How to Make a Glass Insulator Light

Oh how I wish I had all these fabulous colors!!
Ever wonder what you could do with those old glass insulators??
How about a pendant light!?

I am really into re-purposing  things right now....and I had a box full of glass insulators just calling my name.

Three of these beauties will soon be hanging above my eat at bar! 

  I will update with the after picture as soon as I
hang them this weekend.

I just couldn't wait to share how to make them.....
I am entering this project over at the DIY PROJECT PARTY
DIY Club

First, I looked up on the internet how to drill glass 
and found this helpful info below

You'll use these tips and techniques to drill glass, sea glass, wine bottles, glass block, tile, stone, granite and marble.
  1. Use diamond bits to drill your glass, not carbide bits.
  2. Use diamond hole saws to drill holes 1/4" and larger or to drill holes in thick glass like glass block or wine bottles.
  3. Use plenty of lubrication/coolant to keep your drill tip cool and the hole clean.
  4. Use less pressure! Let your drill bit drill at it's own pace.
  5. Start diamond hole saws at 600-900 RPM
  6. Start diamond drill bits at 2500-5000 RPM

    I used a 1/2" diamond bit I got at the home improvement store for $7.

     Now let me try and expand the difference between a bit and a hole saw....Cause this is where I got very confused and maybe you are too...
    They both are bits to use in a drill....
    The hole saw cuts a ring to make a hole and a bit drills a hole and works outward to 
    make a bigger hole.
    The bit I bought is considered a hole saw....
    Make sense???
     Then I got to know the hubby's drill press a little better... I used the larger one for this project.
    I've always been shy around power tools but this one is so easy to use and I've been using it for lots of other crafts too.
     See how you can set the speed for working with glass....the turtle for slow and rabbit for fast is how you change the setting on the R.P.M.
    Put in the diamond bit.
    Make sure you wear your safety glasses
    and don't apply too much pressure....let the drill do the work.
    We bought 2 socket kits($2 each) not sure which one to use...
    ended up using the smaller one without wires.

    There are a lot of different type pendant kits you can the one I bought to make a
    But I found this on sale for $40 with a $20 rebate at Mernard's
    My plan was to replace the globes with my glass insulators
     Here are the ends of the pendant light...
    One still attached and one taken apart
    You will need to use pliers to pull off the socket, wire strippers to remove the wires and then unscrew the other two pieces. 
    (I'm sure had I found a pendant kit with a smaller socket I could have skipped this step and simply changed out the globe with the glass insulator.But a lighting kit with a small socket could not be found in my small town.)
    So you will have these two pieces left....
    Thread the wires through the hole you cut
    and attach the socket
    There are instructions on the back of the 
    socket packaging.
    I used an LED energy efficient long life bulb
    There is also tons of helpful video's on the internet about how to wire a socket.
     Ready to install.....
     This pendant kit comes with assembly and installation instructions.
    Remember you can also turn a CAN light fixture into a pendant light with a $10 converter kit.
    Here's another single mini pendant kit you can purchase. I have seen these priced $10-$20 in White, Nickel and Black finishes.

    Don't have a place to hang a pendant???
    Then you could pick up on one of these 
    clip on socket cord sets for around $5 at your home improvement store and make a lamp!
    Check out what these lights are going for

     So for around $35 
    (light kit, diamond bit, sockets, LED lights)
    I made 3 charming pendant lights to hang in my kitchen
    Check out all the places I party!


  1. that is crazy awesome, look at you go with the power tools. where did you find the glass? i've only ever seen them in aqua, the other colors were amazing. i can't wait to see them in place. bravo!

  2. oh how I LOVE these I wish I had a place to put one of these. Great tutorial! thanks! ~Merrilee

  3. Very cool! I love those glass insulators!

  4. You really did a great job with this! You're right, the colors in your first photo are amazing...

    Take care,

  5. What a cool idea! I have a couple of those... lights are a great idea!

  6. Oh My Gosh, I just saw these in a catalog for a ton of money! Check out my post. Love them!

  7. Love this idea! So cool, thanks for sharing.

  8. What a great idea! I also have some old insulators and have been using them for decorating. This is definitely a great use for them! Can't wait to see the three of them hung above your bar!

  9. Holy awesomeness Batman!!! i have a ton of these insulators from my grandfather's garage. Now I know what I can do with them. Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

  10. these are awesome!!! i do'nt think i've ever seen the glass though - where do you find them? maybe i should start searching some attics and garages?

  11. Thanks so much for the tutorial, especially the prices {so I know what to expect to spend}! I came across a couple of these at an antique store the other day, but didn't buy them because I didn't know what to do with them, hope they're still there! P.S. I'm your newest follower!

  12. These are just darling! Love the idea -- thanks for the tutorial!

  13. My husband is a lineman for the power company and is always bringing these home. I had no idea what to do with them until now! He'll love it!

  14. Jumping up & down! I have a slew of these and have been trying to come up with ideas for them. I absolutely love these - thanks so much for the tutorial! -diane

  15. Love this. Not sure I am brave enough to use the power tools, but I bet the hubs would do it for me.

  16. THANK YOU!!! I've been wanting to know how to make these without buying the kit. I love it!

  17. I love this~~I have alot of insultars in my garden...reflecting I may have to make a light!! lol

    Thank you~~what a cute blog you have :))
    So nice to meet you...

    Happy Showcase Sunday!

    Kay Ellen

  18. Michell - you are a DIY Star! These lights are awesome! I want some! ;) Thanks for sharing the tutorial. You're so clever and crafty!

    Have a wonderful week!


  19. ooh yummy eye candy. ive never seen these before and now ill have to find a place to hange a couple!

    thanks for the tuute.

  20. Your lights are awesome! Great job! Looking forward to seeing them in action. I've got some insulators and had no idea what to do with them. Now I know -- thanks!

  21. Hey!
    I so love this project, it turned out so well and looks so fun and hip!
    Great job girl!

  22. I love your Blog! So fun over here. I will remove that link..sorry:)

  23. Very cool... my dad has the most amazing collection of insulators with all of those awesome colors! I love what you did with them here!

  24. I have insulators!!! Showed this to Mr. Inspiring, and he's on board with the project, too!!! Now I have to find light kits!!


    Hugs ~~ Suz

  25. I love this idea. Your tutorial is great. What a fantastic way to use insulators. Thanks for sharing.

  26. That's a fun project. Thanks.

  27. I love this idea! I found your blog at the DIY Showoff. You have such great ideas and I'm your newest follower!

    I'd love it if you'd check out my site, too:

    Again, you did a fantastic job!! We are updating our kitchen and I will be saving this post for future reference!! :-)

  28. That is incredible. I'm brave but not brave enough to drill a hole in a glass object and hope it wont break lol. Kudo's! Found this via the Tip Junky.

  29. love it, Love your cabinets too. great color : )

  30. These look amazing! What a great addition to your kitchen! Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party!

  31. Love this!! I listed an aqua one in my etsy shop this morning!!

    I have a clear one listed too and a brown one to list later!

    I love your project using them -- LOVE!!!!!

  32. Can I please feature this? I love it- I love the way that looks! let me know!


  33. I have seen the mason jar lights but I love this and I can see this hanging in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Michell,

    These are so adorable and thrifty! The best combination. Thank you for linking up to Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence! We hope you'll be back to visit us again soon. By the way. love you new blog design!

    Heather @At The Picket Fence

  35. What a great idea! I love these old insulators, but I never know what to do with them. Heaven knows I don't need another vintage-looking doo-dad just laying around!

  36. So Cool, I love this!! Great job!
    Thanks for linking up with VIF!

  37. This is green design at it's very best!

  38. oh, you are soooo clever!!! those are the best!

  39. Wow! That is a super smart transformation. I can't believe the price these are selling for at the Napa Style site. On Sale! Very nice tute on making these. Thanks for linking up!

  40. What a fantastic idea- they are just darling! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  41. Boogieboard CottageMarch 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    I love your project and I've featured it on "My Top Ten Fav Picks" at Boogieboard Cottage. Thank you for sharing it! Mary :O)

  42. Oh man, I love it!!! Now the trick is how do I drill a hole in one withOUT one of those bad boy drill presses? Do you think it can work with a regular drill?

    You should seriously think about making and selling those!!

  43. Happy Weekend, Michell! Just a head's up - I'm including a link to your post in this week's DIY highlights! ;)


  44. Michelle,

    Those are adorable! Smart cookie you are ;-). Thanks for sharing.


  45. Thanks for the great tutorial! We've been planning on doing this exact project but just planned on "figuring it out" when the time came. I'm saving this tutorial for the day we need it!

  46. another wonderful project! your just on fire lately! Thanks for linking up again. I'm featuring this tonight on Topsy Turvy Tuesdays!

  47. This is a great tutorial, especially the wiring part. I love these lights.

    Powdered glass is EXTREMELY hazardous to breath so be sure to use water when drilling--just spread a little on so the glass dust will stay in place, or better yet make a little moat to fit the drill bit down into and fill it with a little water. Make the moat out of poster tack stuff. Stick it on the glass really good and put some water in. This will be better for your drill bit too--it won't wear out like it will if you drill dry. The moat will work well on something the shape of the insulator. I just learned how to make the moat in a class I took last week.

  48. I love these lights. What an awesome idea. Thanks for the tute. Have a great day. I'm a new follower by the way.

  49. These are great! We have a bunch of insulators and will definitely be turning some into hanging lights. Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial!

  50. I have been looking forward to this post. I really think I need some of these!

  51. that is soooo cool! i hav e afew of those insulators laying around. :)

  52. This is so cool. I love these insulators. I had a bucnh in my garage when I bought my house. I didn't know what they were until my grandpa told me. I had a bunch of the clear and blue ones. I took and made lanterns out of mine and hung them around my deck and some in my house to hold tea lights. I might have to try this.

  53. The glass insulators was really cute..It came out well. I wish i had some place to keep it ..
    Diamond Drill Bits

  54. This is a really creative and impressive idea. I wonder what other kind of drill can I do if I don't have that kind of machine?

    Electrical Training Courses

  55. led light i love your topic here your presenting way and the stuf you used i awesome dear so keep it up for us

  56. Really Good Post!!

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  57. Be carefully sometime we are fool with glass work n sometime its dangerous for us never let it go cheap flights
    buy the glass with plastic sheet layer there some tremendous glasses avail for you.

  58. Finally I found what I want in my kitchen! Thanks so much!

  59. Great DIY post, I love insulators and have a small collection. And a husband who likes to make stuff with me. Now, how to get him to buy a drill press.......valentines gift?

    Thanks much, I am pinning from your page, and following your blog :-)


  60. My Dad worked for the railroad for 45 years and when I was a kid I would go with him when he got called out at night or on weekends to fix something. He'd climb the electrical poles, sometimes in the middle of a storm. He'd occasionally bring home insulators so they very much have sentimental value to me. We are building a beach house and I've got 4 insulators that I'm going to make into lights following your directions. I've ordered the 1/2" drill bit. It's now $18.99 + $6. shipping. I've got a friend with a drill press and will start by drilling the holes. If that works, I'll go buy the light fixtures, although I can't find the exact ones you used, I've found some that I think will work. I'll post again with a progress report. Thanks for the guidance!

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  63. My first post on your blog and really it is just to say thanks for your Nice Post And Shairing
    You always pick such interesting i visit your blog regularly for updates!
    Loved your description of it.
    Thank you for picking this one.

  64. I just ran across your tutorial when looking for a how-to. I have seen these insulators on old poles out in western Kansas for years where my mother-in-law lives and today we went on a hunt for reachable ones. I have enough to make light fixtures for myself now. I can't wait! Great tutorial!
    (And if I wanted to sell additional for the crazy prices I see online, I know where to get an excellent supply, just sitting on poles in beautiful condition.)

  65. I made 3 charming pendant lights to hang in my kitchen ...

  66. Here's another single mini pendant kit you can purchase. I have seen ...

  67. Remember you can also turn a CAN light fixture into a pendant light with a $10 ...

  68. Is the amount of light adaquate for above an island for working functional lighting if I were to hang 4. The candelabras are not a very bright bulb

  69. Good guidelines! Thanks a lot. I am in love with your blog really. Conference 2015