Well, I finally started on my music room ceiling light. I decided to make my own after searching and searching (literally for months) and not finding anything I liked and that was in my price range for that room. I did come across a couple of semi-flush lights that I absolutely loved from a company called Coleen & Company, but there’s just no way I could ever pay $2800 for one light. So I decided to make a light inspired by their Daphne Semi Flush light.
Unfortunately, I worked on it over the last three days, and still haven’t finished it. But that’s probably a good thing because even with only part of the project to show you today, I have 35 (!!) pictures to show you. So are you ready for the longest post ever that doesn’t actually end with a finished project? 😀 Here goes…
I started with this really pretty casing moulding that I found at Lowe’s. It’s sold by the 8-foot length, and I just needed one. Then I cut four 18-inch lengths, mitered on the corners. I also used some scrap MDF (I should have used real wood for this!!) and cut some small triangular pieces for the corners using my miter saw.
I put the moulding pieces together using wood glue and my 18-gauge nail gun, and then added the corner pieces using both wood glue and high temp hot glue.
Here’s what it looked like at this point…
After using my nail gun to make the main box, I realized that it would be a heck of a lot easier and cleaner to put the rest of the light box together with just wood glue and high temp hot glue. If I had to do it over again, I would just use hot glue and wood glue for the whole thing. The hot glue holds it immediately, and the wood glue forms a long-lasting permanent bond. There’s no need for nails. So just assume from this point forward that every single piece of this light is attached with both wood glue and hot glue, unless I state otherwise.
Anyway, with the main box put together, I determined which side would be the bottom (I wanted the most decorative detail on the top), and then cut some thick lattice (about 1/4-inch thick) and adhered it inside the bottom of the box with about 3/8-inch of the lattice showing below the box.
I made sure that the amount of reveal on the lattice was perfectly even all the way around because that lattice would eventually be where the glass diffuser sits.
Next I made the decorative part to go around the bottom of the light box. The inspiration light had a wave design, but there was no way I could make something that intricate. So instead I used this scalloped moulding that I found at Home Depot. It’s sold by the 8-foot piece. Cutting it was a bit challenging because the design has one point, and then two curves, one point, two curves, and so on. I had to make sure that the points were exactly in the middle, and that I was cutting at the exact same spot on all of the curves so that they would meet just right at the corners, which were mitered.
Using hot glue and wood glue, I put the scalloped frame together.
I made the corners meet on the curved edge as closely as possible, even if it meant that the flat edge would be off just a bit. The flat edge would be eventually covered up, but the scalloped edge would be the one that shows, so it needed to be as close to perfect (after sanding, wood filler, and caulk, of course) as possible.
Then I attached the scalloped piece to the main box, fitting it around the lattice.
Here’s how the outside of the light box looked at this point…
Next I cut and adhered two pieces of lattice inside the box sitting on top of the other lattice. I attached the small pieces on opposite sides of the light box.
And then I attached a long piece of lattice across the middle that rested on those short pieces.
Then I marked the very center of the lattice, and drilled a 3/8-inch hole large enough so that a threaded nipple could fit through. It was a snug fit, but it fit.
The one I used in the picture above was one that I had on hand, but it was way too short. So I ended up having to buy a package of two 6-inch threaded nipples from Home Depot. I knew the 6-inch was too long, but I could cut it off with my hack saw. So I threaded it through the top lattice support piece, turned the light box upside down, and placed the glass in place.
I had the glass cut at a local glass shop (Freddy’s Glass, for you locals) and they also drilled the hole in the middle for me. You can also see here how the glass sits on the lattice around the edges. And you can also see that the threaded nipple is about an inch too long.
I attached the little finial thing. (I have no idea what that piece is called, but I swiped it from an old light that I had. Home Depot sells really small ones.) Once the finial was tightened onto the nipple, I kept turning to thread the nipple up through the support lattice piece on top of the light box.
I kept turning until the finial was flush with the glass…
And then when I turned it over, I could see exactly how much needed to be cut off.
I added a washer, lock washer, and nut, and then measured the excess so that I would know exactly how much to cut off with my hack saw.
With it cut off, it looked like this…
This next step really wasn’t needed, but I happened to have some of this JB Weld SteelStik.
So I cut off some of the putty and mixed it well with my fingers, and then pressed it around the top to hold everything together nicely. It does dry VERY hard, so there are no do-overs if you mess it up.
Next I needed to work on creating a place for the actual light sockets. I cut a 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 2″ piece of wood, and then on the top and bottom, I marked the center with an “X”.
Then I used my 3/8-inch drill bit to drill a hole right through the center from top to bottom. (A drill press would have come in handy right here, but I don’t have one.)
Then I drilled a hole on each of the four sides. These holes didn’t need to meet the center hole. They just needed to be about 3/8-inch deep or so.
I threaded that block of wood onto the nipple, and glued it to the top dowel support piece.
When I flipped the light box upside down, it looked like this…
Then I inserted 3/4-inch nipples into each of the four holes on the sides of the wood block.
Then I needed to attach these pieces called 1/8 IP hickeys. These are used when you don’t want wires to actually go through the nipples, but you want a gap where the wire can come out. I purchased these from a local light supply store (The Village Lamplighter in Lorena, for you locals).
And onto each nipple, I threaded a nut, a lock washer, and a hickey, and tightened them really well.
Then I took another 3/4-inch nipple, and threaded three washers onto it. These washers just acted as spacers.
And I threaded one end into the hickey, and onto the other end I threaded the keyless socket.
With all four sockets attached, the inside of my light box (upside down) looked like this…
And here it is with actual light bulbs.
Those light bulbs are regular incandescent, but I’ll only be using LED lights in this light box. I just didn’t happen to have any on hand when I took that picture.
Then I just had a couple of things left to finish building the light box. First, I added screw hooks to the corners where the chain would attach. This is where I realized that I should have used real wood instead of MDF for the corner pieces, because small pieces of MDF aren’t strong enough to hold the weight of this light. So I had to cut small pieces of real wood, attach them on top of the MDF pieces, and then screw the screw hooks into the wood pieces. I also added a load of wood glue to each corner after attaching the screw hook to make it VERY secure.
And here’s how everything looked, right side up, at this point…
And the final step to building this light box was to add one more small piece of trim where the scalloped moulding met the main box. I used very small cabinet trim from Home Depot, which is sold is 8-foot lengths.
There’s still a ton of finish work to do on this, but so far I really like how it’s turning out. I should be able to get it finished today, and show you the finished and installed light tomorrow!
The light is finished! Click here to see the rest of the DIY process and pictures of the light installed…