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bundt pan pendant lampJen Jafarzadeh L'Italien

I've had this inspiration photo from the book Simple Home on my desktop for months now. Recycling a vintage bundt cake pan into a light fixture? An idea of sheer brilliance, if you ask me.

I needed another overhead light in my apartment, and I thought an antique cake tin would add a little vintage style to my space. When I was at the Brimfield Market a couple weeks ago, I had some luck: I stumbled on a booth selling vintage cake pans, a couple with the same bundt shape. Perfect! I had no idea at the time how to turn it into a light. But the cake tin cost $3, so I thought what do I have to lose? Plus, I was so drawn to the gorgeous aged patina on this vintage cake pan.

bundt cake pan

bundt cake pan

I brought my vintage cake pan home and researched how to turn it into a pendant lamp. Turns out, it's quite easy to transform a cake tin into a pendant! Here's how to make your own.

Supplies you'll need:

- Vintage bundt pan
- Halogen light fixture kit (comes with lamp wire and transformer)
- Universal plug
- Precision screwdriver (small screwdriver set used for working with electrical and jewelry projects)
- Wire stripper
- Hot glue gun
- Plastic wire ties

You can make your own pendant light using a bundt pan, a standard light bulb and a cord and socket. But I opted for a halogen light fixture; I found one that was a perfect fit with my vintage cake pan. As a bonus, you don't see a big light bulb hanging below the cake pan pendant, and I'm saving a lot of electricity with this fixture. A standard bulb consumes 100 watts of electricity, whereas this halogen light uses 3.5 watts.

Whichever light fixture you decide on, you'll want to bring your cake pan to the hardware store to make sure the fixture you choose fits perfectly inside the cake pan's hole. This is one project where I definitely would suggest buying your supplies in person to make sure everything fits together.

bundt cake pan

You're going to need to attach the lamp wire through your plug (above) and through your transformer (which hooks into the halogen light fixture.) To do this project, you need to know the electrical signs for positive and negative. It's important that you put the wires in the right place, or you'll trip your electrical circuit.

positive: Also marked by a plus sign. Some wires are black and white on the inside, in which case black denotes positive or hot wire. With a lamp wire that's white on both sides, you need to feel the difference. The side of the wire that's flat with grooves is positive. If you're working with a 3-prong plug, one side will be a brass color and one side will be silver on the inside when you take it apart. The brass side is positive. "L" also denotes a live wire, or positive.

negative: Also marked by a negative sign. With wires that are black and white on the inside, white denotes negative or neutral wire. If you're working with lamp wire that doesn't have a color distinction, the side that's rounded and smooth is the negative side. If you're using a plug that's brass and silver on the inside, the silver side is the negative one. "N" also denotes a neutral connection, or negative.

Here are the instructions for making your very own, one-of-a-kind bundt pan pendant lamp!,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=917193&pid=917192&uts=1280525759

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Pull apart a section of your wire to create a Y shape. Strip about 1/2 inch of wire on both sides, removing the outer shell to expose the copper conductors inside.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Stick your precision screwdriver in the middle of the plug to pop open the locking mechanism piece between the metal prongs on your plug.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Remove the metal prongs from the plug.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Next you're going to thread your wire through the plug. A universal plug is the simplest to use because you don't need to worry about lining up positive and negative.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Using your precision screwdriver, unscrew the screws on the metal prongs of the plug. Then you'll need to carefully wrap the copper conductor wires around the screws. (If your copper wires are too short to go around, strip more wire as needed.)

You must wrap the exposed copper wire around the screw in a clockwise motion. (You're screwing in a clockwise motion, so you must wrap the wire around the same way.) Do the same for both sides.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Fit your metal prongs back inside the plug case. Make sure the copper wires are not touching their opposite side or it will trip your circuit. Put the locking mechanism piece back in place.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Next take your transformer and unscrew the connector screws using your precision screwdriver.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Stick your copper wires inside the transformer, being careful to match up the flat/grooved lamp wire (or black wire, the positive wire) with the L side of the transformer and the smooth, rounded lamp wire (or white wire, the negative wire) to the N side of the transformer. Replace the screws and tighten.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Take a hot glue gun and put four dots of glue on the back of the transformer. Attach the transformer to the backside of the light fixture, in the center.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

Move the wire to the center, tuck under the second clip, and tie wire in the center - you're creating a harness with the wire so it hangs centered. Add a wire tie to keep it in place.

On the halogen light fixture, there will be two silver clips. Tuck one end of the wire under one clip.

Handmade: Bundt Pan Pendant Lamp

  • Janet

    I am scared to say that I like it.

  • judi

    ive got a great idea after this one. buy those little foil cupcake papers ,put them over christmas lights and string them outside. :0/

  • Dee

    I would expect nothing less from a book called "Simple" Home. This is hideous.

  • Dee

    You can also use old bras to hang oranges and grapefruits in your kitchen...

  • OldTimer

    Unless you are a licensed electrician you have just cancelled your FIRE INSURANCE, while still paying premiums!

  • Bob

    Several things wrong.
    1. The grooved strand of wire is the "identified" wire (National Electrical Code Neutral or Grounded conductor). The writer (Jen) is treating it as the hot wire.
    2. It makes no difference in this case since Jen did not take care to connect the grounded wire to the identified terminal on the plug so it could go be connected right or wrong.
    3. The cord lacks a ground wire, which is permitted only with UL Approved "double insulated" construction, which the lamp definitely is not. The exposed metal Bundt pan should be grounded since it is susceptible to being electrtically hot.
    4. The 3.5 watt halogen light will not be much brighter than a candle.
    5. Securing a transformer with "hot melt glue" is not a good idea, since transformers get hot. The Bundt pan will eventually fall off.

  • 26 Comments / 2 Pages

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