Thursday, August 11, 2011

DIY Drum Shade Pendant Light

So, I recently decided to update the light over our kitchen table.  According to Michael, this is the interrogation light.  He feels like he is in the hot seat every time I make him sit at the kitchen table, because the harsh light shines straight down from overhead.  Not very conducive to having a relaxing meal.  We needed to do something to make it feel less like a criminal inquisition over here (ignore flowers on table, interrogators don’t use those):


When we moved in, I thought that light was just the cutest thing, it was all fancy and “modern” and oil-rubbed bronze.  Be still my heart. :)  And it had a cute little glass shade on it.  Plus it was in the perfect spot, directly above the kitchen table.  Well, apparently, there are better things out there than this little pendant light.  Enter the world of blogging, which has opened my eyes to an array of home decorating choices I never knew before.  Like drum shades.  They are everywhere in blog land.  And I think that somewhere along the line, I started thinking they were awesome, too.  Don’t ask me why… but if you stare at something in a beautiful setting over and over, you start to find it beautiful, too.  I can’t really say, I think I am biased on this subject. 

Anyway, I thought this was the perfect place to utilize one of these fancy drum shades.  So, after seeing this tutorial at 320 Sycamore, I thought that was something I could do!  Off I went to Lowe’s to get a drum shade.  I found a nice simple white one for a mere $10, woot!  When I got home I noticed that it had a funny kind of fitter.  Which apparently is called a “slip uno” because it slips under the light bulb on a lamp and fits there without a harp or finial.  Who knew all these things had different names and functions?  I have much to learn!


Unfortunately, this slip uno thing was the only kind that Lowe’s had in white drum shades, and Walmart had no white drum shades.  And I was already home with my purchase, so I was determined to make it work… somehow.  And I was determined to install it before dinner.  :)

So, I decided that I could just slip the center ring thing over the ceramic threaded part of the pendant light and then tighten the ceramic ring to keep it on, which is exactly how the glass shade is secured.  Of course, the lamp shade ring was too small, and it was way down in the middle of the shade (slip uno) instead on on the top (threaded uno or spider).  So, I had to use some elbow grease (i.e. palm blisters) to reconfigure the wire fitting.  I used my pathetic wire cutters to snip the center ring off and then cut mangled it in two.  I stretched it open to make it big enough to fit over the ceramic threaded part and then bent the three metal wires up to the top broke off two of the wires and successfully bent the third metal wire up to the top.  Then I reinserted the newly enlarged center ring back into the three “spider” wires (now at a wonky angle because of the “enlargement”/mangling.  A little hot glue remedied the wires broken from the outer ring of the shade, some floral wire and scotch tape to keep all the wires in place on the center ring, and the shade fitter was fully secure (I hope!).  Next, I just placed it over the ceramic threaded post and screwed the little ring back on to hold it up.  And luckily the pendant top completely covered all my jerry-rigging.  The hardest part was getting it to sit straight on the ceramic fitter, since the shade ring was mangled into a not flat circle.  Oh me.  But it works, and it is mostly centered and mostly level.  Just don’t stare at it.  It makes it nervous. :)


After all that mess, I was happy to stand back and admire my new drum shade pendant! 

I love it…  It’s the little things, people.

Maybe later when we get some more things going in the kitchen… like a paint color that is actually a color, I might fancy up the plain jane shade a bit.  With some fabric or trim that coordinates with the kitchen colors.  For now, it will just have to be white. 


Here is your side-by-side comparison.  No more interrogations at the dinner table.

IMG_4904  IMG_6674 

Finally a completed kitchen project!!  After three years of living here, this room has seen very little improvement.  If I can just convince Michael to let me paint the kitchen cabinets, we could get on with the kitchen transformation.  My vision for the cabinets looks a little like this:


or possibly this, in the event that Michael loses his mind and says that I can paint the cabinets yellow:


Which one do you like?  Do you think it will look good with my new drum shade pendant?



TA Guthrie said...

What are you going to do with the flooring?