Firefly Lantern with Upcycled Lighting from Habitat ReStore

Firefly Lantern with Upcycled Lighting from Habitat ReStore

Upcycling projects with vintage light fixtures is a common theme on my blog and this particular project was inspired by the trendy shop, Anthropologie. After seeing their metalwork hurricanes online, I realized how much they resembled a brass light from Habitat ReStore. That’s when I decided I needed to repurpose one into a firefly lantern. And I suspected that it would be pretty easy to do!

Metalwork hurricane at Anthropologie

And this is the kind of brass chandelier or brass pendant light I’m referring to.

brass chandelier at habitat restore

Of course, this is the whole enchilada and I just wanted the metal and glass light cover- but you get the drift!

But as luck would have it, I finally found the perfect brass light that would bring my vision of a firefly lantern to life.

Brass hanging lamps to be upcycled as a firefly lantern

And so here we are- recreating Anthro’s original idea, the secondhand and Sadie Seasongoods way.

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Transforming a Brass Light into a Lantern

One of the things I loved about Anthro’s hurricanes was that they were rose gold in color. I figured I could probably recreate it- at least somewhat- with some copper spray paint.

So, I grabbed some painter’s tape (my favorite kind!), my trusty old utility knife, and taped off the outside glass panes.

Upcycled lighting from Habitat ReStore

Next, I put little pieces of tape over the holes on the top (light cover) that would end up being the bottom of the firefly lantern. I also applied one strip of tape to the inside glass, right along the open lip.

Taping off the glass on a brass light for spray painting metal

I was almost ready to spray paint my brass light with metal primer and then copper paint.

But how would I stop from getting painting on the inside glass but still allowing paint coverage on the top of the open lip? Hmmmm…

I decided on a very technical, very precise method…using a BALLOON!

How to stop spray paint from getting inside a light fixture

It’s crazy, I know! And crazy-looking, too.

But it worked, with the addition of a torn up paper towel rolled and tucked into each corner of the hexagon. All of this completely prohibited the first coat of metal primer from getting inside my firefly lantern.

Using a balloon in old light fixtures to keep spray paint from getting on the glass

Then, I used Rust-Oleum copper spray paint over the metal primer to give it that look of rose gold.

Spray painting a brass light with copper spray paint

Lastly, I needed to add some firefly string lights to complete the look!

I used these awesome little LED lights- teeny tiny lights on copper wire…quite literally, the perfect match for my firefly lantern.

Firefly string lights to go inside a porch lantern

I chose the cool white lights over the warm white, FYI.

Firefly Lantern with Upcycled Lighting from the Thrift Store

And then it was time to see my upcycled lighting come to life as a firefly lantern. Pretty similar to the screenshot on Anthropologie’s site, eh?

Firefly lantern with upcycled lighting from Habitat ReStore

But here’s my firefly lantern at dusk. It really looks fantastic!

Firefly lantern with a brass light as upcycled lighting

And then at night! So magical…

Firefly lights in upcycled lighting as a porch lantern

I don’t know about you, but I’d call this a success! I just LOVE how it looks- day and night- and what a great way to repurpose some old light fixtures. Perfect for a patio or deck on a warm summer night.

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a brass light, then you’ll love what I did with an antique floor lamp and some solar lights, too!

solar floor lamp for outdoor decor

Craft on!


Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Please subscribe here.

Join me on Social Media:

please follow sadie seasongoods on facebookplease follow sadie seasongoods on instagramfollow sadie seasongoods on pinterest






firefly lantern

Upcycled lighting as a porch lantern with firefly lights

Website | + posts

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. Wow, it’s just like the one in the catalog and about a tenth of the price…you go girl!

  2. Love this!!! I am now on the hunt for a similar light fixture.

  3. Love it. So cute. I am not craft mind but appreciate what others do.

  4. Love that balloon idea. I need to use it for a project of my own. Pinning and sharing.

    • Thank you, my friend! It’s crazy but it works like a charm. And with this particular project, I could push it back in to the fixture when I flipped it over to paint the bottom…and then gently tugged it back up again. It’s pretty darn smart, if I do say so myself. 😉

  5. ♥ You are so clever!!!

  6. frugalcleanandgreen says

    That is so pretty. I didn’t know there were tiny leds like that. Those are just what I need to do a project with a Mason jar and accessories that I won when I first started blogging a year ago. (Different blog than what I have now) Saying “HI!” from This Is How We Roll
    Kristine 🙂

  7. Love the lights where on earth did you find them at ?

  8. Sarah you clever and crafty girl! What an absolute delight this post is!!! Thank you so very much for joining the gathering at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

  9. Clap clap clap clap clap clap

  10. Awesome job! Visiting you from Vintage Charm.

  11. I call it success too – clapping hands over here! I love your clever MacGyver, would have never thought to use a balloon. If one didn’t know, you’d think you bought yours at Anthropologie.

  12. Love this idea!!

  13. I love this, it looks magical!

  14. Awesome project! I’ve seen fixtures like that before and always gave them a pass. I might have to pick one up next time. I especially love the way it looks with your tiny light string inside.

  15. Sarah, this is beautiful! I love that new color and it looks so great all little up. Great save!

  16. This looks really cool! I love ideas like this!

  17. A balloon? How brilliant! Love this!!!

  18. Absolutely beautiful! I am confused on the balloon part though haha. Maybe I will have to reread this once my mind is not occupied at work 🙂

  19. I love the repurpose! It looks super and oh wow, perfect in the garden! Thank you so much for sharing at Sweet Inspiration #3 Sarah! Have a lovely weekend!

  20. GORGEOUS!!!! What a fun upcycle. That lamp is whispering “thank you” for saving it from its brassy look. I love the ReStore, too. So many random things under one roof.

  21. It is just magical! Great work!

  22. Wow, this turned out just like the ones from Anthropology. My wife would love it.

  23. This looks wonderful. I was wondering though on how you hid the battery pack?

    • Remember the holes that I taped over early in the tutorial? I threaded my lights through the center hole and the tiny battery pack is hidden outside of it! I just love these lights. 🙂

  24. Kathy Drew says

    I don’t see a cord for the lights. Are they electric or battery?

    • They are battery-powered. Remember the holes that I taped over early in the tutorial? I threaded my lights through the center hole and the tiny battery pack is hidden outside of it! I just love these lights. 🙂

  25. So cute, I love the look of those little lights. You did a great job.

  26. Christina in FL says

    Sarah, it looks like a beautiful collection of fireflies. I adore your creative use of a balloon ~ brilliant!
    As for Habitat for Humanity ReStore … where I am in FL, they have “resale” shops (which are just like a thrift store and high prices) and the other construction stores which have a sad selection.

  27. It’s official, I’m in love with this project You did a beautiful job on the project and tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  28. Karen cook says

    Love your finished project. Will be on Amazon tomorrow to order the lights. Beautiful!

  29. This is so much fun! Great job, Miss Sarah. You are one smart redoer. Is that a word? 🙂

    Happy Thoughts of Home.

  30. What a cool upcycle, and how clever are you to use a balloon to block the opening?!! Love this project. Thanks for sharing! Cynthia

  31. Aren’t you clever? What a great idea and on a budget too. Thanks for sharing at DI&DI.

  32. How beautiful! You did an amazing job!

  33. You are my hero!

  34. Love the idea you have for repainting the brass.

  35. I simply adore it! It looks like fireflies in jar.

  36. This is an absolutely gorgeous project! I love everything about it. What a genius idea to use a light! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday this week!

  37. This is absolutely beautiful! One of my favorite things to do is up-cycle decor for our house! This is a stunning DIY job! 🙂

  38. Wow! What an amazing transformation! I am not a big “hack” person either, but you really did a fantastic job with this one, and I can’t believe it was just $3 for the base you started with. The balloon trick…very creative! I have pinned this one and really appreciate you sharing it over at Celebrate Your Story!

  39. Sarah, This is one of those repurpose ideas that make people go – hey, why didn’t I think of that? Love it. Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  40. This is GORGEOUS, well done!

  41. Pinned and shared! This is an absolutely amazing piece, thanks for sharing!

    I would love it if you would share this at my weekly linky party : )

  42. Oh my GOODNESS!!! This is beyond amazing. Truly. I want to go thrifting NOW to find my own ugly brass light fixture so I can transform it into this! Simply stunning. Great job! 😀

  43. That is beautiful. I want to make one. The balloon was brilliant – I appreciate that you shared that.

  44. OH my goodness…this is SO neat!

    I would LOVE for you to share this with my Facebook Group:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  45. Christine @ Must Love Home says

    Loved your project!!You have been Pinned, Tweeted and Posted to facebook! Congratulations -Your post will be featured this week at the Friday Favorites Link Party. The party goes LIVE on Thursdays at 7PM at I hope to see your there! Hugs – Christine at Must Love Home PS If you have a moment, please stop by our Wonderful Wednesday party to link up your post and enter our $40 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

  46. Love hour your DIY hurricane turned out. Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight Pinned & shared. See you again soon!

  47. natashalh says

    Great tip about the balloon and paper towels! Pinning. =)

  48. Yesss! This totally kicks butt. Basically my favorite Anthro inspired makeover ever. Gotta keep my eyes open for those old brass lights!

  49. Sarah!!! You have gone and done it again! Just brilliant! I see these fixtures all the time! I love the balloon idea! I’ve got to try this! Pinning! Thanks for linking up at Funtastic Friday!

  50. So pretty! Thanks for sharing at Creative Ways Link Party.

  51. this is so cool! thanks for sharing 🙂 pinned it!

    stop by and chat ♥

  52. Wow, what a transformation! I love it. I love the Restore too but I would probably have passed right by that light because of the gold! How pretty to have that at night.

  53. I love your hurricane! It’s been picked as a feature this week at Craft Frenzy Friday on Mom Home Guide!

  54. Sarah, this lantern is completely insane! I’ll take 12… seriously cool! Featured you on Party Junk this weekend. 🙂

    • Ya know…I wouldn’t mind a few more of them myself! Can you imagine hosting a midsummer night’s dinner party, with one of these on each table? Of course, I don’t want to deal with all that work, so I’d rather just ATTEND a party like that…but I could supply the lights. 😉 Thank you!! (for everything) and See you soon!

  55. I am so looking forward to your DIY show! Honestly I don’t think I would have lasted past the taping stage. This is beautiful and it’s a great addition to our line up at Celebrate Your Story.

  56. Just found your site! Love it and will share lots of your ideas! Enjoy your creative day! ~ Vickie

  57. What a fantastic trick with that balloon! Thanks so much for sharing!

  58. Crystal @whattreasuresawait says

    I just love it when those thrifted treasures finally find their purpose…this turned out great! Thanks for sharing at Welcome Home Wednesdays. I always enjoy your posts!!

  59. Good Morning!! I wanted to stop by and let you know that your post has been selected as a Feature for the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party!! Stop by this morning to see you post linked up and to grab your Featured Button too! ~Lisa~

  60. But, what happened to the red bandana site?

  61. Hi there. Any tips on how to get the lights to stay in place and not all fall to the bottom? I got two strands, and I’m having a hard time getting them to stay towards the top.

    • Hmmm- with mine, the copper wire is stiff enough that they just kind of stay “up” on their own. I straightened them out before pushing into my lantern, maybe that would help?

  62. Althea Bennett says

    Hi Sadie, I just found your website and don’t know how I got here….via, via, via…and here you are! Oh, I just looked back and your blog came to my email via “Hometalk.” Yes!!
    This Hurricane Lamp is gorgeous and I think I can do this. Thank you for “all the clear” steps in making your items including your pictures and links. Looks like I’ll be here awhile……..:)

  63. Such a creative project. Your lantern looks like s thousand fireflies. So pretty. Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Design Link Party.

  64. Turned out great! Love it!!!

  65. Fabulous work!

  66. I love this – gotta try it! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party-and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned and tweeted!

  67. This project is amazing! Such a simple yet brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up Party. Have a great week!

  68. Grace Edmonson says

    Awesome!!! I love the simplicity and beauty!

  69. I will never look at fixtures at Habitat ReStore the same again. I see soooo much possibility with their many glass fixtures.

  70. beautiful! where did you hide the battery?

  71. Sherrie DeBerry Rogers says

    What exact lights did you use and can you get the hurricane fixture from Home Depot or lowes I think I may have answered my own question is it

  72. How pretty! LOVE how it turned out! I’m not fawn of brass so I’m glad that you painted it copper instead. <3

  73. Love it! So delicate! You are so patient to do all the prep to get it just right.

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.