ISSUE 37  |  Style on a Budget

DIY: A Mod Pendant Light Made from Drinking Straws

September 19, 2014 11:00 AM

BY Izabella Simmons

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We’ve admired Seattle designers Iacoli & McAllister’s Spica Pendant for some time now and were pleasantly surprised to come across a similar looking light via Swedish blog Mormors Glamour. But unlike the Spica (which is handmade from brass-plated steel and starts at $795), this shade is a DIY project made from drinking straws that are formed into diamond-shaped pendants and spray-painted gold. 

Photography via Sköna Hem for blog Mormors Glamour.

Above: Hanging pendants made from drinking straws. Since straws are easily trimmed and bent, a multitude of shapes are possible.

Above: The Swedish project makes use of old-fashioned coated paper straws that are spray-painted. We’d like to try using stainless steel straws to make a sturdier shade. Stainless Steel Straws are available from Williams-Sonoma; $12.95 for a set of four.

Above: For a finished design, pair the straw shade with the Nud Classic Pendant by Swedish Company Nud Collection, shown here. It’s available in eight cord-color combinations; $45 from LBC Lighting. Also consider a budget alternative, the Hemma Cord Set in white; $5 from Ikea. You can always spray-paint the cord and fitting black. 

Above: To make the shade, you’ll need drinking straws (such as Just Artifacts Solid Color Party Paper Straws, 25 for $2.15), Pipe Cleaners ($12.95 for a pack of 100 via Amazon), and a pair of scissors (if you like the look of these, Brook Farm General Store sells Chinese Scissors for $12). 

Above: To make a diamond-shape shade, cut the drinking straws to the right lengths for your setting, and use pipe cleaners to connect the straws.

Above: For a sturdier lamp, use several pipe cleaners in each straw hole. Once you’ve completed the pendant, the blogger recommends gluing the joints, but don’t add glue until you’re finished. 

Above: Spray-paint the pendants in shades of brass or gold. Consider using Krylon Metallic Spray Paint; $5.88 from Amazon, available in several colors.

Above: A sampling of the shapes and sizes that are possible.

Above: Here’s a similar light made by blogger Heather of Restless Oasis; see her “Brass” Lighting Tutorial for details.

Into brass? Have a look at The New Bestlite Collection—and feel free to join the Bestlite vs. Ikea Renarp discussion at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t miss Gardenista’s new find: Brass Flowerpots from Sweden.

Ready for another project? Go to DIY to see dozens of our favorite easy ideas.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 19, 2013, as part of our DIY Holiday Decor issue.