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Topic: Upcycled: Bulk sized aluminum cans into....pendant lamps???  (Read 8330 times)
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Joined: 08-Apr-2008

Don't worry, it's just a plastic boob.

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« on: August 09, 2011 05:40:39 PM »

I live in an apartment with absolutely no overhead lighting or ceiling fan in the living room.  I have a light switch connected to an outlet that you can plug a lamp into, but it's on the wrong side of the room!  Naturally.  And I hate floor lamps.  And table lamps.  They take up space.  So I decided I wanted pendant lamps but of course, couldn't find anything I liked.  I decided to get the pendant light kits from Ikea and the plug in dimmer switches (I love dimmer switches!) and decided SOMETHING would come to me. 
Then I saw this:  http://www.shelterness.com/diy-pendant-lights-of-tin-cans/
And this: http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2010/03/how-to_punched_can_luminary.html

I knew I needed to do something more along the lines of the punched tin look, because I needed as much light from them as possible.  I'm not really into the modern aesthetic, and I wanted them to go with my sugar skull bull rider painting.  I went to home depot and had them cut me a chunk off a 2x6 that barely fit into the can.  I printed the images I liked, taped the paper to the cans, and started hammering!  I kept rotating the block of wood and hammering each section at a time.  I have a feeling this was probably easier than the ice method used on craftzine.

Then I found this package of two stainless rings at home depot that I guessed would catch the lip of the lightbulb socket.  I punched 3 holes, not too close to the top, so you can just barely see the top of the socket.  Then I secured 3 lengths of picture hanging wire around the circles, and tightened them through the holes in the can.  This part would have been much easier with an extra pair of hands!  I estimated, and it was good enough for me!

I bleed for my art!

The first can I only did 2 images on, then realized I could easily fit 3 on the second one.  They are a Texas (born and raised!), a "B" (my first and last initial), a sugar skull, classic Dutch tulip motif, and a weeping willow tree:

After they were all finished, I simply screwed a hook in the ceiling and hung them.  I tacked the cords along the ceiling and walls, and then used 3M wall mount tape to mount the dimmer switches on the walls.

Even though my hands were killing me, I absolutely love them!  I even have a friend who went to design school ask if I would make her some!  The thing I like most about them is they'll be so easy to take down when I'm sick of them.  Then I just have to figure out what kind of "shade" to make next!

C&C welcome.  Thanks so much for looking!
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011 06:36:44 PM »

I love the texas one. Smiley It totally rocks
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011 06:09:05 AM »

sweet! wish a know about this a couple of years ago when I first moved to an empty house with not a single ceiling lamp!

And I wonder, if you've ever wondered the same...
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011 09:33:25 AM »

thanks guys!
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2011 10:03:10 PM »

Thanks for sharing! I am trying to figure out how to...  I need wall light sconces, but without having to do rewiring etc. I've been thinking about how to modify my cheapy floor lamps (which I've already done a bad repaint on) to make them be the sconces, so as to not have to deal with wiring. So, your post is inspiring, as well as helping me to think "outside" my already outside box! Smiley Now to figure out how. . . .

As a side note, the tin can & ice deal I read about in the book Vinegar, Duct Tape, and More (or something along those lines) and using them as pathway lights; so I love your take on raising them off the ground!

Please don't clean up my mess; you'll confuse me and screw up my world!
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