Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Upside Down Table Lamp Pendants part 2

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Continued from Part 1

Dan and I had fun working on our upside down lamp project, bouncing ideas off one another.

Deciding the exact location for our three upside down lamps was the most mathematically challenging part of the project.  We first pseudo-hung our middle lamp to get an idea visually of how this was going to look.
Using a stud finder, extension pole, level and tape measure, we calculated the outer two lamp locations based on equal measurements from the center, builder installed ceiling box.  Our options were limited due to studs.  (Check out my Vase with Flowers artwork you see behind Dan!)

After finding three possible locations for one side, we checked the other side using the same measurements to see if any would work.  Thankfully there was an eye pleasing location available for both sides.

We used two ceiling boxes.

Dan traced around the base of the ceiling box and cut out the ceiling using a drywall saw.  Make sure you get an old work/remodel ceiling box and not a new construction ceiling box.

After cutting off the end of the electrical plug with wire cutters, pull the cord through the lamp.  This may require unscrewing a couple nuts on your way.

Removing the felt from the bottom of the lamps, I discovered the hole was already in the middle of the lamp.  This will help with having the lamp hang in a balanced fashion...(fingers crossed it's in the actual middle).  Propping the lamps on their tops, we began to investigate the method to our madness.

Unfortunately they were not very secure and one was knocked to it's side.  Woops.  Our lamps are apparently made of some sort of resin material and one cracked.  Epoxy to the rescue, you can barely tell now.

To avoid any more casualties, Dan fashioned a lamp holder in the way of drilling three holes in a piece of wood to mount the top of the lamps.  Painters tape held the lamps together while we performed our DIY magic.

We used a shallow metal ceiling box to provide a surface to screw in our pendant down rods.  And just a warning, these things stink.  I don't know why, I don't know how, but the stench made me heave and no I'm not pregnant.  Be prepared to wash your hands thoroughly or their smell may induce vomiting.
The metal ceiling box comes with a nut and bolt so that you can later attach a cross bar.  Make sure to thread these through the holes and tighten before applying any glue.  Don't screw too tightly because they will be held in place by epoxy.
Our plan next was to make a reservoir using liquid nails around the base of the hole.  This could have been done directly onto the base of the lamp as well.  The purpose is to prevent any epoxy from later oozing down into the base hole of the lamp.  Caulking could have been used with a similar effect.

We placed all metal ceiling fan conversion pieces to the bottoms of the lamps.  Next step? Epoxy.  Ours promised to hold 2500 lbs per square inch.  Unfortunately our original idea of squirting the epoxy around the base of the metal didn't work since we bought the wrong type of epoxy.  If you are planning on attempting this project, I suggest the pre mixed epoxy instead of the type that comes out in two separate streams and requires mixing.  Since we couldn't mix the epoxy with the metal already attached, we pealed it off before the liquid cement was permanent.

Thankfully it pealed off fine so our world continued to spin.  After premixing the epoxy Dan applied it around the bottom side of the metal and then to the edge after replacing it on the bottom of the lamp.

 Rethread the lamp with it's electrical cord.
We then attached the metal cross bars, removing the nuts and then retightening them.

The next step would be to dissect your chosen pendant lamp.  We grabbed ours for 18 bucks at Home Depot.  A good deal since we priced out the items separately and would have had to spray paint their finishes to match the brushed nickel we already have in our kitchen.
Your ceiling height and your desired height for the upside down lamp will determine how many down rods you will use.  Ours came in three sections and we found one to be the perfect length.
The down rods should screw nicely into the cross bar.
Now the lamp is all ready to be hung and wired into the ceiling!

This is the part where you should consider hiring an electrician (or become friend with one) if you don't have any previous experience.  Dan was crawling around in the attic for a while, poking electrical cords down through our ceiling boxes and then wiring them all to the middle ceiling box that is already hooked up to a switch in our kitchen.

and VOILA!

Standing on the counter, I helped   Dan to attach the first lamp (knees shaking in fear from my fear of falling), but I had to leave the next day for a Vegas bachelorette party where I did a little shopping at Anthropologie!  He was able to finish the last two lamps on his own while I dance the night away, which proves that it would be possible to complete this project solo, although I wouldn't suggest it.  (Unless it's your hubby doing it while you're partying with the girls.....that would be okay.)

Check out another lamp I recently rewired and upcycled!


  1. That is SUCH a fun idea!

    Featuring it tomorrow!!

  2. Well... maybe I see it... just a little bit. Love your home dec. ideas. So much fun!

  3. Great idea! I've never thought of that.

  4. Really cool! Just found your blog...everything you have done is my style! You have a beautiful home!


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