Before & After: Sea Urchin Terrarium to Pendant Light

Before & After: Sea Urchin Terrarium to Pendant Light

Kimber Watson
Sep 30, 2010

It all started with a magazine clipping of the Harriet Globe Pendant by Juliska. You know, the "I dream of owning this someday, but the price is way out of my budget" magazine clipping. Then a couple years later I saw the sea urchin terrarium at Anthropologie and got an idea.


When I saw the sea urchin terrarium went on sale for half off, I quickly snatched it up. I wasn't impressed with it as a functional terrarium (it was not nearly tall enough), but as it sat there empty on my living room table, I was daily reminded of the Juliska pendant and started wondering if I'd be able to give it new life. Armed with a few things I had around the house, a couple of tools and a trip to the local garden center, I patiently went to work.

How I Did it:

1 I removed the large jute rope at the top to reveal the hole.
2 I already owned the cord kit (previously from an inexpensive lamp purchase from Target, I just lost the accompanying shade), the trick was figuring out if I could insert it in the small hole currently in the top of the terrarium.
3 Knowing absolutely nothing about working with electric, I took apart as much of the plastic that holds the light bulb as I could and soon realized I was at a standstill. There was still too much plastic to pass through the hole, and going through with the cord end was also not an option as the prong was also too big for the hole. As a last attempt, I turned to my significant other. With the help of tiny screwdrivers and an extra set of hands, he was able to disassemble it completely, pass the cord through the hole, reassemble it (this was the hard part), and then we crossed our fingers that the light would still turn on. It did!
4 Disliking the plastic housing for the light bulb, I neatly wrapped jute gardening twine around as much of the exposed plastic as I could. I'm not sure if this would be a safe thing to do for every light (could this be a fire hazard?), but given that I mostly use this for reading at night and with a 15 watt bulb, it never gets very hot.
5 Secured a heavy duty hook into the ceiling and hung the chain from it (both hook and chain were from the garden center), measuring where I wanted the pendant to fall and then removing the extra chain.
6 Using the jute twine, I secured the chain to the pendant, and then wove the jute through the chain, cutting off the extra at the top. Originally, I was planning on using the already attached rope, but since I needed the light bulb housing to rest securely in the hole at the top, I had to remove the rope completely. Wrapping with the jute twine allowed me to secure the chain, as well as hide the remaining exposed part of the hole, giving it a more finished appearance.

Now, I'm not saying my DIY pendant light even comes close to the stylish Juliska pendant, but I'm very happy with the results — especially considering how little I spent to make it. Down the road I would like to find a more interesting light bulb, since it is quite visible through the glass when it's not illuminated.

Images: 1: Anthropologie, 2: Urban Outfitters, 3-5: Kimberly Watson, 6: Juliska

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