How to Make Your Own Drum Shade Pendant Light

The modern, cool looks of the 50s and 60s have made a comeback, popping up all over the fashion and design scenes in 2009. Drum shade pendant lights offer an accessible way for home decorators to bring a little of this retro look into their homes without it being overwhelming or kitschy. Drum shade pendant lights can be purchased from online and offline retailers at prices ranging from slightly over $100 to over $400. You can custom make your own drum shade pendant light for under $100 in just a few of hours.

Step 1

Use your favorite decorative paper or fabric to customize your drum shade pendant light to match your décor. Start by using the Exacto knife to carefully remove the outside covering of your thrifted drum shade. Once this covering is removed, the styrene that gives the drum shade shape will normally fall off the wire frame. Lay your paper or fabric down flat, pattern side face down and place the styrene on top of it. Trace the outline of the styrene onto the paper or fabric, making the outline 1/2-inch larger on the top and bottom. Use the Exacto knife to cut out this outline.

Step 2

Spray the adhesive on the back of the styrene and then lay it down on your decorative fabric or paper. Flip the styrene over so the fabric design is facing you and gently use your fingers to smooth the fabric along the styrene. You want the paper or fabric to lie smooth and flat, without any bubbles.

Step 3

Apply glue to the top and bottom wires of the frame and reattach the styrene, folding the fabric overhang to the back side of the wire all the way around on the top and bottom. Add an additional line of glue along the seam where the styrene overlaps to completely seal the circle.

Step 4

Continue to customize the shade to your liking by using the hot glue gun to add ribbon, cording, tassels or other embellishments. After you've completed the embellishing, allow the drum shade to dry for an hour. Then, follow the instructions in Step 1 to complete your drum shade pendant light.

Step 5

Thread the cording of the swag pendant light cord set through the spider fitter (the wire at the top of the drum that would slip onto the harp of a regular lamp). Screw the light bulb into the socket. Attach the ceiling hooks and you are ready to hang your drum shade pendant light.