How To: Custom Light Fixture

How To: Custom Light Fixture

Maxwell Ryan
Feb 27, 2009

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Title: Converting Plug-in Pendants to Custom Chandelier
Name: Bonnie McKernan
Time: A weekend
Cost: about $60

Bonnie used a grouping of inexpensive IKEA light fixtures to create a custom fixture for her dining room — and it looks much more expensive than it cost! Click above for the pics and head below for all the instructions. Give Bonnie a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful...


3 small IKEA Melodi plug-in pendant lamps ($9.99 each)
3/4" aluminum conduit piping (we bought three 5' pipes, but had leftovers)
gloss polyurethane
wood stain
3 cable ties
light fixture box heavy enough to support weight of box (unless you're just replacing an old fixture)

1. Install fixture box in desired location in ceiling if needed (we were installing it in a room with no existing ceiling light, but had a switch to an existing outlet already, so we fished the wire from the outlet to the ceiling where we installed the fixture box)
2. Build simple plywood box (open on top) — ours was 42" wide, 18"deep, and 3.5" high
3. Sand, apply wood stain, and apply several coats of gloss polyurethane (follow directions on wood stain and polyurethane)
4. Drill three, 3/4" holes in bottom of plywood box (we did them 13" apart)
5. Cut aluminum piping to desired lengths (leave a little bit of extra for inside the box)
6. Drill two small holes directly across from each other at top of each pipe (large enough to fit a cable tie through)
7. Cut off plug-in ends of pendant lights
8. Pull pendant light cords through pipes
9. Feed a cable tie through the two holes at the top of each pipe and connect the ends to keep them from falling through the holes in the box
10. Wire lights together and attach to fixture box
11. Screw box to ceiling (this varies depending on your ceiling — we nailed two strips of wood to the ceiling joists, and screwed the box to these on either side so it can be easily removed if needed)

Just IKEA and your basic hardware store

Give Bonnie a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

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