Custom Made Sled Light

April 10, 2015

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In case you missed it….here is my new kitchen.  LOVE IT!

Want to see how I made one of my favorite parts of the new kitchen?

Remember my old cute sled?  It used to hold my pots and pans. 

 I saw the idea in a magazine years ago and found the perfect sled at an antique store about 12 years ago.  It was so nice to have a place to hang my pots and pans because my kitchen was TINY!  Now we have renovated our kitchen and have plenty of room for pots and pans.  I hated to give up my sled, so why not repurpose it?  I wanted to make a cool, custom made light for our new kitchen that would incorporate mason jars.  While trying to figure out how to hang the mason jars, I thought of using the sled.  It is perfect and even matched the theme of my new kitchen.  I didn’t even have to paint it and it PERFECTLY matched the paint color I used for my barstools.  The problem was… to make it work.
So after many brainy discussions with my dad (the electrical engineer), my hubby, the helpful guys at Home Depot and many a Pinterest searches we finally figured it out.

Here is what we did.  I tried to take as many pictures as I could but sometimes we changed things on the fly and sometimes we were figuring it out as we went along, so if you have questions, feel free to ask!

Here are the supplies we started with.  

Black Spray paint (because NOTHING comes in black anymore.  WTH?)
Black Chain (x2)
Cord socket from IKEA (on sale for $5- win!!)
Canopy set (painted with spray paint)
Mason Jars (Hobby Lobby 50% off)
Lid inserts (Hobby Lobby 50% off) so it doesn’t get too hot inside the jar and to make cool designs on the ceiling) —–Also made hanging the light sock inside the jar VERY easy!
Here is what we had to buy after 3-4 more trips to Home Depot and figuring out what we REALLY needed (sorry, these aren’t pictured)
Nipple set (no kidding- it is actually called that)
Leftover masonite to make a box
Leftover red paint from Barstools
4 Carabiners (painted black)
Black fastener thingys (that is a technical term) for holding the cords down.
Crazy strange powerstrip (see picture)
Extra Metal brackets that screw into the electrical box (came in the package with the large nipple) 
New plug kits
We started by figuring out we had to make a box to go on top of the sled.  This box would house all of the cords.  We then painted the box and mounted it to the top of the sled (if you can’t see the top of your sled you can skip this step, but we can see the top of our sled as we come down the stairs so we wanted to disguise it).  The IKEA cords come with a plug so we had to make something for the cords to plug into or we would have had to have 6 cords going up into the electrical box (which was much more difficult).  We did cut each cord (to make it the right length) and to be able to fit it through the holes we drilled in the box (and so we could put the bulb end of the cord into the mason jar lid insert).  Then we rewired the plug and plugged them into the powerstrip.  Then we had an extension cord that came out of the box and ran up into the electrical box).  We also had to tack down all of the cords so they would sit nicely on the top of the sled.  Then we threaded the one wire up to the box and hung the sled from Carabiners and 4 lengths of equal chain.   Hopefully the pictures will help you understand this process as it sounds (and was) really complicated.  *There was also a fair amount of drilling and threading wires through things to make all of this happen.  Again, if you are trying to make one of these feel free to ask questions.

See the “black fasteners/thingys”?
The “power strip”.  See how the IKEA plugs were replaced with a new white kit plug?
Setting the power strip inside of the box
Top view of the box with the lid on so you can’t see any wiring
It is ready for a light bulb and for the jar to be screwed on.
A view of the back side and the cord going up into the ceiling.
I LOVE how it turned out.  We put it on a dimmer switch and it is nice to be able to adjust the brightness as there are 6- 60 watt bulbs.  
These iPhone pictures don’t really do it justice but it looks so cool if you are looking in from the outside of the house.  Pay no attention to the total disarray of the kitchen.  Just fix your eyes on the pretty light fixture.  Ignore the house that got trashed by my sweet children during the hours it took to figure all of this out and get it done.
For the other lights in this area, we did a much simpler version.  For the one above the sink we used the same mounting system but all we needed was the cord hanging down.  SO. MUCH. EASIER.  We also used a larger Mason Jar to make more of an impact.
For the lighting in the entry way I found this lighting kit at World Market.  You can find it here (or in your local store-although I had to ask because they didn’t have it out on the floor).  We had to made it more difficult and changed out their sockets for the IKEA ones as theirs didn’t fit inside of the Mason Jar insert.  So we cut those out, and then rewired the IKEA ones through the insert and then up into the mounting bracket.  It was actually pretty easy.  And now I am a champ at wiring light fixtures.  It really is easy!
 Don’t you also love my new/old door coat rack?  I found this door at an antique shop for $30.  It was perfect.  Chris had to cut off a few inches to make it fit the space between the front door and the closet, but I love the old charm of it.
I still want to put one more Mason Jar light where our ceiling fan is.  But I am currently losing that battle with my husband.  Check back in a few months and see how things are going.
I love how the mason jars make it feel homey and hand-made.

Custom Made Sled Light

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