In honor of being featured on Dittle Dattle’s Amaze Me Monday, I thought I would post on a project directly inspired by Carrie herself.  I fell instantly in love with the drum pendants she made for her son’s room.  I could not believe how easy they looked and how stunning they turned out.  I kind of wish I had a bedroom that needed pendant lights, but I am not that into electrical work.  Instead, I knew it would be the perfect solution from a drum pendant over the dining table in our eat-in kitchen.

I really wanted this Trellis Drum Shade Pendant from Shades of Light featured on my kitchen mood board.  Like Carrie though, I was not impressed with the $149 price tag.  I also thought the 16″ shade might be a little small for above a dining table.  I knew I could get the same look for less…much less.

I found an off-white 19″ diameter, 11″ height drum shade at Pottery Barn for $48.  It is similar to these linen drum shades available at Pottery Barn online, although it does not appear they have the same size I found in store.  Note to self: Buy giant drum shade at end of mall trip or ask store to hold it for me…it was a little awkward walking around the mall with a stroller and a giant lamp shade.  Thankfully, Pottery Barn put it in a big plastic bag with a nice handle.

I followed Carrie’s instructions to create the pendant light…except the giant mistake I made on step 1.  The closest home center to us is Home Depot, so I purchased their pendant light kit.  All pendant light kits are NOT created equal.  I knew the Home Depot version did not have a down rod, which I was okay with.  But it also could not be taken apart to add the drum shade.  I had to return the light kit to Home Depot and drive a bit further to Lowe’s to get the Portfolio Pendant Kit with 36″ down rod.  Don’t overlook this critical step…you must be able to disassemble the light kit in some way to add the shade.

Kitchen Light from traditional to modern

With the right light kit, I followed Carrie’s instructions to assemble the light kit with the drum shade.  It was super easy.  For our 9-foot cielings we opted to use all three 12″ down rod sections to get a full 36″ drop from the ceiling.  We removed the old chandelier from above the table and used the light kit instructions to install the new pendnat.  The mini pendant light kit only takes a candelabra style bulb, but it can be 60W.  I was nervous this would be too dim, but it gives off a nice soft glow over the table.  I may look for a flourescent style bulb that casts a more white light.

Here is my condensed version of assembling the light: (for complete instructions check out Carrie’s how-to)

DIY Drum Shade Pendant How-to

  1. Get your supplies ready, including the light kit, nipples, and couplings…all available in the lighting section of Lowe’s.
  2. Pull the black coated wire out of the top of the light kit, freeing the cord and light socket from the mounting canopy.
  3. Slip a coupling down the black cord and screw it over the nipple that came attached to the light socket.  Then screw a longer nipple into the coupling.  I used the longest one in the package.  The purpose of this step is to extend the nipple to allow more room to attach the drum shade.
  4. Pull the cord through the bottom of the hole in the center of your drum shade.  Pull up until the shade rests on the coupling you added in Step 3.
  5. Slip the down rod sections over the cord.  Screw the first one on the nipple you added in step 3.  This will secure the drum shade.  Add the other down rod sections and screw together.  Note: Don’t screw all the down rod sections together before slipping over the cord.  It is really hard feeding the cord for the full length of the down rod.  Trust me I tried.
  6. Screw the light canopy onto the down rod.  The short rod that comes from the canopy turns 90 degrees making it easy to pull the cord through.
  7. With the canopy still bent 90 degrees, insert the end of the black cord back up through the canopy.  Make sure the exposed copper wires are twisted together or use a piece of tape to keep them from catching inside the tube.
  8. Pull the black cord out the top of the canopy and then straighten the canopy.
  9. Follow the light kit instructions to mount the light.

DIY Drum Shade Pendant Light

I am kind of digging the plane drum shade…it might just be because it is a huge improvement over the previous fixture.  However, I am a sucker for bold patterns and still love the design on the Trellis shade.  I think I may still attempt to stencil my plain shade to more closely replicate my inspiration shade.  For now I am too lazy to take the shade back down and stencil it happy with it.  I will save the stenciling for a rainy day.



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17 Responses to DIY Drum Shade Pendant Light

  1. Carrie says:

    Your pendant shade turned out gorgeous! Seriously, you did a fantastic job. Good to know about the Home Depot lighting kit. I will be sharing on FB!

    • Jackie says:

      Thanks Carrie!!! I never could have done this without your how-to.

    • julie says:

      thanks I’ve been wondering how to do this, everything in my house is diy. now to make pendant lights for my bedroom. going to combine this with your mercury glass tutorial and we’ll see what happens!

  2. Kalene says:

    I love tis idea! I think in the near future I am going to try this too!

  3. Kalene says:

    We have a similar fixture as you old one w/ a chain. How did u rewire it? And did you have to buy extra electrical items to make this work?

    • Jackie says:


      We did not rewire the old fixture. We purchased a new pendant light kit from Lowe’s to make this drum shade pendant light.

  4. Lois says:

    I would like to try this but my electrician says only cords, no rods since we have sloped ceiling and it would be impossible to match the rods for three pendants.

    • Jackie says:


      They sell some pendant kits with clear (or clear-ish) cords that are meant to be visible without any rod covering them. You would just be able to drop the drum shade down over the cord.

  5. Brandi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I have been wanting a drum shade for our eat-in kitchen (you could hardly call what’s above our table a chandelier…), but have been hesitant to spend $$$. Now I’ll be keeping a look out for large drum shades when I’m out shopping!

  6. Jenny Gibson says:

    i likey! where did you purchase your drum shade?

    • Jackie says:

      Jenny, I bought the drum shade at Pottery Barn for about $48 dollars. That plus the cost of the pendant kit were much less than buying a drum shade pendant.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Your blog is amazing!!

  8. lesley says:

    I want to do this for my 2 year old’s room. Take down boob light put up this one but shorter and probably smaller. Do you think that will work and give off enough light. And I want to paint bold stripes on it! What do you think? Will painting be too hard and messy?

  9. Eva says:

    Do you know how tall the drum shade is? And is it the Bisque color? I want to do this for my eat-in kitchen! Thanks!

  10. Eva says:

    Carrie’s blog is only viewable by permission, so I just wanted to clarify…did you only use one of the long nipples and one coupling? Thanks!!

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