New bathroom lights, courtesy of Wegmans Applesauce.

Long ago, I confessed my habit of recycling bin hunts. Unfortunately for Rick, this was after we were married, so too late for him to say "thanks but no thanks" to the crazy lady who runs around at dusk with a plastic bag, triumphantly pulling fancy vodka bottles out of her neighbors' recycling bins. Fortunately for Rick, I kicked this habit when we bought a house and I had to make myself at least seem presentable to our new neighbors, since frantically digging through their trash isn't exactly the way to say "Hey! Come borrow a cup of sugar from me!" or "Sure, we'll cat-sit while you cruise around Jamaica!". (Please note that this didn't stop me from doing a U-turn and plucking three royal blue bottles out of an unsuspecting stranger's recycling bin on my way to work two weeks ago.)

But when we were in need of new lights for our half bath, I laid eyes on two old applesauce jars from my digging days of yore and a lightbulb went off (no incredibly lame pun intended): why not use them as the glass globes for the lights? And use them as the globes we did.

As you can see from the picture above, we used as much of the original fixtures as we could. Rick pried off the weird droopy leaf thing, we ditched the seen-better-days shades, and gave the rest a fresh coat of white spray paint. The only thing we bought for this whole project were new round 40 watt bulbs to replace the original flame-shaped ones, making our grand total for two brand new lights a whopping $4 and change.

It was Rick's idea to attach the jars using their lids. I'm pretty sure I never would have thought of this, which is why we are completely a hers AND his team. Without the "his" side, I would have probably ended up hot-gluing them or something, then wondered why it fell on my head as I was flushing, and then super gluing them, and then trying to figure out how to un-glue them when the bulb blew and I had to change it, which would be made even more difficult by the fact that I had suffered a head injury shortly before.

Like I said. We're a team.

Before I spray painted, Rick used some fancy drill bit to cut through the jar lids then glued them on with an industrial strength adhesive that warned about death and toxins on the label. I made him use that particular brand of scariness outside.

After deadly gluing but before spray painting.

Unless you are 8 feet tall, you can't see the not-so-pretty drill holes and seeping-out deadly glue once the fixtures are hanging on the wall. In fact, if you are 8 feet tall, you can't easily make it into our bathroom in the first place, so all in all, it works out swimmingly.

We were a little concerned about the glass overheating, so we didn't tighten the jars on all the way, and then left the lights on for 30 minutes as a test for how hot they'd get. They did get slightly warm, but 30 minutes is way longer than we'll ever need to leave those lights on, especially once we get the new ceiling light fixture installed. (I could make a potty joke about why anyone would need to be in there for 30 minutes, but I'll refrain.) If we get to the point where we do need to leave them on longer, we might try reducing our bulb wattage from 40 and our diet of pork and beans from twice a day to once. (Wait! I thought I wasn't going to make one of those bad jokes! Clearly it's time to wrap up this post.)

Okay, okay. I have to go make Rick's birthday cupcakes, anyway.

P.S. A huge thank you to everyone who left such sweet notes about our half bath updates! Your comments always make me smile. :)

Update: We've gotten a few questions about the bulbs being able to air out. We've had these installed for over a month now and have probably had them on for a grand total of 5 minutes: the room gets a ton of natural light and since it's only the downstairs half bath, we really only use it during the day. So, for our purposes, overheating is a non-issue, since the sconces are {mainly} just a decorative touch. If you need your lights to be used more than 5 minutes/month, though, you'd definitely need to figure out a better way to let the bulbs breathe! :)

Funky Junk Interiors

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  1. First timer here and I love your blog! :)

  2. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant!
    This is one of the most innovative ideas I've seen in a long time. PLUS, your bathroom is fabulous! I love the mirror, the stripes, the vanity. Great job :)

  3. That is genius. You are truly the dynamic duo. Your bathroom looks fabulous!!

  4. You are too funny...and clever. Never would have thought of this!!
    But seriously, I die laughing at all of your posts...

  5. Love the lights! I may start snooping through my neighbor's trash now...

  6. I'm pretty much in love with this!!! What a fabulous idea. You did a great, great job. Thanks for joining Weekend Bloggy Reading! :)

  7. Wow. I'm inspired! I don't have the ability to think outside the box like that. They turned out absolutely beautiful!

  8. how fun! super job!
    catching you this week,

  9. Those have such a farm house feel to them... I loved 'em.

    I have some sconces for candles-- now I'm trying to think of a way to do something like this or use a lamp kit to make mine electric... my wheels are turning..
    Came over from Gails CaCc...
    enjoyed it!

  10. What a great blog! I love that you guys are a hubby/wifey team! I've been saving some of those giant pickle jars for a while..they'd be perfect for this project! I'd love for you to share this on our site that is set to launch in just a few weeks! Just link to the share page via the URL linked to my name.
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Hi! I looooove this. Now following. :)

  12. These are fabulous and so is the whole bathroom!

  13. ummm have i mentioned how much i love you (and you're blog too i guess). this is a fantastic light makeover. you're the coolest. :)

  14. LOVE your jar sconce covers and the way you write. Both are too cool. Now I have to go look at all my bathroom lights with a new eye. Thanks for the great tips!

  15. This is my first visit to your blog--I love your writing, and those applesauce jar sconce covers are beyond brilliant!

  16. Anonymous7/14/2012

    I like your applesauce sconces. But I liked the old ones just as well.

  17. Those lights turned out great. The whole room looks amazing! Nice job :)

  18. Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Sonneman Lights offers the very best in bathroom lights, pend, ceiling lights, floor lights, modern lighting, wall lights and pendant lights.

  19. Anonymous6/01/2013

    Is there a way to cut holes in bottom to use with candles? I have antique candle chandelier that uses candles & this would be perfect.

    Dianna Russell


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