diy project: bushel basket lamp from erica domesek

This fabulous bushel basket lamp project comes from Erica Domesek, the DIY queen from PS – I Made This. You may have seen her gorgeous marbled paper project that we featured in September, or maybe you’ve already grabbed a copy of her new book. If you haven’t done either, get to it! I’m getting my glue gun warmed up to try out a few of her designs this weekend.

Today, Erica brings us a bushel basket pendant lamp, inspired by a recent apple picking excursion she made upstate. I’m desperate to squeeze every last drop of fall beauty out of the next month, and I think this project might help. I especially love Erica’s photos from her trip to the orchard; they really feed my autumnal east coast fix :) Thanks for sharing this project with us, Erica! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

I decided to take a little day trip outside of NYC and drive to Wilklow Orchards in Highland, NY, for a day of apple picking with my dear friend Justin! Little did I know that my day would inspire an amazing DIY. After unpacking my bushel (okay, it’s really half a bushel) basket, I wasn’t ready to part with the cool container. Since lamps (in addition to apples) are one of my favorite things, I thought it would be cool to make a pendant lamp out of one, especially since bushel baskets have openings at the bottom that are the perfect size for dropping in a bulb! — Erica Domesek (PS – I Made This…)
  • bushel basket (apples not included)
  • metal nail heads/studs
  • pliers
  • decorative rope
  • lamp kit (like this one)


1. Push large studs into the basket.
2. Use a pair of pliers if necessary, but be careful not to dent the studs.
3. Continue with your pattern, adding studs of varying sizes. I made a bold “X” pattern which is lovely, but get creative with other patterns!
4. Make sure you remove the handles before you drop in the cord kit.
5. Use decorative rope (a ribbon would be super cool, too!) and wrap the cord completely.
6. Hang just about anywhere!
  1. Amelia says:

    I am always confused by cord kits! They never EVER show you a picture showing the fixture attached to the ceiling. How do you know if it’s a kit that plugs into the wall or one that is equipped to hang from the ceiling?!

  2. Sing says:

    So clever, love this idea.

  3. Anna @ D16 says:

    Amelia, if you have a cord kit with a plug, you can just snip the plug off and strip the wires down if you want to hardwire it to a ceiling box. You’ll have to find a canopy kit to cover the box, though, of course.

    It’s surprisingly difficult to find all-in-one hardwire cord kits that include a canopy.

  4. Anna @ D16 says:

    By the way, the cord kit at UO (the one linked in the post) is plug-in style, and does not include a canopy. That’s why anchors and screws are included.

    Same goes for the cord kits sold at IKEA.

  5. Lisa says:

    That is really cool.. I don’t think it even needs the embellishment. I like it in it’s pure form.

  6. annawithlove says:

    What a fabulous idea! So lovely.

  7. Vicky says:

    What a fabulous project!
    Amelia, from my little knowledge of cord kits- I believe it could be made with either kit, the project is the same no matter which you use. Once completed you would decide to plug it in or hard wire the top end.

  8. Kelli says:

    Lisa I like them natural too – I wrote about this same idea on my blog a few weeks ago after visiting Chicago and seeing them in a store.

  9. Ahh! I love this but have run out of places for pendant lights in my house! Sad! And I agree with Lisa & Kelli, it doesn’t necessarily need the nail heads.

  10. Marien says:


  11. donaville says:

    lovely idea! and i agree with lisa :)

  12. Lightopia says:

    Great Job! what a innovative way to get that rustic look for lighting.

  13. shira says:

    I want that kitchen table!

  14. beautiful, and i agree with lisa–i like it without any embellisment!

  15. jane says:

    I like the idea and country meets the city sort of contrast, but i dont get the part about the studs? they dont just stick on. they need to be pushed into something thick like a plank or deep foam board. a flimsy apple basket would leave a bunch of sharp points on the other side, right? i guess you could bend them in but thats sorta weird and messy for such a big open shade. maybe i just missed something? hmmm……

  16. Katrina says:

    Cool idea to make a pendant out of it. I made something similar a few years ago and it’s now available in my shop – see upper left corner in photo I linked below. It’s a longer basket and I added plastic fruit to add to the kitsch factor :)


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