Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A DIY West Elm Turned Wood Pendant Light

I was browsing the West Elm website a couple of weeks ago and found this light.  I really liked the style and shape and thought it would be the perfect solution for our dark basement family room.

Pinned Image
West Elm Turning Pendant via Pinterest
You can find the actual pendant here.

 Unfortunately, the $149 price tag was quite a bit more than I would ever be able to spend on a light fixture, especially since I pictured having more than one in the room.  I spent nights lying awake in bed (no, I'm not kidding) wondering how I could make this beautiful light fixture myself, with my husband's help, of course.  Jason and I brainstormed of ways to replicate the look of the pretty wood detail on the top.  We thought of turned furniture legs, spindles from staircases, stacked wooden napkin rings of various sizes, etc.  and searched out our options at various hardware stores.  Finally, we found some medium craft finials at Lowes.  They come in packs of two for $2.86 and have a screw in the bottom, which we easily removed with a pliers.

We then drilled into the finial using a small drill bit and worked our way up until the cord for our lamp kit (which we'll talk about later) fit through.  The hole that goes through the entire finial was drilled with a 7/32'' (5.56mm) drill bit.  Because of our short drill bit, we drilled from both ends of the finial but you could also use a longer drill bit.

We didn't actually buy an actual pendant lamp shade for this project and had to do a bit of cutting and adjusting the fittings inside so that our finial went where it was supposed to.  This part was a big pain but only spent around fifteen dollars per shade at Lowes, so we were okay with it.  If we did it again, we'd splurge a little bit and get an actual pendant light shade to avoid this hassle.  Cutting the metal without ruining the shade was stressful!

We found the lamp kits at Mendards for around five dollars.  This same kit sold for around ten dollars at Lowes and Home Depot.

To secure the finial to the threaded lamp nipple (Ha, ha- all jokes aside, that's what the directions say) we used a 3/8'' (9.53mm) drill bit.

Initially, we were drawn to the white turned wood fixture by West Elm but since we painted the joists in our basement white, it made the most sense to stain the finials a dark color.  We wanted them to stand out a little more than they would have had we painted them white.  I used our favorite Jacobean stain color by Minwax and sealed it with two coats of rub-on Polyurethane.

We followed the directions on the package of the lamp kit to assemble the light fixture.

Here is the finished pendant light!

And, just for kicks, here is our project budget breakdown:

Light kit:  $5.98 at Menards
Medium Craft Finials:  $2.86 (for a pack of two) at Lowes
Lamp Shade:  $15.97 at Lowes
Minwax Stain:  Already had on hand
Polyurethane:  Already had on hand
Total Cost Breakdown:  $24.81
We'll be needing more than one of these light fixtures for our family room, but at this price, that's fine with us!

After this project, we're a little bit more motivated to move along on the process of sprucing up our basement family room.  Having enough light in that room will make it so much more enjoyable to work and play down there!  In the next few weeks, we'll be working on getting an actual color scheme in the room, some shelving for toy storage, building our fireplace, refinishing an accent chair, and my secretary desk makeover.  That's a whole lotta projects and we hope you'll stick around!

P.S.  Husband, thank you for your help.  You're the best, so patient, and I love you!

I'm linking up to:

My Girlish Whims

Home Stories A to Z

House of Hepworths

Simple Home Life

Serenity Now

Tatertots and Jello

Thrifty Decor Chick


  1. LOVE THIS! So creative and crafty and daring :) Thanks for the inspiration.. Love your blog!

  2. Oh my goodness! I can't believe you made this! So beautiful!!! Your blog is adorable and so are your kids, by the way. I have been a long time reader but never comment because I'm lazy. Ha!!!

  3. I love it! Very creative! Thanks for sharing your light.

  4. OH MAN!!! This is GENIOUS!! What a fabulous idea:) Great Job,Deidre~ http://simplysimplisticated4.blogspot.com

  5. Very impressive!! I love it! :)

  6. So pretty! I was just looking at this yesterday, no joke, and thinking it could be DIYd. You did an awesome job--the finals really add a little kick to the traditional pendant drum light. :)

  7. Great job!! wow, I can't believe how similar it is to the West Elm fixtures! It's so pretty!!

  8. Great job on your knock off light - I love it!

  9. This is so great! Gives me lots of ideas. Pop over to our blog and follow us too!

  10. I am so going to try this. I have a 2 leftover finials I bought from a thrift store buy, (I made Christmas trees). But I want to decoupage book pages on the lamp shade. It'll give it more of an office vibe; I hope?

  11. Thank you for this nice sharing. Great post.