Introduction: Hanging Colander Lamp Shade

I got the idea for this project from a light fixture in a restaurant (I would say which, but I can't remember). They had a light fixture made of a colander on the ceiling, which gave a nice speckled effect. I decided to modify this, and make a colander into a hanging lamp above our dining room table.

Credit also goes to this post on IKEAhacker

Ikea says, quite believably, that their products are green. Please don't make a trip out to Ikea just for this.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools


Ordning Colander (on sale)" $4
Hanging lamp cord (usually in "as is" section): $0.50
Compact Fluorescent bulb (It's easy being green): $7

Total: $11.50


Dremel tool with cutting disk
Metal file (optional)
Ear protection

Step 2: Marking Out a Circle

By counting holes, find the centre hole in the bottom of the colander. Then, draw a circle around this point that is slightly wider than the threads on the fixture. There are a few ways of doing this. I centered the fixture (again, counting the number of holes on each side works for this) and traced around it.

Step 3: Cutting the Circle

I would recommend wearing ear protection for this step. The sound of a dremel disk against a resonating metal object is unbelievably loud. It would also be a good idea to do this on a soft surface, to dampen the noise. Sparks do fly, so make sure that the soft surface is not too flammable. Eye protection is probably a good idea as well.

If you have not used a dremel tool to cut metal before, I would recommend starting well inside the line. It is so much easier to make the hole bigger if it turns out to be too small than to make it smaller when it turns out to be too big.

Try to keep the dremel tool's wheel vertical, to keep the cuts cleaner. Turn it on, and slowly touch it to the colander, and put very light pressure on it, while holding it firmly. As soon as it is through the metal, lift it up, and move to the next cut. It took me 10 cuts to complete the circle, (okay, the decagon) but this is not an important number.

The hole does not have to be perfect, although it is a good idea to smooth the edges a big, either with a file or the dremel tool. As you can see, the hole will not be anything like the pretty circle we drew.

Step 4: Fitting the Fixture

This step is pretty self explanatory. Unscrew the ring around the bit that holds the bulb (technical term, I know) and fit the colander on it. Screw the ring on as tight as it will go, and hold the whole thing up by the cord to check that the lamp hangs straight. If it doesn't, make sure it is not snagged on a thread. If it doesn't, there will probably be some wiggle room in the hole, and you will be able to straighten it by loosening the ring and repositioning it slightly.

Step 5: Hanging the Lamp

If you already have a hanging lamp, you can just detach the old shade, and hang the colander from it.

If you do not already have a lamp hanging there, you will have to install an electrical box.

Before you start making holes in the ceiling, talk to someone who knows what they're doing. You probably have a friend who is at least an amateur electrician. If you do not, befriend an electrician, or someone who has done it before. The people at Home Depot count.

Seriously, don't start messing with electricity unless you know what you're doing. Hanging a lamp could be a whole other Instructable. As soon as it exists, I will link to it. For the time being, just talk to somebody that knows what they're doing.

Step 6: Variations

Ikea seems to have a disproportionately large number of cool looking kitchen gadgets. Experiment! Try making one out of a nicely balanced wok.
Err on the side of caution, and only use things that won't crush you, melt or burn.

Have fun with it. If something exciting happens, tell me about it in the comments.

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