How to rewire and hang a vintage light

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There was this day.  It was a day that I actually got to get out from behind this computer, get in my Ford Explorer and drive to a place.

This place was the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  It is a place filled with a DIY dreamer’s heavenly dream.

And on this day, my friends, the light shone down and blessed me with great abundance.

And now, I have this:

How to rewire and hang a vintage light.  It's not that hard, PLUS: you'll have a one of a kind BOLD light all for you!

Oh, but it didn’t always look like that.  Think old. Think pukey green.  Think cordless and dust-dust-dusty.

vintage light-2

But as all do-it-yourself-ers know… there is great light beyond the surface.  And all you have to do is have a few things and the courage to get ‘er done.

In addition to your actual light, you’ll need:


  1. Super awesome cord in your choice of color from the Color Cord Company.
  2. Wire cutters
  3. Canopy kit
  4. Wire Connectors { a few came in the canopy kit. If you need more, just ask the friendly faces at your local hardware store!}
  5. Cord Grip
  6. Connector { I found this at Home Depot in the lighting replacement parts section.  I can’t find it online to link to it. :(}
  7. Ideal Lil’ Ripper/Cord Stripper
  8. Socket Replacement
  9. Electrical Tape

DISCLAIMER: Messing with electricity is dangerous.  Be sure to consult a professional electrician before doing any electrical work by yourself. Be Careful.

Here’s how to rewire and hang a vintage light.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to measure how far you want your light to hang down.  We have 9ft ceilings, so I decided to have might light hang down about 16 inches. Then add however many inches you need to thread through your light, as well as about 8-10 inches for stripping the cord.  You just want to have some extra… just in case.

Next, take your Color Cord and wrap some electrical tape around it about 8 inches down.

DIY Vintage Light Restoration-7

Wriggle the covering off of the cord. It just sort of pulls off.

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It should look like this:

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Then take your handy dandy wire cutter and slide it over the cord so you can slice it and expose the inner wires.

With this wire cutting device, there is a little hook-like slicer inside that will cut your outer cord.

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Just pull it through like so:

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Pull the inner wires out from the casing.

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Then trim the outer casing off.

Next, connect the connector to the light and then screw on the cord grip.

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Thread the exposed wires down into your light.

Tighten the cord stabilizer with a screwdriver.

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Turn the light over and strip about 1 inch off the cords, exposing the copper wire.

NOTE: I have big hands. I am tall. However, these are not my hands. My hands weren’t enjoying the stripping process, so they called in a replacement set.  These hands belong to Morgan, and they like stripping wires, fortunately for my persnickty, spoiled, non-wire-stripping ones.

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Place wire in hole and pull down on it. That should rip the plastic off the copper wire.

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Now to the replacement socket.

Pull the wires out of the socket.

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Thread the wires from the color cord through the socket and connect to the wires coming from the socket.

Just twist the wires together, and then twist on the connector.

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This is how ours looks.  Were not electricians, but this was the best way we could figure out how to do it.  If you are an electrician, feel free to chime in down below in the comments.  I’m always up for free electrical advice.

DIY Vintage Light Restoration-20

Note:  There is a connector that screws onto the light shade and connects to the socket. Make sure you have one of those. Our original socket was female, but the new one is male, so we needed that connector, for sure.

Now, let’s connect this beautiful light to the ceiling.


Check out the light situation.

Install the new canopy mount like so:

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Thread another connector onto the color cord, and then thread the color cord through the hole of the canopy.

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Thread a cord stabilizer, screw side down, onto the exposed wires like so.

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Screw the gold connector onto the cord grip. That way things will be stable.  Nobody wants a beautiful light crashing down on their heads while they are trying to make a gold, glitter canvas art.


Finally, connect the cords from the ceiling to the appropriate cords on the light.  White to white, black to black and ground to ground.

Or something like that.  Ask your electrician. He/she will know.

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Then screw the canopy onto the mount.


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Whew.  I put this off for months and months.

Then I found Color Cord.

Then I knew my vintage light loving life would be complete. Thank you to Color Cord for sending me this beautiful hot pink cord, cord grips and canopy mount.

This light is why I love DIY. Know what I mean?

I’m still working on the rest of the office.  Did you see the Gold Sharpie Geometric Walls?  Check out how that went down!



Disclaimer: Color Cord was super generous and sent me  this beautiful hot pink cord, cord grips and canopy mount.  All opinions expressed are totally and completely mine and I can recommend their products with gusto…. on my own terms and of my own volition.

Also, this post contains a few affiliate links for easy online ordering!

Need more DIY Lighting ideas?  I have 28 for you:

Stop paying out the wazoo for store bought lighting! Here are 28 Brilliant DIY Lighting Ideas that you can totally do yourself!

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    1. Thank you so much, Gretchen! I’m so glad I funally got it hung!

  1. What an awesome tutorial! I LOVE the hot pink cord cover. It is literally exactly what I need, I bought these sconces from IKEA planning to put them in on our living room walls, but I overlooked the ugly black cord coming out the bottom.

    Love your DIY projects and bold color choices – new fan and follower! Hope you can stop by Decor-Eat sometime soon.

    Have a great weekend,

  2. So, I have two of those EXACT same lights in my kitchen! I just recently repainted them & they look awesome! However, one of them needed some electrical, so I told my husband that I’ve already pinned instructions to do it (for the 10th time), he said, “I never really listen to that pinterest stuff”. (LOL) He discovered we need a new 3 way socket & he said “great, how are we gonna find one that fits!?”. I said, “Humor me”… I clicked, clicked, & clicked through pinterest & your site and TADA! One minute later, there was the piece for sale in ebay. My hubby said, “You’ve been humored”. HAHA Thank you so much!!!!

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