DIY Project: Rope-Wrapped Mason Jar Lights

Currently on our radar: DIY rope-wrapped Mason-jar hanging lights spotted last winter and filed away as an ideal DIY project for right now.

The lights are the work of Geneva Vanderzeil, creator of Hong-Kong- and Australia-based crafty lifestyle blog A Pair & A Spare. Her boyfriend, interior designer Ben McCarthy of Charlie & Rose, wrangled Geneva to come up with the nautical design for one of his commissions, Fish & Meat, a Hong Kong seafood canteen with a rustic vibe.

Photography via Charlie & Rose and AP&AS.

Above: The rope acts as a shade creating a diffuse light.

Above: You may already have all of the essentials on hand.


  • Three-strand cotton rope. Knot & Rope Supply sells a wide variety by the foot
  • Mason jars. For sourcing see our Object Lesson on Canning Jars
  • Plug-in light fixtures that take low-watt bulbs, such as Ikea’s Hemma Cord Set, $5 each, or School House Electric’s more finished Utility Pendants, $75 each, with colored cloth cords
  • Light bulbs
  • Super glue that dries clear
  • A wooden skewer for applying glue



Above: Apply glue to the top of the jar with a skewer and begin wrapping.

Above: Clip the rope a little more than midway down the jar. See A Pair & A Spare for how to finish off the end.

Above: Geneva’s wrapped jars.

Above: Unscrew the jar lid, remove insert, and slide light fixture through. “Hopefully the light fixture will fit properly inside the lid,” writes Geneva. “If it doesn’t, you may have to glue it in to keep it secure. We used 25-Watt bulbs for this project, so they don’t heat up too much. I would perhaps also suggest drilling holes into the lid if you want to use a brighter bulb so the heat can escape.”

Above: Ready for hanging.

The Finished Project 

Above: Twenty rope-wrapped lights hang over the tables at Fish & Meat. Geneva said she made the whole collection in a matter of hours. Get the step-by-step details at A Pair & A Spare.

For two more summery DIY lights, see The Flower Pot Pendant and Justine’s Razor Clam Hanging Light.

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