DIY Pendant Lights Using Lamp Shades

4 Materials
30 Minutes

I knew when we moved into our home that I was going to be making a few adjustments to our kitchen. It's not 100% my style but I knew I could make it my own with a few projects. Painting the walls was my first task. And thanks to my son who "accidentally" flooded the upstairs bathroom and ruined our ceilings in the kitchen, painting of the kitchen was expedited. We will refer to him from now on as the "Wet Bandit".

Also thanks to the 8 year old Wet Bandit I had to remove the pot rack that was hanging above our kitchen island so I could paint the ceiling. I was not sad about the removal of the pot rack. I was never going to use it and it seemed to clutter up the kitchen. Once that was gone and the kitchen walls were freshly painted (Behr Silver Drop~my favorite color) I was determined to update the pendants over my island.

Again, there was nothing wrong with them. They just weren't 100% my taste. I was willing to work with them but once that pot rack was down they looked so pathetic up there. I knew I wanted something with more umph. Since I am the most indecisive person on this side of town I sat on this idea for 9 months.

When my little mind is indecisive I immediately go into DIY mode. And this DIY project went pretty well. This was supposed to be a temporary fix until I can get my mind to make a decision BUT I am so loving the results that this might be permanent.

Let me first start out by saying that this project and the way I did it will only work for you if you can remove your shade from your original pendant and you are left with this:

You'll see why in a second...hang tight. And you'll also need a Dremel for this project. I promise you it's not as scary as it sounds. Do not fear the Dremel. It is so easy to use and made this project a breeze. Purchasing a Dremel is so much less expensive than purchasing two new pendants and nagging my husband to install them (or waiting patiently for my dad to help).

I found lamp shades at Lowes for $12 and I loved their cone like shape. The gold lining is so pretty. Whatever lamp shade you choose should have this as the fitting. I'm sure there is a professional word for this fitting but I have no clue what it is.

If you bought a new lamp shade for this project I highly recommend keeping the plastic wrap on (if it has one) until you are done Dremeling (that's totally a word). It'll keep your lamp shade protected from the dust. You'll want to use the disk attachment on your Dremel (a few disks will be included in your kit). You are going to cut out the middle circle of the lamp shade fitting.

I highly recommend you do this part outside and wear protective glasses. Do this to all three prongs (or whatever they are called). And you'll be left with this:

Your lamp shade has officially been de-circled. You can end it right here or take it a step further like I did...because I can never leave well enough alone.

I painted a black trim around the bottom and top of my lamp shade. I originally tried gluing ribbon and that was bad, very bad. The cone shape made it difficult to get a smooth trim with the ribbon. I had left over paint from when I painted my shutters and just used that. You can also use fabric paint.

I used the trim on the shade as my guide and taped along the trim.

The top of the lamp shade was a little tricky since it was extra cone shaped so I had to get a little creative with the tape.

And I very very very carefully painted the trim. I mean, I was border line hyperventilating at this point because I was so nervous that I was going to mess it up. But it was a success. I also painted the trim on the inside of the shade since you will see it once it's hung.

After everything was dry I slipped the lamp shade up from the bottom of the pendant and had the three prongs sit on top of the pendant like this:

It's nothing fancy. If you need to you can add electrical tape or wire to help keep things in place. So far mine have stayed just as is. And that's it. Twelve bucks (times 2) later and I have myself new pendants.

Head over to my blog to see what my kitchen pendant lights looked like before and I linked a few other affordable lamp shades!

Resources for this project:
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Jenna Lantern Lane Designs
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 10 questions
  • Kathleen Kathleen on Oct 20, 2019

    You mentioned gold lining in the shade. Am I missing something? I don’t see gold.

  • Colleen Zulueta Colleen Zulueta on Nov 24, 2019

    How do you keep them clean ? I can only imagine the oily dust that will cling to these beautiful shades, as does my glass shades.

  • Maureen Shaunnessy Maureen Shaunnessy on Sep 28, 2020

    I absolutely LOVE this look! Thank you for the inspiration!

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2 of 66 comments
  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Dec 26, 2020

    A great way of getting a new look and a fun project that is not going to break the bank. Love it.

  • Pga31685448 Pga31685448 on Dec 26, 2021

    Nice job. Your fitting is called a spider so I guess you could say you disconnected the legs.