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Arts & Crafts DIY Everyday

DIY Hanging Lantern Nautical Light Fixture

I have been doing a lot of renovating on my house and making upgrades to everything. I live on the Gulf Coast and my house has a beachy feel to it, so I was looking for a simple light fixture to go in my small hallway. Since it is small, I wanted the fixture to have a big impact. I don’t want anything extravagant, just something that people will notice when they walk through. It will be on the way to the guest bedroom and bathroom, so it will be seen often.

I started searching online because I wanted something a little more unique than what I could find at Home Depot or Lowes. I found several sites that had amazing fixtures, but all of the ones that I loved were pricey. If you know me, then you know that I like to save in every way. I am always looking for an excellent bargain!

I was torn between 4 different fixtures, so I enlisted the help of my friends and family on Instagram and Facebook. Two were popular with everyone, so I went with the one from those two that I really leaned towards. The only thing is it is $200. Eeek!

As much as I want unique and exactly what I am looking for, I can’t bring myself to spend that much, no matter how much I love it. So I set out on a mission to replicate it the best that I could!

First, let me show you the one that I wanted:



It is from an awesome website that sells tons of nautical style lighting called Shades of Light. This one is the Porthole Hanging Lantern for $199.

Items you will need to make your own:

– a lantern

– contact adhesive

– light kit

– spray paint

– 4 cookie cutters

– metal cutters

– painter’s tape


Being a frequent shopper at Home Goods, I knew that they were very likely to carry lantern type fixtures as they often do. I wasn’t let down, but knowing that I would have to install a light from the top, I was in search of something that didn’t have…a top. That required a little more searching and I wound up finding the perfect piece in the clearance section!! I am not sure why it was clearance as there appeared to be nothing wrong with it. There was no cover on the top and when I flipped it upside down, the bottom was a thin piece of metal. I knew I’d be able to work with it, so I grabbed it for only $12!


Next, I visited my Home Depot to purchase a lighting kit for $15. They have several colors you can choose from. I went with black.


To create the rustic look in the metal, I purchased Rustoleum’s Hammer Paint in Copper. I taped up the glass with painters tape to keep from getting paint on them. Once I sprayed that on, it was more coppery, so to give it a hint of gold I sprayed it with Brilliant Gold Metallic from Krylon. I did a light , sporadic coat over top of the hammer paint once it dried. It created an effect that I was very pleased with.




To protect the glass on the inside, I cut printer paper to size and used double-sided tape. You could use painters tape as well, but it’s hard to do the inside parts that way.

I searched and searched for items I could use to look like portholes and a lot of things were expensive. To keep it cheap, I purchased 4 packs of cookie cutters from Hobby Lobby using their 40% off coupon. This made them a little over $2 each. I tried the Dollar Tree and they were out, so maybe you can look there first. Just find the right size to suit your lantern. Mine are approximately 4.75 inches in diameter, just figure what suits your lantern. 

I sprayed those the same way I did the lantern then attached them to the glass using contact adhesive called Welder. I just applied the adhesive to the edge of the cookie cutter, just like how you apply glue to fake eyelashes. (hehe)



 So far, so good!


 Now to cut out the hole to install our lighting/chord. I let my husband do this. First he gently drilled out a hole big enough to get the wire through. He then installed the fixture and cut the wire to the length I wanted it to hang. I let him install it in the ceiling, but from the looks of it, even I could have done that. Simply match the wire colors, twist the exposed wire together and cap them off with wire caps then screw the metal plate over top of all of it. 




All in all, I spent about $45 on materials to make this light fixture. That is 1/4th of the price of the original one I found!! I am very pleased with my light fixture. If you wanted to dress it up some more, you could, but I love the simplicity of this. 


Wendy is a facebook administrator and editor for Modern Day Moms. She is a multi-purpose mom (aren’t we all, really?) who loves home decor, couponing, sewing, photography, Pinterest, frugal living… ok, pretty much all the same things that most women love! She enjoys spending time with her family and friends while living on the gulf coast. Her two Boston Terriers - Oscar and Lily - occasionally make appearances on MDM.




  • Modern Day Moms

    Wow! This looks great! I love the cookie cutter idea. So smart.

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