Easily Turn a Pleated Lampshade Into a Hanging Wall Light

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Have an old or thrifted pleated lampshade that you love, but don't like the base it sits on? You can easily turn that shade into a hanging wall light in less than 30 minutes by ditching the base and swapping it out for a $20 wall-mounted bracket.

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Things You'll Need

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Step 1

Install the wired light socket on your pleated shade. The method for how you'll do this will depend on the type of shade you have. Some shades require a finial and lamp harp (like ours) and the hole is situated almost level with the top of the shade, whereas others have long arms that extend down almost to the middle of the shade and don't require a harp. Since the one in this demonstration is the former design with just a small hole up top intended for a finial, we couldn't fit a socket and wire through the hole.

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Image Credit: Carrie Waller
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Image Credit: Carrie Waller
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Luckily, you can purchase easy-to-use conversion kits at most hardware stores that have a built-in loop to circumvent the small hole. This is the wired light socket we used, and you'll see in the photos above that the light socket is topped with a curved portion that goes right around the little hole at the top of our shade, and then the rest of the light wire follows from there. Easy!

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An alternative would be to purchase a standard light socket, cut the wire, thread it through the hole in the shade, and then rewire the cut ends together. Keep in mind that this process requires some amount of electrical know-how. The method and product we described above allows you to skip all of that hassle!

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Step 2

Decide where you want to hang your pendant lamp by holding the shade above the spot you want to light up. We put ours over the credenza in our dining room. Use a stud finder to find out if there's a stud near your preferred location on the wall. If there isn't one close enough to your chosen spot, you can use wall anchors to install your bracket. We'll explain more in a later step.

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Step 3

Hold the wall bracket up on the wall about 12 inches higher than the spot where you want your shade to land. This will allow room for the cord to dangle down. Use a small level to make sure the side of the bracket is level on the wall, then make marks through the holes in the bracket onto the wall using a thin drill bit that can fit through the holes in the bracket.

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Step 4

If you have a stud located where you'd like to hang the lamp, then simply drill into the stud using a drill and drill bit that's slightly smaller than the screws that came with your bracket. If you don't have a stud and are using wall anchors, install the anchors (our bracket actually came with anchors). Installing anchors involves making holes in the wall using a drill bit that's a little larger than the diameter of your anchor, and then hammering the anchor into place into the large holes you drilled.

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Step 5

Hold the bracket up over the holes you drilled (or the wall anchors), and install it using the supplied screws.

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Step 6

Loop the wire from your pendant light around the bracket until it's secure and the light is hanging where you want it to, then feed the remaining wire down the wall, and plug it in to finish.

Image Credit: Carrie Waller
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Image Credit: Carrie Waller
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