Since we're talking about making cool stuff from hardware store bits and pieces, how about this tight little chandelier design by artist Helmut Smits? See if you can figure out what he used. (One thing he should have used was some spray paint.)
Here's the list:
pvc tubing, sockets, couplings, cable ties, electrics, 8 x 15W candle light bulb
ornamentation: plastic lid, plastic spoons, foam board
He's got some very interesting pieces. See more like this.