My search for the perfect dining room light fixture has been ongoing ever since we moved into our new house. That means about 5 months now, but who's counting? I've been dying to replace the ugly industrial style fixture that came with the house, but have not been able to find one that was both insanely perfect and in my price range. (Why is that SO hard?!) I don't see this happening any time soon, so I did a little DIYing over the weekend and came up with this little diddy I like to call the Fishing Basket Light Fixture. Inspired by these fixtures from Barcelona, I decided to take action and finally have a dining room light that I can actually stand. Voilà!
Just a warning, this takes a few hours of patience and nimble fingers. And the vintage basket I used was pretty pokey, so my fingers were raw when I finally finished. You've been warned.
What you'll need:
- 13" x18" Fishing basket (vintage or new)
- scraps of fabric, about 1.5 yards
- measuring tape
- needle and thread
- needle nose pliers
- safety pins
- pendant light kit (or an ugly existing fixture you're going to cover up like me)
- conversion kit (optional)
Take the pliers and remove the top round portion of the trap. This will be where you insert your light kit later. You can also check the basket to see if you need to separate it in places where it has been rusted together. This happens with the old ones. Just use the pliers to gently pull the wire into place.
Cut your fabric into strips. I found that 3/4" wide x 28" long strips worked best. You can always trim excess later. I used a linen fabric that I had a lot of scraps of. I liked the way the unfinished ends look, so I chose not to sew the ends. If you don't want the unfinished look, I suggest using a different type of fabric that doesn't tend to fray like linen does. You'll need a lot of these strips. I didn't count how many because I forgot and I'm a bad instruction giver. Oops.
You're ready to start weaving! Take a safety pin and secure one end to the top of the basket. Locate the "weft" of the basket (aka the line it has been woven into). Follow that line and alternate your fabric in and out of the wire. Hello, Basketweaving 101. You may find that it's easier if you hang the basket while you're weaving.
Continue with each strip until either your fingers fall off or you get all the way around your basket.
To finish the ends, take a needle and thread and secure the top and bottom of each strip into place using a large whip stitch. You can probably skip this step, but I did it so I put in it here.
When you're ready to hang your light fixture, use a pendant light kit. You can get these at Ikea for $5.00, or places like West Elm for a slightly nicer version. If you want your light hardwired, you can purchase a conversion kit here. (It's on sale at the moment!) Just use the basket handle to hang your fixture from the cod at your desired height. Let there be light!