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DIY Basket Pendant in Redbook

One time, 3 months ago, we turned a basket into a pendant lamp, and now its in Redbook magazine. As you know I have a column with Redbook where every issue we experiment with a DIY. We brainstorm a bunch of ideas, do a lot of pinning and pitch them to the editors. They pick the ones they like and we tweak them to make sure that they are as unique as possible.

This DIY is as simple as drilling a hole through the bottom of your basket using a circular drill bit, feeding your light kit through the newly drilled hole, and wrapping it with fabric, rope, or yarn in our case. A pendant-loving monkey could pull this off – otherwise known as me.

Here are the detailed instructions and sources:

Basket: We sourced ours from all over but this one was the winner because we loved the shape and scale of it. Although we found a lot that we loved from Target as well as World Market. You can see some of the other options we had to decide from in the behind the scenes images below. I guess the trick is making sure that the scale, shape and size is right for your space. Also no handles or it gives away the fact that it was meant to be a basket, and nobody wants a laundry basket hanging over their dining table. If you wanted to do two pendants over night stands then they would be smaller, but since this was over a small dining table we wanted something a little larger. Could you do one over a huge dining table? Sure, but it might start to actually get really heavy and look like a huge laundry basket over your dining table. Not necessarily the chicest thing that you’ve ever done. But you could do a collection of smaller baskets that would look awesome.

Light Kit: Ours came from World Market, however these can be sourced from any local hardware store or online. Just make sure you get one with enough cord length so that you can hang your new light from the ceiling without having to use an extension cord to get it to reach to the wall outlet. You can also get one like THIS which you can install to an existing junction box to replace what you currently have.

Yarn: We decided to use yarn instead of fabric or rope because the large-scale yarn was easy to wrap and we loved the color. Fabric could have gotten messy and rope could have gotten bulky. I also love the idea of parachute rope, which is thinner than rope but comes in fun colors. Ours was sourced from our local fabric store and the color changed as the yarn went (it was a gradient of color) which added more texture. Duh.

Redbook Basket Lamp_Final


1. Drill Hole: We drilled our hole in the bottom of the basket using a circular drill bit which can be picked up at your local hardware store. Make sure you get one that is the same size or just slightly larger than the size of the light socket on the light kit. If you get anything too big then the light kit will just slide through and if you get anything too small it won’t fit.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Drill

2. Attach Light Kit to Basket: This is as easy as feeding it through the hole in the basket that you just drilled and then affixing it with the attached plastic washer.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Wire

3. Wrap light kit: Start at the end nearest to your basket and tie the yarn in a knot on the light kit. Wrap around and around and around moving down the wire until you reach the end where you will tie another knot in the yarn.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Wrap

So those are the pretty, styled’ after’ shots. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it’s a lot messier when we actually do it, test it, prototype it, etc, so naturally I wanted to give you a glance into that fun but at times hectic process.

After the idea was approved and shoot was set up, Brady went out and bought approximately 95 baskets from Pier 1, HomeGoods, Target, Costplus, etc.

Redbook Basket Lamp_4

We narrowed it down to the ones we liked the most, seemed the most functional and would work with the my style as well as the magazine. Then they prototyped the pendant with one that we didn’t like – strangely it was hard to find a ton of stock in the ones we liked and we needed two in order to show the whole DIY.

Redbook Basket Lamp_3

So, I made them sit on a small rug in the basement and play with baskets without food and water for MINUTES!

Meanwhile upstairs we shot three different options of basket pendants for the magazine – styled in one shot. We had our favorite (the middle one, obviously) but I liked the other two and it’s always nice to show options. That photo never ran in the magazine, but isn’t it fun to see the whole set up? Also isn’t it fun to see how much photo shoots destroy your house? And this is nothing …..

Redbook Basket Lamp_1

It was basically David Tsay photographing the whole scenario, while his assistants and Brady strung them all up on C-stands against my white wall and then lit it all professional like. Scott is helping obsess about the details and David is looking at the image on the screen. I was helping but also on my computer probably writing a blog post. Also I had been up since 1:45 that morning doing a media event for a bunch of morning talk shows. But since I had my hair and makeup done they asked me to pop into a shot and I did. They would never allow me to be seen without hair and makeup on camera for fear that my albino skin would potentially blind all assistants, and then who would be there to hang the pendants on C stands? No one. We would have to call in back up assistants, and make sure they bring goggles or some sort of safety glasses.

Redbook Basket Lamp_5

Anyway, it was time to shoot the final pendant. For a while I did have that table and chairs there, which i loved functionally (I could sit and work, drink coffee in the best light of the day while Charlie rolled around on the floor on a blanket with toys). But I got rid of it because visually it just looked so cluttered. And no, there normally isn’t a random pendant hanging over that table. Ah, the magic of a photo shoot.

Redbook Basket Lamp_2

This was for the September issue and it needed to feel like fall so we (Scott) brought in these warmer tones of amber with pretty autumn pears. But Redbook wanted it to be even a bit warmer even, so they amped up the fall.


Spot the difference? The warmer toned one is what they ran, but the whiter one was what we shot. I love seeing the difference

The after shots are photographed by always amazing David Tsay, and styling was done by none other than Scott Horne.

You can check out our other DIY projects we did for Redbook by clicking through these links: Side Table Ikea Hack,  DIY Towel Ladder ,  Embossed Velvet Heart Pillow,  Office Wall Pockets, DIY Tree Slab Table.

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