. Drill a hole all the way through the scrap wood (length-wise). Then, shove the wood scrap inside the stem, it should be tight.
Getting the Lampshade Ready:
A wire hanging planter basket makes a great lampshade for your solar lamp (use the coconut liner for another garden basket). The one problem with the basket is the bottom wire supports. They will cut across the solar panel of the lamp. Those wires need to be removed. A pair of vice grips makes this an easy job. Just a little wiggle and jiggle, and you’re done. Watch this quick video:
How simple is that?
It is always important to test fit any project. Get the bugs out, and make any tweaks and adjustments that are needed, before you put on the final paint and polish.
Start by making sure your base is ready to add the solar lamp. For us, that meant having the wood block in place inside the metal dish. Then, take the screw, with the washer, and place it through the solar lamp stem. Tighten the screw, attaching it to the base. Notice the wood does not fill the entire stem, so there is room for the screw head and the lamp stub. Place the solar lamp stub into the stem.
Set planter basket upside down on top of the solar lamp, to create a lampshade. Decide where you will need to drill the lamp cap to place zip ties for attaching the lampshade.
Attach the Lampshade:
Since we did not paint the planter basket, we attached the lamp shade to the solar lamp cap. We had a square cap, so we drilled holes on either side of each corner edge, and threaded the zip ties through. We used white for the pictures for you, so they would be easier to see.
Time for Paint:
Rough-up the base and all pieces that need painting with some fine-to-medium sandpaper, so the paint will stick well. Spray in short, even bursts at a distance of about 12 inches. Make sure everything dries thoroughly before assembling the lamp.
You can see that we changed out the white zip ties for black ones for our finished product.
It’s been said that living your life with an attitude of gratitude can work like magic in your life. I truly believe this and therefore, make a point to practice gratitude every day. Not only do I say the “magic words” every time I get a chance, but I often sit and reflect on those things for which I am most grateful.
A lot has changed in my life this past year. Last Thanksgiving we were living in Kentucky, dreaming about one day moving to California, the state in which my husband was born and spent many youthful years. I was working my dream job. My parents and brother were five minutes away, my eldest daughter was an hour away, and my sister only 6 hours. I was close to a large group of friends, extended family, and attended a church that treated me like their own child. I knew my town like the back of my hand, and had my own little farm. I was home, and I was grateful.
Today, as I sit writing this, I am two thousand miles from that place. We finally made it to California. I have a new house in the city and a new job that takes me 45 minutes to get to. My kids have been uprooted, with new schools, dance studios, and friends. I haven’t seen my folks or brother since June, or my daughter and sister since July. But, you know what? There is a cost to living your dreams, and I am grateful.
Even though I am sad that I have left my home of so many years, I am so happy that my life finally feels right. It finally feels like I am on the path that God has laid out for me. My son, who is special needs, is finally seeing the right doctors and is finally in the proper class at school. My daughter is at a dance studio that is going to take her to the next level. My husband is happy at work. And, while I don’t love my 9 to 5 (or 7 to 5:30) job, it’s not the worst in the world and I do have time to write for my blog. We are also in very close proximity to both the beach and the mountains. And, for all of this, I am so very grateful.
I made the choice years ago to always be thankful no matter where I am at in my life. Because of this decision, I lead a very happy life. I try to erase all negative thoughts. When I am at work and everyone is complaining about being tired and sore, I say (at least to myself), “I have energy and I feel great!” This positive attitude enables me to leave the house at 5:30am, get back home at 6:45pm, and still have love and attention to give to my family.
Another thing I enjoy doing that seems to make a difference, is keeping a gratitude journal. You can do this, too! You can do it on something fancy, like a nice leather-bound journal, or something as simple as a spiral notebook.
Here’s an easy how-to:
Pick a time of day to write your list and stick to it. I find it easiest to do this first thing in the morning with coffee or last thing at night as I lay in bed.
Use this formula: I am so very grateful for________________ because_________________.
Do this 10 times.
After you have written out 10 things for which you are grateful, read them out loud, and then say, “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you”.
Try doing this for a week and evaluate how your attitude has changed. I’ll admit that I do go through phases where I don’t write in my journal every night, and I can really tell a difference in my outlook on life. However, when I start my journal back up, I feel so much lighter after a few days.
Lastly, I’d like to say that I am so grateful for Lorelai for letting me contribute to her blog. And, I am so very grateful for each of you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!