Monday, 19 September 2011

Re-Loved Jars - Hanging Tealight Holder Tutorial

A while ago I bought some beautiful glass 'Victorian' lampshades (50 pence each, read here), so typically meant for candles just missing their stands. Moving into my new house our garden desperately needs some accessories to brighten it up. (Still needs some serious paint on the ugly walls but the landlord needs to okay it first!) Inspired of course by other crafty garden upcyclers ideas.

So I grabbed the old lamps, a pair of pliers, a pair of wire cutters and some garden wire (that wont rust!).

Now read carefully; following these instructions is MUCH easier if you do it as you go.

1. Wrap the garden wire 2 times around jar. Some wire will be lost in the tidying up so this makes sure you use enough!

2. Cut the wrapped wire with wire cutters to size from the bulk and unravel it from the jar.

3. With the pliers, twist one end of the wire to a small loop around them that the wire will eventually fit through. Then remove from pliers.

4. Hold the loop next to but pointing away from the jar (so the wire goes across it in a straight line.

5. Tightly wrap the wire around the jar, half way (opposite the loop) twist the wire once to form another 'pointing away' loop in the structure and continue around to the first. 

Second (inner structure) loop: 
Wire through the loop(9)

6. Wrap the wire around the outside of the first loop (NOT through) to secure the end. Trim off excess wire with wire cutters.

First loop with wire end wrapped and trimmed: 
Wire wrapped in the loop (9)

7. Double check the loops are evenly spaced, adjust the second by simply untwisting it, and twisting it again further in the right direction.

8. Finally using however much wire you wish (less means a higher hang, more; a lower hang) cut to size using the wire cutters, using your eyes to judge.

9. Push one end of the wire about 2cm through one loop, twist it up and together to secure, repeat this on the other side with the other end of wire.

Reading and understanding this without doing it at the same time will be confusing but I digress. Its so simple once you have done one and the real garden wire (unlike shop bought tea light holders doesn't rust, BONUS!). Now to make many more:

Important note: - 
Put some sand or soil in the bottom followed by the lit tea light to stop them getting too hot and breaking, then hang them up!

These can be made out of ANY jar or glass that has a rim bigger than the part below it including mason jars, jugs, beer glasses etc etc, just adjust the wire amount. 

Hang them on trees with ribbon, in sturdy bushes, on walls and fences, on bench ends, even big sticks stuck in the flower beds. This list, like the glass/jar list is pretty much endless and the outcome is completely up to your own imagination.


  1. What a find those lampshades were and such a bargain. Lovely idea to use with tealights. Such gorgeous colours would look lovely displayed in front of a window.

  2. I love candles and particularly like to use them in the garden. Your lampshades are great and I bet the colour looks good in your garden.

  3. They're lovely tealight holders and I'm sure they'll look amazing in the garden.

  4. wow!!! it is my fafourite subject! homemade things!!! love it!!!

  5. They look great! I'm halfway there as I have the wire - now going to look for some jars.

  6. They look great, I love coloured lights in the garden, well done.

    Jan x

  7. What a great idea! Love this and thanks for the inspiration!


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