Thursday, February 24, 2011

Magical Beaded Chandelier:

This is a great project that we found but admittedly we didn't have time to try yet so we decided to pass this wonderful idea onto you!

Gather your materials: LOTS of beaded necklaces, cut into long strands (the Mardi Gras kind)
                                       Metal hanging garden basket
                                       A spool of thin-gauge wire
                                       Wire cutters
                                       Wire clothes hanger
                                       Pendant light kit (cord & socket)
                                       Metal chain to hang the fixture
                                       Light fixture mounting bracket, bolt & loop
                                       Light fixture ceiling cap
Start with a hanging garden basket.  Go ahead and paint it to blend with your beads (or the finished color of your chandelier if you plan to paint your beads).  I used a ladder to suspend the chandelier while I worked on it. 

Top it off.  Because I wanted to wire this fixture, the metal hook on the basket wasn't going to cut it.  I needed to be able to add a pedant light cord and a chain somehow.  I ended up wiring a light fixture ceiling bracket to a ring made from a bent clothes hanger.  The loop on top screws onto a hollow bolt that screws into the bracket, which later allowed me to attach a chain. 

Add a little structure.  I wired on a ring (again, made from a bent hanger) about half way between the top of the chandelier and the lower ring for a little more shape.  This allowed the beaded strands to swag a little without the metal chains showing. 

Start beading!  After figuring out that my beaded strands were just a tad longer than I needed to go from the top to the bottom of the fixture with a little swag in the middle, I started attaching them around the top ring by looping wire around the top bead of each strand and the metal ring.

My chandelier looked a little crooked at this point, but straightened up once we attached the chain and hung it. 
Aaaaand bead some more.  This is definitely the most time-consuming part.  Just make sure that you have good coverage all the way around.  I attached all my strands at the top first, then at the middle (the top part of the basket -- so they would swag a little), then at the bottom.  In the photo above I had attached the beads at the top and middle and was trying to make sure there weren't any bare spots before attaching them at the bottom.   

Trim away the excess.  If your strands are a little longer than you need, just cut off the extra after attaching at the bottom of the fixture. 

Add a chain and ceiling cap.  

Paint it up.  Give the whole thing a coat or two of paint if you want.  I decided to do this because I found that it made the wires and chains blend in better with the beads

Hang it.


Good Luck DIY'ers!!

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