I went back and forth with what I wanted to do for my lights in my kitchen area. I knew I wanted pendants and eventually a light above my dining area, but I wasn’t 100% sold on what. I had a couple different ideas in my head and landed on doing some simple wood ones. These are pretty easy and basic, but a little (ok, a lot for me!) of patience is required.
- 1/8″ Square Dowel
- Some Scrap 1/16″ Basswood
- 1/8″ Metal Tubing and cutter (You could technically skip this step, I just wanted some added stability for my bulb.)
- Cutting Tools: Exacto and Straight Edge, Easy Cutters of cutting tools of choice.
- Grain of Wheat Bulb
- Dollhouse Lamp Base
- Stain or paint of choice
- Glue (I used DAP Rapid Fuse)
I started by cutting two 5/8″ squares from some scrap 1/16″ thick basswood. On one of the square pieces I sanded all four edges on one side to give a rounded appearance. This will be the top of my lantern.
After this, I stained those and a 24″ long 1/8″ square dowel. I used about 10″ of the dowel for one light. Once that was dry, I cut out all of my pieces from that. I needed 8 pieces cut with 45 degree angles with the inner edge being 5/8″ long. I also needed 4- 1″ long pieces cut with straight edges for my pendants sides.
Next step is assembly. I began by adding four of the 5/8″ mitered pieces to the flat, non sanded 5/8″ square. I did this flat on the table because I wanted one side to be flush. I only stained one side of this piece because the other will be covered by the top, so I had to make sure my stained side was facing the right way.
I then glued the rounded edge piece onto the top of that piece and drilled a 1/8″ hole through the center.
I used my tube cutter and some 1/8″ aluminum tubing to make a piece that would help support the light without adding too much tension to the bulb.
Then I made a square frame from the four remaining mitered pieces.
The posts were kind of tricky, on my first pendant they worked perfectly to glue them all to the bottom square and then to the top, my second one of course did not want to cooperate. So, after a lot of gluing and re-gluing and getting ready to can the whole thing, I decided to put two sides on the top, and two on the bottom. It was much better this way. It did take a lot of patience and quick moving to get them lined up before the glue dried though.
Next step was to dismantle my lamp so I could use the base. I have no idea where this lamp came from, or if its even still made, but I assume most dollhouse lamps are made just about the same. I got this one in a very large lot of dollhouse things I picked up locally. I just snipped the wire and pulled the bulb out, it seems pretty old, so it wasn’t glued in very well at this point.
I then threaded my grain of wheat bulb wiring through my tubing and lamp base. I secure the bulb wire to the tube with a dab of glue and the lamp base to the top of my wood.
After that it was just a matter of connecting the wires! I love how it turned out, simple just like I wanted, but with a little rustic charm!
A Quick Note: Someone brought to my attention the ability to change the bulbs should they burn out. This is a very good point! If you are worried about them burning out, you could changed out the grain of wheat bulbs to changeable single bulbs. You would probably just omit the tubing all together and make a larger hole to accommodate the larger socket. I did in fact try to drill a larger hole in the tops of my lanterns before doing this to fit a different top fixture with a socket, the result was split wood. I’m sure more qualified artists have the know how to do this, maybe starting with smaller bits and working your way up. I don’t plan on having my lights on that much, so I am hopeful these little guys will last a good long while.
Love your lights.
Quick questions, is your grain of wheat bulb a 12V or 3V? Did you wire it in the same as you did for your recessed lighting?
Thank you! My grain of wheat bulbs are 12v. I have two separate runs for the 12v lights and the led lights. I bought a universal transformer for the led lights and the 12v lights are powered by a regular dollhouse transformer.