Pendant Light With Pulley

My sister hinted that she wanted me to make her a pendant light using a pulley she found. Actually it wasn’t a hint so much as a demand. My sister isn’t known for her subtlety. She also doesn’t read this blog, so I’m safe. :)

I’ve had the pulley for quite some time and I just now finished in time for her birthday.

diy light, how to make a light fixture, interior design, salvage design, up cycle, green design

The parts:

I found the bracket on Etsy, from a cool shop based in Wisconsin (Gizmo and Hoo Ha) with all sorts of vintage odds and ends. It was listed as a holder for horse bridles and tack, which is special because my sister used to be a big horse-back rider.

The lamp parts (wire, socket, plug, cage) I bought online through Sundial Wire. A big plug for them here (pun intended) – not only do they have very nice lamp parts, they also give very detailed instructions on how to wire a plug and socket.

(Side note: Unfortunately, I lost the photos I took of the individual parts before I put the lamp together. My memory card went kaput after I took the pictures and could not be recognized by the computer or the camera. The good news is the store exchanged the damaged card for a new card, but the bad news is all the photos were lost. Has this ever happened to you?)

Happy Birthday to my sister!

To see more of Heidi’s artwork, visit her at Old Stuff. New Stories.



This Plus That Equals: an Industrial Wall Sconce

Instead of preparing for the holidays, I thought it would be more fun to make a light fixture. I found this old enameled sign at Second Use Building Materials a while back and never  quite knew what to do with it. Then last week, I was looking online and ran across a cool light bulb cage (for only $6), and all of a sudden a light went on in my head. (Ha!)


Vintage enameled sign, from an old stove (I think!).



Lamp supplies – cloth covered cord and protective cage are from 1,000 Bulbs. The cage arrived with a shiny finish. To remove that finish and darken the metal, I soaked it in vinegar. Our house smelled like pickles, but the great patina that resulted on the steel was worth it!



See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

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This Plus That Equals: a Lamp

When we found this old car jack at Second Use, we weren’t even sure what it was – it just looked COOL! We thought it would make a great lamp base, so when this old utility clamp light came along, it seemed like a perfect match. This project was very simple, with no wiring except for adding a new plug.


Utility Clamp Lamp, free giveaway.



Old Jack Stand from Second Use, $4.



Funky Vintage Adjustable Table Lamp.

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

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Make a Home Office Pendant Light

I needed a light for my workspace. I wanted to find a really awesome Pendant Light. I poked around online and found some that were amazing, but a little too expensive for me to handle. I had a very basic $17.00 IKEA pendant light left over from my kitchen update. $17-40.00 was more like my budget. But, it was so small and lacked any funk at all. Plus it looked like it belonged in a kitchen.

Original Ikea Pendant Light

I was hoping to snag an inexpensive, awesome, retro light from Second Use Building Materials or RE Store. Continue reading

Industrial Wall Sconce from Salvaged Objects


We had gathered a few things and thought it would be fun to try to make a retro vintage industrial adjustable salvaged upcycled (not gonna say “steampunk”) wall sconce.

What we started with:

  • insulated ceramic electrical pulley thingy (REStore, $4)
  • old industrial safety glass light + screw-on aluminum cover (REStore, $10)
  • upper wooden part of an old stand/podium (Goodwill, $1)
  • old cement fishing net weight from Wisconsin (Mother-in-Law, free)
  • braided cloth-covered electrical wire (Sundial Wire, $1.45/foot)
  • “vintage” light bulb (Lowe’s, $9)
  • new socket, in-line switch and plug (hardware store, $7-ish)

What we ended with:

Question for you:

We talked previously about opening a little Etsy shop and selling some of the things that we make (it could be that some members of our families are getting sick of weird light fixtures in their house). We were considering selling (at least attempting to sell) some of these light fixtures there, but started worrying about the liability. Have any of you out there had any experience with that sort of thing? Or have any advice for us? We use all UL approved parts, yet we’re worried – we aren’t licensed electricians.

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

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Make: Lamp from Tripod and Lampshade from Ductwork

I know I said a few weeks ago that we were going to get started on utilitarian house projects soon. Well, not quite yet… because first we had to make this old tripod into a floor lamp. And here’s Monica, reading the paper by the light of the finished lamp (when she should be caulking or doing something useful!).

We found this old telescope tripod at 2nd Use Building Materials. It was very cool – a silverish patina on the wood, with black metal details. Our friend Cliff said “Hey, you should make a floor lamp!”. Ok, that sounds more fun than caulking any day. Continue reading