Monday, September 5

Shedding Some Light

Is this a problem lots of places, or only in my town? Both houses we've lived in (first a rental, now our purchased home) haven't had a ceiling light in the living room. I'd never heard of such a thing before we lived here! Our first place at least had an outlet connected to a switch, but here we have nothing which has led to an abundance of lamps scattered about the room. Don't get me wrong, I love a good lamp, but sometimes they just aren't enough. The biggest problem in our current house is the dining table in the corner of our the living room.

We had a floor lamp next to the table that gave a decent amount of light (the black pole in the top right of the pic), but wasn't pretty or very functional for a dining space. I've been looking for other options for awhile because I wanted a ceiling light over the table. Enter a few yard sale grabs from earlier this summer:

A plug-in light kit from a dollar/bag sale. (they're like $5 at IKEA if you need one!)
 $0.50 drum shade (made to fit a lamp)

I picked up both of these items hoping I could throw together some kind of light for just over $0.50. I started with a little work on the drum shade. It had a tiny hole at the top to attach to a lamp, but I needed a bigger hole to fit on the light kit. So my husband got to work with some heavy duty tin snips to remove the small middle ring. He said it was super hard, so make sure you have a strong pair of hands if you plan to give this a try. :)

Then he bent the metal bars at the end to make them just the right size for the light kit and the little bent edges should give the light kit something to hold on to. (You can see I broke out all the glues & tapes in preparation for this project. I keep them in a box labeled "Things that are Sticky." No joke. You can also see Baby B's train blanket minus Baby B. He's turned into quite the scooter. He wiggles around all over the floor. Now what were we talking about?)

 I picked up some 1 1/4" screw-in cup hooks to hang the light. These are from Target because we had a gift card to use, but you can probably get them just about anywhere.

I used 3 hooks to run the cord (I may add a fourth). The first is centered above the table for the light to hang from. The second is where cord runs straight back to the wall. The third is in the top right corner of the wall behind the curtains so the rest of the cord hangs down behind the curtains out of sight. 

 It worked out perfectly because the switch landed at just the right height. I slid the curtains in so you could see the switch. When the curtains are all the way open (against the wall) you can't see the switch or cord at all. We had to add a 6' extension cord to reach the outlet directly under the window. I may add a hook in the bottom corner to corral a little bit of slack from the extension cord.

Can you tell in the pic below that the drum shade is a little warped? I think someone used a too-hot light bulb with the poor little guy. It's not enough to deter my determined self, though! I just had to find something to cover it with. I really like it white, so I wanted to find something white or off white to use to keep it light & airy. When my husband & I were purging for the big yard sale, some of his old viola books went into the pile. Then one came back out of the pile to help with my project. What a brave, brave book. I thought the white-with-black-music-notes paper would be the perfect answer. And it would be a nice memorial to my husbands viola days of yore.

Before I made any commitments I wanted to give it a test run, so I taped a sheet to the shade... 

Ummm....that seems nice....but it's not quite getting the point across. So I upgraded my tape job. I wrapped a page around the shade and taped it on the back to get more of a finished-product look. Hmmm, I like that better already.

Then back up she goes! I like it, but since I only have one $0.50 shade to work with, I decided to let it sit a couple days to make sure I really really like it. Did I mention I sometimes have a problem with commitment? And decision making? Well now you know my secrets. Anyway...this is what it looks like now. It's still just taped on because I haven't decided for sure if it's what I want. It is starting to grow on me, though!

Especially once I light it up. I love how the notes show up and (an unexpected surprise) I like the two tone stripes that resulted from the paper being folded over to the back. 

So it will probably stay this way...but I'm not committing yet. :)


  1. Love this! I was thinking about making my own today and I think this is just the inspiration I need :D The music paper is a nice touch!

  2. Yay! I'm glad you were inspired! And I thought you would like the music paper. :)