I’ve been itching to try some DIY lighting projects since moving into the studio. And now that things have slowed down around here, we’ve finally had the time to test out some ideas.
I can’t take the credit for this one though… Amelia (P&S editorial assistant and DIY extraordinaire) whipped up these straw hat pendant lights (with some help from the folks at Color Cord Company) and it’s hitting me in all the right places. 1) You know I love hats, as evidenced here and here. 2) It’s been really cold here and these lights are shooting all kinds of summer vibes my way. Which I’m definitely onboard with. What about you?
The first time I worked with Color Cord Company products was last year, for the home decor workshop I did in Houston with my good friend Ashley. It was a lot of fun and all of our students really seemed to enjoy it. Wiring a light completely on your own tends to bring in that serious sense of accomplishment vibe. But if you’ve never done it before, it can also be a little challenging. Luckily, there are detailed instructions videos on the CCC website to help, until you get the hang of it. Highly recommend those!
- vintage hat
- fabric wire
- socket and cord grip
- tape (to keep color cord fabric in place)
- electrical crimper/ stripper/ cutter
- screw driver
- small copper cylinder (available in the plumbing aisle at home improvement stores)
- embroidery thread
1. Begin by wiring the plugs to each color cord, leaving one end free to string the hat and other components onto the cord. See how to wire the plug here.
2. Next, cut small holes in the top of each hat. Be sure that the holes are just barely large enough to fit the color cord.
3. String your copper piping, hat, cord grip, and socket onto the cord (in that order). Check out one of these two videos (ivory socket // black socket) to see how to wire the socket end of your Color Cord light kit.
*Note: I used a metal socket cover to cover up the actual socket, but It took me a couple tries to get the socket cover and socket attached to the cord grip (little plastic piece that holds everything securely). You by no means have to use a socket cover if your hat is deep enough to cover the socket.
4. Next, wrap an assortment of colored cotton embroidery thread (like the 1990s friendship bracelet kind) around the Color Cord closest (to the top of the hat). This not only adds an extra pop of color or pattern, but it is also useful to cover up any areas where the fabric has moved away from the rest of the cord.
5. Gently screw in your light bulbs. SAFETY TIP: If you plan to keep your pendant lights on for extended periods of time, I would advise you line the hats with a protectant such as styrene plastic to keep the bulbs (especially vintage bulbs, if applicable) from getting too hot inside the hat. Cut to fit the interior of your hat, and you’re good to go!
Craft production Amelia Tatnall and Katie Braswell
Photography Amelia Tatnall
Styling Brittni Mehlhoff
What do you think of this DIY lighting idea? Are there any lighting projects you’ve been hoping to tackle this year?
This post is in partnership with Color Cord Company. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an electrician and while this project was created safely, accidents can happen and Paper & Stitch is not responsible for the outcome of your project. Complete this DIY project at your own risk.
9 comments | Click here to reply
Brittni, Hats off to you for making such cute lights. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Pat SPat Schwab
What a amazing idea. Will definitely be trying it, this summer! Also, I love the new blog design!Pooja
This is so cute and quirky! Love it!Jen | A Sip of Bliss
Aw, thanks Kelsey. 🙂Brittni
You guys never cease to amaze me with all your creative ideas!!
Thanks Michelle. Yeah, we’re already getting desperate for summer vibes around here…it’s been too dang cold. I miss the warm weather!Brittni
That’s an utterly cute and unique idea, it reminds me so much of summer and it’s so easy to craft! Would be perfect for a patio!Michelle
Once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly easy, Emily. But totally understand that wiring does seem a little intimidating at first. 🙂Brittni
How intimidating to wire your own lights! But you do make it seem easier than it looks. Those would be neat lights on a patio or porch! www.enchantinglyemily.comEmliy