DIY Farmhouse Light
Ok, I am so embarrassed to even show this picture, but this is the light we had hanging before in our entryway. It HAD to go……like yesterday already.
I was at a friend’s house and noticed she had the cutest farmhouse light hanging over her kitchen table, and I thought.. “I can totally make that!”
And I did….OK so with a little bit of tweaking and with A LOT of help from my husband.
So yeah totally me!!
My Before & After
So here’s how to make the cutest farmhouse light for you too! And it only cost us about $40…..assuming you already have all the tools you need. =)
That’s WAY better than the $130 price tag I’ve seen these at. Plus this one looks like white weathered wood!
(For your convenience this post contains affiliate links. View our disclosure policy for details.)
- 4 – 1x2x8 boards – HomeDepot
- Rope Loop – HomeDepot
- 2 ft. Chain – HomeDepot – amount depends on ceiling height. Our ceiling is 9′.
- 2 ft. Lamp Wire – HomeDepot – again amount depends on ceiling height.
- Heat Shrink Tubing – HD – We used the 3/8″ tubing. It was a little too wide.
- 1″ screws
- Canopy Kit – Amazon
- Electrical Sockets – Amazon
- Edison Light Bulbs – You could definitely use a normal bulb and it would be a lot cheaper, but I had to have the Edison bulbs!
Word of caution: These bulbs are not very bright. They give a very soft WARM glow. I don’t know if it’s all Edison bulbs or just these bulbs. I honestly, love the warm glow, but just a heads up so you know what to expect!
- Kreg Jig– You don’t need the big expensive jig for this project! We used this mini kreg jig and it worked great!
- Solderer with solder
- Nail gun
- Miter Saw
- E6000 Glue
Step One: Cutting the Boards and Drilling Pocket Holes
First start by cutting 8 – 15″ boards and 8 – 7.5″ boards with your miter saw.
(Note: The one thing we were unhappy with is that once assembled this didn’t make a perfect square. If you want it perfectly square take .5″ off the WIDTH (not length) of 4 of your 15″ boards.
You can’t really tell it’s not perfectly square once it’s hanging, but for your perfectionists out there take .5″ off 😉
Next take your Kreg Jig and clamp it down so it’s lined up on the very end of one of your 7.5″ boards. See picture. It’s hard to see the end of the board because it’s the same color as our work bench.
Position your depth collar around the drill bit to 3-9/16″ (89 mm) and clamp into place.
(HINT: Make sure you don’t measure down from the tip of your drill bit. Measure from the step of your drill bit. -The instructions for the Kreg Jig explains all of this.)
Insert drill and wallah, you have a pocket hole. Turn the board around and do the same thing to the other side. Repeat until all 7.5″ boards are done.
Step Two: Assemble the Outer Box
Now it’s time to put all the pieces together!
Start by nailing two 15″ boards together to form the corners. (If you cut .5″ off make sure you join a thinner piece with a normal piece.)
We used finishing nails in our nail gun so our holes would be small.
Sorry, I know it’s hard to tell that there’s 2 pieces of wood in this picture. The picture below shows the corners better.
Next screw the small boards to the corners pieces using the pocket holes.
Continue joining the boards until your box is built.
Step 3: The Top X
For the top X cut a piece of a 1x2x8 board off at a 30 degree angle.
Insert that into the top of the box at a diagonal and measure how long the board needs to be and cut the other end off also at a 30 degree angle.
(Since boards aren’t perfectly straight you may have to adjust your angle a bit to get a nice snug fit.)
We then used a nail gun to attach it to the box.
For the two smaller boards do the same thing you did above, but only measure to the middle board. These boards are slightly trickier as your outer angle is still 30 degrees, but your inner angle is 20 degrees. Again, you may have to adjust your angles slightly.
These 2 parts of the “X” can’t be nailed into the middle so we glued the inner ends to the middle board and then nailed the outer ends in place from the outside.
Step Four: Side X’s
For the side X’s we took a 1x2x8 board and cut the thickness in half so it was slightly less than .5″ thick.
We then cut off .75″ strips with our table saw and cut them down to length.
Our longest piece measured about 13.25″ from tip to tip and the short pieces measured about 6.375″.
I say ABOUT because we found that each side is SLIGHTLY different. Because for some reason boards aren’t perfect. 😉 SO we recommend measuring each side so you get an EXACT fit.
We numbered each side of our box and then wrote the numbers on each piece of wood.
You can see in the picture below these pieces all belong to side “1” of our box. The angles on all of these cuts are 30 DEGREES.
Again, each angle may be slightly different depending on the straightness of your boards. Also note how the long board angle is the SAME on each end and the small board angles are OPPOSITE.
To attach these pieces we again just used the E6000 Glue. We attached the long piece first, and then the piece coming down off of it. I did this on all sides and let it dry.
Here’s a close up of where we positioned and attached the boards.
Once it was dry we came back and turned the box upside down so we could attach the last piece without it falling off.
(We tried gluing these last pieces on before but they kept sliding everywhere. Yikes! Definitely easier to come back and finish the last piece.)
Step Five: Painting
Now it’s the fun part! Painting! We wanted ours to have that old farmhouse weathered wood look so we started by spray painting the entire thing gray and then used the technique from our post here.
It’s really EASY and looks AWESOME!
If you plan on staining it or just doing a normal coat of paint on it we recommend puttying up the nail holes first. If you used the technique we used, you won’t notice them.
Paint the entire thing. Inside and out.
Step Six: Chain & Hook
Next wrap your chain around your rope loop and attach the hook to the middle of your long diagonal board. Make sure it’s perfectly in the middle so your light won’t hang lopsided.
Then figure out where you want your lights to hang down and drill holes in the boards for the wires to fit through. You can see our holes in the picture below.
Now decide how long you want each light to hang and cut the wire leaving enough wire to work with on top so you can wire everything together. We wanted our lights to hang at different lengths.
Step Seven: Wiring- Almost DONE!!!
Next strip your light wires down so the wires are exposed. Take one wire from each light and twist them all together. Take the other wire from each light and twist those together. You should end up with two wires.
Take your long lamp wire and strip the bottom. Add your heat shrink tubing (cut the tubing length down so it covers your open wires and then a little extra.)
Twist one end of lamp wire to one of the light wires you created in the previous step (creating a hot wire) and twist the other to the other light wire (creating a neutral wire).
It does not matter what wire goes to which wire.
To hold all these wires together we soldered them together. See, high school shop class does come in handy! (You could also use wire connector caps instead of soldering and using the heat sleeves.)
We then slid the heat shrink tubing down over the soldered wires and heated them so they’d shrink. We tried using a lighter and also the solderer and they both worked about the same to heat it. (My husband thinks the guy sold him too wide of sleeves. They did end up working, just not quite like we wanted, but it definitely looks better than having little caps sticking out of the top.)
Now you can attach your ceiling kit! Our chain did not have breaks in it so we sawed through it like CrAzY people and then
Heman my husband bent it, inserted the chain, and bent it closed. You could also use something like this D Ring that would make this step easier.
Then slide your lamp wire up through the chain and out the top and you are ready to hang your Super Fabulous LIGHT!!!!
Step Seven: Hanging the Light!
TURN OFF YOUR POWER TO THE LIGHT!!!
Coming out of your ceiling you will have three wires. A hot, neutral, and ground wire. The ground wire we attached to the bolt on the ceiling face plate. (HINT: The ground wire is the wire that does not have a rubber coating around it.) The other two wires you attach to the two wires coming out of your lamp wire. Again, it does not matter which wire goes to which wire.
Please note – we are not electricians. Proceed at your own risk.
And you are done with your awesome farmhouse light! I give you permission to brag.