DIYtieredpendant thumb1

Hi Infarrantly Creative readers! It’s Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs. Adding a statement light to a room is one of the easiest ways to take a space from so-so to wow! There are endless opportunities for color, pattern, texture and scale to play with – so get creative! One of my favorite shapes is a three-tiered pendant light – today, I’m sharing how to make your own!

DIY tiered pendant

Total cost was about $25 to $30 (plus cost of paint). That includes the aluminum flat bar ($4.30), aluminum flashing ($5.90), wire ($2), light kit ($5 or $10, depending on if you want a bare or covered wire) and vehicle door edge trim ($8).

Here’s how to get your own custom, low-cost pendent in about an afternoon:

making a pendant light


  • Pendant kit, I suggest an Ikea Januari ($10) or Hemma ($5) pendant
  • 10-foot roll of 6-inch aluminum flashing (available at most hardware stores)
  • 1-inch-by-36-inch-by-⅛-inch aluminum flat bar (available at most hardware stores)
  • 18-foot vehicle door edge trim molding (Wal-Mart)
  • ⅛-inch aluminum pop rivets (available at most hardware stores)
  • 16 gauge wire (available at most hardware stores)
  • Spray Paint (primer, gold, matte black)
  • Metal cutting tool (like a jigsaw with metal cut blade, or Dremel with cutoff wheel)
  • Vice for bending the aluminum bar (since we currently don’t have one, we just used a scrap piece of wood and hammer)
  • Drill and ⅛-inch drill bit
  • Rivet gun
  • Shears or heavy duty scissors to cut the aluminum flashing
  • cut-resistant gloves for handling sharp metal
  • safety goggles
pendant light wiring

1. Create the top support for the light.

This will create the structure and stability for the light. The tiers will also be hung from it.
Using your metal cutting tool, cut the aluminum flat bar into (3) 8½-inch pieces. Using a vice (or a hammer and scrap piece of wood), bend one end of the aluminum bar a ½-inch at 90-degrees and bend the other end 1-inch at 60-degrees, repeat on all three bars. It doesn’t have to be perfect – we just approximated and adjusted it till it fit flush around the pendant rod.

pendant light structure

Using your drill, make one ⅛-inch hole in the center of the 90-degree end. Drill holes to hang the lower tiers. Next, drill ⅛-inch holes to hang the lower tiers — 1½-inches and 3-inches in from the 90-degree bend.

pendant light structure

Connect the center of the top support.

Align the three 60-degree ends together around the pendant rod so that the bent sections sit flush. Mark the alignment with a pencil, clamp together and then drill two holes in each 1-inch section through the adjoining arm. Fasten the three arms together with the rivet gun, then slide the pendant rod through the center opening.

building a pendant light

2. Construct the tiers.

Using shears, cut the aluminum flashing into 48-inch, 39-inch and 29-inch sections (this will make 15-inch, 12-inch and 9-inch diameter tiers).

building a tiered pendant light

3. For the top tier, drill (3) ⅛-inch holes (1-inch from the top and bottom and one centered) (½-inch from the edge) in the 48-inch piece of flashing.

To form the largest tier, wrap the flashing around the top support. Mark the holes (through the pre drilled holes in the top support), drill holes and install pop rivets through bottom two holes (leave top hole open)

Line up top hole with top support. Through the pre drilled holes, mark the alignment and drill holes.

pendant light DIY

Connect the top support to the top tier with pop rivets.

constructing a pendant light

Next, start building the two lower tiers. The process is very similar to the top tier, but a fourth hole is drilled ½-inch above the top hole (this will be used to hang the lower tiers from the top support).

Then install pop rivets in the lower three holes (leave the top hole open).

Center the tier under the pre drilled holes in the top support, (refer to step 1). Referring to the holes in the top support, mark the alignment, ½-inch from top of tier. Drill the remaining holes to hang the lower tiers.

pendant light diy

4. Finish the edges.

Seal the sharp edges of the flashing with door edge trim. To install, simply push the open end of the U-shape over the raw edge of the flashing – it fits snugly. Wrap all the way around and cut the end with scissors.

pendant light tiered

Install around the top and bottom edges of the upper tier and bottom edges of the lower tiers.

5. Prepare the wire to hang the tiers from the top support.

Cut (3) 5-½-inch sections and (3) 9-½-inch sections of 16 gauge wire. Bend 1-inch from each end on all the sections to a 90° angle. These lengths accommodate 2-inch of overlap for each tier.

6. Paint


If desired, finish with primer and paint of your choice (taping socket and wire first). I used a metallic gold on the inside and matte black outside. For two tones, it’s easiest to paint separately.

To finish, I taped the inside off and sprayed matte black on the outside.


Simply insert the wire through the pre drilled holes in the top support and tiers. Use the (3) short wires to hang the middle tier (1-½-inch from the end of the arms) and use the (3) longer wires to hang the inner tier (3-inches from the end of the arms). Once in place, secure the ends of the wire.

spray painted and tiered pendant light

Follow the instructions on the pendant kit to hang your pendant and enjoy your new custom light!

spray painted pendant light

I love the subtle matte finish contrasting with the metallic gold inside! We’re currently in the process of moving – I can’t wait to find a place for it in our new house!
Here’s what I’ve been up to this past month!

Commercial to custom credenza with overlays

Spring bedroom update

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  1. I’m amazed at every single one of Sarah’s projects. She’s so good!

  2. I was trying to figure out how to make one like this for the Creating with the Stars competition last year. Leave it to the competition winner to figure it out! 😀

  3. Hi Sarah,

    What detailed instructions! I’ve been thinking of a new DIY light to replace the old flush mount in our foyer and this is a great help. I’ll have to let you know if I make one!

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