Try upcycling disused glass jars with this guide to creating a trendy tea light holder, taken from Crafting with Mason Jars and Other Glass Containers. Words: Hester van Overbeek. Photographs: James Gardiner

Candlelight brings instant atmosphere to a gathering and just a few tea lights dotted around in glass jars can really create a cozy feel without too much effort. I love these jar candle holders on their long sticks – they are super easy to move around the garden, you can line your path with them for a special welcome, or arrange them around outdoor seating. I used ten of these lights to decorate a friend’s beach party, dotted all over the sand, marking out our party area and creating a feel-good mood.


  • Ball Mason preserving jar, or similar
  • binding twine
  • long bamboo stick
  • scissors
  • glue (optional)
  • fresh flowers, for decoration (optional)
  • handful of small gravel
  • tea light
  • long matches


1. Remove the lid from the jar.

2. Wrap a long piece of twine around the top of the bamboo stick, about 2in (5cm) from the top and with the ends of the twine even. Secure the twine tightly around the bamboo with a firm knot.

3. Place the neck of the jar on the top of the knot, wrap the twine around the jar, cross in the middle, and double knot the twine at the back of the jar.

4. Wrap the twine tightly around the jar again, this time bringing it to the back around the bamboo pole. Secure with a double knot. Repeat the wrapping and knotting until the jar feels securely attached to the bamboo.

5. Cut off the leftover twine. Screw the outer metal ring of the lid on to the jar.

6. To attach the bottom of the jar, wrap a long piece of twine around the bamboo and tie with a double knot. Wrap the twine around the lower part of the jar and double knot at the back. Repeat this twice and cut off any leftover twine. If the bamboo pole or jar is a bit slippery and the twine doesn’t grip, apply a small dot of glue between the twine and the jar.

7. To use, push the bamboo stick firmly into the ground or the sand. Tuck fresh flowers into the small gap between the jar and the bamboo if you wish. Add a handful of gravel to the jar, pop a tea light on top, and light with a long match.

I used a Ball Mason preserving jar, which has a two-part metal lid—a flat metal circle and a screw-top ring to hold the lid in place. However, you could easily use any jar of a suitable size.

Like craft projects? Try a making a cast seashell candle, seaside monoprints or a knitted journal cover. Alternatively, pick up a copy of the magazine.

Crafting with Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek, published by CICO Books (£12.99). Photography by James Gardiner.