DIY: Arc Reactor Mason Jar Light

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I’ve recently become obsessed with mason jar crafts. They can made into vases, snow globes, gift holders, and in this case, a pendant light! So while I was sitting on my couch one day, I looked up and saw an Iron Man comic that we have framed on our shelf. I was inspired. Could I make a mason jar light to pay homage to the gold and crimson crusader? I wasn’t sure but I was determined to find out. The process took a little longer than I expected but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Here’s how I made my Iron Man Arc Reactor Mason Jar Light!

 

WHAT YOU’ll NEED:

  • Mason Jar (smooth with no logo embossing)
  • Shipping Label (8-1/2″x11″)
  • Spray Paint (in red)
  • Arc Reactor Image
  • Acrylic Marker (silver)
  • Mini Pendant Light Kit
  • Light Bulb
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Exacto Knife or Small Scissors
  • Large Nail
  • Hammer
  • Permanent Marker
  • Utility Scissors

 

When choosing your mason jar, you’ll need to find one that is completely smooth. I chose this Ball Art Smooth Jar. It’s perfect for projects like this and I got a box of 10 for a reasonable price! Before you get crafting, make sure your mason jar is clean and dry.

Mason Jar Plain

 

Next, you’ll need an Iron Man Arc Reactor stencil. After scouring the interwebs and a little photoshop magic, I used this arc reactor stencil. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD IMAGE.

Arc Reactor Small

Scale the image to the size you like then print it out on an 8-1/2”x11” shipping label.  I scaled my full size image down to 30%.

Stickers

 

Using an exacto knife or small scissors, cut out your stencil by cutting around the black portions of the design.

Cutting Sticker Cutting Sticker 2 Sticker Stencil

 

Remove the stickers from the paper backing and place them onto the mason jar.  (I printed out another stencil on plain paper and taped it to the jar for reference.) I started with the large outer ring first, then the inner ring, then the reactor core, and then added the reactor ring pieces last.

Placing Stencil 1

 

TIP: Don’t press the stickers all the way down until you get the design exactly how you want it. This will allow you to move the pieces around easily.

 

Once the design is to your liking, firmly press each sticker down. Now you’re ready to start spray painting!

Completed Stencil

 

I wasn’t sure what spray would work best on glass. Thankfully, the employee at my local hardware store was very helpful. I ended up chosing Rust-oleum’s Gloss Protective Enamel in Regal Red.

Spray Paint

 

Spray paint several thin coats onto the mason jar.

Spray Painted Jar 1

 

Spray Painted Jar 2

 

If you want a more opaque color, I recommend spray painting inside the jar as well. This will allow less light to show through the red color later on.

Inside Jar

 

If you decide to spray paint the inside of the jar, cover the outside of the jar. I simply wrapped a piece of paper around the jar and secured it with painter’s tape. Also remember to tape the backside of the arc reactor on the inside of the glass.

Tape Inside Jar

 

Once all your coats have been applied, let the mason jar dry for 24 hours. After the mason jar has dried, carefully peel off the stickers. You may need tweezers to assist in the process. Clean up the remaining sticker residue with a toothpick and some Goo Be Gone.

Sticker Residue

 

It was at this point in the process that I was at a crossroads—should I leave the design red or make the arc reactor stand out with a different color? Since I didn’t have J.A.R.V.I.S to assist me in my decision, I chose to paint the arc reactor silver. I used an acrylic marker I got at an art supply store and filled in all the red areas of the design.

Acrylic Pen Using Acrylic Pen

 

To create the actual pendant light itself, I used this detailed tutorial as my guide. It ended up being much easier than I expected! I bought my pendant light kit from Amazon.

Pendant Light

 

Place the light socket onto the mason jar lid and trace around it.

Tracing on Lid Traced Lid

 

Secure the lid back onto the jar. Then use a nail and hammer to puncture small holes along the traced circle.

Punctured Lid

Use utility scissors to cut through the areas that are not punched and cut out the entire circle.

Cut Lid

 

TIP: Be sure to punch a couple extra venting holes around the center of the lid. This will prevent the jar from overheating when the light is on.

 

Push the bottom half of the socket through the mason jar lid. Then slip the mason jar ring through the cord so it rests above the lid.

Lid through Pendant Kit Pendant Light Complete

 

Choose a low wattage light bulb (around 60 watts) and be sure it fits inside your mason jar! If you have a mason jar with a larger mouth, a regular size bulb should fit. However my mason jar had a regular sized mouth which required using a smaller light bulb.

Light Bulbs

 

Screw in the lightbulb, twist on the lid, plug it in and watch your arc reactor glow!

Arc Reactor Light

I think Tony Star would approve. :)