Learning about homes and home projects is one of my favorite things to do. There is just something about getting a glimpse into the many possibilities that exist for making a house a home. Much of what I dream about will remain daydreams. However, there are some DIY ways to make the seemingly unreachable within reach. For example, one of my go-to pendant light recommendations retails for more than $700 — for one light. Luckily, it is possible to recreate this item with just a few inexpensive materials.

Here’s what you’ll need: newspaper, a bucket, yarn, a large, round balloon, rubber gloves, masking tape, fabric stiffener (16 ounces), a pendant lamp cord set and a craft stick. The amount of yarn you get will depend on how big your balloon is and how much you want the light to show through. I like to err on the safe side and purchase more than needed.

Lay out your newspaper to give yourself a large working surface. Next, inflate the balloon and tie it closed using a small piece of the yarn. You will untie it later, so do not tie it shut with the usual knot. Gather the rest of the yarn in a loose ball and saturate it in the bucket with the bottle of fabric stiffener. Use your plastic gloves and the entire contents of the bottle. Work the product into the yarn.


Tape one end of the yarn to the side of the balloon. Squeeze excess stiffener from the yarn as you wrap it around the balloon, pulling tightly as you go. When you are done, carefully untie the balloon to re-inflate it. Fill it with as much air as you can. Allow it to dry for 24 hours, preferably in a climate-controlled room.

Once it is completely dry, pop the balloon. Free it from the circle of yarn by allowing it to pull away from the string. Remove the balloon. Then, cut a hole at the top of the yarn ball. This is where the light bulb will hang.

Knot the cord of the pendant light set. Place the craft stick in the knot. Next, insert the light bulb and place the set inside the yarn. The stick will act as a stopper to hold the yarn ball in place.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email