Update a Dome Ceiling Light with Faceted Crystals

When you think of a stylish ceiling light, odds are that you are thinking of pretty much anything *but* the ubiquitous builder-grade glass dome lights… often affectionately called “boob lights” (sorry!) There are lots of nice flushmount fixtures that you can purchase to replace your standard lights, but what I love about today’s tutorial is that it is a simple way to update the existing fixture rather than just replacing it.
Say no to ugly ceiling lights! Update the standard dome light (the "boob light") with this simple but stunning DIY crystal light fixture, inspired by Pottery Barn.
 
Excited? Me too! Read on for the tutorial, and if you’re battling with a different type of builder-grade light that you don’t love, here are some more light fixture updates for you to browse and get inspired (click on the picture to see the tutorial):
diy foyer drum shade chandelier with bold accent wall, Bliss At Home featured on Remodelaholic
add a drum shade to a ceiling light
DIY rope chandelier makeover, I Love That featured on Remodelaholic
wrap a chandelier with rope
mason jar pendant chandelier light from bathroom vanity light strip - The Summery Umbrella featured on @Remodelaholic
turn a vanity light strip into a rustic hanging pendant
 
 
Here’s Emily with the tutorial for her awesome Pottery Barn inspired crystal ceiling light!

How to Update a Flushmount Dome Ceiling Light with Chandelier Crystals
by Emily of My So-Called DIY Blog

Upgrade a standard builder grade flushmount ceiling light with crystals to look like a faceted Pottery Barn fixture
Hi! This is Emily from My-So Called DIY Blog, where I blog about refurbishing old furniture, like this laminate bookcase
laminate bookcase update - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

and building new pieces from scratch, like this faux fireplace and cabinets.

faux fireplace and built-in cabinets - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Today I’ll be showing you how to transform your builder’s grade “boob” lights into some elegant DIY Pottery Barn Mia Faceted-Crystal Flushmounts!

knockoff Pottery Barn MIA faceted crystal flushmount from a standard ceiling light - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic
use chandelier crystals to upgrade a standard flushmount ceiling light - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic
how to update a builder-grade light fixture with hanging crystals - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

I was longing to replace the lights in my hallway and stairwell, when I noticed that the structure of those lights looked just like the Mia Flushmount from Pottery Barn. The wheels started turning in my brain and I realized if I removed the domes and added some holes, I could attach strands of crystals on the lights I already had.

Materials Needed:

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  • Boob light (if you don’t already have one in your house, you could probably find one at a Habitat for Humanity Restore or thrift store. They are also at Wal-mart for $15-$20)
  • Can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint ($13; I was able to use this for all 4 lights that I redid)
  • Nail and Hammer or Dremmel tool with metal drill bit
  • Garland of acrylic crystal (I used some from Amazon for about $13; 30′ worked for 2 lights)
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Optional: yarn or string to help measure circumference
  • Optional: Sharpie

Cost: Since I already had the lights, I only spent $26 and had enough material for 2 lights

Time Needed: This went pretty fast, but it took about 2-3 days for one light. There was wait time for the paint to dry. I also had to take several breaks to get all the strands looped through the drilled holes (it makes your fingers get sore pretty fast).

Step 1: Make sure to turn off the electrical breaker going to your light. Unscrew the knob at the bottom and remove dome. Remove light from ceiling.

how to update a standard boob light - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

 how to update a standard boob light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 1 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 2: Remove the foil reflector piece. I used some Goo Gone to clean off some glue stuck to one of the lights. Tape off the inside of the light bulb socket.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 2 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 3: Measure the circumference of the light using a string. Divide that number by the number of crystal strands you want to attach (I used 20). I made 20 holes 1.25″ apart. You can cut your string to 1.25″ and use it to mark along the circle with a Sharpie where the holes will go.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 3 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 4: Use a hammer and finishing nail to hammer two rows of holes around the base circle. You need two rows to loop the metal part of the crystal strands through. It helps to put it on a hard surface, like cement, when you nail the holes in.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 4 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic
update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 5 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 5: Next you need to put holes in the smaller circle on the light. It helps to trace the circle on a piece of paper to help you figure out how to space things. Since I was making 20 holes, I could divide it by 5 and make a pentagon (the black dots). Then I divided each side in half (the red dots). Then I divided that space in half (the blue dots). Then I could more easily mark on the actual piece where I was going to put the holes. You only need to do one row on this piece because the wire on the acrylic chain will loop around the outside edge.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 6 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 6: Once you hammer all your holes, you’ll want to spray paint the fixture. I made the mistake of spray painting before making the holes. The metal dust got stuck in the newly painted surface and there was a little bit of chipping that had to be touched up afterwards anyway.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 7- My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 8- My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 7: Once you’ve given the paint plenty of time to dry, you can start attaching the crystal strands. I divided my garland into strands with 6 crystals each. I had some varying sized crystal garlands from a different project, so I used  them on one of my lights. On my other 3 lights I used crystals that were all the same size.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 9 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

I attached them to the smaller circle first.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 10 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Then I slid the small circle on the light and started to attach the outside pieces.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 11 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Step 8: Screw the round knob on the end and when you flip it over, gravity creates the nice rounded dome look.

update a standard dome ceiling light to look like Pottery Barn Mia crystal flushmount, step 12 - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic Working in between the crystal strands, you can then reattach it to the ceiling and add a pretty bulb.

how to turn a boob light into a Pottery Barn crystal flushmount fixture - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

This one has varying sized crystals

make a Pottery Barn knockoff Mia crystal strand flushmount light - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic
This one was made with same sized crystals
tutorial to make a flushmount boob light into a Pottery Barn knockoff Mia light with crystals - My So-Called DIY Blog on @Remodelaholic

Happy lighting!

———————

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Emily! Such a simple innovative update to a basic light!

Visit My So-Called DIY Blog for more from Emily — be sure to check out her kitchen makeover and how she adapted her cabinets to hold her beautiful farmhouse sink!

DIY Pottery Barn Mia Faceted Crystal Flushmount Updated Before And After And How To Featured On Remodelaholic.com

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43 Comments

  1. That’s so cool! I’ve got a couple of those lights in my bedroom, but it’s a rental house. Despite giving us carte blanche to do what we want with it, I doubt they’d be cool with me putting in that lighting. Such a shame, because it’s what my room needs.

    1. i rent also ,i,m going to try a pretty shade. taking off the boob part decorate an old shade ,put it up instead of the boob.

  2. Thank you for this. I thought I was the only one who had “that” problem with these lights. In fact, my husband didn’t notice until I showed him this article and oh how we laughed! We have two of these, evenly spaced in the family room. Yuck. Now that I know it’s not just me, we are definitely going to do something about them.

    1. It’s definitely not just you! And it’s one of those things that once you see, you can’t un-see! We’d love to see what you end up doing!

  3. I really love this idea. I have several of these in the house. I have a question…Mine all have 2 lights in them. Did I miss something? Can I still do it with 2 lights?

    Thanks

  4. Removing the foil reflector would cause a fire hazard. It’s there as insulation to reflect the heat from the lights away from the back side of the fixture. If it becomes hot a fire could result. Homeowners insurance would not pay for damages caused by a light that has been tampered with like this.

      1. The fire hazard is mostly a concern when the light has the shade on it, effectively trapping the heat from the light bulb inside. When the shade is off, there is more circulation and the heat hazard is no longer a concern. It would be a good idea to use a lower wattage of bulb when taking out the foil, but since heat can’t get trapped, it is not a big concern.

  5. I love this light! I have a few polished brass boobs in my house that so need updating. Definitely going to give this a try!! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I did this to one of my boob lights and it turned out Great! Looping the crystals through the holes were the hardest and time consuming. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wonderful idea and beautiful work! I have a question and a suggestion. My question is how exactly do you remove the base from the ceiling? Does it involve wires? I am so not electrically saavy! My suggestion is you can buy strands of crystals and the wire rings for clipping into the holes from craft stores and even Ballard designs. Do you think those would work just as well? Unfortunately, the house we are buying has boob fixtures in nearly EVERY room!

    1. Yes, those sound exactly like the crystals I used! To remove the fixture, I turned off the power breaker and then unscrewed the fixture from the ceiling. Then I separated the wiring from the fixture and the wiring in the ceiling. It’s really a lot easier than it sounds. There are probably many youtube videos on how to do this safely. Good luck!

  8. Awesome idea! Down with boob lights! Is there any way you can do a close up of the small circle? I’m unsure how those links of the crystal connect and are supposed to look. Thanks!

    1. I’m not sure how to upload a picture in the comments section, but the crystals are connected with thin metal rings similar to a key ring. I just put the metal links through the holes like I was adding a key. Hope that makes sense!

      1. Hi Emily — our comment system doesn’t allow for photos, but if you want to email us, we can add it to the post to clarify. Thanks!

  9. LOVE this!!! I was actually going to purchase 2 pottery barn lights to replace my “boob” lights in my hallway!!!!! Im trying this first!!!

  10. I have two of these lights in my living room & plenty of crystals that I have been saving for years. I knew they would come in handy one day!
    Love this idea.

  11. I glued a wide fabric trim around the top and then painted it all Heirloom White before adding lavender crystals. It looks vintage and feminine in my bathroom. Just what I was looking for! Thank you for the great idea.

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