OK, today I wanted to talk about making your own light fixture. I am all about reinventing the wheel and anything else you can find, and lighting is no exception.
I have a stockpile of old fixtures in my basement. Most will probably never see daylight again, but I hang on to them. Why? Well besides my mild hoarding problem, I keep them for parts.
You never know when inspiration will strike.
For me it's when I am on Pinterest.
(see my Lighting page here for what I'm obsessed with.)
I tend to see a great piece and that's when I get ideas. I start disecting the piece, trying to figure out how I can make something similar since so many fixtures are either rare vintage or $$$$.
Take this vintage "Pinned" fixture:
It has been searing itself into my brain for a while now. I examined it and realized it was made of just a few pieces. I tossed around some options- whether to use IKEA's Lansa handle sprayed gold (this would require welding) or dowels or PVC sprayed gold (this would be glued).
I decided to try the wood dowel route. It would be less money and go much faster.
If I really liked the results I would invest in the metal version later.
I gathered my materials:
I found an old swag pendant light* that had a top that would work perfectly.
(You can also use a flat ceiling canopy like this one if you can't find one and combine it with standard pendant light hardware.)
I picked up (4) 1/2" x 48" wood dowels from True Value, some gold spray paint, and various glue (hot glue worked best for this application).
*I rewired my swag pendant to be a hardwired fixture- I will be giving a tutorial on this tomorrow as well as explain how to build one from scratch.*
I cut my dowels to 12" long pieces.
and sanded the edges smooth.
(see the fist on the left)
Next I propped them up on strips of wood and sprayed them with several coats of gold.
I also sprayed teh lamp body to match since the 'brass' was off.
Since I had 16 dowels, I marked the top of the fixture evenly to make placement easy.
Then I played with angles. I went with a shallow angle and began hot gluing them in place.
(I tried many glues here. Gorilla Glue was a mess, Loctite Super Glue didn't hold.
Hot Glue was fast and easy.)
And I glued away...
and when I was done I hung it in my hallway.
Not so easy to photograph I discovered.
Here it is lit, unlit, etc...
and don't hate on the bulb! I haven't had time to get a nice one!
So this morning I decided I wished I went with a wider angle.
Guess what? Hot glue lets that be possible!
I pried the dowels off and peeled off the glue.
Surprisingly the dowels were unharmed, but the light body had some gold peel off though.
DO NOT DO THIS WHILE TAKING PHONE CALLS!
I totally goofed and placed 7 around instead of 8, and when I went to lay the remaining dowels in the opposite direct I realized this.
This layout has more of a pick up sticks look:
Layout 2 (Pick Up Sticks)
Corrected Layout 3 (wide angle)
I realized your options and layouts are endless for this one. You can make it neat and orderly or chaotic, use longer dowels, paint them in glossy brights or leave them wood- totally up to your aesthetic.
Besides this fixture, I wanted to give you some other easy light fixtures you can make. Yes, you have seen them before- but they are great and I am sure you will get ideas how to push them even further.
So here are my top 6.
Beaded Chandelier by Simply Salvage
Who doesn't love a good marquee. Especially when you can get to the point with words.
"f" is for...
Oh, Hello Friend's easy to make
Marquee lights with light on the inside
with lights on the outside.
Number Four revolves around the concept of embellishing a basic round paper lantern.
We got a few.
For those who want to get it done fast...
made with paper cups
For those who have some time on their hands and love a good puffball...
made with coffee filters
Dip Dye on the coffee filters and trim them for this pretty show stopper...
And we are back with Aunt Peaches again, cause she's just damn good.
This one you need to see lit and unlit.
drinking straws, who knew?
so. damn. good.
I love me a great brass piece that doesn't look DIY.
These two have it all.
with detailed instructions here
The You Make It Brass Chandelier
(girl's a genius, and she has boxed the whole kit for $140!)
There you go, now get making.