DIY Glass Insulator Pendant Lights

We knew we wanted something unique for the pendant lights over the bar in the kitchen, but weren’t sure exactly what that might be.  I spotted this idea on Pinterest and immediately loved it.  Surprisingly, so did the hubs who took me to an antique store he’d just discovered to pick out insulators for our project a few days later.

We also acquired some heirloom insulators from the hubby’s Aunt in Colorado during our road trip in September, so we had quite a selection to choose from.  I set them all out and tried different combinations to decide which we liked best.

We hadn’t given the project much more thought since then as we were busy with other details and the house wasn’t ready for light fixtures just yet.  But now that it is, we suddenly had to figure out how to make it happen and choose exactly which insulators to use.

Option1

Option2

Option3

And finally decided this was just right.

Winner

My handy dandy hubs found the right bit and snuck in time on a drill press at work to drill the holes.  The first four drilled without a hitch, but then while drilling the last one it cracked!

1

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Crack

We had a few others in the same color and size, but they all had pretty big chips, so that wonderful hubby of mine made another trip to the antique store and picked up two more for $9 each.  He drilled both without a problem, but one did develop an internal crack.  We decided to still use it since it added character, and that left us a spare in case any ever did meet an untimely fate and require being replaced.

We followed the tutorial from Pinterest and purchased the same materials to retrofit the pendant cords the builder installed.

Supplies

It took a little trial and error to figure out the best method for removing the parts we didn’t need and reusing the parts we did, but the hubs made it happen – even though he was super tired!

Work
Notice that mess on the counter? That’s how the rest of the house looks too.. I think I have hives.. LOL

Work2

It also took a bit of adjusting to get them all at the same height, but they look awesome!

Finish2

The builder thought we were nuts when we showed him what we were planning, and all he had to say when he saw the finished product was “It’s different.  I’ve never seen that before.”  But at this point, if it’s something he doesn’t have to do, he’s game.

The LED bulbs don’t put out much light at 0.6 wt, but the recess lighting in the main area of the kitchen supply plenty of light to cook by.  They do make a nice ‘night light’ when on by themselves, so that’s probably how we’ll use them the most.  We will be on the lookout for brighter bulbs that will fit, but for now these it the bill.

Finish

I just adore the finished result.  Not only are they unique and repurposing something that is otherwise unused, but they bring a piece of family history to our new home.

Have you ever used old glass insulators for projects?  If so, please share!  We still have several and need some ideas.

Shared at Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party #203!

I Can See The Light

Now that we are moving forward with construction on our new home – finally breaking ground THIS WEEK!! EEKK! – I’m starting to think  obsess about the little details we will soon be choosing.  Light fixtures are my current focus.  I know it’s one of the LAST things we will need to pick out, but it’s what my brain wants to think about apparently.

Ever since I heard someone on HGTV describe the basic builder grade fixture as a “nipple light” or “boob light” I’ve been obstinately prejudiced to them.   I also don’t want fixtures that will collect dust and require me to climb on ladders to constantly clean or suffer increased allergies if I’m lazy busy.  PropFanLuckily the hubs isn’t extremely picky when it comes to these types of details and lets me pretty much have free rein since I usually pick something he’s ok with.  I really love that we have such similar tastes!

I did drag him to a lighting store downtown that I’d spotted and wanted to check out, but in the end he’s glad I did because we found this!  A propeller styled ceiling fan!  How cool is that?!  (Sorry for the crappy iPhone pic, but that’s the best I could get looking up and trying to crop out the other displays.)  Yes, it’s a little spendy, but we can make it fit within our allowance and I think it’s a great fit for his love of flight and the craftsman style of our home.  At first he thought I was joking that I liked the prop style, but when he realized I wasn’t kidding the light bulb went on (pun intended) and he was suddenly more interested in the rest of the lighting choices.

The kitchen island will have pendant lights over it which sounds simple, but there are literally hundreds of styles of pendant lights out there these days.  I was originally thinking of doing mercury glass shades, but then stumbled upon this idea and found that the hubs really likes it and wants to help make them!  I guess we’ll be on the hunt for old insulators now! 🙂

I’ve been eyeing this pottery barn fixture for over year now for the dining room and found similar options like this at the big box stores for much more reasonable prices. Again the hubs liked my suggestion!  I’m sensing a trend here…

Then we spotted this ceiling fan at the big box store and both immediately liked it.  We thought it would be a nice compliment to the prop fan, but at a lower price tag for the Master Bedroom.  We plan to add a light kit the to the bottom, which seems pretty inexpensive and easy to do.  We just might have to spray paint a not so pretty brass light with ORB so it jives with the rest of the fan’s hardware.

Although I don’t love its hefty price tag, I absolutely ADORE this fixture and think it would be perfect in the entryway.  I didn’t see Entryit at the store the last time I was there and haven’t had much luck tracking it down online, so I might have to go back to the store and ask them to order me one.  This is where the hub’s enthusiasm wore out.  He apparently doesn’t have an opinion one way or another on this one other than the price.  If you know of where I can find something similar please let me know so I can compare!

Granted there are a few spots where I plan to have the builder install a basic fixture which we will change out with a creative DIY later like this little cutie I found on Pinterest.  I think it would look nice in the laundry room since I have a subtle rustic Americana theme in my laundry room décor – which is currently packed away since our rental has the washer and dryer in the garage!  I’d also like to create something like this for the Studio/Office if I can find some antique crystal decanters, or try my hand at making faux mercury glass with a tutorial I found online.

We have an appointment with a sales rep at the store downtown Monday evening so we’ll see if he can fit it all in within budget.  If not, we’ll get a few specialty pieces for the main traffic areas and then supplement basics elsewhere to be swapped out later as inspiration strikes.   We are also narrowing in on our final choices for cabinets and counter tops so watch for a post about that soon too!