DIY Wire Basket Lights

DIY Wire Basket Lights - The Merrythought
I’ve had this project on our to-do list forever! I’m so glad that it’s finally done! I’ve been wanting to update my kitchen light fixture for a while, and found these wire baskets at a garage sale (25 cents each!) over a year ago and thought we could turn them into lights. (These baskets are just hanging garden baskets).  And now, over a year later, finally checking that off the list!
It’s hard to find time to get these projects done with three little ones in the house. Some days, just looking after the boys and keeping the house semi decent is all I feel I have energy for. So extra projects like this that aren’t really needed just keep getting postponed. It’s actually not even that time-consuming of a project…Mike did this in a matter of hours and would have been done a lot sooner if I didn’t need to keep stopping him for photos. 🙂  (He just loves being married to a blogger!)  I’m so glad we finally did it – I’m loving my new lights.
Wire Basket Lights - The Merrythought
DIY Wire Basket Kitchen Lights - The Merrythought
DIY Wire Basket Lights - The Merrythought
DIY Wire Basket Kitchen Lights - The Merrythought
Wire Lights - Supplies
Wire Lights - Step 1
Wire Lights - Step 2
Wire Lights - Step 3
Wire Lights - Step 4
Wire Lights - Step 5
DIY Wire Basket Lights - The Merrythought
What you need:

  • wire baskets
  • cloth covered wire (we got ours at Vintage Wire & Supply Co.)
  • electrical tape
  • galvanized pipe, 2 caps, threaded pipe and pipe tee
  • 4″ round electrical cover with threaded holes
  • light sockets (we got ours at Vintage Wire & Supply Co.)
  • spray paint
  • nail set
  • hammer
  • drill
  • knife
  • wire*
  • washer*
  • wire cutter*
  • lightbulbs

*You may not need these, depending on the type of wire baskets you use. We needed them to make the hole in the bottom of our basket small enough so the light socket would not fit through. If your baskets have a small hole, you’re good to go and can just skip that part of the how to.

How to do it:

  • If your baskets have a hole at the bottom bigger than your light socket, you will need to make a smaller hole that the socket does not fit through but that the cloth covered wire can fit through (so the basket can sit on top of the socket). Wrap wire around washer and secure by twisting the wire a few times. Then, weave the wire back and forth between the washer and the basket, keeping the washer centered, as you go around the opening. Secure by twisting wire closed.
  • Put together the galvanized pipe, caps, threaded pipe, pipe tee and electrical cover.
  • Mark a spot at the end of the pipes, on the bottom, where the wire will come out; and on the bottom of the pipe tee.
  • Use a nail set to make a dent on the spot you just marked on the pipe where you will drill. Drill holes. (Safety first: you’re drilling metal – wear goggles and be cautious…)
  • Clean off any metal burrs on the inside of the pipe with a file.
  • If desired, spray paint baskets, pipe and electrical cover, following directions on your paint can.
  • Once paint is dry, thread cloth covered wire through the drilled hole in the end of the pipe. (Taping the end of the wire with electrical tape will make it easier to thread the wire through). You may need to unscrew the pieces to make it easier to feed the wire up into the tee. Repeat on other side.
  • Determine how low you want your lights to hang below the pipe and cut the wire to length. Leave enough sticking out of the top of the tee to wire to your electric.
  • Thread wire up through the drilled hole in the bottom of the tee. Cut that wire to the length desired.
  • Strip the ends of the wire (coming from the bottom of the pipe) with a knife.
  • Tape the cloth covering the wire so that it doesn’t fray.
  • Repeat on other two wires.
  • Feed the wire through the washer in the bottom of the wire basket.
  • At this point, you need to be sure that you know your way around electrical wiring or contact someone who does. Again, safety first. The rest of the directions will be very general, as your electrician should know how to make the electrical connections.
  • Connect the electric to the light socket. Repeat with remaining baskets and light sockets.
  • Connect wires to your electric.
  • Fasten cover to your electrical box.
  • Put light bulbs in.

DIY Wire Basket Lights - The Merrythought
Wire Basket Lights - The Merrythought

If you decide to try making these, we’d love to see them!  Or if you’ve made your own lights before – we’d love to peek at those too!  Leave a link in the comments.

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Enjoy your day!   Manda

Interested in lighting?  Here’s another light we’ve made: DIY Industrial Light.  And here’s a project to do with those blown out light bulbs: DIY Light Bulb Vase.

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