Trade School

Trade School #6- DIY Pendant light fixture


Happy Trade School day! I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to Trade School.  It’s absolutely amazing the amount of talent and creativity out in the blogosphere, and today’s lesson is no different.

Our teacher today is Stacey from A Sort Of Fairytale, and she just so happens to be another fellow Chicago blogger.  Do I have have a bit of favoritism for my fellow Chicagoans?  You betcha!  But I love the rest of you too. 

Stacey’s blog is a beautiful and entertaining read any day of the week, and I hope you will sail on over to visit her as soon as you’re done reading her awesome post here.

Take it away, Stacey!


Hello, Adventures Of our Fami-Ly readers!  I’m Stacey from A Sort Of Fairytale and I’m so happy to be here today to share a tutorial post for Trade School, thank you Sarah for having me over!  I’m going to show you how easy it is to take a simple lampshade and turn it into a pendant light fixture:

Check out this Shady Lady!  She is the best kind of new…the kind that is FREE!  Yep, I went shopping in my basement again and found her sitting there on a shelf, waiting for a floor lamp to be paired up with, when all of a sudden…LIGHT BULB!  I knew just what to do with her and it didn’t involve a floor lamp.

There she is, my new DIY Pendant Shade Fixture!

You see, I inherited this chandelier with the new house we bought in March 2011.  It had modern white shades over the bulbs to start, so I removed the shades and I liked it better right away, but it left the chandelier with exposed white (now painted metallic bronze) ribbed sockets…me no likey, not pretty.  I thought, hey no problem, I’ll just put cute shades over the bulbs anyway.  Think again, Stacey.  The way the fixture is designed, the curled part near the bulbs/sockets gets in the way of any shade I tried.  They just wouldn’t sit right.

At this point the ribbed sockets were still white and I had to think of something to cover that hideousness up.  Sooooo, I painted them metallic bronze in an effort to match the rest of the chandelier.  It turned out to be not the best match, but it was better than white.  I lived with it this way for a while, thinking of what else I could do to disguise the now, not-so-great paint job.  I considered taking it down and spraying the entire thing white, but then I would still be left with those ugly sockets.  I came very close to covering them with ribbon, and that’s when I got the idea to scrap the chandelier altogether and and put up the Pendant Shade!

{detail of ugly socket}

{the shade itself…looking like a Mad-Hatter…was a freebie from a retail trade showroom that I used to work in at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.  Unfortunately, I do not remember what company made it.  I used to have it on a floor lamp.}

Here’s how my DIY Pendant Shade Fixture was made…

You will need a lamp shade that has a top like this

Or an IKEA shade that was made to go with the IKEA cord kit…you could totally embellish a plain one if you don’t find a style you like

{IKEA cord light kit, $3.99…ok, so this light fixture was almost free}

You will also need wire cutters if you plan on hard wiring your

Pendant Shade into the ceiling

Since I was hard wiring mine, I cut the plug off and stripped the plastic away

to reveal the two wires inside.  Again, skip all this if you are just going to

plug yours in and swag-hang from the ceiling.


Due to the fact that that my shade was not exactly the right kind to use with the IKEA cord kit, I would initially not have been able to create this fixture, BUT, since I was hard wiring, cutting the plug off allowed me to “thread” the wire up through the shade.

Now, not to worry, there are other pendant cord kits online that I am pretty sure you can use with shades like mine.  Otherwise, just get a shade at IKEA that goes with the cord kit. Urban Outfitters also has a kit and their own shades as well. Me, being the impatient one I am, thought it much quicker to just make the IKEA kit work with my shade!  Like I said though, I would need an another kind of cord light kit if I was going to plug in, instead of hard wire.

{threading the cord up through the shade}

{this is how the kit rests within my lampshade}

It’s just a matter of hanging the Pendant Shade Fixture up after you have assembled it together.  Lucky for me, my dad does all my lighting switch-outs!  Not lucky for him though I suppose…

There she is all assembled and hung up! 

I covered the plan white cord with vintage lace by simply tying and wrapping it around the cord.  Someday I think I will sew a cord slip cover for it though. 

Pretty easy right?!  The possibilities are endless….you could even use a wire basket upside down for a more vintage industrial look too, or a wicker basket would look great also!

Hope I was a good teacher today…thank you again, Sarah for having me over to your lovely blog today!






Wowza, I think the homework this week is going to be a bit more difficult, but totally worth it.  Isn’t that light fixture just adorable? And how about the rest of her dining room…LOVE!

You know the drill, if you do your homework and make yourself a pendant light fixture you’ll get a feature and a gold star next week!

Thanks Stacey for being an awesome teacher–get your red pen ready to grade all the homework!

5 thoughts on “Trade School #6- DIY Pendant light fixture

  1. oh i hope you all don’t think it’s too hard! really it’s not. the only tricky part is installing it into the ceiling, but it’s not very hard if you or someone you know can do that. thank you so much for having me over Sarah!i have a link on my blog to you🙂


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