How to Upcycle a Glass Jar | Easy Lamp Project

Have you wondered how to upcycle a glass jar that you found while you were out thrifting? Let me give you an easy idea that is functional for your home!

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pinterest graphic showing before and after of thrifted glass jar upcycle

our vendor locations

You might not know this but we are vendors in two locations in our little state of Delaware. One shop is in Greenwood, Delaware (Wilderlove Handmade and Vintage) and the other is in Milton, Delaware (The Mercantile at Milton.)

Obviously, I frequent both of these stores as I bring inventory in and out of our spots.

And, yes, I shop at both of these stores! In fact, when I take my monthly vendor turn at The Mercantile, I like to shop while I am helping customers!

Just kidding….sorta. 🙂

It all comes with the job! Woohoo for shopping and working at the same time!

thrifted glass jar

It was my turn at the Mercantile and that’s when I came across this gorgeous green glass jar.

vintage glass jar filled with wine corks

It was filled to the brim with wine corks.

But that isn’t what interested me.

It was the glass. I kinda have a thing for glassware. Especially antique, vintage or just plain old glass.

The thick glass especially has such beauty to it.

thrifted green glass jar sitting on kitchen counter

what can I do with a glass jar?

And this glass jar did not disappoint.

But what could I do with it?? I couldn’t justify the purchase without coming up with an idea of how to upcycle this glass jar. I really only try to purchase items when I have a use for them.

And this glass jar had no use unless I could find a way to upcycle it.

close up of glass jar ready for blog post titled upcycle a glass jar

how to upcycle glass jars

Another green glass jar had a lamp fixture sitting on top of it at The Mercantile. The hardware of the lamp was attached to a wood disc and wasn’t really secured very well.

But that got me thinking. Could we improve on this idea?

Of course, we could! So I bought the glass jar filled with wine corks and left the other glass jar. Honestly, I might go back and get the other glass jar and fix the hardware on it!

close up of cleaned green glass jar ready for upcycling

glass jar upcycle ideas

As soon as I got home that day from taking my monthly vendor turn at The Mercantile, I started telling my hubby about the other lamp and my idea for this upcycled project.

That night, he headed out to his workshop and about two hours later came back with the finished upcycled glass jar lamp!

There are no in-process photos because he got to work on the project with such focus that he didn’t think to snap any pictures.

Honestly, I didn’t seriously think about sharing this project until I saw the finished lamp and then I knew I had to show you!

upcycled glass jar into a side table lamp sitting on top of vintage washstand with faux plants

supplies to upcycle glass jar into a lamp

Here is a quick list of the supplies we used for this upcycle project:

  • hot soapy water
  • diamond-tipped drill bit ( also called Carbide Tip) large enough for the cord
  • power drill
  • spray bottle of water
  • a small chunk of wood (you could use a purchased wood disc)
  • leftover lamp parts including shade and harp
  • basic electrical knowledge
  • safety glasses & gloves

He drilled a hole in the glass jar near the bottom with the diamond-tipped specialty bit very slowly while keeping the area damp with the spray bottle.

I cannot stress enough to TAKE YOUR TIME!! This step is slow and steady and in the end, will be worth it. The glass can obviously break so wear safety glasses and gloves.

close up of hole drilled for cord in upcycle a glass jar diy lamp project blog post

**Hubby has drilled glass many times before so he is experienced with this process. Please take all the logical precautions when doing this type of project!!

glass jar upcycled into lamp with light bulb turned on and faux greenery

steps to upcycle glass jar into a lamp

He hand-turned a chunk of wood on his wood-turning lathe into a disc that would fit on top of the glass jar for the base. He even turned the piece that would fit into the neck of the jar to create a snug fit.

Then he drilled a hole in the center of the disc that would accommodate the neck of the lamp socket. Look closely at the neck of the jar and you will see what I mean.

close up of wood base for lamp hardware for upcycle a glass jar lamp project blog post

Seriously, I had pictured this would be easier to write! Explaining the steps is harder than it seems. We will do another similar project soon and include pictures and maybe even a video!

Next, he cut the plug-in part of the cord off so that he could insert the cord through the hole. And then he threaded the cord through the hole in the wood disc, then out through the hole cut in the glass.

Lastly, he reattached the plug to the cord. Remember, he completely understands how electrical things work so there is no danger of an electrical problem occurring!

Once he was finished, he took it all apart and I thoroughly washed it with hot soapy water. Drilling glass leaves a powdery residue. Hot soapy waters remove it easily!

close up of underside of wood base for upcycle a glass jar blog post tutorial

Didn’t it turn out so pretty?? The lamp that I used the electrical parts from, including the shade, came from one of our lamps that I thought looked tired.

Let me know your thoughts about this upcycled glass jar project!

glass jar upcycle lamp project finished and sitting on top of washstand with faux plants and vintage books
side view of upcycled glass jar lamp diy project with greenery

thanks for stopping by!

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Until next time…

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  1. I love this and have thought about doing this over the years. My husband is my handyman and never felt comfortable going through glass.

  2. I love the lamp and the vignette. I’m going to redo my reading corner today using Amy’s ceramics and a few of our many books. For my granddaughter, I’ll be looking for a unique large jar for her cork collection

  3. I’m kicking myself because I came across a big glass jar like this set out on the side walk and I left it! Your lamp turned out so pretty! It looks like something Pottery Barn or any tasteful home boutique would carry.

  4. Oh Cindy – this is amazing. I absolutely love the turn out!!!!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Emily! And it was so cheap!!

  5. Your husband is SOOOOO talented! I bet he’s handsome too.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Isn’t he talented?? And handsome too!! 🙂

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks, Stacy!!

  6. Calypso in the Country says:

    It’s gorgeous! What a great project!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Shelley! It was such an easy project too!

  7. Cindy this is gorgeous. I agree with the other comment about looking like it came from Pottery Barn. Great job. I love glass too. Matter of fact, I stopped at Goodwill on the way home from the beach and came home with lots of it…not that pretty tho!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Isn’t glass so pretty? I’m sure yours is lovely! Thanks for stopping by Regina!

  8. Love this idea!! Very farmhouse worthy! We display our green glass in our antique corner china cupboard with my hubby’s occupied Japan pieces. It’s hard to find, but do much fun coming across a piece or two!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      I’ll have to check out your corner china cabinet! Hope you have a lock on it! 😉

  9. I love this! I always have the hardest time selecting replacement shades. This one is perfect! It turned out beautifully.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      The shade was a leftover but I’m thrilled it fit so well! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you had fun with those littles!!

  10. Looks lovely Cindy! The shade is perfect. 👍

  11. I’ve done this but it was quite unsuccessful as the lamps didn’t stay straight. After reading your post, I know why. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  12. I love this project. It turned out so beautiful!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’m pretty excited this project gets to stay in our home!

  13. I love this idea! The lamp you created is gorgeous!! Sharing on my FB page this morning!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Omgoodness, Paula thank you so so much for sharing it!!

  14. It’s gorgeous Cindy! I wish I was confident to drill through glass to make a lamp like yours – I’d be sure to break it though! Of course, that’s assuming I could find such a beautiful glass bottle to start with 😉 Pinned!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      I totally get it about drilling through the glass! If you try it, be sure to use the drill bit I mention in the post. Also, use a spray bottle of water to reduce friction and go slow! You could practice on cheap thrifted glass before trying it on a beautiful jar! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. This is truly outstanding, Cindy! And I have a guy who is experienced in glass drilling, too…and now I will be looking for some. Pinned!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yay Kim for having a glass-drilling experienced guy around! They come in handy, don’t they?? Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Oh this turned out beautiful!!!! And the shade you chose suits it perfectly. I think it is so nice to completely re-think an object and make it something else. LOVE IT!!!!!

  17. What a great idea! This turned out so pretty. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for the perfect large glass jar now.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yes for all the green glass jars!! Let me know if you do this lamp project – I would love to see it!

  18. Thank you so much for linking this up on Farmhouse Friday! We are going to feature it tomorrow and I’ve pinned it so I can make one too! Loved it.

  19. Susan Skidmore says:

    Love it! I will be on the lookout for a jar.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yes! I hope you find one! Tag me on Instagram – I would love to see your project!

  20. Your upcycled glass jar lamp is gorgeous, including the pretty shade you paired with it! Now I’m on the hunt for two large glass jars to do this for our living room. Thanks for the inspiration and I’ll refer back to your post when we go to do it.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Marie! I can’t wait to see what you find and how your project turns out!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Kristin! It was a fun project!

  21. That jar is gorgeous! What a find!!! And it looks even more beautiful as a lamp!!! You are so brave for drilling into the glass, but it turned out so stunning!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Fortunately, hubby is braver than I am – he does all the drilling 🙂

  22. Wow! The lamp looks amazing! Isn’t it wonderful to be married to a handyman! I am fortunate to have a handy husband, as well! You all make a great team! Hugs, Donna

    1. We are definitely a team of two here! My hubby can figure out how to do just about anything! Thanks for stopping by Donna!

  23. Wow, Cindy. It turned out so beautifully! What an amazing idea. I’m going to feature your lamp and share it with my readers in my weekly recap post tomorrow. I know they will love it!

    I hope you have a happy 4th!

    1. Thanks so much for featuring this post over on your blog Jen! I appreciate it and I’m so glad you enjoyed the project!