Drum Pendant DIY

I can’t tell you the exact moment that I knew my husband was “the one” (no offense to him, he swept me off my feet from the start!), but I can tell you the moment I knew that this house needed to be our next home. It was a similar rush of excitement, comfort, butterflies, and being able to envision myself raising a family in this place (or with this person).

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I was standing in the breakfast nook, the sun was streaming in through the windows and I could just see pancake breakfasts, Christmas parties, birthday cakes, and years of happy memories happening right in that sweet sunlit corner.

It is the perfect spot for family dinners and lazy cups of coffee on the weekends. We can see deer roaming through our woods in the morning, and sunsets over the trees at night.

It was love at first sight.

Except for one thing….

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That light fixture HAD to go.

 

My initial inspiration for this nook came from more than a few kitchens on Pinterest:

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(sorry I couldn’t track down a better link!)

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As you can see, I REALLY wanted a wooden pedestal table. I seriously considered it for months before the move.  I eventually decided that owning a $2000+ table with young children who might write, color, spill, and stain the beautiful wood was not my smartest idea. There’s always time to upgrade, right?

I was pretty happy to settle for a $125 vintage faux bamboo piece (that still needs some love), and even happier when I found out it was a housewarming gift from my parents!! (Thanks Mom and Dad!!).

I was slowly establishing my style in this new home and the breakfast nook was soon anchored by my vintage faux bamboo table, and 4 new Ballard Designs faux bamboo chairs.

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As you can see from the photo above, I still wasn’t quite ready to trust the little guy to eat in the new chairs… I think waiting on the expensive table was the right choice too!

There was so much gorgeous sunlight coming through that window, but the light fixture was killing the aesthetic I was going for!

I considered SO many beautiful options!

1. World Market Beaded Beauty: $269

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2. Ballard Designs Guilded Bamboo: $399T_WithoutZoom2Source

3. Shades of Light Dreamy Delicate Drum Shade: $722

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4. Shades of Light Trellis Drum Shade Pendant, $179

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When it came time to make a decision, I had two main stipulations: Affordability and Longevity.

As much as I loved the beaded styles that were popping up all over Pinterest, I do not love changing light fixtures unnecessarily. I just don’t see the style lasting long enough to make the investment financially or physically.

If you’re questioning my physical investment, have you ever changed a light fixture? Your neck, shoulders, arms and back will BURN as you stand on top of tiny ladder and delicately unwire, rewire, and pray! that your fixture will work when your arms can’t hold it up any longer.

I was still waiting for the perfect pendant to find me, when I realized that a recent Goodwill purchase might just be the ticket!!

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That pretty shade of turquoise (no pun intended) has been finding its way into my home more and more lately. So, when this lampshade was sitting at the Goodwill with a Homegoods tag ($14.99) still attached, I felt pretty delighted to take it home for $3.99!

To test out my latest and greatest idea, I jerry-rigged this little ensemble:

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In case you’re curious, Merriam-Webster defines jerry-rigged as “organized or constructed in a crude or improvised manner” – which is absolutely describes my method! Luckily, it was enough to let me know that this option was worth pursuing!

Now I just needed to create a whole light fixture out of a lamp shade…

Shades of Light to the rescue! A half and hour of internet research led me to their Shade Pendant Hardware Kit (only $49, plus shipping).

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This kit checked all the boxes for my kitchen table light fixture:

✔️- Affordability: At $49 it is less than a third of the cheapest fixture I was previously considering.

✔️- Longevity: If this turquoise color is “so 2017” I can swap it out any time I want! I could even swap it out seasonally! (My husband might kill me, and I haven’t actually googled a Christmas plaid drum shade yet…but I’m practically giddy dreaming of the possibilities).

 

I hoped the white cord would disappear into the beautiful view just outside our window. Worst case scenario, the shade stands out too much and stops your eye from moving on to the lush green backyard. (This was another big concern with adding a lower light fixture, and probably why the previous owner chose to hang the old fixture so high). I really was hopeful this wouldn’t be the case.

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I really liked that this drum shade kit had two bulbs. Most other options only had one bulb, and I wanted to be sure this fixture would provide plenty of light for meals and games. I first ordered the hardware with a diffuser kit and later returned the 35 dollar diffuser because the open light bulbs didn’t bother me at all.

The next big decision involved ceiling medallions (also a Goodwill find!!).

  1. Large medallion with no depth (easy installation)
  2. Small medallion about an inch think (complicated installation)
  3. Layer large and small medallions (complicated installation, but so pretty!)

Knowing me, you probably thought I chose option 3.

As much beauty as that double medallion of dots and details provides, I just didn’t want the headache of altering the installation to accommodate the extra thickness of the smaller medallion. I was also worried that all that fancy detailing might make my simple drum shade pendant look a little underwhelming. I wanted the medallion to be a fun detail instead of a showstopper.

Option #1 made the most sense, so that’s what we did.

Taking down the old fixture was pretty straightforward, thanks to some help from Mom and Dad and their extra tall step ladder. (Always turn OFF the breaker! -It has to be said).

The most complicated part of putting up the new one, was getting all the elements in the right order…

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The next headache was the chunky bit of wiring that had to be stuffed back into the ceiling. During our first attempt we must have shoved the wiring too hard and it disconnected. It was pretty much utter devastation when we thought our backbreaking work was finally finished. We flipped a switch with hopeful eyes, and watched our light fixture do…nothing. It was s total fail.

After letting the blood flow back into our hands and arms, we tried again and taped the heck out of the wiring to make sure it stayed together before we shoved it (as gently as possible) back to where it belonged.

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This time, it WORKED!

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On this rainy day it was difficult to see the beauty of the turquoise shade, but we could definitely see that it provided plenty of light!!

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I only had to wait a day for the rainy weather to move on and reveal my results.

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Is it just me or does this photo make you want to cue the choir of angels?!

 

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Seeing this every morning on the way to the fridge for my iced coffee always makes me smile…and smiling before coffee is practically a miracle in this house.

 

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