Pendant lamps are a stylish and affordable way to either replace an outdated light fixture or add a new one! I love how creative pendant lighting is, to fit whatever style: rustic, modern, classic, eclectic — there's a pendant for that! We've shared some of our favorite pendant lights here before, and I just adore this awesome geometric copper pipe pendant light that our guest has to share today:
Read on for Brynne's easy (really, it is easy!) tutorial, and check out these other great pendant lamps as you scroll…
DIY Geometric Icosahedron Copper Pipe Pendant Light
by Brynne of The Gathered Home
Hello Remodelaholics! I’m Brynne from The Gathered Home – a blog about finding & making. My blog chronicles my vintage finds, Craigslist addiction, DIY adventures, and the renovation and decoration on our first home! We’ve been in our house for just about a year now, and in that time I’ve had a crash course in all sorts of DIY projects and discovered that the plumbing aisle at Home Depot is my favorite place on earth.
My DIY Industrial Plumbing Pipe Light Fixture used black steel plumbing pipe and fittings, and my DIY Plank Top Double Desk used copper pipe to make cabinet door handles and copper strips on the plank top of the desk.Well, guess what I used to make this geometric-inspired pendant light fixture?Would you like to make one of your own? I’m excited to help! Building this light fixture required some nasty math on my (and my husband’s) part – I am not a fan of geometry in anything other than home décor objects – but if you follow my tutorial there’s no math required on your end!Shopping List
- Ikea Foto pendant light – 10” diameter. $15
- Spray paint, in your color of choice. I chose glossy black. $6 if you don’t already have some on hand.
- 2-10’ copper pipe pieces, 1/2” diameter. Type M is the cheapest. $22
- Roughly 50’ of copper wire. I purchased 2-25’ packages. $10
- Copper pipe cutter – I already had one on hand, but they are pretty cheap!
- Wire cutters.
- Work gloves.
- Extra-fine steel wool.
- Needle nose pliers.
You can complete all steps of this project in a few hours – I did it in small steps over several days, but 6 hours start to finish is a generous estimate.
Spray paint the Ikea Foto light whatever color you choose, using several light coats. Don’t forget to tape off the cord!
Cut the copper pipe into 7.5” pieces. You will need 30 of these. Use a sharpie to dot around the pipe at the 7.5” mark, then cut with the copper pipe cutter by laying it on it’s back on a flat surface and rotating the pipe through the cutter, stopping to tighten the little wheel at the top of the cutter after each rotation. Wear gloves! (I didn’t until I started to get blisters on my palms.) Polish the pipe pieces with the very-fine steel wool to remove any ink marks on the pipe.
Assemble the icosahedron. This picture and this youtube video were very helpful in visualizing how an icosahedron comes together. I don’t have any pictures of the assembly process (bad blogger!) but I’ll walk you through the steps I took! Cut a long piece of copper wire – as long as you think you can manage while stringing pipe pieces together. Star by forming a triangle with three pipe pieces.Then, you are going to keep adding triangles to the first triangle, using an existing side to form the next one. Each “point” of the icosahedron is formed with 5 triangles, and the icosahedron is made up of 20 triangles total. If you run short on wire, cut it at the end of a pipe piece and connect a new piece of wire by twisting the ends together with pliers, then tucking the twisted part into the end of the pipe piece.The really cool part is that, thanks to math, the shape really helps build itself! If you ever get stuck, refer back to pictures and that youtube video I linked above to help you visualize the shape you’re creating.
Once the shape starts coming together and becoming 3D, slip your Foto pendant light inside and finish forming the icosahedron around it. String the light fixture’s cord through the final point of the icosaedron. (Not depicted in the photo below, because I had to go back and correct it after my first assembly attempt.)
Hang your new light fixture and plug it in! I used a hanging-plant bracket I already had on hand, but you can pick up a shelf bracket for just a few dollars and spray paint it to match your room décor. I kept my wrought iron bracket as-is. I used a black shoelace to connect the copper icosahedron to the bracket to relieve tension from the light fixture’s wire. This allowed me to hang the light fixture within the icosahedron at the desired height.
The light fixture hangs over my side of our double desk (I have plans for fabulous reclaimed wood shelving to hang over the other side) and I’m absolutely in love with it!P.S. The wall color in here is Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze and I love it! It’s a perfect dark moody warm bronzey-charcoal color, but it ends up looking a little bit different in each photo I take of it!
I hope this tutorial starts you well on your way to creating your own fabulous geometric copper light fixture! Feel free to stop by The Gathered Home any time to see what new crazy project I’m up to – I don’t think I have nearly enough DIY light fixtures in my home yet!
Thanks, Brynne! Who knew that some day all of that 9th grade geometry would actually be stylish… Thanks for doing the math for us and giving the how-to! Love your office and can't wait to see what you do next!