Thank you all for the sweet comments about our beachy master bathroom makeover.  Everyone seems to love Mr. Chic's DIY light fixture just as much as me.  As promised, here is his tutorial.  Take it away Mr. Chic...

How to make a beachy light fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


When we moved into our house almost 3 years ago, one of the first things we planned to do was remodel the master bath. Three years later, we finally got working on it. Mrs. Chic may tell you it was because I procrastinated….the real issue was the 94 paint colors and design ideas we went through before deciding we wanted a beach theme that wasn’t didn’t include shower curtains with fish.

One challenge was how to replace the builder grade, 6 light, 5’ long, hung-too-high light fixture that we hated.

See how the light fixture is way up by the ceiling... it looked even worse before we added the DIY mirror frame.

But when we shopped, we found more of the same. We wanted something long, because we have a long mirror over the vanity. We wanted something unique but not in a gaudy way. And of course, we wanted it to be shoestring-able…meaning cheap…I mean…thrifty.

I found a fixture that reminded me of boardwalk lights or ones you find on a pier along a beach. And our Lowe’s store had them on clearance for $12.00 a piece. Regularly $44.00.


I made my case to Mrs. Chic that I could build a box out of scrap wood and MDF, and attach 5 of these lights to make a light fixture nobody else would have.

So off we went.

I measured and grabbed some scrap MDF. I needed three – a top, a bottom and the face.

I laid each light fixture on a piece of MDF to get a general sense of spacing. I traced around the sides of each light once I found spacing I liked. I found the center of the traced circles and, using my speed square, made a line from top to bottom. I did this for each light.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating



Then I used my L-shaped square, and drew a line exactly down the middle of the MDF, which gave me the center line. Where the vertical line for the center of the lights, and the line down the center met…is where I’d drill the holes for wiring.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


I wanted about a ¾” reveal between the top and bottom boards and the face board. So I flipped the face board over so I was looking at the bottom. I put scrap MDF underneath which gave me the right amount of reveal.
DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


I glued all the joints and used my brad nailer to tack on the bottom and top boards. You can see the reveal created by placing boards underneath the face board.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Since I was going to be working with the box, it was heavy, and I didn’t want it to fall apart, I used my brad nailer to tack on some scrap wood to keep everything together while I messed with it.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

I screwed the top and bottom pieces to the face every 4 inches on center. Overkill maybe, but I found a brand new box of screws, there was good music on Pandora, and what else did I have to do? Either way, I didn’t want this thing coming apart.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

I used construction adhesive to glue a scrap sheet of bead board on the face and drilled through that too. I filled the screw holes with wood filler, sanded, primed, and painted the whole thing, then attached the lights while running the wiring through the holes.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Now…I’m pretty confident around power tools…but electricity…I'm still learning. So my father-in-law helped and it was easier than I thought to connect the lights. We just connected the black wire from one light to the black wire of the one next to it – and so on. Then….the white wire on each light, to the white wire of the next light.

On the middle light, in addition to it being connected to the fixtures to the right and left of it, we added an extra, 12” long piece of 12 gauge wire so we could connect the whole thing to the supply line from the wall.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

We killed the power to the switch and pulled off the old fixture (Mrs. Chic thinks she’ll get $20 for it at a garage sale. I wanted to put it on the curb).

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


I used heavy duty screws to attach a cleat to the wall.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating



Then, we hung the box on the cleat. We connected the black wire from the wall to the black wire on the box…and connected the copper ground wire to a screw in the back of the box.

I drove 6 or 7 screws through the top of the box to attach it to the cleat, and we were in business!

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

I knew it worked when Mrs. Chic said she was in love with it. It’s unique for sure, looks beachy without goldfish, and best of all, it was about $70 to build over a couple weekends.

DIY Bathroom Light Fixture by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Thanks for taking a look – email us your comments or questions! I’m on to the next project!




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