mercury glass pendant light for the win!

After the last styled photo shoot I did I was left with a mountain of decorative knick-knacks that I'd used to pull it off. My apartment is perfectly sized for my Boston Terrier and I, which means it's pretty darn small, and space, especially storage space, is in very, very short supply.

So what to do with all these things that were too lovely to throw away but too big to have just laying around? D.I.Y it into something just as lovely but much more useful, of course!

The larger items I was left with included a HUGE mercury glass vase I'd picked up for a song after Christmas. I think it was 17$, if that.

I got it at Indigo, but have since seen quite a few that were just as nice at Home Sense, which is the Canadian equivalent of Home Goods, so if you're looking I'd check there.

My "dressing room" (which is really just the other half of my bedroom divided by an archway) has been in desperate need of a new light for a while. The one the previous tenants had installed was ugly to say the least.

So after finding a great tutorial on Pinterest, I decided to turn my vase into a pendant light!

The tools you need for this project are super simple. A power drill, protective eye gear (of course I wore these...cough cough), a spray gun filled with water, and a diamond drill bit that's big enough to put an electrical cord through. Mine was 3/8 of an inch, but you probably don't need more than 1/4.

The key here is the diamond bit. DO NOT do as I did and buy a carbide bit because the package says that it can be used on glass. That package is a liar. I spent two hours with it before I gave up in a screaming fit of rage. Once I finally accepted that I had wasted money on the first bit and shelled out the cash for the right one it took me all of 20 minutes to go through the same amount of glass. So yeah. Kind of key.

Also key? Either filling the spot you'll be drilling with a pool of water or, if your vase doesn't have a convenient dip like mine, constantly spraying it while you drill. If you don't do this then the bit won't stay lubricated (ahem) and the glass will likely break.

Once you have your hole, attach it to a light conversion kit like this one, and switch out the old light for the new. Obviously this step is a lot more complicated than that one sentence, but there are so many tutorials on how to do it online that there's no point in me replicating.

Actually, the original tutorial (where you can also find a much more in-depth, step-by-step guide to drilling the hole) breaks down the wiring process pretty well. Ignore the ceiling medallion part though, you only need that if the hole in your ceiling is bigger than the top of the conversion kit, which is rarely the case.

Wanna see what the light looks like now?

I probably shouldn't have taken the after shots on a rainy day with no natural light, but what can you do. There's only so much time in the day/week/year/life.

Not bad huh? Especially for only about 40$ including the diamond bit, which I will clearly now be using to make lights out of everything. Seriously, I am concerned for the well-being of all inanimate objects in my home. Beware pretty things, mama's coming to get you.

In particular, I think this would look great if you did it with a deep bowl (think punch bowl), especially a cut crystal one or something with a really interesting shape. Here's one I found on apartment therapy made out of a vintage globe!

So what do you think? Is this something you would tackle? It's actually pretty crazy how simple it was, and I really think that the BEST way to make a rental feel like home (other than painting) is to switch out the light fixtures. And unlike painting you can take it with you when you move your restless butt outta there.

Hope you'll give it a shot and send me some after pics. And if you're visiting my brand new blog for the first time, be sure to follow me for more great diy's and general chit chat (and to make my day)!

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  1. Beautiful Elyse! We've been in our house for almost two years and have not made any real changes (paint, lights, flooring, etc). I look forward to your futur posts for inspiration to help make our house reflect more of our style!
    -- Your newest follower, Lauren Mc :)

    1. Aww, so glad your checked out the link Lauren! It's great to hear from you!

  2. Hi Elyse! Where did you get your light kit? The part with the cord and bulb holder thing? :)




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