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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!

  4. 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

  5. Pat says:

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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!!!

  12. Teresa Messick says:


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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. Lisa says:

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

  17. 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(

  18. Diane R. says:

    Thank you Karen, these are adorable.

  19. Natika33 says:

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

  20. 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. :)

  21. 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!

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

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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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