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Creating Minnow Trap Light Pendants

On our last trip to the beach, I stopped in a hole-in-the-wall thrift shop. The store was musty, dirty and reeked of old cigarette butts. I’m still not sure why I was drawn into this store. But low and behold, this is what I found!

The owner told me it was a minnow trap. Duh, of course it is! Actually, I’m not a fisherperson, so I never would have guessed that.

What I did see was two pendant lamps for my screened porch. I have been trying to decorate it for a year, but I have been unable to find some inexpensive porch furniture. Regardless, I am aiming for a breezy ocean theme, so these would fit in perfectly!

I separated the trap into two pieces. Then cleaned them with a damp rag.

To create the light kit frame, I used these tools:

I bent a small hook in the clothes hanger with the needle-nosed pliers. Then fed the end of the coat hanger through one top edge of the minnow trap.


Using my pliers, I pinched the hook shut.

If you pretend that the first hook was attached at 12 o’ clock, then you want to attach the second hook at 3 o’clock.

Using my pliers again, I bent both wires near the center into a 90 degree “L” shape.


Next, I wove the other L hook (over and then under) the first hanger and bent the wires until they overlapped at 6 o’ clock and the second one at 9 o’ clock. I played with the wires until I was able to create a small hole in the center.

I ended up with this on both traps (now looking more like lamp shades):


I sprayed my two lamp shades with an automotive primer (I read somewhere that it has better adhesion to metal) and followed up with 2 – 3 coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.

For the light sockets, I purchased 2 candelabra base kits from Lowe’s.

I simply inserted the socket and light bulb underneath the coat hangers. Then bent the coat hangers while making sure to get the light kit centered in the shade.

When I got everything centered, I fed the unattached ends of the coat hangers through the shade and hooked it around securing it to the wire shade.

Then all I had to do was screw in these cool iron shelf brackets into the wall on my porch and feed the wires of my lamps through and use a twisty tie to secure it.

Now we have some unique mood lighting on our porch!


Do you like? Would you have known that they were minnow traps?

Too bad the weather is turning cool again. Maybe I can find some deals on porch furniture now!

Copy Me Challenge

51 replies
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  1. Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk
    Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk says:


    You know how much I loved this project! I have featured it on my blog as a "Boardwalk Bookmark", with a direct link back to this post on your blog. You may enjoy taking a look at it and, of course, feel free to take a button. Again — I want to share with you my appreciation for your talent and creativity!

  2. Laurie at Turner Farm
    Laurie at Turner Farm says:

    OH MY! How clever you are. I have a couple of those minnow traps, from my dad's barn. Love this idea! They look wonderful.

  3. Rita @ TesoroFino.com
    Rita @ TesoroFino.com says:

    You certainly are a pretty handy girl! I've added you to my crafty bloggers list so that I can visit often to be inspired often!

  4. TheVirginiaHouse
    TheVirginiaHouse says:

    Those look so cute! I can't believe you thought of that! So smart and creative. Thanks for linking up to We Can Do It Cheaper!

  5. Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk
    Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk says:

    I love how you say what you "saw" regardless of what the shop owner said it was. Creativity does that to a person, doesn't it? You see things that others would think was crazy. He would probably have wondered why you just don't go out and buy a light if you want a light. Haha. Actually my husband is sometimes like that. "Jan, if you want a light, then buy a light." I also love how you used half a ladder as a shelf. You've really put together a great look.


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