22 February 2012

Revamping A Light Fixture

 In yesterday's post I showed you the fabulous new light fixture I have hanging in my living room, and how I came to acquire it. Today, I'm going to show you how I got it looking so good.

You see, it started out like this:

Not awful, but not my style at all.

So, after taking all the parts of the light fixture out of the box, I first determined that I would not be using any of the extension rods that it came with (there is one in the picture above- it's that long skinny pole at the top). Our house has low ceilings so if we'd hung the fixture the way it shows it in that photo it would have been hitting us in the face. So all the extension rods got put back in the box. Along with the ugly brown-frosted glass shade. 

When I'd first ordered the light and had been looking at the picture of it online, I figured I'd just paint the whole thing white and just stick a new shade on it. 

But once I saw it in person I was reeeally not liking the look of those extra, decorative poles...it was too busy looking. I wanted one single one.

So I got out my trusty glue gun and wrapped the whole thing in jute.

{See how there's the exposed part in-between the two sections I'm wrapping that isn't covered by the jute? That part doesn't matter- since what's the "top" of the fixture in the picture will actually be the bottom of the fixture when it's hung, that part isn't visible so I didn't bother covering it. I like to save myself unnecessary work.} 

I left the flat, round part at the end (the part that goes to the ceiling) uncovered; that part, along with the separate round piece that mounts to the ceiling and hides all the wires, I painted white.
{Sorry, I didn't get any pics of that process. It wasn't anything exciting though.}

I bought a simple linen lampshade from Target to use in place of the glass shade. 
I would have loved to have been able to get one twice this size, but this was the largest that they had, and a bigger one would have been out of my budget anyway.

This was pretty the way it was, but I wanted to add a little embellishment so I used the metal iron-on studs that were left over from my dining room mirror and used hot glue to attach them around the bottom edge of the shade. 

....And then my job was done and it was time for my assistant (aka my husband) to step in and assist....

Madonna came down from the ceiling...

...and I thought it looked better already! Seriously, I would have lived with that hole for the rest of our time in this house before spending one more second with that hideous fan. 

And we did live with it....for two weeks, while my husband was busy with school and trying to come up with a way to make my lamp shade work with the light fixture. 

You see, I don't always think things through. 

I come up with these *brilliant* plans, drag Rob to the point of no return, and then when he looks at me and says, "Ok, now what?" I shrug my shoulders and say "I dunno, I just thought we could figure it out." 

In my defense though, I just have great faith in the saying "When there's a will, there's a way." 
And there's no kind of will like having a dark living room for two weeks to give someone the motivation to figure out how to refit a lamp shade. Which Rob did. Because he's a genius. Then he steps back and lets me take all the glory on my blog for our awesome light fixture cause he's the sweetest. Love him. :)

So anyways, the problem with the lamp shade was that the metal ring that's suppose to fit over the light socket was too small. I'd figured we could just glue it on or something but Rob wanted to make sure that it was going to look like it belonged on there, and also that it wasn't going to fall off at some random time.

So, he removed the ring from the lampshade so it was left like this:

Then he bought a piece of pvc pipe that was slightly larger than the diameter of the light socket so that the pvc would slip over it. 

He drilled three holes into the sides of the pipe near the outer edge, 
marking the outside edge first so that the holes were evenly spaced. 
This becomes the new ring for the lamp shade.

It slides over the light socket and the white plastic ring 
that screws onto the end of the socket 
goes in front of it, keeping it from sliding off:

Here it is with the three metal pieces on the lamp shade inserted into the holes in the pvc pipe:

This works great because it totally looks like the light fixture just came like that; there are no obvious "DIY" signs (like dried glue, if we'd gone with my idea!) when it comes to how the shade is hung. 
Plus there's no complicated removal of the shade or anything when we need to change out lightbulbs. 
All in all, I'd say it was a pretty great idea by my hubby. :)

The only other bit of modifying we had to do before getting this light up on the ceiling was covering the jagged hole that was hidden under the base of the ceiling fan, but that the new light's base wouldn't cover.

But that was an easy fix; Rob just got one of those ceiling plates and it covered the edges of the hole. 

And that was it- then the light went up. There are no pictures of that process since I help by holding the light up while Rob screws everything in. Besides, unless you want to be electrocuted to death, you really don't want any light-hanging tutorials from me. 

We actually hung the fixture sans shade, and then attached the shade afterwards. It just made it easier to get it onto the ceiling without the shade getting in our way. 

Here it is lit. <3

I don't know what the white mark near the top of the shade is in that picture, but it's not ripped or anything- that's not there in real life. What is there is the shadow from the seam at the back of the shade- that's a bummer. You can always see that when it's on. I'm guessing that drum shades that are actually made for use on the ceiling don't have a big seam like that on one side. 

But again, for $34.00, I'm not complaining.

This picture with the reflection of it in the mirror really illustrates what I was talking about yesterday with the exposed bulb- it is blinding when it's on if you look right at it!

Still thinking about how I want to fix that. 

But I'm super happy with how this came out, and loving how it looks in the living room!

If you haven't entered my giveaway, do it now! There's two prizes so two winners! (And I made the prizes myself...seriously, what could be better?!) The winners will be announced this Friday.

Positively Splendid


  1. Cute Brooke! We have a couple of light fixtures with blinding lights in them too. So to remedy that we used some frosted spray paint. Frosting the glass of the bulb cut down on the harsh light a lot. Anyway, just an idea.

  2. This turned out so nice! I bet you are ecstatic! I couldn't wait to get the monstrosity of a fan off of my living room ceiling, either!

    I posted a new lampshade today as well.

    1. Oh my gosh!! Your shade is AMAZING!!!! Sorry, i'd wanted to comment on your post but it wasn't showing me the comment link for some reason. But anyways even as a "rough draft" it is spectacular!! I pinned it so that some time when I get really brave I can attempt it! That's the kind of thing that MAKES a room! Super awesome!!!

  3. Brooke, I love your vision! Those embellishments are a nice touch. It must have taken you and your hubby quite a while to complete this project but the results are well worth it!


  4. Lighting must be in the air, I just posted my new lighting as well! :) Thanks for the tutorial as I might need to try out that lampshade idea myself!! I love it!

  5. Shut up! I can't believe that's the same light fixture! Amazing transformation.

  6. Brilliant! Great call on the embellishments too!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog & for the sweet comment! Your living room is beautiful...I LOVE the light!

  8. pvc pipes
    Great !! mind blowing thinking...

  9. Stopping by from the Saturday Seven Party! http://queenofsavings.com

  10. Wow that is awesome!!!!

  11. I just heard abt your blog. This is so fun to look at. I can't believe you made that light.randy and I have both admired your high end taste. Didn't realize you made it yourself! Awesome.

    1. Thanks SO much Chrissy!!! :D I'm so cheap, so I try to make a lot of stuff myself! Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn't.... :)