While I was house touring on Tybee Island and having fun antique and salvage shopping in Savannah, I spied some bare lamp shade frame hanging lights. They immediately inspired me to design a DIY Button Pendant Light for over my bedside table in our master bedroom. Part of the desire was born out of the necessity to have more space on my bedside because the table actually doubles as my makeup vanity.
Making a Button Pendant Light is an easy DIY project, but you’ll need some patience while threading the buttons. I’ll also show you how to wire a lamp socket and lamp plug! Ready to get started?
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- Lamp shade with an interesting shape
- Lamp socket
- Lamp rod nipple
- Threaded cap with loop top (as shown in this kit)
- Lamp cord
- Two prong plug
- Wire strippers
- Nylon Clear Fishing line
- Buttons (bought lots from eBay)
- Chandelier pendant drops
- Chandelier crystal swags
- Sisal Rope
- Copper Wire
Begin by cutting the fabric or paper off of your lamp shade. You can spray paint the metal frame if you wish. I painted mine with Rustoleum copper spray paint. Let the frame dry.
Begin decorating the lamp shade frame by attaching the crystal swags. Use small lengths of nylon line to attach the chain to the lamp frame. Remove a link to trim the excess crystal swag.
For the button strands, unwind a length of nylon line. Don’t cut it off. Begin threading buttons onto the line. Check your width around the lamp frame as you thread until you get the right length. When you have enough to run the circumference, you can trim your line several inches longer than you think you’ll need.
Tie the end of the nylon line around one of the vertical metal pieces. Wrap the line around each vertical piece on the lamp shade. When you reach your starting point, add or remove buttons as needed. Tie the line in several knots and trim any excess.
Continue adding rows of buttons and crystal swags until your lamp shade is covered.
Hang tear drop crystals around the base of the frame. You can hook them over the frame or tie them onto the frame with a small length of nylon line for a more secure hold.
Assembling the Pendant Light:
Unroll more lamp cord than you need, but do not cut it from the roll. Split the end of the wire into two and strip off an inch of the plastic insulation.
Important: Thread the wire through the threaded cap with loop top; next thread the threaded lamp rod nipple; and finally the lamp shade. If you skip this step, you’ll be threading them on from the end of your long length of wire which could be a real PITA!
Wiring the lamp socket:
a) Disassemble the lamp socket. b) Thread the stripped wires through the base of the lamp socket. c) Tie the stripped ends in an underwriter’s knot as shown below. d) Attach the ribbed or marked side of the lamp wire to the silver screw. Attach the smooth side to the brass screw on the socket. e) Replace the cardboard sleeve and the brass cover onto the socket. Re-attach the base.
Insert the threaded nipple into the light socket and tighten the screw on the side of the socket to secure the threaded nipple.
Pull the socket up and into the lamp shade.
Screw the threaded cap onto the threaded nipple. Tighten to secure the socket onto the lamp frame. Thread the end of the sisal rope through the loop end of the cap. Secure the rope around the lamp wire by wrapping some copper wire around it.
Figure out how much length of lamp cord you need for your pendant and cut a little extra.
Twist the rope and lamp cord together, securing with nylon line every foot. Cut the excess short.
Mount your lag screws into studs in the ceiling. Thread the rope and cord through the lag screw(s).
Important Note: If you are going to be threading your cord and rope through the screw eyes, do that BEFORE you attach the lamp plug! If you wait until after, you won’t be able to thread the plug through the screw eye hole. (Not that I know anything about that—who me—make a mistake? It actually happens a fair amount, but I learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them.)
To attach the plug, split the ends of the lamp cord like you did on the other end. Strip off about an inch.
Unscrew the prongs from the plug. Feed your wire through the narrow end of the plug. Create another underwriter’s knot. Attach your stripped wires to the screws inside. The ribbed or marked side of the wire attaches to the silver screw. The smooth side attaches to the black or brass screw. Replace the prongs into the plug and tighten the screws.
Secure the end of the rope and lamp cord by wrapping copper wire around them. For safety reasons, I wrapped the wire a few inches away from the plug.
Adjust the cord/rope until your pendant is hanging at the height you desire.
Attach a rope cleat into a stud on your wall. Wrap the rope/cord loosely around the cleat to secure it in place.
Enjoy your new button pendant light.
The lamp is beautiful when turned on at night. It produces a soft glow. I worried that the bare bulb would be blinding, but the buttons act like a shade filtering the light.
She’s got loads of bling…and you know I like bling!
This was one of those projects that turned out as gorgeous in real life as it looked in my imagination. Woot!
If you use my idea please mention and link to this post. It’s nice when credit is given to inspiration sources. If you make one, I’d love to see it!
Tell me, what you think of my pendant light? Do you love it as much as I do, or am I blinded by my love of buttons and bling?
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Disclosure: As a #LowesCreator, I was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to purchase supplies for this post. I was not told what to write. All ideas and words are my own.