Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY: Colander Pendant Light

A colander isn't only good for straining and washing food. It also works as an excellent light shade. Working with a shiny, steel colander bought at the thrift store, I turned it into a industrial chic pendant light for our kitchen. It was really easy, and here, I'll show you how I did it.

Like most home improvement projects, this one had been on the list for quite some time before I got around to doing it. And in equal fashion, I've been holding onto the DIY images for over a year before finally making the time to write this post up. 


- Colander (easily found at a thrift store. a colored one would add an excellent pop of brightness if you can find one)
- A pendant light kit (bought for like ten bucks at Home Depot)
- Dremel tool with cutting wheel
- Safety glasses
- Sisal rope
- LED light bulb


1.  Turn the colander upside down the way it will hang. Note the center and draw a circle that is just slightly larger than your light bulb plugin. This is the line on which you will cut. 

2. Using the cutting wheel and your Dremel tool, first make a practice cut in the center of your circle to get the hang of it. Then, I made straight cuts joined to form a circle. There will be sparks so used your safety glasses.

Once you've cut completely around the circle, the hole should pop out. If not, it means there are a couple parts still connected and you may need to use the wheel to grind them away.

3. Read the instructions of the pendant kit to understand how all the parts fit together. It's pretty simple - basically the bulb receptor inserts through the hole, then you screw on a plastic ring from the bottom to hold it in place. This is why it matters to cut your hole to the correct dimension so the bulb receptor fits through.

4. Once the pendant kit and the colander are put together, I decided I wanted to decorate the cord and make it look a little more natural. I bought sisal rope from Home Depot and began wrapping the cord.

6. Begin by tying the rope well at one end and leave a long tail that can be wrapped inside so no rope is hanging out. 

7. I wrapped the cord using a basic knot. It's exactly the same knot you use in friendship bracelets or hemp bracelets, just repeated like a thousand times. Keep tying the knot over and over and over again. Be sure the tail stays inside of the knots to make for a smooth start.

Here's a good view of the knot before I pull it tight around the cord and the tail.

This knot will leave a raised bump that forms a helical shape around the cord. Be sure and push each new knot tight up against the previous one to keep a uniform look.

The finished cord ends up at the base of the pendent, where I tied a good tight knot and cut off the end.

Since this is right over our stove, we didn't want a giant bulb hanging down. We chose a small LED bulb that is meant for your refrigerator. I also like the nice warm glow it casts.

And here's the pendant in our kitchen above the stove. Have an electrician or someone experienced with wiring install your pendant light. We hard-wired ours in. Buy you could also buy a pendant kit that was a plug in.