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Earth Day gives me reason to share yet another project, aka a Green Work of Art we've been working on, only this time with a vintage flare. I can't even tell you how much I'm loving my vintage cake tins upcycled to DIY light fixtures. They are the first step to a farmhouse kitchen transformation I'm working on. A little paint goes a long way, as do little touches like new to me light fixtures. Keep reading to learn how to make your own charming, upcycled, kitchen lighting.
For awhile now, we've had this large, rectangular, gaudy, fluorescent tube light in the ceiling of our kitchen. It honestly made me want to crawl in a shell and hide every time we turned it on because it reminded me of a hospital. It was huge and when you turned it on, it was almost as if an alien spacecraft was beaming through the kitchen ceiling. Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but that's how it felt.
Anyway, when opportunity arose, I knew it was time for the gaudy fluorescent tube light to go and something old yet quite charming to take its place. While Pinterest lent to a bit of inspiration for this project, so did my grandma's old cake tin which sits proudly in my kitchen. When I was a little girl, Grandma had this beautiful blue cake tin; I'm so fortunate to have it and still use it to this day. Due to my complete and utter love for vintage kitchen ware, the lids to three similar vintage cake tins have now become light fixtures over the old postal table (another story for another day) that serves as an island in our kitchen.
Turning the cake tins into light fixtures could not have been simpler; it's honestly a fairly easy project.
What You'll Need
- Vintage cake tin/s
- Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner
- Rags or paper towels
- Keyless light socket/s – 1 for each light fixture and pre-wired by electrician
- Electrical cord – enough to reach the electrical box
- 2 hooks per light fixture
- Hose clamp/s
- 1 wooden fence panel, old or new
- Stain or paint for fence panel
- Light bulb/s
Instructions for DIY Light Fixtures
The first step to creating light fixtures out of old cake tins is to actually clean them up. Mine were pretty filthy, so I used Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner.
Being 98% naturally derived, this cleaner has a very pleasant smell, not overpowering in any sense of the word. But the fact of the matter is it's a very powerful cleaner that really shined up my dirty old cake tins, minus a few dents from lots of use and a little rust (although rust adds a little character, don't you think?). The donkey tin was the worst of the three; the top of it was a grayish-black. With Green Works and a little elbow grease, the dirt and grime disappeared.
After cleaning up your cake tin, it's time to assemble the pre-cut length of chain to the light socket and route the wire through the chain. How long your chain is depends on how low you want your light to hang from the ceiling. We chose to go about 24 inches.
Attach the opposite end of the chain to your hook or other hanging device.
Now for the fun! Drill a hole, matching the circumference of your light socket, through the center of your cake pan lid. Stick the lamp socket through the hole in your lid. Attach a hose clamp to the desired position on your light socket, and allow the cake pan to rest on the clamp. This will set the height of your lamp socket.
You can either hang your light from the ceiling or hang from another decorative object. We chose to stain a piece of fence panel and mount our lights on that. Now here is where I'll leave the wiring to be done by an experienced electrician; in our case, my husband is an electrician and did our wiring. (If doing your own wiring, do so at your own risk. I can't be held liable for any accidents or mistakes that may occur.)
Once your light/s have been correctly and fully wired, add light bulbs, flip the switch, and you've got a beautiful set of kitchen light fixtures that will definitely serve as a great conversation piece when company arrives.
I'm loving our new to us light fixtures. The kitchen just feels so much bigger now, even though it isn't; and the lights really give the illusion of a higher ceiling.
The lights have truly changed the feeling of the most important room in our home.
They've also really inspired me to continue on with my vision of a farmhouse kitchen. Stay tuned for more projects in the near future!
Upcycling Inspiration with Green Works
Green Works is celebrating the power in nature this Earth Day and has enlisted the help of acclaimed metal artist, Rebecca Anders, on another upcycling adventure. In fact, the Oakland based artist is taking the dirtiest, greasiest kitchen materials found in the Bay area and turning them into a sculpture of a daisy. Scrap to sculpture, trash to treasure… the ultimate upcycled work of art. Check it out and share!
Now stay tuned because I'll be sharing a very special Green Works giveaway with you tomorrow! You won't want to miss it! Meanwhile, be sure to join the conversation and get to know Green Works a little bit more. You can use the hashtags #EarthDay and #GreenDIY on social; you can also find Green Works on Twitter @GreenWorks; Instagram @GreenWorksClean; Facebook at Green Works; and Pinterest at GreenWorksClean. Happy upcycling!
Do you have an upcycled project, or Green Work of Art, to share? I'd love to see what you're working on! Tell me about it by leaving a comment.
Looking for more thrifty DIY project inspiration?
- How to Make a Beautiful DIY Photo Canvas on the Cheap
- DIY Photography Background on the Cheap
- Beautiful DIY Earrings with Mod Podge
- 11 Free or Super Cheap DIY Planner Supplies and Printables
- Build Suitcase Shelves, Easy Step By Step
- Transform a Suitcase into a DIY Vintage Suitcase Cabinet
- DIY Changing Table
Can't make it just yet? Pin it for later!