Light Fixture Update

5 Materials
3 Hours

I needed to replace an ugly light fixture but that wasn't in the budget...what's a girl to do??

Builder grade light

So..after I finished painting the bed in one of my guest rooms and building an amazing window seat (that I didnt take enough pictures of to post) I needed to do SOMETHING with that light. Being the mama I am, I decided to try my hand at making one. I hit the dollar tree and came up with one wastebasket and three bags of glass gems. And a really good idea!

Dollar tree wastebasket
Clear glass "gems"

To begin my project I kind of eyeballed the light itself after I removed the globe to figure out how much of the basket I needed to remove for the best fit.

I decided to remove the bottom two inches from the wastebasket with wire cutters.

Wastebasket with bottom cut

Then I spray painted it silver with leftover paint from my Christmas crafts.

Then the fun began... using a multipurpose glue (locktite) I had on hand and my trusty hot glue gun I began to glue the gems around and up the wastebasket. I dont know how this method will hold up yet, as i have just finished the project, but I used the glue on the basket then hot glued the gem directly on. My thinking was that the glue takes hours to dry completely so I needed the hot glue to hold them in place while it dries...and if I only used hot glue I was afraid the gems would fall off when the glue was heated by the light. *Edit*** In comments on this project I learned some valuable information that I thought I should share here...if you replace the old light bulb with an LED bulb it shouldn't warm up enough to melt the hot glue. (Thanks Bush Linda) :)

Start at the bottom and work your way up

Also..i almost forgot...make sure you leave some space at the top to hook the shade onto the screws. Once I had all the gems glued in place I let it set while I inspected my screws in the light fixture itself. Missing one. Dang. Scoured all the junk drawers and came up with one to replace it. I went ahead and screwed them all in as far as they will go. Then brought the new shade upstairs and just hooked the screws through the wire at the top of the basket. It is hanging securely but I might go back and add some wire around the screws just to be sure. And now I have a light fit for a princess for 4 dollars.

See my new window seat too? I'm so proud of i

....just had a thought... they also sell smaller versions of these ..more like little wire Dollar Tree. The same basic idea could be used to make new covers for wall sconces! How pretty would those be?!? If anybody tries that please share the link with me as I dont have wall sconces to redo!

Resources for this project:

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Frequently asked questions

 9  questions
  • Sandra L Warren on Jan 12, 2019

    Looks like a high end piece but will the heat soften the hot glue and cause the gems to fall, pelting you while you sleep?

    • Carol Jackson on Jan 12, 2019

      Read the post- states also used additional adhesive. Hot glue used to keep gem in place while adhesive dried. I imagine the Hot glue was applied to side edges while the adhesive applied directly to back connection onto the metal.

    • Tracie on Jan 12, 2019

      I wasnt sure, that's why I used two different kinds of glue but as Bush Linda taught me..if you use an LED bulb it shouldn't heat up the glue.

    • Kim Taylor on Jan 14, 2019

      Gorilla Glue makes indoor / outdoor weather resistant glue sticks that hold up to temperature change and moisture. They are available in high temp and low temp.

    • Tracie on Jan 14, 2019

      Thank you so much! I had no idea! Sounds like a product that I need in my life!

  • Mary on Jan 12, 2019

    How to reupholster recliner. Need to replace cushion in seat and foot rest. It is made with cloth not leather.

    • Jeanne Martin on Jan 12, 2019

      You need to ask this question at the top of the page on Hometalk's main page. This post is about creating a ceiling light shade with gems. Way more people will see your question if you don’t post it on a specific post that has nothing to do with upholstery.

    • Juliet on Jan 17, 2019

      Maybe light colored glass gems will look great & do something@ bottom part of the fixture 4 more


    • Juliet on Jan 17, 2019

      But overall, it's great!

    • Juliet on Jan 17, 2019

      Yes the inside needs to be addressed as well, TY!

  • R_s31286555 on Jan 12, 2019

    Aren’t you looking up to just the lightbulb fixture and lightbulbs inside? Or did I miss something in your presentation?

    • Ellen on Jan 12, 2019

      That's exactly what you're looking at. I wonder is gemming up the bottom she cut off and fastening it across the opening would help with the glare if you look directly upwards.

    • Tracie on Jan 12, 2019

      Hmmm the bottom part that was removed isnt wide enough to cover the opening. I suppose you could wire it back on and cover up the difference with gems. Or you could just put it on right side up and not remove the bottom but that isnt the shape I wanted. An alternative would be to just glue the gems onto the original globe. I considered that. There are any number of ways to adjust this project to suit your taste. That's the beauty of can do whatever you want when you are the one doing it.

    • MMM on Jan 13, 2019

      Maybe use beads and fishing line and make a bottom for the shade by going side to side (does that make sense?) Rows of beads strung from side to side.

    • Tracie on Jan 13, 2019

      That's a good idea!

  • Trish on Jan 13, 2019

    That’s brilliant. I love it and will copy it. How did you attach that lovely shade to the ceiling mount fixture?

    • Tracie on Jan 13, 2019

      I just screwed the existing screws ( that normally hold the globe) all the way in and put the new "shade" into the base part, pushing the screws through holes around the shade. .. I dont know how to make it make sense :) ok...after I screwed the screws all the way in I just hung the shade from them. I hope you get the jest of what I'm trying (and failing) to explain. :)

    • Glori on Jan 15, 2019

      t is hanging securely but I might go back and add some wire around the screws just to be sure.

    • Maybe try to get some snap on fasteners for the inside part if u want it to be really secure

  • NancyMaria on Jan 18, 2019

    It looks very nice "bling". Considering the weight, using wire figure 8 around the rim screws (inside and outside) and through the shade would be a good idea. Also you could tape off the light base on the ceiling and spray the base silver too. I was thinking how a silver medallion stenciled around the light base would look really cool too and give the bling a proper center piece. How about those stick on mirror bits?

    • Tracie on Jan 18, 2019

      Oh I think yes! If you do it I would love to see!

    • Christal on Jan 19, 2019

      I think these additions would make it a more finished project. Great ideas to add to a fun project!

  • Belinda on Jan 19, 2019

    Awesome. Can make lamp shades if you leave the bottom in

    • Julie Langley on Jan 19, 2019

      That’s what I was thinking and I have one I’ve been wanting to replace

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      What a great idea!

    • Kerri on Jan 21, 2019

      I was thinking so too about the lamp shade! Any ideas on how to secure it so the tops not sitting on the light bulb?

    • Tracie on Jan 21, 2019

      I was wondering the same thing..unless it's a lamp with a fineal on top, then I suppose you would just replace the shade with the new one and screw the fineal on to hold it. Might have to glam up a washer to put in there to hold it secure, I'm not sure if the holes in the basket are too large or not. That is my best guess.

  • Joy on Jan 19, 2019

    wow so pretty.....but does the heat from the light bulb melt the glue?

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      I learned if you use an LED bulb it wont. I actually revised this post to include that because I wasn't aware of that either. Thank you for your kind comment :)

    • Sandy on Feb 11, 2019

      She said use LED bulb does not get as hot

  • Linda on Jan 19, 2019

    Yes, I want to try it & actually need a new fixture over my dining room table!!! It's a small area. I also was wondering if the heat of the light mighy melt the glue???

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      It would look great over a table! Try an LED bulb. I wasnt aware of this either but revised the post to include that bit of useful information. Yesss Edison bulb would be so pretty

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      Wouldn't an Edison bulb look great?!? That would solve the issue so many people seem to be having with an "ugly lightbulb" 😂

    • Tracie on Jan 31, 2019

      If you use an LED bulb it should not heat up enough to melt the glue.

  • Iris M. Mateo-Perez on Jan 26, 2019

    Just wondering, why didn’t you also spray paint the gold base?

    • Tracie on Jan 27, 2019

      Personal reasons. If you make one for yourself feel free to paint yours ;)


  • Barb in Texas on Jan 16, 2019

    This is the best lamp shade hack I've seen here, I'd actually like to have it in my house. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tracie on Jan 17, 2019

      Wow! That is so kind of you! Thank you so much

  • Lisa Hooks on Jan 19, 2019

    I did this with the colored jems. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thanks for the idea.

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      Oh I would love to see!! Can you post a picture here to show us? I'll bet the different colors make it beautiful

  • Vyetta Coley on Jan 19, 2019

    Love it.

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      Thank you! :)

  • Michelle on Jan 19, 2019

    Love it .. great ideal

  • Theresa Lake on Jan 19, 2019

    Very creative I also will try to do this

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      Thank you! I hope you love yours as much as I have enjoyed mine!

  • Patricia on Jan 19, 2019

    Good idea and job! People need to read all that you wrote, since you took the time and explained very well!

    • Tracie on Jan 19, 2019

      Thank you! I appreciate your comment. I have learned a lot in posting this project.. one thing I learned is that when I am commenting on someone else's I will certainly take the time to read their entire post and either make an encouraging comment or leave none at all. Seems some folks forgot what their mothers undoubtedly taught them...if you cant say something nice say nothing at all. ;) thank you again for your kind words.

  • SarahAkers on Jan 20, 2019

    Wow, this came out nice!! Kudos to you!!! You explained it well and dead on!! Great imagination keep us informed of future projects!!!

    • Tracie on Jan 20, 2019

      Well thank you so much!

  • Amanda on Jan 20, 2019

    This is an awesome & creative project!! Thank you for sharing this and going into every detail!! As I seen the 1st picture, I was wondering about the glue myself. But, you made clear about what bulb to use! I'm excited to do this!! Thank you!!

    • Tracie on Jan 20, 2019

      Thank you so very much! I hope you enjoy doing this project as much as I did. :)

  • Theresa Holz on Feb 16, 2019

    Light over the kitchen sink needs some glam! Thanks for the idea!

  • Yvonne on Nov 01, 2019

    I really like this idea and would like to make one. I would like to add some crystals around the bottom to see how it looks.

    • Tracie on Nov 01, 2019

      I bet it will look awesome