DIY swag kits made of beautiful cloth cord, from Shandell’s

swag kit with cloth cordHow cool is this:  The first product introduced into the marketplace as an outgrowth of the blog. 🙂 Earlier this year, when my friend Susan Schneider and I made a video sharing ideas to create upcycled swag and pendant light shades, we were surprised to discover that the only Do-It-Yourself swag kits were icky plastic. Inexpensive — yes, but with the look and feel of a stiff white garden hose. What to do? Well, Susan being a professional lamp-maker and all, got all entrepreneurial-like and has now introduced DIY swag kits made of beautiful, Made in the U.S.A. cloth cord. And yeehaw, I got to be the first one to try the kit! –> 

upcycled pendant light made with vintage egg basket and midcentury earringsYup: That’s my cuuuuuute light.  When Susan and I got together to “test” the idea, I brought this vintage egg basket along. Here’s how it went:

  • We pried a hole in the bottom of the basket so that we could thread the cloth cord and then the neck on the porcelain socket through it. With Susan’s kit, the cloth cord is pre-wired onto the porcelain socket
  • I threaded everything through the hole…
  • Washer- and lock nutted the shade and socket firmly in place…
  • Wired on the plug, then the on/off switch… There are manufacturer’s instructions, I was impressed how easy it was…
  • Flipped it around — added a bulb — plugged it in…
  • Then I got the idea to decorate the wire with vintage earrings. I put vintage earrings on shower curtains and put ’em on swag lights, too. The clippy daffodil at the top of the shade is a clip-on candle holder for a Christmas tree. Everything in the light is from my estate sale treasure chest. Did I mention, it is SO DARN CUTE I COULD BUST. And this all took, like, 20 minutes, as we were just testing. Imagine what I could do with some real time to hunt, gather and embellish.

upcycled pendant lightsI put my first little cloth cord swag light in my bedroom, by the window. I have all kinds of interesting vintage treasures, and am already scoping my piles to see what I will upcycle into one more swag light, this one for my office. I still love my hard-wired “real” lights — but these swags are another way for me to get my creative mojo on — and to enjoy the results every day — in a working light!

Hey, remember my other, recent story: 24 upcycled pendant lights made from thrifty vintage treasures? There are SO MANY things you can do with this *craft*!

Might I also suggest: PENDANT PARTY! Buy a bunch of kits, invite some pals over, and get lit. Note: There must be Designated Wirer, if cocktails are involved.

edison style light bulbsSusan’s kits including everything you need to string your light, along with instructions. You can choose from:

  • Swag Kit with 12- or 15-feet of cord…
  • Pendant Kit starting with 2′ of cord…
  • Four cloth cord colors
  • Brass or Nickel hardware
  • Two Jelly Jar kits — Susan wires on the lid, you add your own Ball Jar or Mason Jar or Whatever Jar and complete the project…
  • Susan also sells Edison-style Ferrowatt light bulbs. Gulp, these are spendy, but they sure are mesmerizingly gorgeous.

The swag kits start at $39. The pendant kits, which require less cloth cord, start at $29.

Link: The Original Cloth Cord Swag & Pendant Light Kits, from Shandell’s. 

Disclosure: Susan has taken an ad on the blog. This story isn’t part of the deal, though. But heck! She is a friend and the idea erupted after our video. Woot! Good luck, Susan, with your new entrepreneurial venture!


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  1. Joe says

    this is perfect. I picked up 2 vintage fiberglass lampshades with no lamp bases and the wife suggested we use them as hanging pendants. This is exactly what I need.

  2. Cindy Friday says

    I echo Joe’s comment. The next time I see a shade I want, and its base is wrecked, I can knock down the price and repurpose. Tnx.

  3. 75Heather says

    This is actually incredibly timely, as I hit up an estate sale on my lunch break today and bought a vintage light fixture – it’s a single swag with *three* seperate chrome globes, each on it’s own chain & cord of differing lengths. It needs to be re-wired, which at first I thought would be super-easy, but then I realized: ooops, three cords connecting the globes, but they converge into the main cord that plugs in. So it won’t be as simple as replacing a single cord. Any possibility that you’ll be making swag kits that can accomodate multiple bulbs?

  4. Sandy Fish says

    So creative you ladies are! I am ordering one of these kits for a vintage bathroom renovation. I can’t wait to find or make the perfect shade. I may look for a plain jane & cover it with my wallpaper scraps 🙂
    ONE question – is there such a thing as an in-line dimmer off/on switch all in one?? My light will need to be a swag. Dimming the light would be perfect for long soaks in the tub 🙂

    • pam kueber says

      I am not an expert regarding whether there is an all-in-one solution for turn it on and dim it. I’ve never seen one…. Have fun!

  5. Michele says

    Could you please tell me how to order the swag & pendent, cloth cord light kits. I have looked at your site, and Shandell’s site, and I can’t find any info as to where to buy these. I really like them and I need some. If you can help me I would really appreciate it.
    Michele Morris

    • pam kueber says

      You should contact them directly, I don’t know if they still sell them anymore.

      There are other companies now that have these sorts of kits, use the google!

      Good luck.

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