Vintage Car Bedroom: Can Pendant Lights

I've been planning and working on Bamm-Bamm's (my 3 year old's) vintage car bedroom and finished the first transformation into making this space "big boy" (all grease and metal!)

And I have The Iron Crafter Competition @ Fireflies and Jellybeans to thank for the inspiration!

The Secret Ingredient: Recycled Cans or Tins

I love it, and I love the Can Pendant Lights I built for Bamm-Bamm's room!


P6040018 P6040020

Build the lamp

Clean the emptied cans, removing paper and glue.  Drill holes (3/16" bit) in each can in order to attach them together.  This will mean 2 holes in each can at the same height and so that the can seams are hidden (see picture). Use the small bolts, washers and nuts to attach the cans together.

Drill a larger hole (3/8" bit) through the center bottom of each can for the short lamp nipples. For each can, you will screw the base of the light socket to the nipple on the inside and a 1/8IP hex nut to the outside - this will keep the socket in place.

Wire the lamp

Thread each of the three electrical wires through each nipple and attach to the screws on the socket.  For more information, read my post on electrical wiring.

Build the pendant canopy

I wanted to add a touch of vintage car to the canopy, so I used a hubcap I found at the thrift store.  Isn't that a great idea!  Now I can think of a dozen fun things that would make interesting and different canopies for a pendant lamp - can you think of any?

Drill 3 small holes (1/4") in the "canopy" and a larger (3/8") one in the middle.  Thread the ends of each electrical wire through the pieces of aluminum tubing, leave the desired length of wire between the tubing and the can (depending on how low you want the pendant lights to hang).

Push each of the tubing pieces into each of the 3 smaller holes, and use the pliers to clamp it firmly to keep the wire in place and the tube from pulling out of the canopy (the clamped tube should hold the weight of the can light).  A professional item can be ordered for the same purpose, it is called a strain relief bushing (mine didn't arrive in time :( so I had to get creative - this idea is way cheaper too).

Wire the light outlet

Always turn the power off at the breaker first!
Attach the longer nipple to the light outlet (screw in a bracket if necessary).  Wire (twist) together the  wires from the outlet with your new electrical wires, hot with hot and neutral with neutral, and cap them.

Slide the canopy aka hubcap over the light outlet, putting the nipple through the center hole and cap it.  The length of the nipple you choose will of course depend on the canopy you use.

VoilĂ  !  Isn't that a fun lamp for a (tough) boy's room!

I realize this is one hefty tutorial... if you want more information please email me or leave a comment!

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6 Responses
  1. Glide the cover aka hubcap over the light store, placing the nipple area through the middle opening and cap it. The duration of the nipple area you select will of course rely on the cover you use.
    rs gold
    WOW Gold Kaufen
    D3 Gold

  2. I think these will be more stylish if you will paint them and add so holes on the side of the cans :)

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