Thursday, January 23, 2014

DIY Drum shade light fixture

Remember when I said we had 3 "boob" lights in view from our front door?  I checked the local Ikea in town to see if they had light fixtures to replace the "boob" light, and there were a few drum lights to choose from, but I just didn't think they were fun enough.  Check them out here and here.  Honestly, I felt like I would be replacing one "boob" light for another.  

Luckily, I came across a tutorial on how to create my own drum shade for the ceiling here.   It includes a video too.  I didn't like how they used poster board to make it, so I used one of the suggestions in the comments section to make my own with quilter's plastic.  The tutorial link above also stresses it should not be used for light fixtures that use incandescent bulbs.

Here she is:

I spy with my little eye, 3 light fixtures in a 25 foot space...

I went with a gray chevron because I heard from a little birdie over at Wool and Flax that gray creates a "homier" and more mature space.  Forget Pinterest, Wool and Flax is where I get all my home decor inspiration.  I'm slowly working a few neutrals into my life, so why not start here.  
Here's a brief tutorial of how I made mine: 

What you will need:
  • 2 14 inch embroidery hoops
  • 1 Quilter's clear plastic sheet for the sides 
  • 2 Quilter's opaque plastic sheets for the diffuser panel 
  • Fabric in the pattern of your choice
  • Thin white fabric
  • Binder clips
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mod Podge 
  • Silver paint
  • Eyelet screws
  • Twine or metal hooks
I owe my Mom a huge THANK YOU for sending me a box full of supplies.  It was like Christmas over here when I opened the box!  The Arts and Crafts Center on post didn't have any 14 inch embroidery hoops in stock, and I didn't feel like searching all over town.  What would the world do without moms?  We had fun FaceTime-ing and shopping together for fabrics.

Okay here we go!

**Step 1**
Cut the clear quilter's plastic in half and use binder clips to attach it to the embroidery hoops.  Then use a hot glue gun to permanently attach it and remove the binder clips as you go.  
**Step 2**
Iron, cut, and hot glue gun the fabric to fit around your plastic drum shade.  Mine was the perfect length, so I didn't have to piece together the fabric around the drum shade.  When gluing the fabric you only need a small amount near the embroidery hoops.  You don't want the glue to show when the light is on.  

**Step 3**
Add your eyelet screws.  You should check your light fixture to see where is the best location to put them in order to hang your drum shade.  No tools necessary, these babies screw right in the hoop. 
**Step 4**
I added a silver paint here to the inner side of the embroidery hoop.  You can also add ribbon or other fabrics too!
**Step 5**
Use your opaque quilter's plastic to make a diffuser panel for the bottom of the drum.  I needed to piece together two for my 14 inch drum shade.  Trace around the outside of the drum shade, so the piece you cut out fits nicely on the inner lip of the embroidery hoop. Cut it out and add a white fabric using Mod Podge.  

**Step 6**
Time for hanging!    This was a bit tedious but it finally made it up there.  Make sure you leave enough space for the air to circulate and heat to dissipate.  Use metal hooks or twine to hang it.  When you finish add the diffuser panel to hide the bulbs, and you're finished!  

Here is what our living room looked like before:
**Emma - "Oh, am I in the picture again?"**

And now:
**sleepy dog**
As you can see I did this project during Christmas time, so please ignore our pitiful Charlie Brown tree. We're waiting for the lights to burn out on this 7 year old, $30 Wal-Mart tree that I bought during my graduate school days.  To add to it's sad state we accidentally stored some of our bulbs back in the states.
Here's what the room looks like without Christmas decor:

I like this drum light because it will be so easy to change the fabric when I get tired of the chevron pattern.  I've also seen people use it to replace hanging light fixtures like here or cover up ceiling fan lights like here, and also cover spider lights like here.  So versatile, right?   What do you think?  Can you use one of these in your home?  Do you think it adds more character to our living room?  I'm having mixed emotions about all of the different patterns in this small space.  Eh, it will do for now.  Don't worry, I have a new craft project on the horizon to potentially replace the wall art.  


  1. Hello! I just found you through you finding me on Bloglovin' :)

    Firstly, welcome to Wiesbaden and secondly… I LOVE what you've done with your light shade, it's fantastic - and exactly what I need in the very room I'm sitting in! I don't suppose you make them to order, do you? ;)

    1. Thank you for the warm welcome! I've started researching your blog and have a list of places to visit. Thanks for all of the great restaurant reviews! Hehe, making them to order would be fun, but I thought I'd try to teach a man to fish instead of just giving him one. :) If you have any questions I'm here to help!

    2. Thanks! :) I hope you find some good places to eat :)


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