I’ve been playing house again recently – dollhouse, that is!  I came into a stack of cigar boxes (one of my favorite things to recycle) and decided that I needed to make a few miniature scenes inside of them, so I’m back on a roll with teeny-tiny projects.  First up is something that is important in any room: lighting!  I had the idea of making a hanging lamp swagged on a chain, so I dug through my collection of little odds and ends and came up with a wee, retro-chic fixture.

Project estimate:

  • Coin machine capsules, on hand or $0.25 and up
  • Beads, on hand
  • Primer, on hand or about $1.50 and up
  • Paint, on hand or $1 and up
  • Mod Podge, on hand
  • Chain, on hand or $1
  • Embroidery floss, on hand or $1 and up
  • Glue, on hand
  • Tiny eye screw, about $0.50 and up

Total:  about $0.50 and up

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For this project, I used parts from two different kinds of coin machine capsules.  One is the bottom off of a more traditional coin machine capsule (which will become the plate that attaches to the ceiling), and the other half of a newer, sphere-shaped capsule (which will be the shade portion of the light).

Prime and paint the capsule parts.  I left the ceiling plate in the white of the primer to make it match the ceiling in my little room; I left the inside of the shade portion white as well, and chose to paint the outside of the shade in a retro-inspired green.  To give it a shiny finish, I gave the shade a couple of coats of gloss Mod Podge.

Glue a bead to the inside of the shade to represent a light bulb.

Glue a small bead centered at the top of the shade, making a place to attach the chain for hanging.

Cut a piece of chain about 6 inches long and a piece of golden brown embroidery floss that is a couple of inches longer.  Attach one end of each to the center of the ceiling plate.  (I used a hot needle to make a hole in the center of the ceiling plate piece, then strung through my embroidery floss and secured it by knotting the end on the inside of the piece.  Then I used glue to attach the end of the chain.)

Weave the embroidery floss through the chain, as you would the power cord on a real hanging lamp.  Glue the loose end of the chain to the end of the embroidery floss to secure them together, trimming the floss to make them both the same length.  Then glue them to the bead on the top of the lamp shade.

To hang the lamp, first find the point on the chain where it will attach to the ceiling and attach a tiny eye screw to the chain.  Screw it into the ceiling at the point where the light will hang.  Then glue the ceiling plate to the ceiling in the appropriate place.