DIY Steel Pipe Light Fixture

My husband is amazing.

I know, gag. Get a room, people! But seriously. He is amazing. Not only because he is an extremely good husband but also because he is an incredibly talented DIY-er, designer, all-round handyman… He is very creative and he has the spatial reckoning skills to really do something with his creativity.

I already showed you the wine rack he built me for Christmas, and this was kind of a bonus New Year’s gift that was installed just in time for our New Year’s Day party.

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Boom! This amazingly awesome industrial DIY chandelier that he made out of steel pipe and fittings.

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Behold the beauty, my friends.

Well, to take a little credit for myself (hehe), we worked on the design of this light fixture together. Chris came up with the long H-shaped concept, which we thought would work well with the length of our dining room table (also a DIY, by the way). I weighed in on the design by making each section a slightly random length to keep it asymmetrical and more modern-looking. But really, Chris was the mastermind here.

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Once the design was hammered out, Chris ordered the fixture parts online (from Zorotools.com, but they’re available at Home Depot too if you want to look at them in person) and simply screwed them all together once they arrived. The assembly literally took less than an hour.

Here’s a diagram if you’re interested in re-creating this chandelier:

diy chandelier diagram

A) Nipple,1 1/2 x 2 In 1
B) Floor Flange,1-1/2 In 1
C) Reducer,1-1/2 x 1/2 In 7
D) Tee,1/2 In 9
E) Square Head Plug,1/2 In 4
F) Nipple,1/2 x 7 In 4
G) Nipple,1/2 x 6 In 2
H) Nipple,1/2 x 3 In 2
I) Nipple,1/2 x 1 1/2 In 6
J) Pipe,1/2 x 24 In 1

 

Of course, wiring the fixture, the switch, and the fixture box in the ceiling took a little longer. I’m not going to tell you how to do that. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone accidentally shocking or electrocuting themselves. So, hire an electrician, or if you want to DIY you will find tons of tutorials online on how to wire a light fixture.

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Me likey.

Chris spray painted the porcelain bulb sockets black before wiring them. We sprayed the whole thing with clear lacquer to protect the exposed steel (after wiping off the protective oil with some mineral spirits). Right now the light sockets are just sitting inside the fittings. We’re not sure how to attach them yet but we’re thinking silicone caulk might do the trick.

UPDATE: An awesome reader who happens to be a house inspector recommended using 2-part epoxy to glue the sockets onto the frame. Here’s what he said:

I would recommend using 2 part epoxy. It actually will set better with heat and bonds almost anything and can handle heat without deterioration.

Thanks, Bob!

The cost for the pipe/fittings was about $38. The ceramic light sockets were free, since we re-used ones from an old ceiling fan that came with the house, but there are similar ones available at Home Depot for around $3 each. The lamp wire is sold by the foot at Home Depot at about $0.40 a foot so about $8 total. The spray paint and spray lacquer cost about $6 total. So for about $70 (actually less for us since we already had the sockets) we have a unique chandelier that costs less than half the price of comparable light fixtures.

Note: We used these budget-friendly lightbulbs. They are incandescent but we figured that since we will only be using this chandelier for meals in the dining room, we didn’t need to splurge on dimmable LEDs.

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Here’s a wide shot of our dining/living room. There’s the DIY dining room table Chris built (yes, I know many of you having been clamoring for a tutorial on that…it will come…someday). There are the Goodwill chairs we reupholstered and that we are planning to refinish soon. There’s the Craigslist sofa and the L-shaped sofa table we built behind it. Far in the left corner there’s the green dresser I painted.

Oh and not to mention the sliding glass door we installed (yes, cut a hole in the wall and everything). This room is truly a testament to DIY.

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DIY pipe chandelier

Sharing at SavvySouthernStyleTheBlissfulBee, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello and DIYShowoff!

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22 Comments on DIY Steel Pipe Light Fixture

    • Camilla
      January 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm (7 months ago)

      Thanks Kristin!

      Reply
    • Camilla
      January 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm (7 months ago)

      Thanks Melinda. I am lucky =).

      Reply
  1. Kayla
    January 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm (7 months ago)

    Love this! Great job! I may have to give it a try.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      January 9, 2014 at 10:37 pm (7 months ago)

      Please do, and let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  2. Andrea Fogleman
    January 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm (6 months ago)

    I love the industrial look used inside the living space. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  3. karin
    January 12, 2014 at 5:30 am (6 months ago)

    Totally gonna have to make this..I love it!
    Karin

    Reply
  4. Camilla
    January 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm (6 months ago)

    Thanks for all the sweet comments everyone!

    Reply
  5. Shelly
    January 13, 2014 at 7:41 am (6 months ago)

    OK I’m totally in love with this!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Marchbanks
    January 25, 2014 at 9:47 am (6 months ago)

    Very nicely evocative of a converted Victorian acetylene-gas fixture.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      January 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm (6 months ago)

      Thanks! I had to Google what those are, but they look cool!

      Reply
  7. Tammy @ the colored door
    January 31, 2014 at 6:22 am (6 months ago)

    This looks amazing! Great job, thanks for the inspiration! I found you over at Centsational Girl!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      January 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm (6 months ago)

      Thanks Tammy!

      Reply
  8. Inspector Bob
    February 1, 2014 at 5:49 am (6 months ago)

    Bulb sockets ” wedged into place using strips of foam” will be a problem at some point. This would cause it to fail safety standards tests and some insurance carriers will not accept the risk. I recommend, first finding a way to securely attach them and lose the flammable foam. Secondly check into your insurance coverage for fixtures that don’t have an industry rating. Your policy may just require adjustment or you may have to find another underwriter. But first fix the socket attachments.
    Otherwise this is a great creative job.
    inspectorbob at Facebook.com/thehouseinspector

    Reply
    • Camilla
      February 1, 2014 at 8:18 am (6 months ago)

      Interesting. Thanks, we’ll look into it! Would silicone caulking be ok, do you think?

      Reply
  9. Merrie
    February 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm (5 months ago)

    Found you through Centsational Girl. I really love this, what a terrific idea! I live in a Victorian whose interior was wiped clean of 99% of period details in the 1970s. I love how the look of this fixture bridges between modern industrial and appearing like a Victorian gaslight fixture. I’ve recruited my husband to make one for our dining room. I’d actually like them in a few spaces in our house. When we’re done, I’ll shoot you a photo!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      February 22, 2014 at 11:04 pm (5 months ago)

      Awesome! I’d love to see those pics when you’re done!

      Reply
  10. Jacob
    March 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm (5 months ago)

    That looks amazing! Could you elaborate on how the flange was attached to the ceiling?

    Reply

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