DIY Globe Pendant Light: A Quick and Easy Lighting Upgrade

There’s something magical about globes, don’t you think? The whole world represented in one sphere that fits on your shelf or in your hand. Amazing. What’s not so amazing, though, is when a globe enters into Old Age-hood – it shows watermarks or other unsightly stains, it begins to fade in odd places, it may even have a dent or two. Because it may be hard for some people to toss a beloved piece, this tutorial provides a way for you to breathe life into that sad old globe again and make it shine. Literally. Here’s a quick and easy way to create your own globe pendant light, a thoroughly modern twist on a classic piece.

DIY Globe Pendant Light
DIY Globe Pendant Light Closer
DIY Globe Pendant Light World

DIY Level: Beginner to create the pendant light, Intermediate to install it

DIY Globe Pendant Light Materials

Materials Needed:

  • One old globe (or half a globe, really)
  • One pendant light kit
  • Copper tape
  • Razor blade (optional)
  • Spray paint (not shown)
  • Wiring tools (not shown)
Prepare the World Globe

Begin by carefully removing your old globe from its stand.

With the Glebe free

With the globe free of its stand, carefully look to see which half (top or bottom, or in this case north or south) is in the best condition. Or just use the north, if it would bother you to have half the world hanging upside down from your ceiling.

Sliced the Globe

Carefully open your globe along the equator. Use the razor blade here if necessary. This example’s globe was so old that it kind of popped open itself.

Globe spray paint

Take your usable globe half outside, or to a well ventilated area, with a can of spray paint. You’ll be painting the inside of the globe because it will be visible as a lighting fixture.

Globe after spray paint

Taking care not to spray any of the globe’s outside map, spray several light coats of your spray paint on the inside. Let it dry thoroughly.

Prepare the pendant light kit

Take your pendant light kit and pull the wires to the edge of the ceiling medallion attachment.

Globe light kit cords

Pull the wires completely free from the ceiling medallion. Set the medallion to the side for a minute.

Gentle twist the cables

Gently twist all the wires together at the end. This will serve as a kind of needle to get the wires through your globe.

Double check the wire

After double-checking to make sure your spray paint is thoroughly dry (it will paint the pendant light cord in streaks if it’s not dry), pull the wires up through the top globe half.

Keep them twisted

Keeping the wire ends twisted together in a needle formation, pull them up through the ceiling medallion again.

Copper tape

Measure an amount of copper tape that goes all around the globe’s equator, plus a few inches. (This example uses copper tape that is 1” thick and is actually marketed as a slug and snail deterrent for gardens.) Cut the tape.

Edge copper

If the equator edge of your globe is in good enough shape, you could use a single piece of copper tape to go around the inner and outer edges (the tape would just be folded in the middle). Because the equator of this particular globe was so dingy, this example shows the use of two pieces of copper tape; one is wrapped around the inside of the globe, and one is wrapped around the outside and folded over.

Wrape the tape

Wrap the tape, keeping one side aligned with the edge of the globe, all the way around. Run your fingers over the tape to smooth it out as best as possible.

Another piece of copper

Taking another piece of copper tape cut to the same length (which is the circumference of the equator plus a few inches), begin taping it to the outside of the globe. The width visible is to your liking – make it as narrow or as wide as you want, but be sure to leave enough tape width to be able to wrap over the equator to the inside of the globe.

Fold the copper tape

Fold the tape over the equator edge, smoothing bumps as you go.

Edging the copper tape

There’s your polished off globe edge.

See the spray painting job

See how the spray painted interior really makes the light feel more polished and bright?

Flip the electrical cords off

Flip the electrical off on the area you’ll be installing your new globe pendant light. Double check that it’s dead. And now you’re ready for install.

Start flipping

Start by flipping the electrical breaker off, then, once you’ve ensured that the power is dead, remove your old light fixture.

Hold the pendant

Hold the pendant lamp up to the ceiling and determine how low you want it to hang in your space. Cut the wires about 6” longer than this. Strip the casings off the wires.

Install the pendant support

Install the pendant light as per instructions on your lighting package. Basically, you’ll match black with black, white with white, and green with the ground wire. Twist wire nuts onto each pairing, then use electrical tape to insulate it.

Screw into your globe

Screw in your lightbulb and flip the electrical breaker switch back on.

Turn the light on in your new globe

Turn on your new globe light! We love that rim of copper tape around the equator – it gives this old globe a finished, polished look.

DIY Globe Pendant Light Closer Look on Ceiling

This is such a versatile DIY lighting fixture. It’s great for a study, an office, a bedroom, or any other room, really.

Teenage room Globe pendant light

We hope you enjoy repurposing that old globe into something beautiful, useful, and illuminating!