How To Make A Globe Pendant Light

Ubiquitous as they are around here, I can't seem to shake globes from my affections. And don't lie, your inner nerd knows deep down just how cool they are too. For all who emailed or commented on my house tour asking for a tutorial, this post's for you.

Before I totally get it from you all, I have to say that, yes, I know how stupid easy this project is. But stupid easy makes for a very satisfying DIY for those of us short on patience or low on funds, right? This one takes about 10 minutes and can cost under $15.

Materials and Tools:
• pendant light kit (find them at any home center in the lighting sections. I got a cheap discontinued brassy one which I intend to spray paint yellow in the near future) or for a less permanent fixture requiring no electrician, use a plug in cord kit from Ikea.
• globe (I found this broken one on the side of the road)
• paint
• some sort of writing material (I used chalk)
• exacto blade or box cutter

Instructions:
• using your exacto blade, carefully cut the globe in half along the equator (most old globes are only joined here with glue or tape anyway, so this takes about two seconds)
• hold the light socket of your pendant light on the top of your globe (north or south pole depending on which half you're using) and use it as a stencil as you trace around it to mark the spot where it will be inserted
• using your exacto blade, cut around the circle you just marked (the lip of the pendant light should cover this area once it's assembled so this doesn't have to be a perfectly clean cut). Some globes that were previously one rotating stands, like mine, have a metal washer-like disk glued on at either pole, so be careful as you cut around it and remove it. If your blade doesn't cut through the globe easily, it probably means that you do have one of these metal disks (sorry no picture of that part).
• paint the inside of your globe. I was toying with the idea of adding a decorative finish like decoupaging it with book pages (super nerd!) to cover up the seam lines or painting it a cool color for another surprise element, but for now I just went with white paint.
• install the pendant light into the ceiling (use an electrician or go with the plug in version if you don't know how to switch out the existing feature yourself)
• fit the light socket through the hole at the top of your globe, screw on the cap, pop in the bulb, and tada!

Other thoughts: If I don't end up going for the spray paint, I'm toying with the idea of wrapping the cord, canopy, and cover in hemp twine for added texture. Which would you do?

(Images: Leah Moss)

19 Comments