Upcycle a Light Fixture Into a Glass Planter!

2 Materials
1 Hour

Have you ever seen a Japanese glass float with the wonderful hand knotted netting? We’re going to show you how to get the exact look for home decor with a budget saving thrift store find!

We spotted this authentic Japanese glass fishing float in an antique store. But take a gander at the price tag! Wow! Not only will you get that authentic nautical Japanese fish float look - with only one piece of cord, but for just pennies in comparison.

By the way, before we get into the tutorial, if you enjoy learning new things, subscribe to our newsletter here.

If you're a visual learner, watch this video to see how we do our budget version glass float!

I didn’t stumble on a vintage glass float in the ocean (darn!). So I’m doing the next best thing. This glass light globe caught my eye at the thrift store. At a whopping $2.99, it suits my budget just fine thank you!

You’ll find all sorts of inspiration at the thrift store. I see these round glass light fixtures frequently!

Or re-envision anything that has a round circular shape. For this project, it’s important that you don’t have a solid glass ball. Choose something with a hole in the top. That’s because I have something fun in mind!

However, if you’re lucky enough to be in possession of a vintage glass float, this tutorial will instruct you on how to re-knot it! There isn’t comprehensive written tutorial with instructions in the blogosphere on how to tie a Japanese glass float, so we’re excited to teach you how! If you love the look of nautical decorations for home, you're in the right place!

Instead of rope, I’m using macrame cord for a fresh look. However, if you prefer jute rope, go ahead and use that!

To start, form a loop but be sure to leave a 3 foot tail before forming the loop (where you see the green tape).

Wrap the tail end around the loop until back to the beginning.

Weave the tail end through a wrap to keep it secure. Flip around so tail is on the left.

Form a loop around 3 cm.

Pinching the loop, bring the cord around to the back and push through the centre. Push the loop forward, down and around the first loop formed to capture it.

Then pull the cord to tighten the knot.

Continue until you have 11 loops.

In case you’re having trouble keeping your loops consistent, use a paint stick.

When back to the beginning, form a double knot (a half double hitch) to bring the two ends together (this is the twelfth loop).

That concludes the first row of knots. Now let’s form the second row! A thread spool allows you to easily turn the work as you progress.

Using a cardboard template, slip it under the first working loop. Bring the working yarn up around the cardboard.

Bring the working cord through the working loop and pull down to allow the spool of cord to pass through. IMPORTANT: ensure that the cord is positioned on the left side as you pull, or your knot will be twisted.

Bring the spool under the new loop and pass the spool through from left to right.

Pull the cord and tighten.

Continue until back to the beginning. Then double knot the ends once again using the tail end.

Repeat for as many rows as needed to cover the length of the ball and reach the opening in the light fixture. Head to our blog for tips on how to fasten off the bottom (there are too many pictures to post here).

Lastly, carefully cut the loose ends.

Ensure the loops are evenly distributed.


Below is a reminder of the glass ball before (we found the candle holder base in another aisle and put them together).

Because of the diamond texture on the glass, I didn’t paint it. It’s awesome just the way it is. However, if changing the colour of the glass is something that appeals to you, there are many great sea glass spray paints out there you can try.

Because of how it's knotted, it should stand on its own. Finally, pop in a succulent plant for a pop of greenery. At last, our Japanese inspired decor is done!

This light, bright and airy glass planter is sitting pretty on our book ‘shelf’.

However, you don’t even have to put a plant in. Flip the glass ball the other way and display it in all its knotty glory on a candle holder base. You'll see another display option on our blog (below where you see our logo).

Hope you enjoyed learning how to knot a thrifted glass light globe!

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Crochet for a Cure

If you enjoy fibre crafts, check out our special fundraiser. Now in its second year, our pattern shop continues to donate 100% of our proceeds to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

You’ll find patterns, like our signature Kayla Pillow, Air Planter Pods and Tooth Fairy Pillow (shown below), available to purchase as a donation to our Alzheimer’s fundraiser.

Come visit us to gift a pattern any time of year; with 100% going to charity, it’s a win-win!

Happy crafting!

Suggested materials:
  • Glass globe   (Thrifted)
  • Macrame cord or jute rope   (Craft store)
Birdz of a Feather
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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