Ball Jar DIY Outdoor Chandelier

An easy DIY outdoor hanging chandelier made from a vintage canning basket and blue ball jars adds instant cottage appeal to a summer porch!

I have always wanted to make an outdoor chandelier using Ball mason jars and a canning basket insert! I think I first pinned the idea a decade ago!

There is something just so charming about elevating these simple items that were a staple in our moms and grandma's kitchens decades ago, and repurposing them in a new way.

A glass jar outdoor chandelier is actually very easy to do, although it took some figuring and experimenting to get the best results. I'm sharing all my tips with you today so you can avoid the mistakes I made and be that much closer to hanging your own Ball jar chandy on your porch!

What is a canning basket insert?

My mom grew a big and beautiful garden each summer, and faithfully canned her home grown veggies and fruit. She had a huge enamel pot that she used. The canning basket fits inside the pot and keeps the glass jars separate, while boiling, to prevent them from touching each other and breaking. I inherited these pieces when she passed, and have used them to can my own produce as well, although not in a few years.

But I hung on to these pieces because a canning basket chandelier has always been a dream of mine. Sounds silly, but it's just so charming and a really fun way to honor my mom and her canning abilities when I was growing up!

How to put together a Ball jar outdoor chandelier

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You'll need just a few supplies to make a similar canning basket chandelier. You don't need to use vintage supplies, unless you have easy access to them. I'm using both the vintage canning basket insert from my mom, as well as vintage blue Ball jars that I've had for years, along with some newer blue Ball jars that I picked up from Ace hardware a few years ago. I've seen green mason jars and purple canning jars or you could even use glasses or jam jars from your kitchen!


  • canning basket insert (shop vintage HERE and new HERE)
  • mason jars (find vintage blue jars HERE and newer blue jars HERE)*
  • strong cording like jute twine
  • table salt or sand (I wouldn't recommend sugar as this could attract bugs!)
  • candles (I recommend  these battery operated short tapers with remote)

Tips for success

Placement of jars

You can see that I used a variety of quart and pint size jars in my canning basket. I have 7 open spaces for jars, but it was too tight to use all quart jars. You may need to play around with placement too. The key is to have balance, otherwise your DIY chandelier will not hang straight.

I initially tried to hang the canning basket from the handles, holding them as you when when inserting the basket into a pot. However, that didn't give me enough stability and the basket kept tilting erratically. I certainly didn't want any of my vintage mason jars falling out and breaking! Mr DIY helped me figure out what to do and here's what we came up with.

Hanging stability

We first laid the canning handles down into the basket. Then I tied three strands of jute cording, equal distance apart. We looped the jute together at the top, twisted it around itself numerous times, and tied it off. Looking at it here, I really should have doubled each jute cord just for extra stability, so I'll go back and do that.

The loop we created at the top allows us to hang the canning basket as shown below.

The triple strand configuration keeps the basket level so the jars aren't at risk of falling out.

Filling jars

I knew I wanted to add candles to the jars, which provides the lighting portion of this DIY chandelier. I poured about 2 inches of table salt into each jar to give the candles some stability. Salt was the cheapest option for me. If you live near a beach, sand would be a great choice!

At first, I used battery operated tealights, as you can see below. Let me tell you what was wrong with this idea. First, it was difficult getting the tealights down into the mouth of the jars and sitting in the salt, and I had to use kitchen tongs. If you're using wide mouth jars, this won't be a problem but my jars have smaller openings. The second problem relates to the first. The tealights have to be manually turned on by flicking a switch. The tight fit of the jar lids makes this extremely difficult to do. While they looked cute, I knew there had to be a better solution.

Remote candles

I found the solution in a kitchen drawer! A couple Christmases ago I purchased this set of 10 short battery operated remote control taper candles for my window wreaths. The short stature of the candles fit the jars perfectly, but the remote and timer is genius and really came in handy for this project!

If you've never used these types of candles, I couldn't recommend them enough. Each candle takes a AA battery, and they operate on a remote control. I can literally point the remote at the window to the porch to turn the candlelight on or off. There is also a flickering setting, which is my favorite! And the timer means I can set them at dusk and they'll stay on for 8 hours, go off automatically and come on again at the same time the next evening! You can also adjust the brightness, which is always nice for creating ambience.

The candles were easy to add to the jars and the salt keeps them upright.

Hanging the chandelier

We used a shepherd's hook that I have for hanging baskets and bird feeders but you could use any sturdy hook. Just be sure you allow clearance for the jars. These hanging plant brackets would also look great! Mr DIY installed it closer to the porch so that we can enjoy the lit chandelier in the evenings. It really adds such a nice feel to our back porch, and that blue glass is amazing even before dusk, when the sun is shining through!

This is now my favorite spot to sit and relax at the end of the day.

We cleaned off the porch, moved our furniture around, added flowers and some patriotic decor, plus the cutest chippy spindle dog bed we just made for Millie! I'll be sharing all the details with you really soon.

Hot tip: Replace the candles in the mason jars with fresh flowers for a garden party!

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Here are some other fun summer ideas:

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. I love this idea! Anything with aqua mason jars catches my eye.This would look great indoors as well..

  2. Hi, Cindy! Another great idea from you to us! I'm a canner and have all the items needed to copycat your chandelier! Thought I was creative but you are the best! Thanks for publishing and I hope your move goes well! Sandra

    1. Sandra, thanks for the sweet comment and encouragement! Happy chandy making lol! No plans to move yet, still job hunting!

  3. Ohhhh wow, I need one of these on my outdoor patio! I'd bet the evening glow is AMAZING.

    1. Thanks Donna, if only it wasn't too darn hot to be outside!


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