How to make drum shade into a pendant light

February 11, 2015

We have more of a rustic/industrial look going on in our basement and I dig it. 

There is a spot that was crying out for some attention -- the area is right when you come down our stairs and used to just be a spot for the kiddo’s small drum set:

blue gray walls basement

My vision for this area has always been to add a table for games, Legos, whatever, and then to build a built in bench around it. That little angled wall and this skinny little area just seem to call out for it. I haven’t gotten to the bench just yet, but this spot looks so much better already now!

I started with the light – did you know you can change a recessed light into a hanging light? There are two different adaptors to do so but I used the simpler one that usually holds a glass fixture. 

I actually got mine from over our kitchen sink (we have new lights over the island so I was planning to take that one down when those went in anyway) so didn’t have to spend anything on that. You can find them at any hardware store. (I shared how I converted the light over our kitchen sink here.)

I wanted to do a lamp shade fixture but they need to be the kind of shade that fits down around the light bulb, not one that work with a harp. Does that make sense? 

It’s so the adapter can fit through. I found a medium sized drum shade to use:

drum shade walmart

I actually quite loved the color and fabric, but I had a different fabric in mind. It’s been years since I’ve shared how to cover a lamp shade so I thought I would show you again. :)

You’ll need about a yard of fabric for a lamp shade this size. I laid it down and then rolled it and marked (anyone else singing pat-a-cake right now?) about an inch to two inches on the top and bottom as I roll:

covering lamp shade with fabric

You can see that I used chalk because it comes off easily and won’t be seen through the fabric. Be sure you give yourself plenty of space when you mark it though – so many times over the years I’ve cut it too close and when I lay it down again to glue it doesn’t roll quite the same way. So give yourself extra. :)

I usually start on the seam of the lamp shade and then use hot glue to start attaching it as I roll:

cover a lamp shade with fabric

This time I just used little dabs of the glue around the outside of the shade as I rolled. After I got glue on both the top and the bottom I trimmed down the fabric a little bit more:

DIY hanging lamp shade pendant 

how to cover lamp shade with fabric

Again, don’t cut too close. I cut that section a little too short and it was hard to get it around the edge. When you’ve got it cut, put a thin bead of hot glue around the inside of the edge of the shade and wrap that fabric over.

I fold over the end to give it a more finished seam before I glue that down:

blue and yellow ikat fabric on shade

If your cuts aren’t perfect (mine rarely are), you’ll probably want to add a line of ribbon around at least the bottom to cover up the edges of the fabric on the inside of the shade. Not necessary but it does clean it up a bit. :)

Because the light bulb would stick out the bottom if I attached the lamp shade to the adapter the right side up, I had to turn the shade upside down:

recessed light to hanging light recessed light adapter

That’s why I recommend using as much of a drum shaped shade as you can find. I actually love this inverted look here but if it was more of a classic shade it would look off. I LOVE how it turned out!

Then I got to work on some storage for this spot. I have been wanting an olive bucket like this FOREVER and found the perfect use for it down here!:

olive bucket walmart

I mean, I know so many of us have kid stuff everywhere, but it’s OK to want to make it look a little nicer, right? The bucket was way bigger than I thought it would be too, it holds everything perfectly.

When we got our new kitchen table last year I couldn’t bear to part with the DIY farmhouse table I (half way) made a few years back. I love the look of it so we brought it down to this space and it’s PERFECT in this little corner.

Because this is basically the Lego table (our son loves having all this space to spread out) there are usually a few sets in mid-completion laying around, as well as 489 tiny itty bitty Lego pieces everywhere. The cats get to them and then they end up all over the place. I found a simple solution in these cute metal bins with a fabric liner:

metal baskets with liners walmart

I love the rustic look but love that they are fabric lined even better. No worries about little pieces getting stuck inside and I can take them off and wash them if needed. Whoot!

Since we don’t have chairs on that side of the table just yet I slid them under there. One holds little pieces and one holds sets he has yet to open. (He just had a birthday and Christmas in December so he has a few right now.) I LOVE that I can just swipe everything right off the table into the bins. Easy.

I moved the guitars (I use that word guitar loosely here) to either side to add a little something to each side of the mirror. I was SO pleased with how it all came together!:basement craft table

You can see that I still have some things to do down here – that little access door needs to be painted and the pillar needs to be finished up as well. But these little changes made this corner feels so much more purposeful and it’s so much more functional!:

IKEA table norden table hack

The light hangs in the middle of the table from the front, but from the side it’s not perfect. It doesn’t bother me though – I just love the look of the hanging light:

DIY drum shade pendant

Here’s a look at it before and now with the table:

drum shade light fixture 

It all came together and adds a little more charm for sure! :)

Have you tried one of those adaptor kits before? The possibilities are really endless with them! 

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  1. I did not know that one of these things existed! I need one for my star well.

  2. Wow I totally want to add a drum shade in our basement now! And I think those baskets would work great in a pantry. Thanks for the great ideas, as always :)

  3. Great job! I am loving the lampshade. The basement looks like somewhere people would want to be. I've gotta try some of this in my own!

  4. I love the way your old kitchen table looks in the corner and the light over it is great. Where did you get the olive bucket?
    Bertie DeWane

  5. So cute and looks like such a fun space!

  6. Love it!!! Its so warm and cozy, I love that it doesn't feel like a basement at all! Love the fabric lined bins - I'm always on the search for good lego bins that the tiny pieces can't fall through the cracks/holes. I re-love your table all over again in this space! I love that you could rotate it either way and still have so much room for building. Love it!

  7. Lovely! I especially like the guitars on the wall.

  8. What a great idea! So clever!! :)

  9. Awesome idea and what a big difference it makes!

  10. It looks fabulous! I'm seriously cracking up though at the basket stuffed full of gun! In my house it would be stuffed full of Barbies or something girly. :)


  11. Love it, great place to play and it looks great too! I need one of those pendant light adaptor thingies!

  12. That is a great transformation! So much more functional and useful now and even adds a bit more visual pleasure :) That table is WONDERFUL I can see why you wouldn't want to part with it


  13. Wow, I had no clue about this nifty adapters! I also love what you did with the lampshade. I bet this space not only seems more eye-appealing to you but also functional for your son. Win-win.


  14. I love the light and the bucket - that's a great find!

  15. I love the room. A fabulous den!! Can I ask how you made the framed map?? Would love one of those in our toy room!!

  16. I have a recessed light over out bath tub and want to do something similar. I bought this basket weave shade at a consignment shop over a year ago, and still haven't actually hung it. I was just at Home Depot yesterday looking for what I needed to purchase to do this project, but I didn't see it, or maybe I just don't know what to look for.

  17. 1. Randomly, I was just looking at a drum lamp shade in our bedroom today thinking I wanted to change it! Maybe you've inspired me to find a fabric to put on it!
    2. I want to move our Legos to our upstairs playroom but my husband maintains that having them over the carpet (vs hardwoods downstairs) will mean tons of tiny pieces get lost. Does this happen to your son? We have a huge table up there so it would be perfect and would get them off my kitchen table. :D

  18. Hi Sarah, I just did an inverted drum shade for my son's bedroom. I've only had it for 2 years. �� I'm curious as to what the inside looks like on yours. The pendant kit I bought makes it a bit tough to get the light bulb screwed in all the way with the way the socket and lamp shade circle thingy fit together. Oh and how did you hang the "guitars" ?

  19. Hi Sarah. I really like the lampshade idea; it really highlights that little corner. May I ask why you didn't put the table against the wall and put the bench on the other side? Did you have to move your recliner to a different spot? Thanks. You basement is my future basement....someday :)

  20. Love the space!! Where is that amazing map on the wall from? I've been looking for a large one just like that for my sons nursery!

  21. I assume you bought the olive bucket at WalMart but I'm not finding it online there. What's the advertised name of that bucket? Or did you get it somewhere else?

  22. Why not move the table closer to the wall so the hanging light is centered? Put the bench on the other side.

  23. Sorry forgot my email for my comment above regarding the map!

  24. It looks great! But the thing that me smile and laugh was the container of swords and guns!! He is all boy!!! hahaha!!! robin hiscott

  25. Boy, think I'm glad my boys (2) (16 months apart) were born way before legos. I can remember their toys being all over living room floor. When we lived in CO springs there was a fantastic playroom in basement for kids and I could go into our room over the vent to hear what they were doing. Made it handy then when I had new baby.
    I sure wish we had basement, yours looks so nice and so comfy for a family to enjoy together. I'd make one part of it for my crafting so all my stuff not all over kitchen, living room, hallway sometimes. We have small house so not much room for my "stuff". I used to work in my "craft' room but it's so dark and small in there I moved out to kitchen working on island. Can watch tv while I work and keep track of laundry when it's going. Gotta do what we gotta do.
    I got a great drum shade at Goodwill while back and finally used it on Goodwill lamp I also got. Boy are those shades expensive (for me anyway) at Target, was looking at them today.
    Yeah where did you get that olive bucket? Please let us know, noticed a few others asking about it. I heard last summer Walmart had them but forgot about it, didn't have in store at all. Will look on website see if they have any. Want one so much.
    Enjoy your awesome new space you worked so hard on. Love that IKAT fabric you used on lampshade.
    Happy Valentine and weekend

  26. What a great new space! I love those bins for storing!

  27. FANTASTIC!! LOVE the space! (AND I'm drooling over that olive bucket -- WHERE did you find it? It's not at my Walmart nor can I find it on their website -- ????). I've fairly recently "discovered" you (courtesy of a Nate Berkus rerun) and devour your blog -- keep it coming!!


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