Put A Bulb In It: 24 upcycled pendant lights made from thrifty vintage treasures

ball jar pendant light from barnlight electricPut a Bird on it? Sure. But let’s throw a big net over another design mega trend today — one with classic vintage-upcycling roots: Put A Bulb In It. A two-day miniseries. Today: 24 pendant lights made by repurposing and upcycling vintage treasures, which you can buy online. So let’s get going! Above: The humble Ball Jar pendant light, which seems to have started this entire megatrend. The Ball Jar pendant, above, is from Barnlight Electric $149. Disclosure: Barnlight Electric is a current advertiser, but this feature isn’t a part of deal or anything. The reason I like this light, in particular, is because it features an authentic vintage Ball Jar (which I think is important.) Readers, as you are looking through all of these lights shown, please remember that you often do get what you pay for — such as porcelain sockets, cloth-covered cords — good solid lighting.

acetylene tank tops turned into pendant lights from barnlight electric

Poke around at Barnlight Electric some more,and you see these vintage acetylene tank tops repurposed into lighting, $149. They even have them in orange. 🙂 Note: Barnlight Electric is having a 10% off storewide sale right now – enter Spring11 on checkout.

These are sa-weet! Pendant lighting made from old railroad insulators. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, we used these as planters — we flipped them the other way, strung them in macrame, and added spider plants. What a flash from my past! Vintage railroad insulator pendants from RailroadWare, $149. Also available via Remodelista, where I first saw them.

Antique Key Plate pendant, from Napa Style, $599 (more styles available). Love the colors and the keyholes!

Here is another take on the insulator pendant, from Napa Style, $299.

Are you having fun yet? This one might be my favorite so far, because I fed my share of chickens growing up: Pendant light made from a vintage chicken feeder, from Napa Style, $399. That’s some chicken scratch! That Napa Style likes their upcycled, repurposed vintage, that’s for sure.

Add some baubles and a pendant can easily become a chandelier. (Though, I have left “chandeliers made from upcycled vintage treasures for another day.)  This Eat Drink Be Merry Chandelier by Jose Esteves for Anthropologie  turns vintage spoons and forks into a $4,800 work of art.

Heading over the etsy.com, which I suspect will be a bonanza, I immediately am presented with this pendant light made from a vintage jello mold, just $35, from BootsNGus.

Readers, also note: Please also take care not to overload the wattage of any pendant lighting — depending on where you buy an upcycled pendant light from, you might want to have it doublechecked with a local lighting expert to make sure of its wiring and that you are not overloading it.

Pretty pretty pretty. Different vases and such, matched with vintage receptors or caps or whatever you call the things that hold them— love the mashup! Each of these is $48 from BootsnGus.

More pretty pendant lights — grouped, $100 — from BootsnGus. BnG, who is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, sure is workin’ this concept! $100.

You got your pendant light made from a blender, $32 also from da boots. haha

BootsNGus pendant light made from ceramic planter.

Pendant light made from cracker tins, several styles available, $55 from metalight on etsy.com.

Colander pendant from metalight, $150. (Colandar discorama.)

Pendant light made from oil funnel, $68.95 from PaddyRidge on etsy.com.

Pendant light from pizza shaker, $35 from WashburnArt, etsy.

Pendants made from vintage teacups, $48 each, from TheSalvagedTeaParty, etsy.

Back to fancy artists with their own websites. Pendant light made from a vintage egg basket. Drats, I sold a vintage egg basket at my garage sale last summer. What was I thinking? NEVER let anything leave the house! Hoard everything vintage, don’t let those neat-freaks dissuade you! $125 from Junkyard Lighting.

Same idea, same company as above, currently sold out. Haha, I am pretty sure I still have my metal basket that looks like this. They will pry it from my cold, dead hands.

pendant lights made from vintage kitchen canisters

Adorable beyond adorable: Pendant lights upcycled from vintage kitchen canisters by Rodney Allen Trice / The Other Man’s Treasures. First spotted on Simply Stated.

pendant light made out of vintage christmas tree holder

Died and gone to heaven. That Rodney Allen Trice is a genius. This pendant made out of a vintage Christma tree holder is just the best.  It looks from the website like all work is custom.

Here’s a beauty: 1930s selzer bottles turned into pendants. $295 on sale from Russell Johnson Imports. Spotted on CasaSugar.

Ooooh, I love this, too: Vintage doilies sewn together to create a pendant light, $850 by ReMadeUSA by Shannon South.

Now these are pretty fantastic: Lead crystal decanters turned into pendant lights. They are by Lee Broom, I can’t see a price. Update: A commenter said $230.

Phew. This one took me hourz. Just as I did with my megapost last week, on — 19 mid century and modern sofas — I am looking to build the definitive list of pendant lights upcycled from vintage treasures. If you spot any more artisans or retailers, will you let me know? Put a bulb on it!


  1. Dee says:

    I love the ideas…just wish you would have instructions on how to make the decanter lights. Also railroad lights

  2. Dee says:

    Please include directions for decanter lights and rail Insulater lights. Would love to make some.
    Wonderful ideas

  3. Ronda says:

    love the decanter lights too! I may be dating myself, but there used to be a glass cutting tool/gizmo that would cut the tops off bottles. Could that be used to cut the bottom off a decanter? Do they even HAVE something like that anymore??

  4. CyndiBThatsMe says:

    We’ve just completed new construction. I bought galvanized buckets for the canopy portion of pendant lighting. Why buckets? Our house is built over an old well original to the community from the 1820’s. I use buckets throughout the house representing the old well bucket. The bucket canopies are a real conversation piece!

  5. Kerry McCall says:

    love the one you made! and I have all those things laying around my house which is currently undergoing some reno. think I will try making one of those.

  6. Kerry McCall says:

    love these ideas! how easy to make a “designer” unique gift for the holidays or special occasion too

  7. Rhonda Meeks says:

    Where do you buy your cords and sockets to make these pendants lights. Love your creativity!

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