diy project: kate’s outdoor planter pendant lamp

the idea for this second project in the outdoor entertaining series was conceived at my local long’s drugs, which is an oddly large pharmacy, grocer, garden center, hardware super store that’s open 24 hours. i walking down one of the hardware aisles, admiring their selection of spray paints, when at the end of the aisle i spotted their assortment of wire planter baskets in various sizes and shapes. back to the spray paints for some white primer, toss a light bulb in the cart, and i had everything i needed to make an oversized outdoor light fixture for summer dinner parties. i tried several types of embellishments on the wire form (fabric weaving, etc), but in the end i decided the simple modern cage structure painted a clean white would work best. but don’t be afraid to paint yours any color you please, or make several of them in bright summer hues and hang them in a cluster. have fun!! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!


1. two matching wire planter baskets
2. fine gauge wire
3. spray paint
4. light bulb
5. pendant socket set for light bulb (available at ikea for really cheap)
6. wire snippers
7. garden twine (for hanging the lamp)

1. place your wire planters outside on a tarp or scrap paper surface and spray paint them with a white primer, allowing a side to dry and then turning it to spray from all angles to ensure an even coat.

2. if you want to paint them another color, allow them to dry and then spray them with an even coat of your color.

3. screw your bulb into the socket and place in between the two planters. thread the cord through the top of the top planter and wire the two planters bases together with the fine gauge wire. make sure you like how the vertical seams line up (or don’t line up).

4. snip any extra wire from the connection spots.

5. use the garden twine to hang the planter lamp in your desired location. plug in.



  1. Abby says:

    Love this project and the photos! So simple and subtle during the day and it really stands out after dark.

  2. Heather says:

    that is awesome!

  3. BobbinTalk says:

    A bit bare for me, but quite clever! :)

  4. boom says:

    I love this!!! Very cool idea

  5. Love it! Super cool and easy

  6. t says:

    Great idea! Love that Longs (I’m assuming you’re talking about the one off Broadway & 51st).

  7. danielle says:

    Where can I find a light kit like that?? All the ones I find have to be screwed into a “can light” I need one that plugs into a socket!! Help!!! :)

  8. Beth says:

    IKEA has light kits for less than $3.99

  9. Juanita says:

    Love this idea. I’ve been looking for lampshades for a couple of flea market lamps, but shades are more expensive than I want to spend. So, maybe I could find cheap wire baskets for the frame and cover with extra fabric I have at home …

  10. JayTee says:

    I love this! I’m moving into a new apartment soon, and I just might use this for the attic sunroom. Lovely and airy.

  11. shan says:

    fo real girl?! I love it!!! I’d make this comment longer, but I’m running off to my hardware store to get the supplies!

    fantastic idea!

  12. Erica Pauli says:

    this is awesome! I want. AND I can!

    I have featured this on my blog – I think it is THAT great!

  13. Emma says:

    I have also seen this done with two colanders (pasta drainer things!)… very effective

  14. Eva says:

    simple things are the best :)

  15. love,guess my husband can make that

  16. Anna says:

    I really like the idea for the pendant lamp. If I were to make this, I’d try to find something a little more dense so the light bulb isn’t too bare. And the IKEA light kits are so fantastic, you could come up with hundreds of creative ways to use them!

  17. Trish says:

    The IKEA kits are so cheap I believe you (if you can hardwire a fixture) could conceivably cut off the plug and hardwire as a pendant fixture.

  18. Geoff says:

    Very innovative idea and great for outside.. but I have a problem with bare bulbs and am struggling to find a cool DIY pendant design that keeps the bare bulb from sight. Anyone have suggestions?

  19. We ended up doing a version of this over Thanksgiving when we ended up having to eat in the garage at the last minute:

  20. Detta says:

    LOVE this!!! We just moved in to a new (to us) home and this looks fabulous on our 2nd story deck!!! I made it yesterday and it was so simple and fun to do! Thanks for sharing!!!

  21. Susan A says:

    You could weave or randomly wind scraps of wire through the metal to give it a more artsy look and hide the bulb a bit more. Recycle frayed extension cords, cords off of broken appliances or thin coat hanger wire.

    Add bits from cheap jewelry or hardware like washers.

    Use tin snips and cut shapes from cans, like leaves. Poke holes through the shapes and attach with wire or jump rings.

    You could also get some wire mesh from the hardware store and make your own custom shape frame.

  22. michelle says:

    ive used a similar idea to this, but instead of a light bulb inside i wrapped some old fairy lights from my christmas decorations around the ball. It looks really pretty all year round!!

  23. Erika says:

    Do think you could maybe attach some fabric around the form? I’m thinking about maybe spray gluing sheet of paper along the inside of the form and then attaching fabric to the outside, sticking to the inner paper. Would that burn?

    You can also find these kind of kits at World Market… they are supposed to be used for paper lanterns but you can use them for anything! They are a little more expensive than the ones from Ikea, but if you don’t have an Ikea near you they are a great option to use!

  24. Jeane says:

    I have to say that this is one of the most awesome sites!


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