Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY Light fixture

Jenna of Hey Homeslice offered her guest post services when she heard I was sick.  Thank  you, Jenna!  You'll love the project she's sharing with you.

Hello Everyone!

I'm Jenna, a fellow-design lover, and DIY buff. I love Natalie's blog, and am so happy to be here today.  Thank you Natalie for having me!

My husband and I created this fixture to define our kitchen island and bring some ambiance to the room. As you can see from this BEFORE picture, our space desperately needed a little love!

And the AFTER:

So here's how we did it.


Wood board (we used a 1x4 foot, white MDF)
Glass bubbles (we got ours here and used 5 large, 10 small)
Drill and bits (we used 3/16 and 3/8 but this will depend on the thickness of your string)
Screws and dry wall anchors
Small finishing nails and nail set or wood glue
Caulk or wood filler (only if using finishing nails)
Paint or stain
String or fishing line
Ornament toppers (we got ours here because they had some real small ones - 5/16 in. wide)

Prepare your board by drilling small holes all the way through the board.

Then on the back (the side that will be against your ceiling) drill halfway through the board with your larger bit.

So each hole looks something like this...

Next you'll need to attach your trim with wood glue or finishing nails. When using the nails, be sure to fill the holes with caulk or wood filler, and once that's dry give the whole thing a really good sanding. After the holes are drilled and the trim is attached, go ahead and paint or stain the whole board.

Next up, are the bubbles.
Take your ornament tops (I spray painted mine black beforehand), and loop your string through like this.

And then attach it to the bubble (I bent the top flat, but you don't have to) so it looks like this:

Great, now assemble.
This is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is thread your string through the holes (from the front to the back, so the bubble is below). Then tie a good knot at the top.

When you pull it tight the knot will hide in the larger hole you drilled, but the smaller hole will keep it from pulling all the way through. Then just trim off the top of your strings and your board will sit flush against the ceiling. (My brilliant husband thought that one up.)

Now just secure it to your ceiling. We used screws and dry wall anchors to make sure it was really secure (the bubbles are VERY light and delicate, not heavy at all, but better safe than sorry.. especially with this much glass involved!)

And there you have it. Anyone can do this, and it gives huge impact for a small budget.

The best thing about this project is that you can customize everything about the outcome. Make it bigger or smaller, make the board chunkier if you want, use white string or fishing line to make the strings less noticeable, or change them to a really fun bright color. The possibilities are endless!! Visit me at to see more details of the project.

Thanks again, Jenna!  Jenna is new to the blogging world, but she's already put together some great tutorials.  Head here to check them out.


  1. I love the idea, but I would like to see a picture of what it looks like farther back. :) I bet it looks gorgeous.

  2. Such a neat idea! How thick was the wood you used and did you paint it white? I would love to try this in my kitchen, so pretty!

  3. Megan,
    Thank you! Our board was only 1" thick, and yes we did paint it white after we had all the trim attached.

  4. What a fun idea and it makes a big impact! Love Jenn'a's creativity. Feel better soon, Natty!

  5. That's exactly what I need to know how this time. Thanks!