Saturday, May 10, 2014

Geometric Copper Pendant- Tutorial

Have I mentioned how much I love this light?  I am super excited to share the tutorial for how to make it because, well, I'm a giver.  BUT, also because it is fairly simple project that looks way more complicated than it really is.
For the record, I did not enjoy geometry in school.  Angles and the pythagorean theorem…blech!  I'm not ashamed to say that I am geometrically challenged.  I do, however, know that this light is made up of a bunch of equilateral triangles…ba-bam!!!
{Thanks Ms. Grisenti.  See I was listening.}
Anyway, I share this with you because my approach in assembling this project may seem a little haphazard and, well, more complicated than it should be.  So hopefully you can follow me.

Here's what you need to get started:
*22 gauge floral wire {found at any craft store}
*tube cutter {found at any home improvement center for about $7}
*1/4 inch copper refrigerator tubing {I found this tubing at the Home Depot...about $18 for 20 ft.}

I started by cutting 30, 6 inch pieces of of copper tubing.  Note:  If I were to make another light, I would probably increase the length to 7 or 8 inches.  I wouldn't say the pendant is small, I just think I'd like the next one to be a little larger.  Anyway…

This step is the most time consuming {and possibly painful}.  Using the tube cutter is not difficult, but after repeating the process thirty times your fingers will be, well, dead.  This is good task to pass on to the hubby, especially this weekend as it is mother's day and he can't say no. 
 Happy Mother's Ya'll…by the way!

Once all your pieces are cut you can start assembling.  I began by making a triangle.

And continued to make triangles

Until I ended up with this…a pentagon-ish type shape.  Just…you need five triangles!

Then I started adding triangles around the pentagon.

And ended up with a star.

Then next step was connect the tips of all of the triangles with a piece of tubing.

Here's what it will look like after.  It's nearly done.  

You should have five pieces of tubing remaining at this point, which you will attach individually to the five bottom joints of the structure.  Be sure to leave some extra wire coming out the end of the unattached side of the tube for later use.  The arrows in the photo below better indicate which joints I'm referring to.

You can see in this picture where I attached two tubes to the joints and then to each other creating a triangle.  Continue adding tubes and attaching them to the point of the triangle.

Here's what it will look like when all five tubes are attached and secured at the point.
The structure itself is now complete.

At this point, I was scratching my head as to how I would attach the structure to a lamp kit.  Ever the DIY'er I utilized something I have readily available at my house…cardboard.

I set the light on top of the cardboard and traced out one of the triangles.

Then I cut it out slightly larger than the tracing.

I opted to use a lamp kit from Ikea {they cost about $5}.  I centered the socket on the cardboard and traced around it.

And cut it out and made sure it fit snuggly on the socket.  This cardboard piece will become the support for the light structure.

I used some of this

To paint to cardboard and light socket copper so it would blend in with the light.

If you look closely at the picture you can see how the structure is resting on the cardboard.   I actually added some hot glue to to the top of it so it wouldn't slip around.  You may be wondering how a flimsy piece of cardboard is supporting the weight of the light, but surprisingly the light isn't all that heavy.

And then just sit back and admire your handiwork!

Here's a side by side of the inspiration light and my DIY version.
I ended up making two pendant lights and spent about $20 for each.

* $28 for 30 ft. of copper tubing {one light requires approximately 15 ft. of tubing}
* 2 lamp kits from Ikea at $5 each
* 22 gauge wire about $2

...for a grand total of $40!

And a third of the cost of the original.  Happy Mother's Day to me!!!

And again, a Happy Mother's Day to you too!!!

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