Until a few years ago I’d never heard of a “boob light.” I’d seen them, of course, I just didn’t know that most ceiling lights were referred to as boob lights. It makes sense because when you look at them they do resemble a body part. Right?!? Now I can’t see them any other way. We inherited ours when we bought the house nearly 20 years ago, and it was definitely time for a change.
I’ve wanted to do a ceiling light makeover on our hallway light for as long as we’ve lived here but it’s one of those projects that just kept getting pushed off. And I never had money in the budget to spend on the type of light I wanted. Plus, the hall closet door opens right underneath; so finding a stylish light that fit the requirements was going to be hard.
Here is the unimpressive boob light before.
I bet some of you have been in the same dilemma, no money, can’t find what you want, won’t fit your space. Am I right? I know I’m not alone so I hope this DIY inspires you to find a solution to your boob light problem.
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Last year I bought a cute burlap lined basket for $5 in a Facebook group that I thought might work perfect. It wasn’t the first light I’ve made from a basket so I knew it was totally doable. If I went a different route I still got a nice basket for cheap. Strolling through Habitat for Humanity ReStore a month or so later I bought a lampshade for $4 that I thought might work on it’s own. It would be the easiest route, and it would work; but, there would be nothing stylish about a plain drum shade stuck to the ceiling.
Then I had the bright idea to combine the two into one awesome DIY ceiling light.
Boob Light Makeover Supplies
- Basket that will fit over your existing boob light base
- Cheap drum shade a little larger than your basket
- Rotary Tool – I have an older model of this one
- Cordless Drill with Metal Drill Bit
- Exacto Knife
- Paint, I love this metallic
- Fast drying glue but not super glue
- #10 1/2″ Sheet Metal Screws
- #10 Washers
- Tape Measure or Ruler
- Hammer and Nail
In order to use my basket I as a stylish replacement for my boob light I need to remove the bottom. I needed to remove almost the entire bottom didn’t want to drill holes all around. Luckily I remembered that my Rotary Tool with a cut off disk would be perfect.
Here’s how to find the center and get a perfect circle (see example below):
- Measure across and find the center. For mine it was 4.5″ so I drew a line between 4″ and 5″. Then I spun the basket 1/4 turn and did the same.
- Once you find center use a nail and hammer to poke a hole in the center.
- Fold a cheap paper plate in half, then again, and one more time until you have a skinny triangle.
- Mark the paper plate one half the length of the circle you want. In my case it was roughly 4″ which left a 1/2″ border all around.
- Find the center of the paper plate, poke the nail through the center of the plate and into the hole you made in the bottom of the basket.
- Trace around the paper plate with a permanent marker.
This line is where you’ll cut.
Following the safety instructions on your rotary tool (and with safety glasses) start cutting the circle. It works best if you use the highest setting, but you might go slower until you get the hang of it.
As you get close to cutting the halfway mark, skip over about an inch and start a new cut. This will keep the metal from shaking while you cut the rest of the circle. Using gloves carefully hold the bottom while you cut the 1″ section you skipped over.
Switch out the head on your rotary tool to smooth the rough edges. The neater your original cut the less smoothing you’ll need to do. Give it a thorough cleaning and let it dry.
Line the Ceiling Light
Before we paint we need to make the shade for the inside.
- Use the rotary tool to cut the metal rim on the top and bottom.
- Using sharp scissors cut off the large rim at the top staying as close to the rim as possible.
- Cut away the thinner bottom rim with an exacto knife.
- Trace the light onto the inside of the shade.
- Find a point of reference and lay the light onto the shade at the edge.
- Make a small mark on the top and bottom.
- Carefully roll the shade a bit and make two more marks.
- Keep doing this until you either get all the way around, or halfway. (I had to make mine in two pieces because my lamp shade wasn’t big enough.)
- Connect the lines with a pencil and then carefully cut out your outline.
I traced and cut one section then traced it onto the shade material and cut the second.
Since I had to cut mine in two sections I made them both a little longer. I inserted them both and then marked and trimmed the excess so they both met in the middle of the narrow the side seam.
My light had a raised lip so I trimmed roughly 3/4″ from the top edge (as you can see above it’s shorter than my pattern cut).
Next we paint the light before installing the shade. I painted mine FLAT ANTIQUE NICKEL, because it’s sparkly without being overly shiney. After the paint dried I used glue around the edges to hold the two sections of shade in the light.
Installing your Boob Light Replacement
I left the housing of the boob light in place but I needed a secure way to hold my DIY ceiling light in place. The basket had holes from the original handles so I used those as my guide. I held the new ceiling light in place and marked a dot in the center of each of the four holes.
Using a metal drill bit I drilled a hole that would receive the #10 Sheet Metal Screws I purchased.
Before I installed the light I used some silver foil tape to cover up the ugly base light and secure the insulation. You want to use foil tape and not another type that might be flammable. LED bulbs don’t get as hot but the socket housing still gets hot. Not that anyone is going to walk down my hall and peer up into the light, but I’m sort of a perfectionist, so …..
Slipping the screw first through a washer I used my drill, on slow speed, to secure the new ceiling light to the boob light base. I finished up by dabbing some of the spray paint I’d sprayed on a paper plate onto the screws and washers with a chip brush. It didn’t have to be perfect because that high up no one will ever see them.
When the light is on it look so much better than the old boob light ever did.
If you don’t want to DIY your own boob light replacement I found a few stylish ceiling light options on Amazon that might interest you.
I hope I’ve inspired you to replace the boobs in your life 😀 just the boob lights because they really have to go!
LOVE IT! PIN IT!