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Wood Veneer Pendant Lights

Bring the outdoors in with pendant lighting made from oak veneer.

Wood veneer pendant lights

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Hacksaw or jigsaw with metal-cutting blade
  • Crafts knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill with 1/8-in bit
  • 3-in painter's tape
  • Scrap wood
  • Super glue, #176218
  • Foam brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Rag
  • 2 empty paint cans (also available at Lowe's, #60689)


  • 12-in x 4-ft red oak iron-on edging, #40380
  • Rectangle metal electrical box cover, #19847
  • 2 - #6-32 x 1-ft threaded rods, #160882
  • #6 zinc-plated flat washers
  • #6-32 zinc-plated standard hex nuts
  • Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner, #79958
  • Minwax stain, #164686 (we used Tender Green, Mandarin Orange, and Mustard)
  • Nickel mini pendant light fixture, #394799
  • 2-pack 25-watt incandescent lightbulbs, #76563

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Get Started

Step 1

Unroll the wood veneer with the preglued back facing down on your work surface. Cut a 23-1/2-in length of veneer with a crafts knife. Then cut 1-in from the width of this piece.

Step 2

Using a hacksaw or jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade, cut the threaded rods into 7-1/8-in lengths.

Step 3

Remove the handles from two empty paint cans by twisting the handle wires with your hands.

Step 4

Tape two paint cans together

Using two small pieces of tape, tape two empty paint cans together -- bottom to bottom -- lining up the vertical seams on the cans. (You will use these as a reference point later.)

Form Veneer into Cylinders

Step 1

Line up the taped edge with the seams

Apply 3-in-wide painter's tape along one end of the veneer backing (this will prevent it from adhering to the paint can when you iron it in Step 3 of this section). Trim the tape with a crafts knife so it's flush with the end of the veneer. Cut two more small pieces of tape (these will be used in the next step). Line up the taped end of the veneer backing with the vertical seams on the paint cans.

Step 2

Tape the wood veneer to the paint cans

Tape the veneer to the paint cans as shown. Then wrap the veneer around the cans. The veneer should overlap by about 2-1/2-in and fit perfectly between the paint can handle sockets. Preheat an iron to its warmest setting before moving to the next step.

Step 3

Iron the wood veneer into a tube shape

Make sure you have a piece of scrap wood handy -- you'll need it immediately following this step. Iron the overlapping section of veneer to activate the glue on the backing. Start in the middle and then work outward. Before you get to the outer edges, carefully remove the two small pieces of tape and continue ironing.

Step 4

Press scrap wood against the wood veneer

Firmly press the scrap wood against the overlapping section of veneer you just ironed; hold it there for about a minute while the glue cools.

Step 5

Remove the paint cans

Gently twist and remove the paint cans as shown. Remove the painter's tape from inside the veneer tube. Then lightly sand the edges of the veneer and wipe with a rag.

Attach Hanging Hardware

Step 1

Mark holes on the wood veneer

Place the two threaded rod pieces on top of the tube, roughly 2-in apart (or wider than the large hole in the light switchplate -- see Step 5 of this section). Mark four holes (two on each side) 1-in down from the top of the tube.

Step 2

Drill holes in the wood veneer

Drill 1/8-in holes at the four marks you made.

Step 3

Insert a threaded rod into one of the holes. Slide on a washer, two nuts, and another washer. Push the rod through the opposite hole in the tube. Screw the nuts outward so they secure the washers against the inner walls of the tube. Next, slide washers on the outside ends of the rod and secure with two nuts. Repeat with a second rod and the remaining two holes.

Step 4

Apply glue to the switchplate

Apply two beads of super glue to the face of the switchplate where it will touch the threaded rods.

Step 5

Glue the switch plate to the threaded rods

Reach inside from the bottom of the tube and press the face of the switchplate against the threaded rods; hold for 1 minute while the glue dries.

Finish Up

Step 1

Apply wood conditioner to the tube with a foam brush -- this will prevent blotchiness when you stain it. Stain the tube in a color of your choice; let dry.

Step 2

completed wood veneer pendant lights

Unscrew the ring from the pendant light fixture bulb socket, slip the switchplate hole over the socket, then screw the ring back on to secure it in place.

Explore more lighting ideas and projects:

Pipe Floor Lamp

DIY Paint Can Lights

Rope-Wrapped Lamp