Create lighting you love from unexpected items. Learn how to repurpose antiques and flea market finds into beautiful pendant lights, chandeliers, and more.

By BH&G Editors
Updated August 28, 2020
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When it comes to designing a room, lighting is an essential detail that shouldn't be overlooked. And it does more than simply brighten up a dark space. Often the first thing you see when you walk into a room, light fixtures like pendants and chandeliers can make a statement that sets the tone for the rest of the space. If you love to decorate with flea market finds, repurpose vintage items to create your own custom fixtures. Not only is it an affordable way to express your signature style, but it also allows you to achieve a one-of-a-kind look. Here are 9 creative ways to transform vintage finds into custom light fixtures.

off-white sofa cream toned living room
Credit: Werner Straube

1. Vintage Basket Lighting

To create your own vintage-style pendant light, you'll need to find an object to serve as the shade or drum. Various types of baskets or small barrels can work well for this. Simply cut a hole in the bottom and turn it upside-down. Look for one with a slightly tapered shape that will help direct light down and outward.

kitchen with island and bar seating
Credit: Richard Leo Johnson

2. Rustic Pendant Light

When choosing a material for your DIY vintage lighting, select a basket or container that fits with the rest of your decor. Here, a metal clam basket repurposed as a farmhouse pendant light brings rustic patina to this kitchen. The vintage light fixture blends seamlessly with natural wood ceiling beams and oil-rubbed bronze hardware.

kitchen with white cabinets and patterned floor
Credit: Adam Albright

3. Updated Antique Chandelier

Another option is to refresh an existing antique fixture with an updated style. If you find an old fixture you love, don't worry if it doesn't work perfectly. Rewiring the light is often much simpler than finding a substitute. The aged texture of this vintage chandelier, for example, lends warmth to this bright and cheerful kitchen.

lighting made with pie pans
Credit: Brian Mc Weeney

4. Repurposed Pie Plates

Look beyond an object's original purpose to create truly unique light fixtures from vintage finds. Here, a trio of pie plates has been transformed into whimsical kitchen lighting. The flutes edges give the metal fixtures an interesting shape, and, no doubt, such an unusual fixture generates fun conversation.

dark cabinets with hangers
Credit: Jessica Klewicki Glynn

5. Vintage Lighting with Patina

Create light fixtures from rustic or patinaed items to add character to a more contemporary space. In this modern mudroom, aged olive buckets used as pendant lights introduce a sense of warmth and history. The galvanized metal baskets feature an imperfect texture that contrasts with the otherwise sleek space.

outdoor seating with white table
Credit: Edmund Barr

6. Vintage Pendant Grouping

Original vintage pendants, like these ornate metal lanterns, are an obvious choice for a light fixture. Choose just one as a statement piece, or combine multiple pendants into a statement lighting installation above a table or island.

bed with hanging lights
Credit: Adam Albright

7. Mason Jar Pendants

Vintage Mason jars are a perfect solution for farmhouse-style pendant lights. Secure a lightbulb inside the glass jar, then hang one (or several) from a pendant lighting kit ($12, Walmart) in a bedroom, dining room, or living room.

gray kitchen sink
Credit: Adam Albright

8. Vintage Mixing Bowl Fixture

Metal mixing bowls form a clever shade for vintage-style kitchen lighting. Here, a pendant made from a shiny copper bowl adds style and task lighting above the sink. If copper isn't your style, stainless steel would also work.

white wire basket light fixtures
Credit: Adam Albright

9. Wire Basket Lights

When repurposed as pendant lights, wire baskets distribute light broadly across the room. This DIY vintage fixture is great for bringing farmhouse style to a kitchen or dining room. For a more polished look, paint the wire basket in your desired color before hanging.

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