Turn a Globe Into a Pendant Light

Recycle an old globe by transforming it into kitchen task lighting.

Cut in half, a globe becomes the shade for a basic pendant light. (Photo: Stephany Taddeo)

The basic pendant light is a period-friendly choice for kitchen task lighting—but eye-catching lights can be pricey. This DIY alternative, which uses half of an old globe for the shade, is an option that’s as creative and colorful as it is cheap and easy to make. Blogger Stephany Taddeo walks us through the process.

How To Make It

1. Disassemble the globe
Start by removing the globe from its stand—you should be able to pull on the top and bottom of the stand to carefully wiggle out the globe. (If that doesn’t work, says Stephany, you can cut around the top of the stand to free it.) Once the globe is removed, use a utility knife or rotary tool to cut it in half along the equator—or, using firm, steady pressure, try pressing along the chipboard connecting the equator until the globe pops open on its own.

2. Make a hole for the light
Place the bottom of your light-socket kit (Stephany uses ones from Ikea; you also can find old-house-friendly styles at Sundial Wire) on the top of the globe and trace its outline. Use a utility knife to cut out this circle—you may encounter a small metal disc where the globe was attached to the stand, says Stephany, but it’s usually about the same size as the socket, so you can cut around this disc if needed.

3. Attach the light
If your socket kit has a shade-support ring already attached (in some cases, you’ll need to buy one separately), unscrew it from the socket. Push the main part of the socket through the hole in the top of the globe, then screw in the shade-support ring from the inside of the globe.

4. Embellish the shade
This step is optional if you’d like a finished bottom edge on your shade. Stephany often hot-glues pom-pom trim along the bottom edge of the globe; another option is to carefully fold a thin line of colored electrical or duct tape over the edge.


Tags: OHJ October 2014 OHJ Staff Old-House Journal Period Lighting salvage

By Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. 

More From This Category

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and products we find essential. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Product of the Week


© Copyright 2021 Home Group, a division of Active Interest Media. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 20730 Boulder, CO 80308