03 March 2015


Well, hello there, sugarpies! How goes it? I am currently mid-Diet Mt. Dew and listening to some very loud Megan Trainor and burning a fabulous pomegranate & cedar candle. Now, doesn't that just sound like the loveliest thing ever? 

Anyhoozle. I had a love/hate relationship with the chandelier that came with our dining room. It was like, "Oooooh, look at the chandelier! It's so sparkly and chandelier-y! Who wouldn't love this chandelier?" But, what I think I meant was, "Thank God it's not commercial/generic/warm toned/all-the-things-I-don't-love."

The longer it hung there, the more I tired of seeing the dead bugs who were stuck down in the hardware. Not what I'm trying to look at while I eat. And it was just so .... clear. Plus, the more I saw all these magical beaded chandies online, the deeper in love I fell. Cause, you know, my style is kinda Jungalow, pattern-mix, old-meets-new, happy jumble-ation. You do know what I mean, right? {If you are like, 'What in the blue blazes is she talkin' about?' you can check out my decor obsessions on Pinterest.} 'Kay, good. And these peeps? Love 'em!
 Edie Wadsworth - Life in Grace
Jamie Meares - i suwannee/Furbish

 So, here is what I was workin' with before:

 The thought of destroying it felt wrong for about two minutes. But, once I got some fresh bright spray paint on the scene, all doubts were GONE. 

At first, I was going to keep the octopus arms and just paint it and add some beading, but I kinda felt like I was poohing out on what I really wanted. But, once I dropped a few of the arms and broke them, that decision was made for me. Don't you just love when that happens? So, here's what I was left with: 

Since the chandelier originally had five small bulbs, we had to change out the socket in order to accommodate two bulbs in the center. I also painted all the "guts" white because I knew that you would be able to see through the beading a little bit. After a bit of brainstorming, and time on Pinterest, I decided to upcycle an ugly lamp shade I already had for the beading portion of the project. I ordered my beads from Shipwreck Beads. To be honest, I just did some measuring and guessing and guessing and measuring and then some finger crossing about how many beads to order. This whole project was 1500 of the natural colored beads, and 150 of the teal ones, and I only had a dab left of each when I was done. 

I opted to use wire (I used floral wire, but beading wire would be thinner and more flexible). To me, this was the more sane method, because I could create a loop on each end, and keep the beads from coming back off and getting all over the place, and generally causing me to lose my ever-loving mind. 

 I would do ten strands or so, and then wrap them onto the upside down lampshade frame as I went. For the first strand, I just decided on a pattern with the green beads and made sure I'd have enough to complete as many strands as I needed. (1 strand = 3 natural, 1 teal, 17 natural, 1 teal, 3 natural, for example)

Using wire as opposed to string also allowed me to just wrap the ends instead of having to tie a million times.

Once I was done with the beading, I knew I wanted to wrap something around it to hide the exposed wire ends. I had originally planned to use the natural twine featured in the photo above, but once I got to this stage, I wanted something a little more colorful. So, I took some old fabric I had (green with daisies), and cut it into long strips about 1" wide, and just wrapped them around until all the wire was hidden. I just tied the fabric strips off as inconspicuously as possible.

 Once I was satisfied with how the lamp shade looked, I used the same wire to attach the inside of the shade to the metal disc with the circular holes in it (shown in the third photo). This part took some trial and error, because you want to make sure that it's level and not hanging lopsided.

These wires are the primary support for the lamp shade. However, to add some green color pop to the top portion, I tied some strips from the lamp shade frame to the chandelier trunk, as seen below. And, then, finally(!!), the finished project:

I paid about $40 for beads. 
I think we paid less than $5 for the new bulb sockets.
I already had:
 - wire
 - fabric
 - dangling crystals
 - lamp shade frame
 - white spray paint
 - blue spray paint
 - bulbs

I say, win! I am still not tired of staring at it. And it's so much more 'us'! You have to feel comfortable in your space, folks! I think some peeps thought I was nuts for "ruining" the chandelier, but I couldn't stand the sight of it one more day. You gotta do you at yo' own house, y'all! 

Have you done a chandelier DIY? Please share a link below!!! I'd love to see!


Aleshea said...

You did such a great job. Love it.

Miss Lizzie said...

Wow that is so awesome!!