DIYdiy projects

diy project: kate’s industrial framed sconces

by Grace Bonney

today’s second diy project is from 2008 diy contest finalist kate dixon. kate created these fantastic framed sconces using inexpensive outdoor sconces from home depot. i love the endless chances for customization here- you could use decorative frames (or maybe even groupings of painted twigs and branches) and all sorts of wallpaper, gift wrap and fabric to complete the look. kate’s easy-to-follow instructions are after the just so click here for the full post, or just click “read more” below. [thanks, kate!]


(Bringing the Outside in)

What you’ll need:

-Two Frames
-Two Pieces of mat board cut to the size of your frames
-Funky fabric (enough to cover the mat boards)
-Mod Podge (or any decoupage glue)
-Spray Paint
-Two wall mounting lights
-Picture Hanging hardware

What to Do:

1. I got two Open Back Frames from Hobby Lobby for $30 (they go on sale all the time) and brought them home and sprayed painted them high gloss white. (They were a rough beachwood so for me it took 4 cans of spraypaint, but if you got a pair of more finished frames you could just sand them down and it would
probably only take a few coats.)

2. Then I took a piece of mat board that I had cut to the size of the frame and applied a thin layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing. Then I took my fabric and stretched it over the piece of mat board, making sure it was nice and flat. Then I applied another layer of Mod Podge over that and let it dry.

3. Then I trimmed the edges of the fabric, and fit the finished mat board in the frame.

4. Repeat the steps above with the other frame.

5. Now all you have to do is hang the frames at whatever level you want with the necessary hardware. I just installed the lights in the middle of each, and voila, instant focal point for behind my couch!

I hope you enjoy!

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  • I need to start thinking more outside of the box like this. I feel so limited in my creative mind sometimes! That’s where I have you to thank Grace :) And all of the inspiring people you speak about!

  • I love this project – and I can’t wait to make my own, but I was wondering: How were the sconces installed? Were they just drilled into the mat board? Thanks!

  • love love love! what a fantastic idea for some customised lighting!! :)
    what i’ve been curious about ever since seeing that first photo, though, is WHERE did you get that fantastic sofa?!?!?!

  • hummmm….. I really like this….

    I wonder if I could do this with a photograph on the inside (over the fabric) . I think I will give that a try!

  • I’m just curious, are the sconces wired into the wall?, or battery operated? I do not see any power cords in the photo… or were there sconces there to start with and this is a way to upgrade them? I’d love to do this in our living room, but don’t think adding wiring to the wall is really something I can DIY…

  • I’m wondering about the wiring of the sconces as well. Will I need an electrician or someone who knows about electrical wiring to help me with this?

  • Ok, So for the wiring I did cut into the wall and install the wiring. Where I got lucky it that I had a switch next to my front door that did nothing, so I routed the wiring to that switch so that I could just turn them on and off with the switch. (which we just recently added a dimmer to them which is FABULOUS for movie watching!) I did have help from my boyfriend for that so you would have consult someone who knows about electrical or buy different lights that have plug in capability. It was pretty simple though w/o having to install some crazy switch/ junction box. I think the difficulty is a case by case basis.

  • You’ll never believe where the sofa came from. I got it a year and a half ago at JC Penney Home Store. It is SOOO comfy, but the catch was that I took the factory pillows off of the back and added the funky cushions. I found the cushions at World Market, I think they are floor cushions but they fit perfect on the back of my couch. : )

  • I got the fabric from purlsoho.com. They have a lot of great fabrics. This one in particular was a Kokka Fabric, Echino, Natural Birds. It was about 18.50/yd on that website, but then I went to Ebay and typed in the textile designer and found it there for 9/yd. I have found more and more that you can find just about any fabric on Ebay, so I use other sites to research and then go there and find it for less!

  • That’s what I do too! Ebay is great! I love the couch and of course the fabric is gorgeous. :)

  • Thanks so much for everyone’s comments. Its always nice to here such nice things about a project.

  • I have to say LOVE the actual sconces. I know that you mentioned that they were form Home Depot – but any chance you remember the maker/brand? Many thanks.

  • They were listed as…

    Exterior Cottage Wall Lantern Brushed Nickel Finish W/ Clear Seedy Glass

    … on the website homedepot.com. But I don’t know if they are available online anymore. You might check the store?!?

  • This looks like fun. Just wondering-the frames look like they might be distressed?? How do you get this look?

  • I got a pair of really rough beachwood frames from Hobby Lobby. They were really rough to start with, so I just spray painted them until they were a good balance of glossy white and rough. Those frames sucked up a lot of paint! I was about 4 cans to get it the way it looks now.