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How to Build a Pendant Light

How to Build a Pendant Light
Building furniture is never an easy task, neither is making lights. But some light fixtures can be made easily at home, with simple materials and tools and a careful hand. Scroll below for a simple "how-to" on building pendant lights at home.
CraftCue Staff
You would be surprised at the difference a little light makes in a room. A solitary lamp can turn a sitting room into an interrogation room. Likewise a glass chandelier can transform an ordinary hall into a ballroom. So the right interior lighting for your home can change its entire look without moving a single piece of furniture. But chandeliers and Tiffany lamps are pricey lighting appliances. For an easy-on-the-pocket option, why not put your crafting skills to the test and make your own light fixture?

Light making may seem like a highly specialized task but certain styles and designs are simple enough to construct at home (chandeliers are not possible). One such style is the pendant lamp or light. This light fixture is suspended or hangs from the ceiling. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the drum-shaped pendant light to the conical and cylindrical models. Read on to learn how to make a pendant light, in two different styles.

Making a String or Ball Pendant Light

These lights are very esthetically pleasing, avantgarde in style and add panache to even the dullest of living rooms. They are also highly adaptable and an ideal showpiece to show-off your crafting and DIY skills. These are modern and funky pendant style lights, which literally bring a touch of the sun into your room, with their bright glowing spherical shape.

You need:
  • Round balloons (size is up to your fancy, the larger the size, the larger the lamp)
  • Crochet thread, hemp string or cotton yarn
  • Fabric stiffener
  • Lightbulb
  • Hanging lamp style cord and socket (sets are available from appliance or lighting store)
Instruments:
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Rubber gloves
  • Newspaper
  • Foam brush
  • Clothespin
  • Trash bag
Steps:
  • Inflate the balloon.
  • Tie it up with a slip knot and fasten one end of the thread to this knot. You can either tie it in with the knot or you can use tape to fix it on that spot.
  • Start wrapping the thread strand around the balloon.
  • Be creative, you can go horizontal or vertical in wrapping the thread or zig-zag.
  • Wrap the thread strands close together or far apart. Based on your wrapping, the lamp's look is decided.
  • Keep the thread taut and firm, do not let it hang loose, or tighten too much on the balloon.
  • The entire surface of the balloon should be covered. Wrap the balloon dense and thick for a stronger lamp.
  • End the thread at the knot. Tape or tie it to the knot of the balloon.
  • Spread some newspaper on your working area, then cover it with the trash bag.
  • In a bowl, pour the fabric stiffener.
  • Use the foam brush to brush the stiffener over the balloon's surface.
  • Wear rubber gloves while doing this. Coat each thread sufficiently.
  • When you are done, hang the balloon to drip using a clothespin at the knot and leave it overnight.
  • The balloon should dry completely. Then pop the balloon using the needle and gently take it out from the thread circle.
  • At the top of the sphere, where the balloon knot was made, cut a hole wide enough to fix the light in.
  • Insert your light fixture into the hole, make sure it is firmly in place and hang up your light.
  • Turn the power on and watch the sphere glow into life. Voila, a beautiful cheap but expensive looking lamp is made!
  • Experiment with differently sized balloons and thread colors and textures, to create a different look with your pendant lamps.
How to Make a Pendant Light from a Wine Bottle

This is a rarer but equally stylish pendant light, made from a wine bottle. The lightbulb is fixed in the bottle, allowing the light to pass through the glass of the bottle, giving a calm and classy glow to any room. Making this light is a bit more difficult than the string pendant lamp, as some glass cutting is needed.

You need:
  • Large wine bottles
  • A pendant light kit or set (hanging cord and bulb)
Instruments:
  • Wine bottle cutting kit/glass cutter
  • Safety goggles
Steps:
  • Prepare the bottle for use by soaking it in soapy, warm water. Remove all labels and stickers.
  • The bottom of the bottle needs to be cut off. First measure how much you want and use a piece of tape to mark it all the way around.
  • Draw a straight line in the middle of the tape, you need to cut along this line.
  • Wear gloves and goggles and start cutting the glass.
  • The tape will collect any shards. Do not cut halfway and try to force the glass off. Cut the whole way through.
  • From time to time, dip the tool and the glass bottom in water, to cool off as both surfaces will get very hot.
  • Once cut, smoothen the rough edges of the cut-off bottom with the polishing bit of your cutting tool.
  • Now to fit the bulb into the bottle, you need to take the light housing apart, run the wire through the bottle's neck and then reconnect them.
  • The bulb will hang from the sawn-off end of the bottle and the wiring should come out of the neck. You can tie a knot in the hanging wire to make the bulb hang within the bottle.
With crafting lights, keep in mind, that practice makes perfect. Rome wasn't built in a day and no one picks up the knack of fixing lights in one shot. So be creative, experiment and light things up, the pendant lamp way!
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