They are the most affordable style of light fixture, and are therefore found in nearly every home. The problem? Once it occurs to you that it looks a bit like a boob, you can never un-think that. A long time ago I vowed I would never put one in my own home, but of course it had to happen.
When we originally bought our home it had a little tiny kitchen.
And a little tiny living room. Alongside both was a strange 3 seasons style porch that served very little purpose.
So we decided to knock down a few walls,
And turned the 3 separate spaces into one big, open room.
The lighting was one of the last pieces of the project and of course we were over budget and short on time, (our son was due to be born in about 2 weeks). So we did what any normal people would do and bought the 2 pack of boob lights for $24.99.
Fast forward almost 6 years and we are still looking at those same awful lights. They have bothered me all along but it has also been one of those things that seemed silly to spend money on, especially since light fixtures can be pretty pricey.
Then one day it hit me, I didn’t need a whole new fixture, just a new “shade”. So I took the light apart, just the way you would to change a lightbulb. Then I went shopping…
Here’s what you’ll need: (more detailed descriptions to follow) –
-jigsaw or bandsaw
Start with a lamp shade, pick any size/shape you want, but make sure it is the style with a metal circle that sits around the base of the lightbulb.
You know, the kind where you have to take the lightbulb out in order to put the shade on.
Look for the locknuts in the lighting section (they will have the right threading).
And washers. They need to have an interior diameter that will fit over the threaded rod in the middle of your light fixture, and an outer diameter large enough to hold the metal circle inside your lampshade.
The plexiglass needs to be large enough to fit the diameter of your lampshade. We happened to have this leftover from another project. It looks pretty gross but all that sawdust is on the protective film, not the actual plexiglass.
Begin by tracing the outside of your lampshade onto the plexiglass.
Use the saw to cut out your circle.
Now this is one of my favorite tricks, I have used this for so many projects and it is the easiest and cheapest way to end up with “frosted glass”. Using a swirling, circular motion, sand both the top and bottom of the plexiglass.
Just keep swirling until you have the level of frost you would like.
Then check to see if the piece fits inside the rim of your lampshade.
The perfect fit is a little tight and will be held in place by the rim of the lampshade and the metal arms that hold the inner circle that we talked about earlier.
Now it’s time to put it all together. Start by treading a nut onto the threaded rod. How far you need to thread it will depend on your lampshade and the look you are aiming for so you may have to mess around with it a bit.
Then sandwich two of the washers over the inner metal ring,
and slide all three over the threaded rod. Then secure with another locknut. You will need to tighten the nut all the way to really hold everything in place.
When we bought our lampshades at Ikea, we also happened to find these brilliant lampshade decorations. They couldn’t be more perfect for our style of decorating so of course we had to get them too.
One last step, pop the plexiglass into place and behold your beautifully transformed light!
I couldn’t possibly be more pleased with the way these turned out!
All of the comparable fixtures I have seen online cost no less than $70 each, but we were able to complete this project for only $12 each!
And the best part is that I finally got rid of those awful boob lights!
For more great home projects: