Industrial Pendant Light Almost for Free!

19 Materials
8 Hours

Tutorial team challenge : Recycle me!

WARNING : There is a good reason why I didn't show any electrical connection in this post, and just the makeover steps of the light. I am no expert and I won't tell you how to do electricity. Of course, we shot the power off. Of course, the wires are all covered with connectors and heat shrink tube, none are exposed. All the wires are perfectly attached. The box is fixed on a beam with a lot of screws... There is no risk for it to fall.

I had this ugly builder grade pendant light in my dinning room. Not enough for it to be outdated, it was also off center! Instead of throwing it in the garbage, I decided to recycle it!

I am planning this makeover for years now... So thanks to Hometalk for this challenge : it pushed me to finally do it! 👍
Ok... I must admit it is my first attempt with electricity... For me, it was truly challenging because I have never touched anything electrical before... Needless to say I've never created something electrical neither! I am freaking scared of electricity, so I never tried anything with it... Never, except this one time! Fortunately enough, I have the best hubby  in the world, and the BEST electrical sales rep in the neighborhood!

When I couldn't do something, hubby did it for me (and showed me how!) and, when he couldn't help me, I went to see pros just around the block... they didn't just help me, the GAVE me what I needed to finish this project! Can you believe it? I walk through a store (place where they SELL things to make MONEY), asked for help and they gave me free stuff!!! Man, do I love my big city who acts like if it was a little village! Just to make sure you read well : They gave me free advice AND free stuff to achieve my project! Isn't nice? It helps me keep believing in humanity! Must be Xmas spirit!!
OK, so first, I dissemble everything and kept aside what could be useful for my new lamp :

  • Shades;
  • Lampholder;
  • Screws;
  • Electric covers.
With faux barn wood bought at Home Depot, I created a box. I fixed all the planks together using scrap wood blocks and cement glue.
I displayed the lamp shades on the plank used as a cover. I had 5 shades but decided to use only 4. I marked the holes to be drilled on the plank, for it to receive the electrical wires.
After marking the holes places on the wrong side of the wood, I used a small drill to make a tiny hole. I then turned the plank, cover the holes with masking tape (it helps to make nice holes without the wood crumbling). Then, I used a 3/8" drill to make a bigger hole, the same width as the small screw hoses shown on picture.
Once the holes were made, I inserted the small screw bushings to receive the electrical wires. I had to use a sledgehammer to insert them, since the holes and the hoses were at the same diameter.
Spray painting all the hardware : screw hoses, electric covers and shades.

I intended to spray paint all the shades in black... But I started with the interior part and all the outside smokey details were revealed and I really liked it, so I didn't paint the exterior part of the shades.
I then measured and cut the electrical wires with very precise measurements. I inserted them in the screw hoses, which I sealed with its own nut... Not sure it is the right term to be used!!!
After searching the beams to screw the box to the ceiling,.. I just screwed it there! :)
I am so, so, so very proud of what I achieve with this project... Especially because I knew nothing about electricity before this... And because I saved hundreds of dollars bcz I saw something else then what seems to be trash at first sight!

I truly hope this project will help you see that some of what you consider as garbage could become a real treasure if you dare to spend some time on it! :)

I really enjoy what I created from trash... It gives a real lounge groove to our dining room! :)
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Melissa Gandee
    on Jun 24, 2018

    Beautiful, I have Edison bulbs but lighting is not great, are yours higher wattage? Love making stuff with wood and metal and this is just so perfect

    • Ashley
      on Dec 29, 2019

      Amazon sells 6 watt Edison bulbs, with the equivalent of 60 watt lighting, if you're interested that is...They're actually on the same page as the bulbs shown in the supply list, just a little further down on the page.

  • Peggie Billadeau
    on Dec 29, 2019

    What kind of paint did you use for the glass shades? I wasn’t sure because of the heat from the light bulbs. Thank you!

    • Ashley
      on Dec 29, 2019

      It says that she used the same black Rustoleum spray for all of the fixtures...I don't think there would be much issue from the heat of the bulbs though, as most Edison bulbs don't put off much heat...The ones pictured in the supplies list are only 6 watt LED, which put off a little more heat than a standard 4 watt night light bulb would, which isn't much at all. However, there are also Edison bulbs available at 6 watts, with the brightness equivalent of 60 watt bulbs, also without the additional heat, for anyone who wants more light.

  • Ashley
    on Dec 29, 2019

    Did you keep the frame of the original chandelier, for a future project? It would be gorgeous with some new paint, crystals, and exposed, candle-style bulbs...Then again, I tend to lean more towards an eclectic vintage look...So my vision may be the opposite of what you find appealing...Either way, I LOVE what you did here, especially the decision to leave the shades that gorgeous smokey gray color, instead of going solid black...It has so much more character this way!!!

    Also, If you don't plan to use the left over frame (and haven't already done so), you could always sell it on marketplace...People there (myself included) are always hunting for vintage light fixtures to revamp, and/or spare parts to add to their projects. They sell very quickly too...Just a thought.

Join the conversation

3 of 183 comments
  • Lisa West
    on Dec 29, 2019

    This is very lovely. Many people get confused with electrical and think every thing needs to be inspected and permitted. This lady all she did was change out a light fixture. This dies bot require any permits or inspection. If she were to move or change the wiring to a new spot then she would have to find out from her town if any thing was needed like permits inspections etc. She just upgraded a light fixture which is lovely. She did not move the wiring for the fixure.

    • Chris
      on Dec 29, 2019

      No if it doesn’t have UL listing they will make her get rid of it if she sells the house. But it is really cool and as long as she can enjoy it that’s all that matters

  • Hazel
    on Jan 25, 2020


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