Each time an out of town friend wows me with one of her thrift store finds, I can’t help but feel a little jealous. Vintage and thrift store shopping has really become such a way of life in Austin, that it’s usually pretty slim pickings around here. Everyone wants that awesome stuff that was totally up for grabs just 5 or 6 years ago.
So when my friend Jennifer Rizzo asked me to participate in a blog thrift store trade with some of my favorite bloggers, I couldn’t possibly say no. And then when I found out it was Kelly from Eclectically Vintage who would be sending me something for that she found at a thrift store, I almost died.
And then her box arrived. Y’all.
Well, Elvis has a place of honor on my astroturf chevron wall. I accidentally deleted the photos I took of it from my camera (ugggggghhhhhh), so I’ll have to take some more and show you another day. I worked on a fun project with the cheese plate, but it turned into a huge craft fail. I’ll show you that one later, too. It will certainly be good for a laugh.
But that ice bucket. It is the stuff dreams are made of.
I (only halfway jokingly) thought about using it as a purse. And then, I thought more seriously about making it a planter. But then, I decided that it was the perfect shape for a pendant light. I had been wanting to replace the chandelier over my kitchen sink – I still love it, but it doesn’t really match the style of my home anymore (it’s up for grabs now if any of you Austin area folks are interested).
I knew I could turn the ice bucket into a pendant by drilling a hole in the bottom of it for the light socket to fit. The problem would lie in the fact that it wouldn’t be easy to balance because of the weight of the ice bucket handle. I taped the handle to the side of the bucket where I would want it to go, and then I found the center of the bottom and marked it with a piece of tape.
Because the bucket is heavier on the side with the handle, I drilled a small hole slightly off center toward the handle side. Then, I stuck a small nail through he hole so that I could pick it up to see if it would hang evenly. I had to drill a few holes to get the hole in the right place. Let’s all be glad that I’m not building bridges or something.
Once I figured out the center, I cut a hole large enough for a light socket to fit into. I used a drill to make some large holes, and then I used an X-Acto knife to even it out. I made sure the hole was large enough that I could slide the socket around if I needed to in order to balance it once the light was hanging (like we did with the DIY drum light).
Pretty, huh? Don’t worry – no one will ever see the top. Except you right now. So quit looking!
I bought this turquoise cloth cord swag kit from World Market (also comes in red, lime green, white and silver) to use to convert the fixture.
I secured the socket into the ice bucket and cut the cord to the length I wanted the light fixture to hang.
Then, I used super glue to attach the handle to the side of the bucket and wired it to the ceiling using a canopy kit I have been saving for years (I think it originally came from Home Depot).
I also used a LED light bulb inside of it so that it wouldn’t get hot. Since the bucket is insulated, I was worried that an incandescent bulb would get too hot and become dangerous. I’ve been leaving it on for a few hours and sticking my hand inside of it to test for heat – so far, there has been none, but I’m still going to keep my eye on it.
My new light fixture reminds me of a modern light from the 1960s. I’m just thrilled that Kelly sent it to me. Thanks, girl!
Now, head over to see what I sent to Monica from East Coast Creative. It was really hard for me to part with it, so I can’t wait to see what she’s done with it.
Want to see more of the thrift store trade projects? Here’s the full list of everyone who participated:
Funky Junk Interiors
My Sweet Savannah
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Four Generations One Roof
Home Stories A to Z
Today’s Creative Blog
Jeanne Oliver Designs
French Country Cottage
The Inspired Room
The Handmade Home
Makely School for Girls
East Coast Creative
At Home on the Bay
At the Picket Fence
Not Just a Housewife
Thanks to Jennifer Rizzo for the fabulous idea!