Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Upcycled Lighting–Wire Up Your Junk

What is Upcycled Lighting?
The concept is fairly simple….you take an ordinary object and transform it into a working light by wiring it up with a lamp kit. 

Our Upcycled Lights (Handmade and for sale)
The Upcycle Process

1. Find a Fixture: What types of items can become light fixtures? The answer to this depends on your imagination and creativity. I suppose you could say that anything can become a light, be it a suitcase, a stapler, a bucket, or a fish tank.

In reality, you’d probably want to choose an item that has characteristics of modern day lighting….for two reasons, 1) so wiring it up doesn’t take weeks, and 2) so people don’t think you’re crazy for converting your pool skimmer into a chandelier. Be creative, but keep it realistic!

Some of my favorite items are antique egg baskets, steel, galvanized, and copper buckets, anything that resembles a pot or a bucket, antique pie tins, vintage ceramic cooking pots, and ball jars. I started with the more traditional fixtures like buckets and baskets, but have since gotten a bit more creative by using an antique cream separator bowl.
You’ll find more than enough items with just one trip to a local flea market or during a mornings worth of yardsales. You’ll likely get a good deal on these items too, since they’re aren’t as desirable to most people. Remember, you’re turning trash into treasure here, so don’t spend more than $10 or $20 on any given fixture.

2. Add Some Character: This is the fun part! You may choose to pepper your bowl with a shotgun, like I tend to do, or you may decide to just put a few coats of clear coat in it. Whatever your flavor, just have fun with it.

3. Wire it Up: Purchase a pendant light kit from your local hardware store, or build your own lamp kit by purchasing individual parts. The kits are by far the best route to go, since you get everything you need to install the fixture in any setting.
Some of My Upcycled Lights

Galvanized Bucket
Galvanized Bucket Pendnt Light

Antique Egg Baskets
Egg Basket Pendant LightEgg Basket Pendant LightEgg Basket Pendant Light

Antique Copper Bucket (Character added by 4 shots with a .410 shotgun.)
Copper Bucket Pendant LightCopper Bucket Pendant LightCopper Bucket Pendant Light

Antique Cream Separator Bowl
Cream Separator Pendant LightCream Separator Pendant LightCream Separator Pendant Light

All of our lights come with a 12’ cord with a plug on the end, as well as an on off switch.
Pendant Light Plug and Switch

I hope you enjoyed the info and the pics.  Feel free to share pics of your own upcycled light by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, and at www.harvestmoonshoppes.com.


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