DIY edison bulb light fixture over a rustic dining room table

How to Build a Rustic Edison Bulb Light Fixture

How to build a DIY Edison bulb light fixtureBy Guest Blogger, Brooke Beach

Any homemaker knows that the right light fixture can change the entire feel of a room. But light fixtures can also be very costly, especially when you are looking at custom sizing and design.

So why not make one yourself? We will walk you through, step by step, how you can create a professional-looking chandelier from scratch. The best part is that it is inexpensive and you can customize it to fit your exact size needs and style.

It’s simple – you’ll just need a few materials to get started:

Materials:

This project starts just as any quality project should…. the right materials.

  1. A piece of lumber: This specific piece of lumber was a new piece of 1×6 pine that I distressed and stained to give it a rough/distressed look. You can really use any style of wood that you like, the key is to make sure that it can accommodate the size of whatever baskets you choose.
  2. Baskets: I found the two square baskets on the outside of this fixture at the Container store and the center egg basket at Garden Ridge. Again, this is completely up to you as to the style of basket you choose.
  3. Light Sockets: I used light sockets that I found in the lamp accessory section of my local home improvement store. You will need one light socket for each bulb.
  4. Wire: I used brown lamp fixture wire for this fixture. This can also be found at your local home improvement store. Tell the associate that you are making a lamp and they will point you in the right direction. Typically they have white, brown and black colored wire in this gauge.
  5. Rope: I used ⅜ inch Sisal Rope for this fixture. Admittedly, not this best feeling rope that you could ever hope to handle, but it looks great and is certainly strong enough to support the fixture.
  6. 60 watt antique light bulb
    Antique Light Bulb

    Pulley: This is not necessary, but I really like how this finished off the piece. You can do a quick Google search for “Antique Wooden Pulley” and you will be pleasantly surprised by how many options you have!

  7. Edison Bulbs: This is easily the most important part of the fixture! The wire filament inside the bulbs show off a very cool design and the bulbs emit a warm, inviting glow. (For the first time ever, long-lasting and energy-saving LED antique filament bulbs are available!)
  8. Chandelier Canopy Kit: This is the part that will actually attach to your ceiling and cover the wiring. While you are picking up your wire and light sockets, grab this kit as well.

Building:

Step 1: Stain and distress your wood.

  • First step here is to distress your wood. This is entirely subjective to how distressed you would like it to be. I liked showing a few dents, scratches and bumps in the wood to make it seem authentic.
  • To distress it you can use metal chain and just hit it several times, throw it on the ground, sand down the edges or take a nail and poke several holes in the wood to make it seem like the true ‘wormy pine’ that you would pay big bucks for.
  • Once you have finished distressing, pick a stain color and stain the entire board – front, back and sides.
  • Typically, I use two coats of stain and then let it dry.
  • If you want it to look matte and rustic, you will not need to polyurethane. If however you would like it to have a little shine, you may want to paint a thin layer of semi-glass poly over the entire piece.

Step 2: Attach baskets to wood piece.

  • Make sure to layout and mark exactly where you want the baskets to go on the wood before you attach them.
  • I used graphite metallic steel cable staples (usually found near the electrical section in big box home improvement stores) to attach the baskets to the lumber. They look great and they do a fantastic job of affixing the basket.

Step 3: Drill

  • You will need to drill 5 holes total: two at the ends of the wood for the rope to attach, and the other three to attach the baskets.
  • When drilling for the baskets, be sure you are drilling at the center of each basket for each lightbulb that you plan to use. This is where the wiring will feed through for the lamp sockets.

Step 4: Wire

Now that you have the holes for lamp sockets, we need to start wiring the lamp sockets.

  • Start at one end of the baskets and work your way down so that you have linked all of the sockets together and the wire terminates at one side (so we can wrap it around one side of the rope.
  • Make sure that you are keeping track of the positive and neutral wires and not crossing them. Depending on the gauge of wire you choose, there will be either a textured/non-textured cable or a broken line on one wire and a solid line to separate positive from neutral.
  • Also, make sure that you leave enough extra wire on the last socket to wrap around the rope and get to your wiring point.

Step 5: Rope

  • Slide the end of the rope through the bottom (basket side) of the dedicated rope holes at the end of the board, then through the top side of the hole on the opposite end of the wood. Tie a simple knot in the end of the rope and tighten it.
  • Determine how far you want your fixture to hang from the ceiling, taking into account the length of the pulley (If you use one). Once you are satisfied with the height, cut the rope accordingly.
  • Now, run the cut end of the rope through the pulley, through the top of the wood and then tie a knot on that side of the wood just as you did for the other side.

Step 6: Hang Time

  • Hang your pulley from the ceiling with a hook rated to hold the weight of the fixture and get excited about how amazing it already looks.
  • Now that it is hanging, wrap the excess wire around the rope/pulley and then run it to the electrical connection.
  • MAKE CERTAIN POWER IS OFF AT THE BREAKER!!! Install your Chandelier canopy kit and connect the wiring to your power source.

Step 7: Test

  • I recommend grabbing a standard incandescent light that you have lying around and installing that in the lamp socket of your new fixture. This way we don’t run the risk of damaging your cool edison bulbs.
  • Once you have screwed the lightbulb in, turn the power back on and hopefully you have light!
  • Repeat this testing process for each socket (kill power, change light bulb, turn power back on) until you are certain of your wiring. If you blow the bulb or breaker, you will want to turn the breaker back off and double-check that you didn’t cross the positive and neutral leads.

Step 8: Bring in the glory of the Edison Bulb

  • Once you are confident of your wiring, it is time for the finishing touch.
  • Turn off your power and install the edison bulbs.
  • Turn your power back and sit back and enjoy the warm glow of accomplishment!!

DIY edison bulb light fixture over a rustic dining room table


Brooke Beach is CEO and co-founder of Kevy, an eCommerce Marketing Automation ​company that specializes in automating and personalizing the shopping experience. ​ ​​Kevy gives online retailers the tools they need to help visitors find the products they care about most. When she is not at Kevy, Brooke and her husband Ryan love creating new projects and are always looking for a new DIY opportunity around the house.

LED Antique Light Bulbs now available at Pegasus Lighting

Guest Post

Guest Post

This post is written by a guest blogger for Pegasus Lighting.

  • diyNadya

    such a cool DIY! I will definitely make a fixture like this for my home. I love the rustic style and currently trying to incorporate it more and more in my home design. This fixture will be a perfect addition 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!