Mason Jar Christmas Tree! The DIY you’ve waited a year for.


Around this time last year I posted a Christmas House Tour of my home that featured a DIY I came up with using a few supplies from the Dollar Store and … the ever popular mason jar.  I have a thing for mason jars.  And by “thing” I mean an unhealthy love affair normally reserved for stuff that lives and breathes.  Or at the very least is covered in pizza sauce.

These little tree filled mason jars seem to have struck a chord with The Art of Doing Stuff readers.





I didn’t think much about posting them until the comments started coming in asking how I made them.  Then the emails.  The screaming. The knocking on my door. WHEN was I doing a post on those mason jar trees.  In December I said.

This is the first post of December.  Drop the balloons from the ceiling, set off the confetti guns, THIS is the Mason Jar Christmas Tree post!



Mason jar

Epsom Salts

Small fake Christmas tree

Battery operated string of lights.



1.  Shove your lights into the bottom of the jar. Turn them on first so you can see what they look like.

This part is a bit fiddly because the lights want to pop up every which way instead of staying placed in the very bottom of the jar.  To make it a bit easier you can loop the lights around your hand, secure them with a twist tie or two and drop them in the jar.



2.  Start filling the bottom of the jar with Epsom salts.  Push the lights down with your spoon if they pop up.



3.  Place your tree in the jar and shove it down in the salts a bit.  Add a bit more salt if you need to.  Make sure the wire from the lights runs straight up the back of the tree (not the side or the front).




4.  Admire.



That’s all there is to it.  Salted Christmas Trees.  I kindda feel bad for keeping something so easy a secret for so long.   Only kindda.  Not a lot.  O.K. I don’t feel bad at all.  But it seemed like the right thing to say.


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  1. Barb says:

    Just wanted to add for those people who would prefer the trees to be white……a little water and bleach will remove the green colour ~ easy as that!! Great idea. Karen!

  2. Sharon says:

    I received an email from Lee Valley Tools yesterday featuring your “Mason Jar Christmas tree!!! My immediate reaction was “I know her!!” I was just talking you up with friends of mine (Calvin is a set designer for the Thousand Island Playhouse in Gananoque) over lunch last weekend and gave them the link to your blog! Merry Christmas Karen and to your Mom Betty too!!!

  3. danni says:

    Super cute. Your addiction: mason jars. My addiction: tiny vintage reindeer. See where this is heading?

  4. Karen June says:

    A simple craft, but so cleverly genius! I can’t wait to make one. Thanks for sharing!
    Karen June

  5. did the tree also come from the dollar store? Dollarama or Dollar Tree ?

  6. Robin Siegerman says:

    Good Lord, what are you trying to do, Kill me?! Every time I look at your blog there are other cute/cool things I want to do and then I start hyper-ventillating because I haven’t done the other 20 things I saw that looked fun!

    I think I will just live vicariously through you and let you have the nervous breakdown while I sip a glass of wine and look at the cute/cool things you do!

    Ho, ho! Robin

  7. Susan Bosscawen says:

    I’ve bought short white lights like you used several times from Hobby Lobby’s wedding department for US$4.00. I think they have about 8-10 white or frosted lights and run on two ‘C’ batteries. At Christmas time they have green ones in the holiday department. They won’t last the season if left on continuously so depending on what I used them for or if they’re located where I see them often, I turn them on as needed or leave them on & keep spare batteries handy.

  8. BearBabe says:

    This is just the cutest! I’m thinking of trying them with snowmen. What do you think? Think they’ll look cute? I, along with a few friends, are huge snowmen fanatics…so I’m thinking maybe snowmen? I don’t know. Will give it a try and see later. Thanks Karen for the cute and awesome idea!

  9. crayzmadre says:

    I wrote a tragically humerous story about this on my blog. Sometimes the best layed plans can go horribly awry!

  10. Tracie says:

    Thank you, thank you! These are so pretty. Too bad I don’t have any of those antiquey ones, but the new mason jars will do. My sis will be very happy with me when she gets one. You rock!

  11. Tara says:

    I just finished making my own! Looks great! Thanks for such a wonderful idea. Oh, and, I found battery operated lights at Walmart.

  12. This is absolutely adorable! I love it. The simplicity of it is what is so special about it. Thanks for posting!

  13. Sara says:

    Just made these tonight with my daughters-now I am sitting admiring the glow of them on my coffee table in my darkened living room. This craft is awesome, cheap, easy,and absolutely gorgeous. Thanks Karen!

  14. Louise says:

    You guys over the water….huh. So lucky. Us Brits don’t have such a “thing” about mason jars…they are soooo expensive over here, and nowhere to be found in a pound shop (our dollar store!) so I can’t see me doing a full shelf of them….maybe just one in pride of place however!

  15. Mindy says:

    Well aren’t you just a friggin’ genius?!

  16. Debbie says:

    Oh wow, I love how these look! I’ve pinned for future, thanks!
    Debbie :)

  17. Barbie says:

    Easy Peasy breezy….gonna do it! It’s just the somethin else I needed for that certain place I needed somethin else! Thanks Karen you never disappoint!

  18. carol says:

    I’m pretty sure you single-handedly keep the twinkly lights people in business.

  19. Lin N says:

    Opened a Xmas storage bin the other day and had a package of battery lights in my hand wondering what the H to do with em….Now I know!! Brilliant (pun) idea! Thank you. Think I’ll try ‘whiting’ a tree with fake snow for a monochromatic look or maybe not….Thanks again for finally (lol) sharing.

  20. LisaF says:

    You can now buy battery lights (15 lights) on a timer….on for 6 hours and off for 18.

  21. I made some lsat year but love the idea of doing the lights!

  22. Spokangela says:

    As always, pure awesomeness… :) I have some huge blue jars. I can’t wait to do this project!

  23. GwenDee says:

    I am going to try this today!!

  24. Marti says:

    Hey Karen… I always thought that there was a liquid in with the Epsom salts. I think I thought that because there appears to be an air bubble in the jar in the third photo down. Is that a bubble in the glass, then?

  25. Allison says:

    They have the battery operated mini light strands at Hobby Lobby as well. I need to make some of these with my kiddos. Thanks!

  26. Brenda J. M says:

    Very sweet and AWE inspiring…sort of all magical and fuzzy. Great idea and I’m going to give it a twirl.

  27. Nancy says:

    That’s It?? I have waited a whole year for this and THAT’S IT??? I seriously thought maybe you mixed up some weird stuff in a jar to create some sort of chemical glow..Well..It would be like you to try something like that!!!..Anyhow..I am really glad to find out that it is quite simple to do and I can create a whole forest of them in time for Christmas..Thanks Karen!!

  28. Jeannie says:


    I would like to use a mason jar with a twist on lid. Is there a trick to keep from damaging the light cord.

    • Karen says:

      Jeannie – I normally use twist lids. No trick. The cords for battery operated lights are so small that the lid fits over them fine. ~ karen

  29. Pat says:

    Info: Bought some of those battery pack little light sets at Canadian Supertore last year and have also seen them at Ikea.

  30. Laura Bee says:

    Well it’s about time!
    So worth the wait. I got a few cases of old Crown jars from someone & already made a dozen “cookie in a jar”‘s to give out. Been saving a few for this. Thank you!

  31. Fran says:

    Hi Karen, These are so great. I noticed that you have a chicken coop chair. One of my favourites, after arrow backs.

    • Karen says:

      Fran – Yep. I have 2 matching coop chairs in my kitchen. Bought them at an auction with the intention of selling them at my antique booth (don’t have it anymore) but ended up keeping them for myself. ~ k!

  32. Becky says:

    I really thought the top of the jar was filled with gel… I see now that its just a flaw in the glass. Way cool effect.

    This is a great project for those jars that are chipped and are not suitable for canning anymore.

    I wonder if I could use my tile saw and cut off a corner (of a square-er one) and use regular lights, and stuff them in from the bottom.. hhmm.

    • Karen says:

      Becky – You don’t need to cut a hole in the bottom to use regular lights. Just do it the exact same way but instead of hiding the battery pack in the back, run your cord down to an extension cord to plug it in. You can tape the cord to the back of the mason jar to make sure it stays put and hidden. You’ll only be able to fit 20 or so lights in a jar without them becoming unruly thought. If you can get a set of 20 then you can forego the drilling. ~ karen

    • crayzmadre says:

      Becky, I tried the regular lights and it was like trying to work with a slinky. Their cords are much heavier and everytime you try to scrunch them down they just pop right up again. Also, the cord is too heavy to fit the lid over at the top. Would NOT recommend :)

  33. Amanda says:

    Had a baby in August. Been wondering what the heck to do with all the leftover Epsom Salts. Ahem. LOL.
    Also have an unhealthy love affair with mason jars, so this project is terribly convenient. Like, it was meant-to-be or something.

    • Kathy Hartzell says:

      Roses love Epsom salts, as do infected fingers from thorn punctures or craft knife mishaps. Well, you use them as a soil additive for the plants and to soak the infection.

  34. I wanna know where you get all these battery operated lights. I checked Dollarama and they dont have them. Hardware store does but they are $20-$30.
    Never seen ones with white cords either. I covet these.

    • Karen says:

      Erin – I got the ones with white cords at Ikea a couple of years ago. I’m not sure if they still have them or not. They were about $1.99 each. ~ karen

  35. Annie Kip says:

    Sooooo eaasy and cute – thanks!!!! Your mason jars might start getting jealous of the time and attention you are paying to the mini-lights! I have never seen so many uses – you may have yourself a craft book in the making!!!

  36. Teresa Messick says:


  37. Ahhhmazeballs of an idea !! LOVE IT !!!!

  38. arlene says:

    Great Idea – How much life do you get out of the string of lights? Thinking that once they are on… they stay on until ~~~~ I guess until…the world ends Dec. 21 :/

    • Karen says:

      Arlene – I turne the lights on and off every day. Some days I don’t turn them on at all. But since the (I’m not sure that I mentioned this come to think of it) battery pack hangs on the outside of the jar it’s easy to turn them on and off as well as change the batteries. ~ karen!

  39. Karen on the Prairies says:

    Great idea. You didn’t say where you found the lights. I found some at Peavey Mart a couple of days ago, but I didn’t have any inpsiration for what to do with them … hmmmm.

  40. Lisa says:

    Doing this today!!! I am confident that I can complete this!

  41. Kelly says:

    Thanks for sharing this super awesome idea. I’m inspired…. I’ll be off to Value Village to hopefully score some of those old mason jars and then to the dollar store for the rest of the supplies.
    The trouble is my “to do” list grows every time I see things like this and the important things like getting my cards out and baking aren’t getting done because I want to craft. So much to do… little time :o(

  42. Diane R. says:

    Thank you Karen, these are adorable.

  43. Natika33 says:

    Looks fun and something even I can find in the land with hyaku-en shops instead of dollar stores.

  44. Moe says:

    I love it.. I’m trying to figure out how I could do this in a clear or frosted wine bottle. Kind of like the old ship in a bottle thing, only a Christmas tree or more in a bottle…. hmmm, perhaps I’ll stick with the mason jar. I love it and it looks fool proof. Just the kind of craft I need. Thanks Karen, and believe it or not, it was worth the years wait. :)

  45. Kat says:

    S.O.B. I thought I would beat you to it and find out how to make snow globes (which is what I thought they were)So I googled away found all the stuff and blew a ridiculous amount of money on jars, little ornaments and what not. It all failed miserably. My jars leaked, the water was cloudy, couldn’t find the right snow ect. ect. ect.!!! Threw everything away except that one strand of battery operated lights. Thanks for the awaited for info… dammit!!! No snow globes for me ever again as I sit here chuckling!

  46. Now I have to go straight to the craft store. And I may have to pilfer a Mason jar from my neighbor.

  47. TorontoBoy says:

    My favourite articles on this blog are the ones that offer dollar store craft ideas! No matter what your status in life, everyone can partake in the fun! So simple but oh so effective! I think part of my affinity to dollar store crafts is the fact that I find myself always popping into the local dollar stores in order to see what kind of craft ideas I can come up with. Admittedly, this one is quite a cool idea. I think I’m going to try and implement this craft idea during the holiday season. Instead of using the mason jar, I may try this idea with a square jar instead. In terms of hiding the wire, what you can try to do is to first coat the wire using glue and a bit of silver or red sparkles. Once the glue has dried, wrap the wire around the fake tree to mimic tinsel. Then channel the wire to the top of the tree. I’m glad I got to read Jenna’s comment: This could be placed either on a kitchen countertop or on shelving. It could even serve as an accent piece in a room or table. Maybe even under your tree. I’ll just end here by declaring “Hurray for bringing back the dollar store craft articles back!

  48. JebberA says:

    Thank you, oh remorseless one! As a heart felt gesture of thanks, I’m going to share with you the secret for … Ah, maybe next year.

  49. I absolutely love this! This is the perfect thing for adding some extra twinkle to kitchen countertops or visible shelving. I can’t wait to make this!

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