Make Your Own Light Fixture

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Hello, it’s Jessica here from Decor Adventures. This month I have what came out to be one of my favorite projects to date. It’s how to make your own light fixture using just wood trim and wax paper, and I promise it will look great in any room in your house.

Everyone loves Pinterest for inspiration and ideas, and I’m no exception. I was looking through my pins the other day and saw this one of a stunning (and I’m sure expensive) light fixture. I instantly thought how easy it would be to DIY that light and set out getting my supplies ready.

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For Wood Frame

  • 3/4″ x 1/2″ pine wood
  • Hand saw or Miter saw (or have it cut at the home improvement store)
  • Nail gun and air compressor and nails
  • Spray paint
  • Old lamp shade or washer top of wire lamp shade frame
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Gorilla tape
  • Lampshade Pendant Kit

For Capiz Shells

  • Wax paper
  • Iron
  • Circle Punch
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Scissors


For this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make and attach the black wood frame to a light pendant kit after you make and put on the faux (wax paper) capiz shells. For a step-by-step of how to make the shells, see my post on how to make a wax paper capiz shell chandelier and follow the instructions on how to iron together the wax paper and sew them together.

How to make the wood “frame” for your light fixture:

Cut your 3/4″ pine trim into 12 pieces. Eight of them will be the same (shorter) length and 4 of them will be the same (longer) length. My pieces are 9 1/2″ and 14 1/2″. Make sure your 8 smaller pieces are the exact same length and same goes for your longer ones. If they aren’t, your 3-D frame will not fit together perfectly.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

To assemble your boxes perfect for easier nailing, use a miter corner clamp. These are available at the home improvement store for about $25 and can be used for a lot of different projects.  Insert two of your smaller pieces into each side of the clamp, making sure the ends line up.

Using a Miter Corner Clamp

Using your nail gun, nail into the wood to secure a corner.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Be sure to assemble the wood together the same in each box (the right and left sides of the frame are both on the outside and the top and bottom pieces are on the inside of the assembly), otherwise your frames won’t come out the same size.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Continue nailing corners until you have made 2 separate boxes from your 8 smaller pieces of trim.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

To create a 3-D box, attach the long pieces to the smaller frames. Clamp one of the longer pieces into the miter corner clamp and hold one small frame on top. Nail it onto the long piece like you did for the small frames.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Once all 4 of the longer trim pieces are attached, turn the frame over to attach the other square frame.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Repeat that same process to secure the other frame to the bottom.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Take your lamp shade wire circle and hot glue it to the inside of the box. You can also secure it with some strong tape.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

After the glue dries, spray paint the entire light fixture frame.  Let it dry thoroughly. If you leave spray painted objects outside for a few days (covered on the porch for example, or in the garage) it will help most of the odor go away.

Attach the capiz shells:

Hot glue the capiz shells strands around the wire circle. I like to glue the shorter ones on first, so they will be seen from the outside of the fixture and the longer ones in behind them. You can layer them and add as many or few as you like. More shells give the light a more full look.

Some of these “shells” have a silver color to them. That’s because I spray painted the wax paper before I ironed it together.  Real capiz shells are white with a pearl finish, but they come in different colors too.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

When you cut the strings of shells different lengths, you’ll get different looks too. You can make some longer or shorter, and even some that hang out the bottom of the “frame”.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Hanging the Light Fixture:

Hang your capris shade on a pendant kit (available at Target or purchase this Lampshade Pendant Kit on Amazon.) The kit allows you to hang a shade or fixture that has a small washer at the top of the shade.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

To hang your light fixture, secure the cord to the ceiling and wall. You can secure the cord to the wall with Command strips or cable braces, both of which can be found at the home improvement store.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Plug in your designer-look-a-like light. We have this one on a wireless light switch, since we don’t have any switch-controlled outlets or overhead light. Our fixture hangs high and lights up the entire room.

Make Your Own Light Fixture

Experiment with different light bulbs. Be sure to select one that you don’t mind looking at, since the capiz shells might move around a little with the breeze. Overall this project will only cost about $20.00.

This came out to be one of my favorite DIY projects! Come see me at Decor Adventures soon and happy spring.

Jessica at Decor Adventures Blog~ Read more about Jessica ~


Pin for later!

How to Make Your Own Light Fixture | Pretty Handy Girl

8 replies
  1. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    I would think that you’d want to be careful of the heat generated by a light bulb with this project. Waxed paper would be fairly flammable I think. A CFL (pictured) might be OK but personally I avoid using them because they contain mercury. An LED bulb would be better but I would not recommend an incandescent bulb because they get quite hot.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] DIY Capiz Shell Light Fixture has a beautiful feminine and modern look. Build a quick frame; add some strings of capiz shells; […]

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