How to turn a barrel shade into a pendant

Well, I gave you a sneak peek of what I’ve been doing around the house lately, and let me tell you, I’ve got a lot done.  But then I headed to my parents for the week and finally got on my computer today:)  So I thought I’d show you one of  the updates that I am loving.

When we first gutted our house I was seeing so many pictures of people putting two lanterns over their tables and I loved it!  It was something that I had never had and was so different!  Pictures like this..




and this..



and this..

Atlanta Homes Magazine Lanterns


I had my inspiration!  So I ended up finding these lanterns…

Thomasville Piedmont Collection Pendant


It is called Piedmont Collection Antique Bronze Pendant and at the time I bought it through my sister who works at a lighting showroom.  After I saw it was also at the Home Depot, but since has been discontinued in the stores.  I think you can still order it online though.  I liked this light because it was more traditional but was still in our budget.  We actually even got a better deal than Home Depot since ordering straight from my sister. I was one happy girl:)

The time came to finally hang them up…


and although I liked them, I never got that LOVE feeling that I did when I saw them in pictures:)

I hate that when that happens.  And so does the hubby.  He already thinks I change things up too much…imagine that!  Here’s the bugger with home decor, it doesn’t always work the first time.  And just because you see it in a picture doesn’t mean it will look the same in your house.

I think the main reason it just wasn’t working for me like I hoped it would was because of the layout of our house.  Although I am in love with my house and all the character, the one downfall if this super duper long room…and I realized I don’t have a picutre of it:(  But, you know the set up now.  We have the living room onto the end that runs into the fireplace sitting room, which goes into the dining room.  It’s a long stretch!

I realized that having the see through lanterns didn’t really help to break up the length, and that I might want something  that isn’t see through that helps to warm up and break up the space.   And I have always loved this picture…



and I’m quite a fan of drum shades, so I went on the search for drums, but they were all quite expensive.  And on top of that I needed 2!  Not fun, and the hubby would surely never spring for that!  So this time I googled how to make your own drum shade pendant and I came up with a great answer, make my own for a fraction of the cost.   The first thing I needed was a pendant adapter kit.


I got mine on Amazon for $14.73, and since I’m a Prime member I got free shipping as well.

Then I had to hunt for some lamp shades.  This was the hardest part because I wanted a certain color and texture and I just couldn’t find them.  I ended up buying 2 lamps at homegoods and using the shades off of them.  I have a few random lamp shades hanging around so my plan was to take the shade, replace it, and then sell the lamp at Whimsy.  A great perk for keeping costs down I must say.

This was the shade I ended up with…


I realize I should have taken a picture of the whole lamp, but I forget about these important things amist my excitement of a project! I wanted to show this pic though because this is important, you need to get a shade that has the small circle on top, one that uses a harp!

Then, you dig in your hubbys tools to find what you think is a wire cutter…


Then you snip the small circle out of the middle.  I suggest you stay as close to the circle as possible, I found that out later.  Soon after you get yelled at by your hubby for using his sheet metal cutter (whoops) that you thought was a wire cutter and potentially ruining it!  Sorry babe!!  But still, mission accomplished…


and here’s what you took out..


Your son then thinks your the coolest mom because he has a new gadget to play with:)

Now for the fun part, you take your light adapter and spin off the bottom piece, stick your 3 metal pieces onto the wrungs, and spin the piece back on…


See between the black and white piece, my 3 wires are just sitting in there and hold on by twisting the white piece up tight to hold them in place.  Make sense?? When I was researching this I found many ways to do it, but most included extra pieces and parts and this way was the easiest.  You have to work with it a bit to make sure it’s straight, but it actually works really slick!

I then turned the power off to the house, watched a you tube video on wiring in lights, and hung them myself.  Don’t underestimate what you can do women!:)

One thing I learned and would suggest is not putting the shade on until you have the adapter wired in.  It makes life a lot easier I realized after the shade fell off about 10 times during the process.

And here’s what we have now..


I have to apologize, my wide room lens broke so I have been using my 50 mm until I replace it and it is really hard to get a full room in it.  so until then I guess you won’t get the full affect.


Although it looks like my shade is crooked, I promise it’s not, it just wasn’t being photogenic that day or something!


The color doesnt show the best either…it looks more yellow in the pics than the nice natural it looks in person.

I do like how it warms up the space a bit, and blocks out some of the length.  So here’s the breakdown…

I sold my 2 lanterns for $150 at Whimsy

I bought 2 pendant kits from Amazon for $30

I bought 2 lamps from HomeGoods for $80

I sold 2 lamp bases with shades I had at Whimsy for $56

Total cost of 2 new light fixtures….$54

Which means I got to pocket $96!

The hubby can’t complain too much about that:)

I’ve already made a few more changes in this room that are helping to pull it all together that I’ll show you in a bit!


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14 thoughts on “How to turn a barrel shade into a pendant”

    1. Sorry, I know….I really need to get a Whimsy page on the blog. Whimsy Green is our occastional shop my sisters and I do where we refinish furniture and make home goods to sell to the faithful women that show up 4 times a year to shop:) We have a facebook page that you can find at:

  1. I think the new elements are smashing and add texture to the room. I really think they are better than the lanterns. And I sooo know what you mean about seeing things differently later.

    Oh how I wished we lived closer. I have some curious little questions for you in regards to Whimsy.


  2. Allie, you are just fab at sorting your home. I wish I had your inspiration! I’m from Northern Ireland and got your blog by accident but have been popping in to check out what you’re up to. Was watching a TV program called Mrs Moneypenny’s superscrimpers the other night and saw an idea that made me think of you!!!! A girl was showing a lovely idea for a table runner made from wood and very simply painted with black chalk paint. Loved by kids or as she done, writing what dips etc were that were placed on it. Very simple and looked lovely. Keep up all those projects.

  3. Laura you can get and adapter from elk lighting for about 30 dollars for turning a can to anything weighing 5 lbs or less

  4. I didnt yell at you! I explained to you how cutting wire with a tin snips will wreck the snips and showed you a wire cutter to use!! You amaze me hun with your talent in decorating and ideas, Its weird coming home to the same house that hasnt been changed since thursday when you and the kids left for wisconsin. I dont know if i like the same now or the changes day after day, I Love you and miss ya,

  5. Love it! Question…..I have recessed lighting and would love to add something like this over in my kitchen. Is this pendant adapter kit one that connects with a light bulb or one you have to actually hardwire? Does that make sense?

    1. Hi Laura:)
      This adapter kit was for hard wiring it in. I have seen the kits from Ballard that are made to go right into your can lighting. I’m not sure how expensive the kits are but the shades are pretty pricey on there. I think you could probably take out the can and put in a blue light box thing:) since you have electrical running there and add it, but you’d probably have to consult with the hubby on that one:) Hope that helps!

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