How to Make Swag Lamps

    by Cathy Conrad

    About the Author

    Cathy Conrad has more than five years of newsprint experience as an assistant editor and is a professional writer. She has worked as a virtual assistant and email support specialist, and has more than 20 years of experience working in the medical field. Conrad is currently licensed as a Texas insurance representative and has many years in home improvement and gardening.


    Swag lamps, which hang from the ceiling by a chain that is then looped across the ceiling to the outlet, were popular during the 50s, 60s and 70s. You may remember these lamps from your mother or grandmother's house because they were so popular. Today they are making a comeback with modern shades that reflect current design aesthetics. Think outside the box to create your own designer swag lamp.

    Things You'll Need

    • Terra cotta flower pot, glass bowl, or metal colander
    • Hanging lamp kit with cord
    • Decorative lamp chain
    • Drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
    • Ceiling hooks
    • Step ladder

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    Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the bottom of a metal colander or ceramic bowl, or check with a local glass repair or supply shop to have a hole drilled in the bottom of a glass bowl.

    Turn the bowl upside down and attach the lighting kit according to the manufacturer's directions. This typically involves placing a rod through the drilled hole, screwing on a hanging bar and the light bulb socket, and then threading the wires through the hole. Make sure the bulb fixture is on the inside of the bowl.

    Thread or weave the electrical cord back and forth through the chain links.

    Attach a ceiling hook in the desired position in the ceiling and another one closer to the wall or corner near an electrical outlet.

    Determine how low you want the ceiling light to go and place a chain link onto the first ceiling hook to hold in place. Then, droop the chain over to the hook near the wall or corner.

    Plug the lamp into the nearest outlet.

    • Paint the colander or ceramic for a custom look.
    • Remove extra links from the chain with wire cutters or pliers after hanging the light.
    • Don't hang heavy lamps from the ceiling without attaching hooks to a stud or using a butterfly anchor.