How to Turn Old, Enamel Bowls into Pendant Lights!

Good morning! Back before we moved in, I asked, on this blog,  for opinions about our pendant lights. While at the design center, we were offered several choices of pendants. Here arose another of those moments where we were able to choose something that ‘was fine”, or “we liked” but is “it’s fine” why people build? We decided to pass (and accept a insulting “credit”) on the design center options and find some we loved. Due to the large, open layout of our floorplan, the pendant lights seemed like the ideal opportunity to make a statement. Here comes the pressure….Here are the options we were considering this summer.

 
Buy it here, on Amazon

Handblown Bell Shade


Since we moved in, back in January, we have been pendant-less and feeling just fine about it. After all, there are plenty of projects on the Smiths to-do list: there’s three piles of uprooted cedars in the backyard, and the cows are practically ON the porch since we still don’t have a fence around the house….I’m not complaining. We may not always feel like doing these things, but those things were motivators for being here: learning new things, working with our hands, establishing our home, leaving a legacy…well now you’ve got me all teary. Anyway, pendant lights.

We kept going back and forth but never could “click the button”. It wasn’t love. If pendant light love is a thing?!

Last month, on the way home from Houston, we stopped at pretty much every antique store/mall for the whole 150 miles.  At one of our stops, in Paige, TX, we found a unique light fixture made from an old ladder with three pendants hanging down. The pendants has old, white enamel shades on them. Eureka! A white enamel covered light bulb lit up above our heads. (Get it?! Too much?)


pendant lights at shop

We tried negotiating with the shop owner-a good idea at these places-but she wasn’t willing to disassemble her light fixture. Understandable, since all we wanted were the white shades. But, we now knew what we were hunting for.

A few weeks later, in Round Top (read about our trip to Round Top), our heads spinning, Brian spotted some rusty white enamel bowls. They weren’t well marketed or styled in any way. They were pretty much disregarded, laying on the ground in a pile. We snatched up 3, and negotiated the price down to $15. FOR ALL THREE.

Here they are, the beautes, ready to achieve their destiny.

bowls

We bought three pendant light kits from Home Depot. Get them here.

cord

Next, we needed to drill the holes in the base. Make sure to measure your hole from all sides of the base. Too far to one side, and the bowl will hang slanted.  We used thisRyobi Carbon Hole Saw Set as an attachment to our drill for this part.

PSA:  I would recommend wearing eye protection and a mask when doing this. I can tell you this from the other side. You don’t want metal shards in your face/down your throat. You will notice we are not wearing said precautionary safety items. Like dummies. Do as I say, not as I do.


Once the holes were drilled, we used a file to file down the edges to ensure a perfect fit for our light kit.


We used a file to file down the edges of our circle just enough for the kit to fit through. You can also find this at Home Depot.

drill bit


Then, while you’re upstairs, helping your daughter with another fun project (more on that later) your handy husband will have connected, and hung all three lights. He will have given himself only one minor shock, and you will both feel so proud of him. I’m kidding, he didn’t really shock himself. I told you, he’s handy.

This island has the most “gather game” of any place in our house. Our family, our friends, bible study gals, have all gathered around this island to talk and eat and laugh… there’s always laughing. These lights haven’t changed the good conversation, problems solved, homework finished, chips and salsa eating, what would you dos?,  That are destined for this island. But now all of those treasured times to come will just be well lit under the light of three new (to us) pendant lights.

 

This has been another one of those projects that just feels so darn satisfying. We made bowls into lights! For like $60! No one else has these lights. They are Smith originals. Ha. That would work better if our name wasn’t Smith….you know what I mean.

It really drives home the philosophy that good things are worth the wait, AND here I go again, it’s so gratifying when you can do things with your own hands. People were meant to work, and create.

 

Thank you for reading. I appreciate everyone who reads, asks about my next post, encourages me to blog. Thank you.

 

XO, Steph

How-To Make a Quick, Easy, Springy Lemon Tree!

Happy Monday! It is gloomy, wet and dreary here at our sweet, yellow house this morning.
But no worries, because I’m cleaning, crock pot cooking, laundering, and blogging. So it’s shaping up to be a productive day, filled with the oh-so-gratifying to-do list checking.
I did an easy and super fun project Friday while the kids were at school and I have been looking forward to sharing it! It cost me less than $10 and took me about 15 minutes. Like, maybe 15 minutes. That only adds to my love for it, because it’s just so pretty, and springy…and yellow. I give you….the Lemon Tree-piary.

I’m calling it a Tree-piary because it’s really a hybrid between a topiary tree, and a tree tree. I also just think it’s fun to smoosh words together. I do this often in my “speaking life” and continue to be amused by it. I can laugh at my own jokes, I have no problem with that. 😂

Here’s my inspiration, from Instagram:
If you’re on Instagram, Erin shares lots of beautiful photos of her amazing home and her amazing style. She also has a blog: http://www.cottonstem.com/blog/
Also, Alicia, @vintageporch. She also shares lots of inspirational photos of all her vintage treasures, and has impeccable taste.
She also has a blog: http://www.myvintageporch.com/
Blog goals, people. I dream big.
Also, this:
In my mind, that awesome lemon tree, and the topiary tree had a beautiful baby, and here is her “birth” story:
That pot was on promotion for 60% off at Michael’s. Total: $2.39. I used coupons for the lemon stem, and the bag of small lemons. They are regularly priced at $7. I actually didn’t end up using those mini lemons for this gig, but bought them just in case I needed some filler. Nothing worse than being mid-inspirational project and not having something you need.

That being said, here’s your complete list of materials:

  • pot of your choice
  • lemon stem, I got mine from Michael’s
  • moss
  • jute
  • floral foam, or styrofoam
  • sturdy paper strips, or bendable cardboard
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
I already had roll of  jute, and some floral foam but if you don’t have these things,  they can be found at most craft stores and  on Amazon. They aren’t very expensive, and can be used in other projects. (Let me give a little PSA about the floral foam: it’s obnoxious. It leaves little foamy pieces everywhere that are difficult to wipe up.  And somehow, as an extra irritating charascteristic, it feels simultaneously gritty and slimy. Touching it gives me the willies. blech. 😝)I cut the foam to fit into my pot. I centered the stem into the foam, and then very tightly wrapped the jute around the stem.

I used some recycled newspaper ads to make a prop inside my pot. This way, I use less of my moss to fill in the top.

I filled in the pot with the moss. A little bit goes a long way. The moss was also something I already had, from previous projects. It can also be found at a craft store. They usually sell it in bags.

Next, I used my hot glue gun to secure the lemons to each other, and ensure that topiary look.

I just love how it turned out and wish I had made two! I tried it out all over the house: my sofa table, my mantel, next to my sink:
I had fun moving it around, and loved the way it looked everywhere I put it. But, since my mantel is where I mostly struggle to “get settled”, that’s where it ended up.
What do y’all think? I would love to know what y’all think! Let me know if you make your own Lemon Tree-piary, and send me a picture! Get it ready this week, in time for your Easter tablescape!
This Easter tablescape created by Carolynn. Didn’t she do a good job?! She also had an idea for the mini lemons, and begged me not to return them. More on that another day.
Thank you so much for reading! I love your comments, questions and shares, so bring ’em on. Have a great week!
XO, Steph
(Originally Published April 10, 2017)