DIY Pendant Light Makeover
In this pendant light makeover, we turn a found utility light into a beautiful addition to our newly-renovated laundry room!
So apparently I’m not a good judge of what you fine ladies look for in a DIY project.
In other words, I know nuthin’!
But you already knew that, didn’t you?
At least, you must have suspected it, right?
Let’s rewind a bit and have a look back through the years.
When The Navage Patch was only a couple of months old – still tottering around cyberspace on wobbly and unsure legs and occasionally crapping itself – Handan suggested I make a cutting board tutorial post.
I told her in no uncertain terms that she was nuttier than a squirrel’s pantry.
I told her that everyone (and quite possibly their mothers and cousins-twice-removed) had already done a cutting board tutorial.
The subject was over-saturated and the topic was closed…as far as I was concerned.
And then she did that thing.
The thing with the finger.
No, not the bird!
The stabbing point.
To the basement.
And so off I went to make another board.
And then off I went to write about it.
And then it went a little viral.
Okay, fine. Anyone can be right once.
But then there was that time I started cleaning the shed with Barish one Saturday morning, and then Handan came running out with a camera to document the cleaning and reorganizing for a blog post she wanted me to write.
I again informed her that she was battier than Bracken Cave. No one in their sound and sane mind would want to waste precious moments of their life reading about cleaning and organizing a garden shed!
The idea was patently absurd, and I wanted none of it!
She gave me that look.
You know the one!
And so I wrote the post, and hey, guess what? You guys gobbled it up like ambrosia!
So lightning struck twice…big whoop!
She’d never get a third.
Or a fourth.
Except she did!
I told her these things were too simple! No one would care!
And now it’s one of our top posts of all time.
I assured her with all the surety I could muster that this mirror didn’t qualify as a project because I barely did anything to it!
But did that stop you guys from going gaga over it?
No it didn’t!
And therefore, I’m forced to conclude that I have no earthly idea what I’m even doing here!
So when Handan asked me to write a post about the light I hung in the laundry room annex, I once again informed her that she was loonier than Lake Ontario on a foggy summer sunrise.
But then I stopped and considered.
Maybe I’m the loon?
After all, I’m the dummy who never learns from his mistakes.
Maybe she isn’t screwier than a twist-off at a pop-top convention.
Maybe it’s me…
So without further delay (because this is exactly what I’ve been doing for the last 500 words), I give you…[trumpets blaring]
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DIY Pendant Light Makeover
Back in the Great Before, in the time of the Old Laundry Room, the top of the basement stairs was a separate entity than the laundry room / mud room. It existed in a world of perpetual yellowed ugly, lit by a single bare bulb set into an old porcelain utility fixture.
We didn’t need Halloween decor.
We merely brought unsuspecting children into that room and then, with a bent finger and a crooked smile, we’d point up towards the bulb.
The children’s eyes would drift upward, unsure, but trusting.
And then they would see it, and they would run back to their mommies, teardrops splashing on the floor behind them.
When we decided to renovate the laundry, we annexed the top of the basement stairs.
We put in a pocket door.
We painted the walls.
We hung the mirror you all loved so much (thank you for all of your wonderful comments, by the way!)
We knew the bulb had to go. We knew we wanted a pendant light.
We looked and looked, but nothing caught our eye. Nothing that didn’t cost a small fortune, anyway.
But this was kinda sorta the basement…so spending a ton of dough didn’t make a lot of sense.
And that’s when
calculator brain my wife had an epiphany.
As usually happens at such times, she leaped out of her chair without a word and ran down to the basement
with all the grace of a pissed-off rhinoceros like a graceful gazelle.
I stayed upstairs. For safety.
After some banging and clanking, she
stormed floated back up the stairs holding an old hanging utility lamp that she had found at the Put & Take sometime in the past few years.
How she knows where all this crap is stored in the basement, I’ll never understand.
Her mind is like a steel trap inside an iron vault.
She plopped the thing down in my lap and informed me that I’d be giving it a makeover and hanging it in the laundry room annex.
If my babes wanted me to makeover an old pendant light, who was I to argue?
I got to work. Here’s how it looked when she pulled it from its storage cubby.
It was a plain, serviceable lamp – nothing more, nothing less. It still worked just fine, but it needed some dressing up if it was going to fit into the new-and-improved laundry room.
I started by taking it apart – pretty much the standard first step to everything.
The fixture was the old ceramic type they don’t really make much anymore. You can’t find them at Home Depot, anyway. I decided to keep it on hand. I might need it if I wasn’t able to find a suitable replacement (spoiler alert: I wasn’t).
This pendant light makeover really just required a new paint job and something to hang it with. Simple Stupid – just the way I like it!
Handan thought oil-rubbed bronze would look good. I agreed, as it would complement the other hardware in the room.
After the paint had dried, I took it downstairs, reassembled it and thought about how to hang it.
Back in the spring when we started the dining room makeover, one of our first priorities was a new chandelier for the dining table I built. Now, we have some pretty high ceilings, but that chandelier came with enough chain that we could have opened a hole in the dining room floor and hung that light down near the basement floor. I don’t know who needs that much chain, but you can be sure that when Handan saw all the excess, she was all, “Oh hell yeah! Don’t throw that away, my babes! That’s awesome chain.”
Okay, maybe she didn’t say “Oh hell yeah!” But you get the point. The woman loves leftovers!
Anyway, that extra length of chain matched our newly-painted pendant light perfectly.
I took the light and the chain to the annex and measured how many links I’d need.
Then I pried the first link open with pliers.
I slipped the link through the ring at the top of the lamp.
Then I squeezed the link back together. Look, this is all very complicated. Are you sure you’re following?
The original wire was not only intact and sound – it was damn good wire – so I threaded it back through the chain.
It was time to hang our new DIY pendant light. Once I figured out how much slack wire I’d need, I trimmed the rest and exposed the ends of the wire. And here’s the part where I need to tell you Don’t Try This at Home! This is America. People get sued for serving coffee that’s too hot. Remember that one? Cost McDonald’s a fortune! All because the cup didn’t have a written warning telling that woman that the hot coffee she was about to enjoy was, in fact, hot! When it comes to this fine country, I find myself shaking my head in disbelief so often that Handan thinks I have developed a nervous tic.
Anyway, don’t play with matches, don’t talk to strangers and don’t do your own electrical work. Make some other jerk do it…just like Handan does with me!
Now where was I?
Oh, yeah. I rewired the pendant light and hung it in its new home. But I scraped my knuckle against the ceiling while doing so, and that caused me tremendous emotional distress, so I’m thinking about suing U.S. Gypsum for not having a written warning on their drywall panels that it is possible to bump into them while working.
It was about here that Handan started laughing at me and taking more pictures.
Apparently I looked serious and worried, which she thought was hysterical.
I endured her heckling and finished the job.
Final step: The Screwing of the Bulb, not to be confused with The Screwing of the Schlub – which happens to you and to me every April 15.
The bulb we used is a vintage style LED, but in a more natural daylight temperature than the saturated yellow vintage bulbs that make everyone under them look like extras on The Simpsons.
And more of my wife trying desperately to catch me looking dorkish. It’s not hard, you know. Pretty much point and click, and odds are, you’ll catch some dorkery.
And here you have it folks, the DIY pendant light makeover that I thought was too simple to write about!
It was a little difficult to take a decent picture of it since it was hanging up near the ceiling in a tiny room, but I think it looks awesome in its new home.
Great post! Enjoyed seeing the many photos of you hard at work! Your home is looking great.
Thank you, Helen!
OMG I love it. I am going to have to start driving over to your dump … it has much better stuff than mine. I also like how you are in a t shirt/shorts and Handan is wearing a winter vest! LOL
Handan is creature of the warm Aegean and Mediterranean climates. Anything below 90 is a deep freeze for her. Conversely, anything above 70 is an intolerable heat wave for me!
caption “such a manly man “, i need a couple of those lights, i need to
Lol, thanks, Chris! But, you need to what..? You left me hanging there!
LOL! For those who don’t know, that is Asterix, a French comic book character from the 50s-70s. 😀
Such a simple project like you said, but it is the perfect light for that space and it was FREE!!!! Which makes it even better ??
Thank you, Cheryl! Free is always the best! 🙂
Just to confuse everyone and change the subject a bit. I love the floral decoration in the corner. Is this something you made a tutorial for? If so, what is the link?
P.S. Love the light 🙂
Hi Roberta, I posted about the carboy crate here >>> https://www.thenavagepatch.com/weathered-wood-carboy-crate/
The floral display was pieced together from Hobby Lobby and Michaels.
Everything you two do is just beautiful!
Thank you so much, Marcia!
I love that an old light was up cycled. I also love the two tone finish but I didn’t see a color listed for the cap covering the threaded rod. It almost has a wood grain look. The two colors look awesome together. Can you fill me in on the color?
Hi Stacey, that little piece was wood to begin with, and I left it alone. I also love the contrast it gives! Wood and oil-rubbed bronze are a great match.
Way to go Greg…yes I followed the “ link”very easily!?. Big chuckle! Nicely done on the project,I’m glad you didn’t electrocute yourself!?my hubs would have. He is scared of electricity! By the way..what happened to the clean lean Greg we were getting used to? Are you bringing back the fur?? Nooooo! ( just my opinion) but that’s ok I guess,as long as you keep blogging! Good idea Handan..it’s lovely!
LOL, thank you, Bernice! Nope, not bringing back the fur – just got lazy about shaving and let it slide for a few days 🙂
The light looks terrific and is perfect for that spot!
Your scraped knuckles made me laugh (sorry!) but, I have to tell you that the McDonald’s case was actually about more than just a warning on the cup…that poor woman has sort-of been vilified in popular culture, but her case was valid. The details of the case and her injuries from that coffee are around in several spots…here is one: https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/truth-behind-mcdonalds-hot-coffee-lawsuit.html
Thanks again for the great tutorial! 🙂
I followed the link and read the article. Consider me re-educated on the matter! Thank you for passing it along! 🙂
All I can say besides good job. Is thank goodness you didn’t do the man thing and scratch your balls when done. Of course that would make a great picture. Oh wait maybe you did and didn’t print that picture! LOL
LOL! Yeah, I had to keep that picture out of the post! 🙂
for pic……look huny, you can follow my directions….????
LOL, that’s all I do around here! 😀
glad to know I’m not the only one who saves (collects) light fixtures!
caption: “I love my Greg so much I have to constantly take pictures of him.”
Ha! She’s not taking them out of love…she’s trying to capture comedy 🙂
Totally enlightening!! Really luv the light! Photo” Is that candid enough??!!?? franki
It’s never candid enough for Handan, LOL! 🙂
I have the perfect place in my home for your incredible DIY light! Wonder what my chances are of finding one that looks like your “before” so the hubs can copy yours? Something makes me think my chances might not be so great. But…if I do, I promise to take pictures of him. Awesome project!
Thank you, Judy! Yes, please send pics if you find a suitable light!
My husband has turned 4 ceiling fixtures into hanging chandeliers so I could drape them where I wanted, so we went backwards. As for finding light fixtures…..Check Restore (HABITATE FOR HUMANITY STORE) for used . I just bought 4 more pendants/chandeliers for $30 for all.
You and Handan sound like my husband and me. Willing to do anything to make me happy. He made me a hall light out of an old clamp on light and I love it.
Yep, he and I are very much alike!