Ceiling Light Revamp

Question: What do you get when you take….

one kinda very ugly old light fixture,

a can of black spray paint,

some blingy old necklaces you wore once to a wedding three years ago,

and an el-cheapo drum shade from Target?

Answer: A pretty awesome ‘new’ glamorous ceiling light for under $20 – score!

To ‘create’ this new light fixture I first took the original light apart and sprayed all the really lovely polished brass with flat black spray paint.

I chose black because I wanted the finished light to have a dramatic, parisian edge.

I then divided out my beads into even lengths (still on their necklace string) and used the wire out of some bread ties (hey, that was what I had on hand – and it did the job!) to create little rings in each of the holes you can see in the light above (the holes were previously for the screws holding on the lovely frilly glass shades).

Next I attached the ends of my bead strips to the wire rings to create chandelier-like loops.

Once re-attached to the ceiling and encased in the drum shade the ‘new’ light makes for a pretty impressive and very thrifty little addition to my parent’s sitting room.

It’s hard to tell from the pics though it looks pretty awesome lit up. The light bounces off the crystal-cut beads and creates some real bling.

Here it is in place….

The drum shade is held up by being sandwiched between the light canopy and stem.

So again, just for comparisons sake, from tired old-fashioned drab….

To chic parisian fab (if I do say so myself)….


I know I’m probably not alone in my opinion that new ceiling lighting can be pretty excessively expensive so hopefully this little post has inspired you to look at ways of improving what you might already have – no matter how ugly it may seem to begin with!

  1. Stopping over from CG- this is amazing! I’m your newest fan!

  2. Red Lipstick says:

    this is amazing! I want to try this as well ;)

  3. Kristine says:

    Love it!

  4. Thank you! Thank you! I have a terrible porcelain chandelier that I just didn’t know what to do with hanging in my dining room. It had great “bones” but ewww, it was bad. This is perfect! You’re a lifesaver!

  5. Popped over from CentsationalGirl.com and am so impressed! I see these horrible gold fixtures everywhere and think this is a great re-do. I can imagine doing a fun version in a girl’s bedroom. (Glad you explained in an earlier response how the drum shade was attached!)

  6. Did something very similar in my apartment…have a weakness for drum shades and bling:) great makeover!

  7. make my day says:

    very clever!

  8. Leslie says:

    Ok, so you have TOTALLY inspired me. I was going to spend a little money and get a totally new chandelier for our dining room, but I’m starting to re-think that after reading your post. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  9. Amazing what you’ve done! Lovin’ the light!! I linked it to my “lamps and lights” post too!

  10. Kelli says:

    Inspiring! Thank you for sharing. It looks as though the lamp shade is quite close to the ceiling; how did you attach the shade to the light?

  11. Rhiha says:

    Hi Kristine,

    i follow your blog since some months a go, from Portugal.

    first, congratullations for your home,life, and now, your litle litle baby.

    and i just want to tell you that you inspired me! if you want, you can see here


    (and translate in google – from portuguese)
    Thanks and kiss,

  12. after 111 comments I’m not sure it matters if I’m the 112 but really, that is simply brilliant! Thanks for showing us once again that trash can become treasure!

  13. Carolyn says:

    Fantastic makeover!

    led Christmas lights

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I am stunned again on your blog. This is so gorgeous and yet so simple…..definitely want to give this a go too!!! Loving your work.

    Simply Deluscious

  15. diana says:

    Love the idea for my son’s room..painting light fixture black..he has his sisters old room with her original light..kind of girly looking. Wondered what to do that wouldn’t cost a lot..minus the necklaces of course..any ideas on how to work it into his army theme?

    • Sounds great Diana. Have you considered covering the shade with camo fabric? Or maybe using dog tags in place of beaded necklaces? If you don’t want to go too “themey” maybe just something as simple as khaki ribbon around the shade? Or some army style stenciled words or numbers?
      Have fun!

  16. L says:

    I love your light fixture….gorgeous and very creative! I really want to make this but Im very confused about how to attach the drum shade! Could you let us know we attach it? Do we take the wires out and reinsert them?

    • Hmmm, well this project is from almost six years back now so let me try and remember!
      Looking at the pics, this fixture wasn’t hard-wired. It had a DIY batton-fix head which simply plugged into the globe cavity (you can see this in the seventh pic down). The round fitting of the drum shade (which you can see in the fourth pic down) would have been positioned between this and the canopy. Does that make sense? I guess if you have a hard-wired fixture there will need to be some level of re-wiring to accommodate the shade. Otherwise you could try and figure out an alternate method if you remove the the actual drum fittings. Maybe something which can be clasped closed around the fixture once in place? Sorry I can’t help more.

Leave a Comment