Glamming Up Boring Ceiling Fixtures

black feathers diy dining room lighitng fixture

Do you remember the black feather wreath I hung on the front door as part of our Halloween decor? {click here for a refresher} …well the other day as I was pondering light fixtures for our dining room {we have a boring, boob-like, ceiling fixture} I randomly held the feather wreath around the base of the “boob” and kind of fell in love. Since I don’t really want to bother with installing a new light fixture in this area, and don’t really want anything hanging low because it will compete with our Phrena pendant lamp in the living room, the feathers add the perfect touch, updating what’s already there for relatively little cost {feather wreath:$30, adhesive mounting squares: $6}

diy feather light fixture+dining room lighting

* I swapped out the semi-eco-energy saving light bulb for a small CFL {bottom right above} to keep the heat down …just to be safe. I wanted to go with LED but the one I bought wasn’t bright enough. Since the wreath just goes around the base of this fixture, I’ll have no problem switching out bulbs if necessary. If possible, I’d ultimately like to find a brighter LED.

cfl eco light bulb in ceiling light fixture

* This wreath is rather light; feathers adhered to a black foam circle. Using these foam adhesives is really the easiest option because even though they say they’re permanent, they are relatively easy to remove if I wanted to …hopefully leaving the ceiling paint in tact.

DIY feather ceiling light fixture-dining room lighting

* Once you peel off all the back of the sticky foam, press up to the ceiling and hold for a minute, making sure the adhesives are “stuck”


dining room ceiling fixture - before

feather dining room ceiling fixture light lamp - after

* The “before” shot actually doesn’t look that bad but let me assure you that this small ceiling fixture doesn’t belong over a dining room table. It’s very reminiscent of apartment or hotel lighting …which is fine in those settings but you need a little drama over the dining room table, in my opinion 😉 {not to mention, I have the same fixtures in the kitchen & the bathroom}

feather light in the dining room

* dining room progress *

dining room+table with bench+bar+feather ceiling light diy

* I’ll be working on an art project this weekend for either side of the mini bar/booze display & still contemplating whether to keep these old chairs or replace them …but I’m loving it so far.

Word Pop Art DIY …inspired by Ed Ruscha

eat and be merry canvases+DIY art+spray painted canvases+word art

These will hang in our dining room, on either side of the window.

DIY word art materials needed

* Two pre-stretched and pre-treated canvases{I used 20″ x 16″}
* Words via computer/printer {you can use my templates here}
* Scissors & Double Sided Tape{I found the dispenser double stick was better}
* Spray paint color of your choice {I used black}. If you want the overspray on the letters as I did, go with spray paint. You can also use acrylic or oil paints or house paint & a roller for a thick gloss finish – though it would take MUCH longer to dry}
* Silver metal push pins/thumb tacks & hammer to set them

DIY word art step 1

* Print out selected words {use my template if you wish} then carefully cut out the letters. If it’s cursive writing, it’s a bit easier because you don’t have to cut out each letter individually.

DIY word art step 2

* Apply your double stick tape to the back of your letters and . . .

DIY word art step 4

* Arrange & stick them to your canvases.

DIY word art step 6

* Evenly spray paint your canvases including the edges. You will get a bit of overspray in the words, careful not to get too much. If you want cleaner lines, use paint and a paint brush instead.

DIY word art step 7

* Once your paint is dry, remove the letters revealing the white canvas background. If you wish to have a color instead of white, spray paint or brush paint that color on your canvas prior to sticking your letters/words down …then repeat the steps above.

DIY word art step 8 DIY word art step 9

* To finish off the canvases, I used the same metal thumb tacks I used on our mini bar …though I didn’t mark the placement out first on these, I just eyeballed it.

spray painting canvases+nailhead+DIY art+ruscha+word art+art with qoutes

intro to Low Profile LED Shelf Lighting

Add nearly hidden lighting to shelves, cabinets and desk cubbies. It’s great for hard to see areas, accent lighting and places where power outlets are not available.

Low Profile LED Shelf Lighting


repurpose old dance shoes for a sexy new pair of bookends

diy project: letter light from curbly’s new DIY book

We all know that hardware stores can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re an avid DIYer. Every time I pass the rows of gleaming copper pipe, I just know there’s an amazing home decor project hiding in there somewhere, but then my eyes scan to the rope section, the molding section, the brackets, and on and on. Too many possibilities! I am so excited to see that the DIY experts at Curbly have tackled the hardware store’s rows upon rows of products in their new book, the aptly named Make It! Hardware Store Decor. This “letter light” tutorial is just one of the 12 awesome home decor projects in the book. Simple to create and the epitome of industrial chic, each project inspires me to raid the hardware store and redecorate my home immediately. Thank you to the creative folks at Curbly for sharing one of their new projects! — Kate

You can purchase the book in downloadable PDF form here. If you’re interested in giving the book as a gift (or if you enjoy the tactile experience of thumbing through pages like I do), you can order a full-color print version of the book here.

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • 1⁄4″ thick compressed hardboard, twice as large as your final design (we used a 2′ x 4′ handy panel cut in half)
  • string light set with 20 or 25 globe bulbs
  • light-duty extension cord
  • vinyl roof flashing
  • 1″ diameter dowel rod
  • spray paint
  • medium-duty picture hanging hardware


  • computer and printer
  • spray adhesive
  • electric jigsaw or coping saw
  • small clamps or binder clips
  • electric drill/driver
  • 1″ spade bit, forstner bit, or hole saw
  • long straight edge, such as a yardstick
  • utility knife
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks


1. Create your design in an image-editing or word-processing software. Use a thick, heavy typeface that’s relatively simple in shape. Try a single letter, as we did, or a typographic symbol or punctuation mark. If using multiple characters, you must be able to connect them easily to form a single piece. Then, note how the lights will fit into your shape. If you can, mark them on your design before you print it out. Scale your design across multiple pages and print off the necessary sheets.

Many image-editing suites can do this internally; if yours can’t, check out Alternatively, you can save your image as a PDF and have it printed in large scale at the copy shop. You can also print your image onto a transparency sheet and transfer it using an overhead projector or, if you’re comfortable, just draw your image directly onto the hardboard.

2. Double up your hardboard so you can cut both pieces at once, flipping the bottom piece so the rough sides touch. Affix your design to the top piece using spray adhesive and clamp the two pieces together. Use a jigsaw or coping saw to cut out your design.

3. Use the 1″ spade bit to cut out the bulb holes from the top piece only.

4. Transfer the placement of the bulb holes by tracing them onto the bottom layer. Measure the height of the bulb receptacle of your light string, adding a 1⁄2″ or so.

Cut your 1″ dowel into pieces of this length. Glue them to the bottom layer, in between the bulb hole traces, to create supports for the top layer. Then, use the spade bit to drill a hole that will allow the male end of the extension cord to come out through the back of your art, and then attach the picture hanging hardware.

5. Measure the combined height of a single bulb and its socket. Add 3⁄4” to determine the total height of your piece (the height to which you’ll cut the vinyl flashing). Use a flexible measuring tape to measure the perimeter of your design (and add 2″ just in case).

Use a utility knife and straight edge to cut the flashing to these dimensions:

  • Height = height of bulb and socket unit + 3⁄4″
  • Length = perimeter of design + 2″

6. Heat up your hot glue gun and carefully glue the flashing along the perimeter of the bottom layer at a 90-degree angle. The heat of the gun will melt the flashing, so take your time and allow the glue to cool just a bit before adding the flashing.

7. You now have two pieces: the top layer, complete with holes for the bulb, and the bottom layer, with the sides attached and the support columns for the top. Take both pieces outside or into a well-ventilated area and spray on the paint.

8. Unplug all the bulbs in your string of lights, then sandwich the top layer between the bulb and its receptacle, using the pressure between the bulb and the light string to hold everything in place. Attach the string lights to the extension cord and feed the plug-end through the back. Using a bit of electric tape to secure the plugs will help keep everything connected inside.

Last, finagle the top layer on. The sides should keep the top secure, and not using any glue here will allow you to take it apart again and replace the bulbs as needed. Now, hang it up!

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