Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A DIY Ballard Designs pendant light

LI054_1Oops. I did it again.

I saw something I had to have in the Ballard Designs catalog months ago and was determined to do it on my own for much cheaper. And I did. For $68 cheaper to be exact. Whoot. WHOOT.

We have recessed lights in our kitchen, and I really love them. But for a while now I’ve thought it would be nice to add a little something over the kitchen sink. Just for a little somethin’ somethin’ pretty:


Anyway, I was eyeing the (fairly new) recessed light kits at Lowes for MONTHS. Thing is none of the glass fixtures that you use with them really spoke to me. So I kept waiting…and waiting. And then I saw the light kit above in the Ballard catalog and knew it was perfect. I loved, loved, loved the drum shade:

And can I tell you something? I loved the burlap. I did. Burlap is one of those things I said I would never use in our home. It’s kind of like before I had our son, I would say I would “never” do all kinds of things. Like never have his toys in every. single. room.

Ha. That’s freakin’ hilarious.

So anyway, I’m eating my words. The burlap was calling my name. But the $85 price tag for the kit was not. Seriously, are they CRAZY? Love you lots Ballard, but you. are. CRAZY. (I am quite sure you will never see them as an advertiser on TDC.)

So yesterday I went and finally got the recessed kit and because I was just going to bite the bullet, I got one of the glass fixtures as well, just to see if I liked it:


I just couldn’t figure out how I would do the drum shade for cheap. Until I got home with everything. UH DOY. I realized I could totally use the drum (well, almost drum, it’s a little wider at the bottom) shade from this lamp in our bedroom. I was a little bummed about taking it from that spot, but the kitchen was my priority – I was on a mission!

I looked at WalMart, Target, Hob Lob and Joann’s for another drum shade for the bedroom and nada. I don’t know what I’ll do to replace it on that lamp. For now it’s nekked.

So I was trying to figure out how I could rig up the drum shade with the kit until I realized, UH DOY, again…I could just screw it on like I would the glass fixture:



Until I got it up and there was a blinding light, I could not even see, the surface of the sun…bright coming from the fixture:


Yeah. The bulb hung down too low. Drats! Foiled again! Fists shaking in air!! So all last evening I was plotting how I could cut the metal that holds the ring in the center of the shade and rig it up the right way. It was really bugging me that I couldn’t figure it out. Today, I took a hammer and tried to get the ring dislodged from the shade.

I was hammering away, it wasn’t moving, and then I realized UH DOY, Sarah, just flip the shade over!!


The skies opened up, the angels sang and my life was right again. It worked!! And I actually quite like the wider part being on the top!

I got $1.50 of burlap at Hob Lob, and used hot glue to cover the shade like I’ve showed you how to do here. Then, to add a little color, I put the ribbon back on the shade:


I always like to cover the inside of the shade with something too, to cover the ragged edges:


I absolutely LURVE it!!


The Ballard Designs version was $85 for a kit with the 12 inch drum shade. My version was $17 for an oil rubbed bronze kit from Lowe’s and my shade is 12 inches wide too. Even if you had to by a shade, it would still be only around $35. MUCH better than $85. And you don’t have to use a drum shape – the possibilities are endless!

The kit was so insanely easy to install – you just unscrew the recessed bulb that’s in your fixture, then hold up the kit to see how long you want the light to hang, and adjust the cord:

070 Then you screw the fixture in, tighten the plate up on the ceiling to cover the recessed light (any excess cord goes up in there) and that’s IT.


It takes maybe five minutes to hang the kit. No electrical experience required peeps.


096 To see my other Ballard inspired projects, go here for the cafe shelves, here for the art and here for the jute bottles. Love you Ballard. Kisses!

Rhoda just blogged about her love of drum shades too! Check it out here.


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