How to make a wooden bead cable light (with a bit of how not too also!)

You know when you see something and then simply MUST have it? Well that was how I felt when I saw a flex cable light on Pinterest, with lovely chunky wooden beads adoring it. Instant love. Instant want. Such a simple but visually pleasing design. So I had a go.
My ‘How To’ is a bit rough round the edges, more a guide to get you on your way, I tend to make things up as I go along, so it’s hard to keep to a point by point method. I have also mostly used bits and pieces I already had lying around or have repurposed, so you may need to buy the equivalent from new.

You will need –

  • Flex cable, available from several places, ebay, Creative Cables… I was lucky enough to be given some for free. Measure from your power source, up to rough bracket height then down to rough bulb dangle length. Add a bit, just in case!
  • Bulb holder. I already had a basic one lying around, as well as a wooden bulb holder cover from a ceiling light, bought from Cult Furniture in a sale, sadly no longer on offer. You can buy from several places, eBay was the best price, but keep in mind the delivery times are much longer. You can make it without the cover though, it depends what look you’re going for
  • Plug
  • Bulb, this giant Edison style one is from B&Q
  • Wall bracket
  • Wooden beads. I bought from eBay after much looking around. For standard cable you will need a minimum of an 8mm hole. I used 1 50mm and 2 40mm beads
  • Switch

I wanted to try to make this light by spending as little as possible, it’s January, Christmas has taken it’s toll financially, but I like how this forced me to think more about what I was using. I was just going to buy a wooden bracket, but to avoid the unnecessary £10 expense I rummaged in the garage and came across three old curved ply stool leg things. I’m not really sure what they were, anyway, my husband’s hoarding tendencies have paid off! I sanded off the mahogany coloured varnish (see below) and was thrilled with what I ended up with.

The wooden bulb holder cover wasn’t a great match with the beech beads, so I gave it a light sand, then oiled that and the beads with some olive oil, which really pulled them together.

Attach your cable to the bulb holder, then add your cover (if using) and add the beads. YouTube is a great source for tutorials if you’re not sure about wiring.

Find a lovely someone to humour you as you ask them to move a mock up of the light around the wall until your decide where it should live. This is important so you can then work out where along the cable the switch should go, take into account that the bulb will add more length. Try to avoid putting it where it will be visible, Nancy’s is at the level of her mattress, behind her many cushions.

Thread your cable through your bracket, this will be different depending on what you are using.

Wire in your switch, a little tip, cover the wire with tape, then cut in the middle, it stops too much fraying and getting in a mess. Notice this is a different switch to the shopping list picture? Word of warning, don’t buy one from Poundland! Fortunately I found this one in the shed.

Add the plug, I won’t bore you with a photo of that!

Here it gets a little more bespoke. Stu managed to make me a custom bracket, from a preexisting one, for fixing the curved ply creation to the wall at the desired angle. It involved some banging and bending I’ve been told, he also made a slot below an existing hole, so he could fit it onto a screw that had already been put in the wall, like you would hang a picture.

And there we have it, another job ticked off the list (apart from attaching the cable to the wall part way down, still need to do that), I’m so happy with how it turned out, especially as it only cost about £10 in total.

I was feeling a bit negative about Nancy’s room, we had to move the bed back to this corner as she has been sleeping very badly and Stu thinks it’s a combination of it being draughty by the window and perhaps the bed direction not suiting her inner being! I huffed and puffed but went with that thing I’ve been working on, compromise, and I have to admit, I’m really glad we did it. It seems much more snug and it all makes much more sense, especially with the lovely shelves we just made. I will share more soon.

I’d love to hear what you think though, happy Thursday xx

**please note I am not a qualified electrician, this blog post is purely a guide for how I made this light. I have used my own common sense with regards to safety. If you decide to make your own and you haven’t done any wiring before please get someone experienced to check over the end result.

I would also like to reiterate that I will be fixing the wire to the wall so personally do not see it as a safety risk, but we each make decisions based on our own judgements x

Enjoy making and stay safe xx

5 Comments Add yours

  1. jade says:

    Stunning Alice. I adore these. In fact will had to my own to-do as I hate our bedside lights!

    1. Thank you lovely, show me when you do 😆

  2. Jane Wheeler says:

    Absolutely fabulous Alice, I love it and want one immediately!!
    I think you should consider going into production.

    1. Thanks Jane, I had thought about it, need to look into costings and what the legalities are. Do you know anything about whether they would need to be tested?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.