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DIY Rustic Rope Chandelier

A friend of mine and I created three of these rope chandeliers for an event that was prohibition themed. These were really simple to create and a little more challenging to hang. We ended up doing three of these and clustering them together and the final result, once lit up was stunning… inexpensive and easy to make with great impact.

We started with a 4′ heavy duty wreath ring and attached chain to the frame to hang it. Use three identical lengths of chain. Join them with an “O” ring at the top  and use “S” hooks to attach the chain to the ring.

Next, we attached a plug strip with zip ties to the top of the ring. For the lighting element, we attached 7 light sockets to the ring, hanging at various heights. We used make-a-lamp kits, which are just a socket, cord and plug. You could do as many sockets as you want here but you will need to add another plug strip. Use low wattage bulbs so your lighting won’t be harsh. Once the chains and sockets are attached, drape the rope around the ring. Make it look messy and deshevled. We used three lengths of 50′ in various widths. I think ideally, we would have used more rope to help fill it out but we made due with what we had.

Hang this bad boy and you’re done.

Here is the final product.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.


Branching Out

I know, I know… I should have put a bird on it. After all, what goes better with branches and nests? The final result of this project was definitely not what I set out to create but it definitely is weird unique. I bought the lamp for $3 at the swap meet and pulled the manzanita branches out of the garbage at work. The lamp looked to be oxidized brass and the branches were unfinished/natural.

I wired the branches to the harp with some thin gauge wire. The harp is the piece of the lamp that goes up and around the bulb to hold the shade. I gave the lamp and branches a coat of bright green glossy paint, taking care to fill up the light bulb socket with paper to make sure the paint didn’t get in there. I didn’t have a suitable shade so I created a web of paper strips and glued them together to create a shade. The shade was inspired by a bird nest. It seemed appropriate given the context. Here’s how it turned out.

And here’s a close up of the shade.

If I were to do this again I would finesse the shade some to make it a little more like a nest. I still might do that, but for now I’m happy with the final product.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

This Little Light of Mine

I happened upon a set of three palettes that I thought had really cool feet. Each palette had 9 injection molded plastic donut shaped feet that screwed into the bottom of the palette with a threaded bolt. I tossed around a few ideas and settled on making them into a light that I could either set on a table or mount to the wall. This project used all recycled materials that I had lying around.

Once I had all the feet removed I took out the thread hardware and gave them a coat of flat black paint.

Concerned that they were starting to look too much like mini tires and that the black paint would absorb all the light from the light source I decided to spray the inside of each “donut” with gold paint. I thought it would pop it up a notch and help reflect some light.

To get the gold on just the inside of each donut I drilled a large hole in the bottom of a solo cup and used that to direct the gold paint into the center.

Turns out spray paint melts solo cups. I wonder what it does when you breath it? Another reason to wear a respirator.

With all the donuts painted I got started on the board I would mount them to. I started by mapping out the locations where I would push the lights through into the center of each donut and drilled holes.

With all the holes drilled I gave it a few coats of high gloss black paint for contrast with the flat black and applied a sheet of the same contact paper I used on the houndstooth wall.

I finished the whole thing up by pushing white christmas lights through each hole and stapling them to the back. This worked out well because it helps to give the whole fixture a halo or glow from the back. Here’s the finished piece in the daylight.

And here’s what it looks like all lit up.

I like it a lot sitting flat on a table because it looks like a long arrangement of candles. The fixture is 24″ X 60″ so I just need to get a giant dining room table… and a new apartment to hold it!

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Hangin’ Around

I would be lying if I said that I’ve never been called a scavenger. In my defense, I see things a little bit differently than most people. When I spotted these palm fronds hangin’ around on the sidewalk I first thought they might make a good hanging planter.

Well, it turned out I also needed a clever lighting solution for my kitchen and when I realized I had an old light socket cord kit I knew where this was going.

I cut a small disk of plastic and hot glued it to the back of the frond to attach it to the cord. The beauty of this corner application is that it really doesn’t matter how you hang it since no one will see the back. This solution was quick, free and super simple. My kind of fix. As a final touch I finished it off with a spray clear coat to bring out the natural color of the frond. Since the back of the frond is open it casts a really nice, diffuse glow all over this corner of the kitchen.

A Bright Idea

Philips lighting + Inhabitat weblog are hosting the Bright Ideas Lighting Design Competition. Entries will be judged based on aesthetics, creativity, sustainability, practicality, and commercial viability. Its been a while since I’ve designed any furniture or lighting and I thought this would be a fun and different project to get the wheels spinning.

I created a solution I call Stala Series.  I envision multiple variations on this design, all inspired by cave formations. The name is a play on the actual cave formations, Stalactites & Stalagmites. I chose this form because it is delicate but sturdy, organic yet mathematical and whimsical. One of main design features of this light is that it uses the new Philips LED bulb. LED technology creates a bulb that lasts much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and because LEDs burn cool, it allows for more flexibility in shade material options. I chose a recycled paper shade that collapses down to flat pack. Think origami. I designed the packaging and light itself to be created from recycled materials and be fully recyclable and to be shipped flat with minimal packaging and no tools required for assembly. Read on for more details.

Finalists will be announced May 30th. Keep your fingers crossed and thanks for reading!

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