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.
Boom! This amazingly awesome industrial DIY chandelier that he made out of steel pipe and fittings.
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.
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:
|A) Nipple,1 1/2 x 2 In
|B) Floor Flange,1-1/2 In
|C) Reducer,1-1/2 x 1/2 In
|D) Tee,1/2 In
|E) Square Head Plug,1/2 In
|F) Nipple,1/2 x 7 In
|G) Nipple,1/2 x 6 In
|H) Nipple,1/2 x 3 In
|I) Nipple,1/2 x 1 1/2 In
|J) Pipe,1/2 x 24 In
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sharing at SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello and DIYShowoff!
I feel like the name of this blog should be “Everything takes longer than you think.” Chris started this woodworking project as a side project, and sure enough, it took several months to complete. Not that it was that hard. But after starting it and doing the bulk of the work, other work around the house needed more urgent attention. Basically, 70% of it was done within a few weeks and the remaining 30% took another 2 months to complete. But the DIY dining table is finally, finally, 100% DONE.
And we love it.
It’s so amazing to see an awesome piece of furniture come from just a concept like this:
To an in-progress project like this:
To finally, this:
We did change a few things along the way. We added the cross beams at the top of the legs, which I think give it a modern pseudo-Asian feel and also make the table feel more substantial.
Sorry about the mess of boxes and tools. I wanted to show this to you guys and didn’t have time to make everything look perfect. I only have about 30 min before the baby wakes up!
Chris spent so much time planing the wood (it’s construction grade lumber, so he evened it out and squared it off using a planer) and fitting it all together tightly. This really was a labor of love for him =).
We finished it off with Minwax Special Walnut stain (my fave!) and a coat of Varathane Spar Poly on the top. I was originally trying to finish the table with Minwax fast-drying Polyurethane but I was getting some weird gray patches on the legs (probably my can of poly was too old) so I switched to Spar Poly for the top.
People disagree on whether spar poly is good for dining tables (it’s used on ships and has more give/flex than regular Poly), but it’s just what I had. I think it looks wonderful and if it dents easier than regular poly, I don’t really mind.
Dents just add “character” anyway ;p.
I can’t wait to get the living/dining room cleaned up and styled. The Goodwill chairs I found that I recovered will be living here. I also need to get some window treatments up over the sliding door that we added. MAYBE everything will be ready by Thanksgiving? No guarantees though. Everything takes longer than you think.
But it is soooo worth it when you get there.
Check out this dining table styled with an easy fall centerpiece!
Linking up to SavvySouthernStyle, ShabbyCreekCottage, MissMustardSeed, Remodelaholic, ThriftyDecorChick
Remember these beauties we found at a local Goodwill?
I was planning to strip down the wood and refinish them, and then reupholster the seats, but realistically I realized refinishing the wood wasn’t going to happen for a long, long, time. So no need to hold off on reupholstering!
The wood isn’t actually that bad. It’s just a very yellowy-orangey honey oak, which I don’t mind that much, except that our floors are also honey oak, as are our coffee tables in the family and the dining set in the breakfast nook. Oh, the 70’s and its love of honey oak!
I found a beautiful DwellStudio home decor fabric at a Home Fabrics outlet. They have such awesome prices! I’ll always be checking there for fabrics from now on. They have a huge selection of discounted fabrics. This one was $8.99 a yard (normally it retails for over $20)! I was able to upholster two seats over the 54″ fabric width, so really I just needed 1.5 yards for the whole project (though I bought 2 yards just in case). We laid out and centered our fabric, then cut it with plenty of extra room on the sides.
Then we basically followed the same idea as when we stretched an oil painting…same principle — gently pull fabric and staple-gun in the middle of each side, then work out towards the corners.
We made 2 unobtrusive folds at the corners so they would lay flat.
I really love the fabric. It is retro and modern at the same time and goes so well with the style (and color) of the chairs! It is about a zillion times better than the old burgundy fabric!
It will do for a while until I get around to refinishing the chairs. I love projects like these…easy, quick, almost instant gratification =).
Did I mention they’re super comfy to sit on too?
Sharing at TheShabbyCreekCottage, MissMustardSeed, ShabbyNest, NotJustaHousewife and Remodelaholic!
This week we were working on a bunch of projects but didn’t get a chance to finish anything, so I’ll post finished pics next week. I was also struggling with fatigue from 3 nights of insomnia (gah!). But I’ll share a few updates on our progress this week.
Our DIY dining table is almost done! It’s been basically constructed and now needs to be finished off with stain and poly, and then assembled in the dining room.
This little girl helped put the table together.
Yesterday we put on a couple coats of stain (Minwax Special Walnut, my favorite) and we’re going to put on a couple coats of polyurethane today.
I often feel like we never find anything good at Goodwill anymore, but then something like this happens! My latest find — four mid-century-esque dining chairs. Solid oak, cushion stuffing in really good condition. Oh and did I mention the table came with (I’m saving it for the “craft room” in the loft when we get around to it). All for 40 bones?! I have a feeling these chairs are more 80’s than truly mid-century but I think they’ll be great once I recover the seats and refinish the wood (hopefully in a less honey finish, if I can sand off all of the current finish).
I switched in some new “art” in the small 5×7 frames on the left of this gallery wall in the breakfast nook. They are actually cards from Trader Joe’s for 99 cents each!
(Please ignore the disintegrating trim on the right there. It will all be fixed. Someday. Also, paint on the walls. It will happen, I promise.)
Trader Joe’s has the cutest cards, and they are printed on really nice textured matte cardstock that looks just like watercolor paper. I love that they have a lot of non-subject specific cards so they don’t look strange framed. Go get some! For a buck you can get really cute art at Trader Joe’s to switch things up around the house!
Elsewhere on the Internet, a few more of my articles are up at Wisebread.com:
Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (While Saving Money) – buying organic is one way, but there are several strategies you can use to reduce your pesticide exposure in food.
5 Ways to Say “No” to Friends and Family – We all could use some more balance in our lives…saying “no” once in a while is a good start.
How to Save 10-20% on Online Purchases Every Day – My not-so-secret method for saving every time you buy something online.
Have a great weekend everyone!