Antique Diving Helmet from a Light Fixture

Antique Diving Helmet from a Light Fixture

For the first time since very early March, I went thrifting. Now that we’ve moved to a state with stricter rules, I finally felt more comfortable to go inside a thrift store. So, I headed to Habitat ReStore, where I found a series of eyeball lights in their section of light fixtures. But as I stared at them, all I could see was an antique diving helmet!

Eyeball lights at Habitat ReStore

Do you see it, too? Or is it just me?

Either way, I couldn’t shake the idea from my mind. To upcycle one of those eye ball lights into an old diving helmet and add it to my coastal or nautical decor at home.

Eyeball light and recessed lighting from Habitat ReStore

Well, all I needed for now was the recessed light housing! I’ll just save the actual eyeball lights for a future project. But for now…let’s see how crazy my idea is.

Recessed light housing to become an old diving helmet

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Upcycling an Eyeball Light into an Antique Diving Helmet

First things first, I needed to spray paint the housing with copper spray paintThe housing is the portion of recessed lighting that is hidden inside the ceiling and holds the light in place.

Spray painting the recessed light housing

So weird to be spray painting in a new backyard! I’ll get used to it, though…

To accessorize the diving helmet, I bought some mason jar frog lids to use as a face plate. I also purchased some cap nuts from the hardware store, as well.

Mason jar frog lids and cap nuts for an antique diving helmet

So that these accessories would “pop” against the copper of the recessed light housing, I planned on painting them with gold paint.

Painting the parts of an old diving helmet with gold paint

After studying photos of real antique diving helmets, however, I realized that I needed one more accessory. More specifically, a regulating escape valve. 

But what would I use? 

That’s when I turned back to the eyeball lights that I had set aside. It had been right under my nose (literally and figuratively) the entire time!

Socket from an eyeball light as a regulating escape valve

Finishing up an Old Diving Helmet for Nautical Home Decor

The sockets! One of those would be PERFECT as a regulating escape valve on my antique diving helmet.

Regulating escape valve for an antique diving helmet from a light socket

Next, I began to gather all of the spray painted pieces of the diving helmet. First, the light housing that would serve as the main portion of the helmet.

Recessed light housing with copper spray paint

Then, all the little bits and bobs that I had painted gold. Are you starting to see my vision yet?

Parts of an antique diving helmet to go on the recessed light housing

Using my favorite super glue, I began to assemble the antique diving helmet.

Old diving helmet from recessed light housing as vintage nautical decor

You could use hot glue if you wanted to, but I really wanted the strength of super glue. The light socket and cap nuts, especially, were heavier and I needed to make sure my glue of choice would hold them firmly on the old diving helmet.

Ready to see my vision completed?

Antique Diving Helmet from a Light Fixture

And just like that, I had upcycled the recessed light housing into a diving helmet. Maybe not a PERFECT rendition, but close enough for me!

Antique diving helmet for vintage nautical decor

I had already been styling our cabinet in a coastal theme for summer. So adding an old diving helmet to the mix was a fun new twist to the collection!

Nautical home decor with an antique diving helmet from recessed light housing

I love it when my wackiest ideas work out! And even if you don’t need a diving helmet in your decor (and let’s face it, not many do!), perhaps this idea can be applied to other instances.

Like steampunk decor or even Halloween projects (scary robot head, anyone?).

Either way, I love how it turned out and, well, you know how much I love to upcycle old light fixtures! And a quick thanks, too, for your patience while we moved and settled into our new home (and state).

It feels great to be back in the blogging saddle, though!

styling shelves for coastal decor

And if you enjoyed this idea for nautical or coastal decor, then you may also be interested in these glass fishing floats I made from bowls and vases from the thrift store!

Glass fishing floats or nautical glass balls for coastal home decor

Craft on!


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upcycling idea for an antique diving helmet

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. AMAZING imagination!!!!! More than suitably impressed – nice job.

  2. Lol, Sarah, you are a creative genius, seriously. Those are the bomb! As a scuba diver, I find those really clever and no, I didn’t see your vision, but I sure love it. Craft on, Queen!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Rita!! That definitely means a lot since you are a diver in real life! XOXO

  3. Bonnie pratt says

    Wow! You have such a creative mind! Though I would never make a diving helmet I loved reading this blog. Makes me want to join you in seeing things in a unique, creative way. Great job.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Bonnie!! I love seeing a project through and sharing it here, even if it’s a little weird or strange, LOL! 😉

  4. Haha! That’s so cute, I love it! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to do that with an old light fixture though!


    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Tania- it’s definitely on the weirder side of my projects. But I just had to give it a try once I had the idea in my mind!

  5. Clever!

  6. karen snyder says

    This is just crazy great ! Can’t believe your ability to see something and make it happen !

  7. You always show such imaginative repurposing, which is such a talent. Might be something spooky for Halloween as you suggested. Clever.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, friend! That’s why I posted it- because I definitely think there are some Sci-fi, Geek-crafting, and Halloween potential with the idea!

  8. That’s brilliant!❤️

  9. Now that is really being creative!

  10. Rebecca Payne says

    WOW! Great Job.

  11. Marilyn Ackerman says

    It might be, as you said, s wacky idea, but it is a fun and ingenious wacky. Love it.

  12. I love it! And I love your blog! I’m always happy to see the notification in my email. I’m glad you’re back, and looking forward to more blog posts soon. You never fail to amaze (well, hardly ever.) 😀

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Awww, thank you!! It’s nice to feel somewhat settled again and working on projects. And soon, I can focus on Fall projects which are always my favorite!

  13. What an imagination you have! It looks awesome – love the colour you spray painted it. Hope your move went well!

  14. Amanda lake says

    I love it. You are so creative. Your projects always make me happy. Thank you ?

  15. You are SOOO clever–and I’m glad you are settled and BACK! My first thought was to add plaster of paris to these and make them into bookends! Then I thought of an octopus (rubber/slimy?) sitting on top ot the helmet! Have you put a votive candle inside yet to see what light it throws off? You got me thinking now!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Totally love that idea with adding an octopus to it!! They’d be such show stopping bookends.

  16. Mary Loveland says

    Cute Cute Cute! Hope you got all moved in and unpacked….spill the beans!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      We’re getting there! We’re actually just renting a house for now so I’m hoping on never *fully* unpacking. But we’ll see if I can live without all my things!

  17. Patricia R Marino says

    So ingenious, Sadie. Congratulations on your new home! And so now, where are you living? North, South, East or West?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Patricia! We moved from Greenville, SC to Charlotte, NC- not a hugely far move, but still exciting nonetheless!

  18. Brilliant idea!!!! You are so wonderfully creative!

  19. Thank you for sharing, Sarah. Love it! I am changing over from Country to beachy theme and that would be a cool decoration. Good luck in your new location.

  20. Don’t mind me being mind-blown yet again over here. Goodness girl… I never saw that one coming! ADORE how it turned out!

    I’ve featured this project this weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 536. Thanks for linking up!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so very much, Donna!! I hope you are faring well during this crazy time. I can’t seem to find my blogging groove right now, but every so often, I crank out a wacky project like this one!

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