Easy DIY Mid Century Modern Light Fixture-Dining Room

November 11, 2021

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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After updating my dining room over the last couple months, my light fixture above my table was a fish out of water. One of these things was not like the other. I went back and forth between buying a brand new light or changing up the one I have. So, after a few weeks of pondering on what I could do to salvage my existing light, the light bulb finally went off. See what I did there? Haha! I finally had the vision of how to change this light….

Farmhouse light fixture above a modern table

I love the slatted wood look that is so Scandi and Mid Century Modern. So, once I landed on my big idea, it was time to make this happen…

Modern light fixture with stained slats wrapping it. Gray chairs and a Golden Oak stained table

Here’s how I did it…


(Note: If you don’t already have a light fixture similar to this original one, at the end of the post, I will share how to build this light fixture from scratch)….

Dimensions: 43 3/4″ long; 12″ deep (wide); 14 3/4″ tall

Materials Needed: 

Rectangular light fixture (Refer to bottom of post to see how to build your own)

1/8″ plywood

Scrap wood ripped to 1″ strips (Or if you don’t have a table saw, 1×1’s or 1×2’s would work too).

Wood glue


1 1/4 ” nails

60-grit sandpaper

220-grit sandpaper

Black paint

Stain (I used this one)

Amazon Affiliate links included

Tools Needed:

Miter saw

Nail gun (If you don’t have a nail gun, a hammer will work fine too)


Step One: Measure and cut plywood

Measure the ends of your light fixture and rip underlayment to fit. (Should cover the ends completely). Paint black before attaching….

2 Plywood sheets painted black sitting on a table

Use wood glue and clamps to attach to both ends of the light fixture….

plywood sheet clamped to the side of a farmhouse light fixture

My light fixture had X’s in it. Originally my plan was to just keep those in and cover them with plywood painted black. However, when I went to cover the sides with the plywood, it was dark out and I realized quickly how dark this was going to make the room. So, back to the drawing board I went. The next day, I ended up cutting out all of the X’s…

farmhouse light fixture being transformed into a modern light fixture

Using my Multi-Purpose Tool

multi purpose tool by ridgid

If you don’t have one, you need one! It is just that…used for multi purposes!! A must-have!

Step Two: Paint

Once the X’s were all out, I painted the entire fixture black…

modern light fixture painted black with 3 lights hanging down-no bulbs

Step Three: Rip slats and stain

While waiting for the black paint to dry, I ripped my slats. Using any 1x scrap wood I could find, I ran them through my table saw and ripped them to 1″…Making them 1″x1″. (If you don’t have scrap wood, and/or a table saw, 1×2’s or 1×1’s straight from Home Depot will work too). After cutting these I stained all 4 sides before attaching them….

wooden slats stained with Golden Oak Stain sitting on sawhorses

Step Four: Measure and cut slats

Measure the length of the end of your light and cut your slats to fit. Attach using a nail gun or hammer. Be sure to make sure they’re straight. A level can help with that. As you place them they should look like this…

Wooden slats on the side of a light fixture

To get the perfect spacing in between each slat, simply place a slat on top of the last slat you nailed in…

wooden slats stained on the side of a modern light fixture

And then place another slat on top of that one. This one (on the top) you’re going to actually nail in…

Wooden slats stained on the side of a modern light fixture

When attached, remove slat in the middle and voila–you have the perfect spacing. Play this game of Jenga for every slat you attach.

To attach your longer side slats, you’ll follow these same steps. I found it easiest to cut each board a little longer than I knew I needed. I then stained them on all four sides and let them dry. Then I cut each slat to fit, working my way up from top to bottom. Playing the Jenga game with each slat….

wooden slats attached to a light using nail gun

When they were all attached, I went back and covered up my ends of each slat with stain.

The first test was, how much light will it put out at night? Happy to say, it puts out plenty of light! I love the hue it gives to all of the walls….

dining room table with 2 vases, a light above it on, 4 chairs and a bench....all sitting on a rug

I’m so happy I chose to add plywood to each end painted black and keep the sides open…

dining room with a table, chairs, light, vases and a large rug

It fits the space so perfectly!

Dining room table with a modern light fixture above it...slatted

I absolutely love it!

Dining room table with gray chairs, a brown bench, 2 vases and a light

I understand not everyone has this same light fixture, but would still love to build this light. So, here’s how I would build it, if starting from scratch….

Materials Needed: 

Amazon Affiliate links included

Based on these dimensions: 43 3/4″ long; 12″ deep (wide); 14 3/4″ tall

2x2x8 pine wood (4)

2 1/2″ Kreg jig screws

pendant light kits (3)

Chain (to hang light fixture from ceiling)

Edison Bulbs

Step One: Make cuts 

Cut eight 2×2’s @ 12″ each

Cut four 2×2’s @ 41 3/4″ each

Cut six 2×2’s @ 9″ each

Cut one 2×2 @ 39″

Step Two: Assemble bottom of modern light fixture

Drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes to each end of four of the six 9″ boards. Attach (using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws) between two of the four 41 3/4″ boards at the ends. You should now have a rectangle. Evenly space out the remaining boards between the two end boards and it should now look like this from the underneath….

bottom of a light fixture with 3 light bulbs

Step Three: Assemble sides of modern light fixture

Drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes to each end of the eight 12″ boards. Attach (using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws) to each corner of the rectangle bottom. You should now have four 12″ boards sticking up from each corner. Attach your four remaining boards where the bottom middle boards meet the 41 3/4″ boards. See picture below for better explanation…

Modern light fixture with diagram showing where boards need to be placed



You should now have eight 12″ boards sticking up from the bottom of your light fixture. It should look like this…

Diagram showing where boards need to be placed

Step Four: Assemble top of modern light fixture

Drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes to each end of the two remaining 9″ boards. Attach (using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws) between the remaining two 41 3/4″ boards at the ends. You should now have a rectangle. Attach this rectangle top to the eight 12″ boards sticking up from the rectangle bottom.

Attach (using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws) 39″ board down the center of the top rectangle. This will house your lights.

Attach 10 boards to fit between the top rectangle and the center board. Drill pocket holes on each end and attach using 2 1/2″ pocket holes. This will give the top more support and help the light to stay square. See picture below for better explanation….

Birds eye view of wooden light fixture

The light fixture itself is now built and you are ready to proceed with the initial instructions of this post. To add the light kits, follow the instructions on the kit….

Light bulb behind wooden slats

Attach hooks to the 4 corners of the top of the light and add black chain to each hook. I attached a 5 1/2″ board cut at 42″ to the ceiling and added hooks from there to attach the chains….

top of a modern light fixture with 4 chains attaching it to the ceiling

Still a few things left to do….My plan is to wrap the unsightly wires with jute or hemp cord. I need to paint the underside of the light black. And that bench pulled up to the table–not really making the cut. In the works of figuring out a different style bench to build–or maybe I’ll land on changing this one up. Hmmmm. Be sure to check back to see what I decide on.

My apologies, if these instructions are not as easy to follow as the initial ones in this post. I had to explain the steps more than show them, since I don’t actually have pictures of building one of these from scratch. As always, don’t hesitate to comment below with any questions. I read all of my comments and promise to get back to you with an answer.



Until next week,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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More Mid Century Modern DIY Posts:

Easy How To Build a Mid Century Modern Accent Wall

Easy How to Build a Mid Century Modern Platform Bed

Easy How to Build a Mid Century Modern Nightstand



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