Hanging by a Thread: 9 Inventive Ways to Hang Pendant Lights

Whether you've bought a new pendant light or sacrificed your weekend to DIY one of your own, deciding how to hang the light is just as important as the light itself. For instance, if you lack wiring for a ceiling fixture or want to take your pendant light bedside, there are plenty of ways to work around this electrical predicament with found objects or pieces you might already have at home. And if you're just looking to up the aesthetic appeal of a simple light, you can get really creative. So, if you're a renter who isn't permitted to drill into the wall but still wants to mask an unsightly cord, or a homeowner who's looking to make a big design statement, read on for a few options that will have your pendant light illuminating the room in style.

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Camouflage with Rope

If you love the look of an industrial pendant light but can’t stand staring at a stark cord, disguise it! A thick jute rope will get the job done—and add a bit of rustic texture to the room. This lamp’s cord was first tightly wrapped with sisal to hide it, then dressed up even more with a length of knotted rope.

Lift and Lower with Pulleys


Get the popular industrial look for less. Very basic pendant lamps (even just exposed bulbs) can be rigged to vintage barn pulleys from the flea market for a high-end rustic look—on a budget. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even swing by the hardware store to pick up the items you need to wire the bulbs on your own.

Steal from Your Shelves

If your pendant lamps are used as bedside reading lights and need to hang close to the wall, a shelf bracket can do the trick. Brackets come in a variety of materials and colors, and are easily customized with a coat of paint, making this an ideal choice for someone who likes to get the details just right.

Drape It


When you (or your budget) aren’t up to the task of rewiring to allow your pendant lights to hang from the ceiling, take a look around. If placing the fixtures in a nearby wall works, install hardware over the desired location and drape the light cords over the piping. This solution looks best with multiples of the same light.

Go Out on a Limb


Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from the tree branch. This version would work best in an area where a lower light source is needed—around a low-to-the-ground dining table or in a living room arrangement.

A Pendant Light Chandelier

Despite its humble origins in plumbing projects, copper piping is a visually striking material and relatively inexpensive. Build a grid out of the piping, drape simple pendant lights over it, and voilà! You’ve built a modern industrial chandelier with little more than a day’s work.

Get Climbing


While the task of securely hanging a horizontal ladder from the ceiling is daunting, doing so will let you create a completely unique and memorable centerpiece for a room—and a way to hang multiple lights. We love the idea of pairing the ladder with an angled ceiling to complement a rustic and charming kitchen.

Related: 12 Design Essentials for the Perfect Country Kitchen

String Up Some Beads

A simple bulb hanging from exposed cord can look sleek and modern, but sometimes you want to spruce up the cord a bit. With a little dismantling, oversize wooden beads can be strung onto the cord at any length you wish. Masking even just a short section will give the hanging light a little flair and distract from the exposed cord.

Picture This

A repurposed frame affords the perfect base to hang several (or many) simple pendant lights. Depending on the frame and lights chosen, the resulting faux-chandelier’s style could range from industrial to modern to shabby chic.