I had this Pinterest-inspired hallucination that I would create one crafty item per day in 2014. AHAHAHAHA!!! Hillllarious, folks, hilarious. But, I did manage to create something rad with W on the first of the year – so here it is: a little tutorial on how to make an inverted fruit-basket hanging lamp.
Some background: The people we bought our home from not only vied to tie Kim Kardashian in swiftness of marriage disintegration, but the world record for number of ugly-butt chandeliers in one house. They are everywhere – in each bedroom (chandeliers in bedrooms?!?), in the dining room of course, the hallway, the kitchen, and they actually took the ones from the barn that were hanging there when we toured the house (the only ones we liked). Anywho, not only are they not “us,” but they cast what appear to be giant grey arachnid shadows (incidentally, W’s idea of a good heavy metal band name). Gotta go.
I’d been hemming and hawing over cool lighting for way too long. My cousin, who we lived with in DC over the summer, always had giant Restoration Hardware catalogs lying about, which were good for drooling, but amusingly not in our price range, and I really like the feel of the lighting at Barn Light Electric. But nothing got purchased. Then recently, in Carytown, I spotted several hanging lights made by a local artisan out of non-traditional sources like repurposed baskets. I knew I could recreate those $75-$200 lights myself! In fact, in purge-mode, I had tossed an old hanging fruit basket that I once bought for $1 at a garage sale into our scrap metal pile, which I immediately fished out when we got home.
A quick trip to Lowes (with a 10% off coupon) garnered a 12-ft lamp cord wire ($5.80, only a portion of which I ended up using…more DIY lamps to be made!) and a keyless socket adapter kit ($3.58) that I thought I could string together to make a hanging light (we’ve become trial and error electricians over the last 3 months). I also bought a canopy kit ($4.61), which is a face plate/finial that covers the ugly hole in the ceiling where all the important wiring resides.
First, I debated whether or not to spray paint the basket, which had some rust spots, opting finally not to in the name of “rustic charm” and it being frigging freezing outside. Then I turned the basket upside down and reattached it’s four chains to the bottom, to make an umbrella-shaped hanging wire basket. I cut off the cord’s plug and wired it to the socket. The instructions that came with the cord didn’t actually match the cord, so W did a little sleuthing to find out which of the two wires was the live/hot (sometimes labeled as “black,” in this case it just had writing on it) and which was the neutral wire (sometimes labeled as “white”). I then attached the little brass finial that came with the socket to the underside of the basket after threading the wire through it. I used a piece of the chain to secure the wire to the basket too, at the top where the “X” is made) so that it didn’t swing around. Then we cut the wire slightly longer than the length of the chain so that we had room to make the connections in the ceiling.
A few quick screw turns and the godawful hall chandelier (really the worst in tarantula-like shadow offenders) was thankfully removed. Then W attached the wires from our new chandelier to those in the ceiling and installed the canopy kit (thread the wire from the hanging lamp through it first, before connecting the wires to the ceiling). Oh yes, and we turned off the circuit prior to all fiddling in the ceiling, of course!
Last step was to screw in the vintage-inspired lightbulb I had purchased ($6.28…the most expensive piece!). No degree required! I experimented with threading lace ribbon and strips of burlap through the basket weave, but finally removed them all b/c it looked too hodge-podgy. Plain basket for me!
Oh, I love this little home made chandelier so much – it casts an unobtrusive basket shadow and the low wattage bulb isn’t too bright to look at directly. Total cost of materials: about $20. Boo-ya!
Go make one!!!
This post was shared with Fluster Buster’s creative link-up party.