Thursday, April 11, 2013

From Fluorescent Diffuser to Statement Pendant


Today I wanted to share with you the full tutorial on the statement pendant that we made for Creating with the Stars! Now that the contest is over, I can share it here too! 

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Walking through Habitat ReStore I spotted a few egg crate diffusers - you know those grates that cover fluorescent lights in basements across the country. It's the last lighting fixture I would consider for a project, but once I got around my thoughts of drop ceilings, I began thinking how neat it would be to use the grid to create any square geometric shape that I wanted. At $2 each, what could I lose?


Browsing Pinterest I found this amazing light, Lolita - Shine by SHO and fell in love with the arms. It's lines are simple, but make a big impact! Perfect for a statement piece!


Once we decided on the shape, we measured and marked the edges with a permanent marker. The egg crate diffuser was cut into the shape of the arms with small clippers (clipping as close to the edge as possible).


Next we taped the bottom with painters tape and filled with plaster of paris (mixing it on the thinner side so that it would level itself at the top). You want it as level as possible to reduce sanding. Any excess was leveled off with a spackle knife.


Once firm, they were placed in the sun to fully cure (I ended up letting it sit overnight)

Then excess was sanded off. Some of the squares fell out during sanding, so I used a little craft glue to get them back in place. Then I patched the imperfections with drywall spackle and sanded again once dry. This part was pretty messy - so I was definitely glad to be done with sanding!

We wanted a simple fixture so that it wouldn't compete with the arms. Looking through thrift shops, all we could find were ones with curves (very '80s) we needed something more mid-century modern. So we ended up building our own electrical housing out of old chandelier parts, PVC, and brass tubing.

Here's how we did it:

Honestly, this wasn't the easiest task, but definitely doable. It required modifying (mostly cutting holes in the PVC) so that all the parts would fit snugly. 

To assemble all of the pieces we used Gorilla Glue Epoxy 


We followed the directions by mixing equal parts of the resin and the hardener (in small batches so it wouldn't harden too fast). This stuff worked SO well! It set up fairly quickly and was SUPER strong! 


All parts were lightly sanded to remove any gloss, and dust was removed with a microfiber cloth. Then it was primed, and painted with Sherwin William Rivulet (2 coats).



We finished it off with 2 coats of Krylon Lacquer to give it a super glossy finish.

Turning off the electricity first, we installed the light and held our breath as we flipped the switch.

Success! It works!


We also installed trim and painted 8" stripes on the ceiling to frame the fixture. 



and a gallery wall with a few fun prints, paintings, and some fabric mixed in! 


I love this fun addition to our office area!


Here's the price breakdown:

(2) Fluorescent diffusers: $4 (Habitat ReStore) 
Plaster of Paris: $5 (with coupon at Michaels)
Gorilla Glue Epoxy: $5
Chandelier: $5 (Habitat ReStore)  
PVC parts: ~$3 (Home Depot) 
Brass parts: ~$10 (Ace Hardware) 

Total = $32

Not bad for a statement piece! So next time you see a plastic diffuser don't just pass it by, think about what you can create with it! 


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And here's a peak of what I'm working on ... yep, I changed my mind! My DIY Schumacher Zimba draperies are going charcoal! 


Hopefully finished pics Friday or Monday!

20 comments:

  1. I don't think I'd be the only one to sat WOW, your diy brain thinks way out of the box in the most magical and inventively can-do kinda ways Sarah. Your possibilities for transformation know-how could baffle even the most accomplished DIYers. Kudos Girl!

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    1. Thanks Shalagh! Hope you're doing well! :)

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  2. I love this! Definitely going to mark this one so I can attempt to make it too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Jenny, Thanks so much! Let me know if you try it! :)

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  3. Your light looks so great! I can't see pricing on the inspiration piece but I'm sure you saved a ton of money DIYing one of your own :)

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    1. Hi Caitlin! Thanks so much! :) I don't know the exact price, but I'm sure it is up there!

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  4. What an awesomely creative project- I'm so glad you won! :)

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  5. Love love love! Seriously blown away! What did you paint it with? Is it an airbrush? Fascinating!

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    1. Hi Lindsay, Thanks so much! We used our airbrush (http://www.iwata-medea.com/products/iwata-airbrushes/eclipse/hp-bcs/)

      We love it for smaller projects!

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  6. Wow, that is an Amazing light! Thanks for sharing the tutorial too ;)

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  7. Wow. This is a truly inspiring design and an insanely creative use of material. I love your work and seeing what you com up with.

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  8. Seriously AMAZING! I just love everything about this, the colors, shapes, etc. And I love how you framed it on the ceiling. I would love something exactly like this!!

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  9. What type of paint do you use? Oil or latex? I bought an old brass chandelier that I want to paint but I'm not loving any of the spray paint colors out there. We have a spray gun, that was given to us, but have never used it to paint metal.

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    1. We used latex (just a tester from Sherwin Williams). Oil based should work well too. I'd recommend researching the spray gun to see if oil or water would work best. Good luck! Let me know how it goes :)

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  10. Sarah, I am a bit of a tough customer, as I am such a HUGE DIY-er myself but you have completely blown my socks off and inspired me like crazy!!!! Congrats on being such a talented gal...I adore your home...and I am new follower!

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  11. Sarah, Just found your blog and am blown away! Love this light fixture. Can you tell me how you attached your pieces that you made from the egg crate grid? I would love to make this for my office but I'm not clear on exactly how it is all put together. I also love your painted DIY glass pane mirror...that is so high end and gorgeous. i agree with Lesli, I'm a hard sell too and you amaze me...and that's impressive. You have a very talented eye.

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  12. Wow. I don't know how you think of such things. Awesome.

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  13. I love this! What spray gun do I spy there in the photos? It's a nice size!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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