Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DIY Light Fixture to Lantern


Last time I told you how I had big plans for the two old deck light fixtures that I replaced.  Well, that really got me inspired to work on these guys that have been sitting in the basement for a while.  That is why I love blogging.  Accountability, people!

Okay, so when I ripped these lights off the wall to replace them, (that’s not really how it went down, but I felt like ripping them down from day one… they were ugh-ly!) I happened to notice their little boxy frame with the finial on top.  Inspiration struck… they were the perfect size and shape for a cute little lantern!

Here is what I’m talking about (sans glass):


Dirty, rusty, brassy?  Yes, but salvageable!  I took out the glass panes and then removed the electrical part and the back plate.  Then I gave them a good once-over with a wire brush, followed by soap and water.  Then I spray painted the box, cap, and finial oil rubbed bronze.  I saved the washer from the electrical part so I could reinstall the finial later.  Everything else I chucked in the trash. 


This is the secret to my spray painting set up… spray on the red brick gravel so that when you overspray, you can just rake it into the rest and no one will notice the spray painted ones.  Riiiiiight. :)  One day when Michael comes home all the red gravel will suddenly be oil rubbed bronze.   (That’s right Brian, not the dog and cat, but the patio! hehe)

After the parts were dry, I reinstalled the cap and finial using that washer that I saved.  Glad I thought to keep it fish it out of the trash, or else I would have had to glue the pieces back together.  It’s always a good day when I can finish a project without resorting to hot glue.  :)  I put the three panes of glass back in (the light only had three because the fourth side was where it mounted to the wall), which left an opening in the back for candle insertion and ventilation.  My lantern won’t be a centerpiece this way, but as long as it’s backed up to a wall or something, it will still look good. 

Once everything was back together, I thought they looked okay, but there was something missing from the “lantern” look I was going for.  So I decided to add little cross pieces on the front of each glass pane, for a little extra detail.  I used a piece of template vinyl which I cut into one centimeter wide strips and spray painted to match.  Both sides.  Then I cut them and notched the corners so they would fit perfectly in front of the glass pane.

Lastly, I realized my lanterns had to have a bottom; I couldn’t just sit the candle on the table!  So, I had my Papa cut me a couple squares of thin sheet metal, which I promptly painted as well.  (DIYer’s dream = having parents who save everything.)  I stuck the squares inside on the bottom frame.  Add a candle and there you have it… a cute little lantern!

The hard part was trying to decide where to put them, so I tried a few places… 





But this is where they finally ended up… for now:

IMG_6755 IMG_6721


blue scroll  light to lantern

So, what do you think of my upcycled light fixture turned lantern? 

I think they will be even cuter for Autumn decor… yep, that’s where my mind is headed, it’s almost September!!



Debbie Jordan said...

You just amaze me with your vision and talent. Love it!!