Well Hung: Makeshift Chandeliers for the Sassy, if not Classy

So, the hunt has begun for my very own big-people-apartment.  After 7 years of shared bathrooms, divvied-up cupboards, and roommates, I’ve begun looking for my very own place.  I’m not complaining—personally, I think I rather lucked out on the roommate front. But, I need a real home, a place where I can cook naked and let my fuzz-beast run around like the wild-sock murderer he is. Without a properly ferret-proofed home he must be confined to my bedroom.  Look at him, he longs for the freedom that comes with chewing up the inside of boots or sleeping inside a couch:

"Let me be free!"

So, I made a list of things that I’m going to have to buy for the new pad:  couch, microwave, end tables, lamps, toaster, table and chairs, etc.  As you can see, getting settled can cost a pretty penny, so I’m going to have to use some serious restraint when it comes to purchasing the decorative frivolities that I love so very much.    So far, it hasn’t been going well.  I got some cupcake sugar bowls yesterday (although, to be fair, they were a present from my boyfriend who I have dubbed with the very manly moniker of “Panda”), a new duvet cover, some curtains, some embroidered towels– the bill is starting to run a little high for things that serve no practical purpose.  One thing, however, that I really wanted, was one of those cute decorative chandeliers to hang over my bed.  I tried a little online shopping and found that they are, for the most part, super expensive.  I cannot justify shelling out $100 dollars on a mini chandelier that gives off no light and is purely decorative—I did find one however that was the size and shape of a pinecone for $59.99+ $30.00 for shipping.  What a steal! :S

I got on the crafting-pony and rode all over the interwebz looking for help and came across this site. I love that someone took the initiative to put one of these puppies together.  It was super cute and just what I was looking for, but when I ventured out to collect supplies I found that there was not a wire hanging basket, nor mardi gras bead in town.  All I could find was faux pearl necklaces and for 10 dollars a pop I might as well have sprung for a fully functional, crystal fixture.

I was ready to give up on my treasure hunt but I remembered that in a pinch crafty bitches pinch back.  I figured I’d go balls to the wall and try my hand at making one from the ground up, and while it was a lot more time consuming, I’m sure, than using pre-strung beads, I got more of a say over how I wanted it to look.  I figured I’d share with y’all 🙂

Step 1:  Collect Supplies

  • Fishing Line- I found in a drawer
  • Beads-  $3 (on sale) for a pack of 550 at Michaels, I bought three packs
  • 2 Soda Cans- liberated from Panda’s bag of recycling
  • Crafting wire- I had on hand
  • Ribbon- $1 for a spool at the Dollar Store
  • An old necklace- I used the pendant as my dangly-bit and the chain to hang my chandelier, if you don’t have a necklace like this, you can get chain at hardware stores and find a perfect finishing-piece at most crafting stores.

    Legos are Optional

Step 2: Take your Tops off
You want to cut the tops off your soda cans—this is the easy part, just be careful you don’t cut your little fingies, my gems.  Next you want to cut the centre bits out of the soda can tops- one should have a quarter sized hole in the middle of it so there’s enough flat surface to hold a small, battery powered tea-light, and one top should have the entire middle taken out leaving just the rim.   I will from this point forward refer to these as Hole-Top and Rim-Top (creativity at its finest). The cutting can be a little bit tricky, but for the record I found that diet Coke cans have the thinnest metal.


Step 3: Create a Wreath
Loop the wire around a salad bowl to keep it round.

Step 4:  Create a Skeleton
Attach four pieces of wire to Rim-Top and the wire wreath.  This will give you some support as you start to add your beads.

Step 5: Start Beading
 Tie one side of a piece of fishing line to Rim-Top, bead the line, and tie the other end to the wreath.  And I cannot stress this enough: Double knot everything.  Do about 20 bead-strings to start off with.  Make sure that they all have the same amounts of beads, otherwise you’ll have a wonky, lop-sided chandelier.  I used about 22 on each string, but it depends on what sized beads you have.

Step 6: Make a Wire Crossbar
Make sure that it’s tight enough across the Rim-Top that it won’t move around.  This will be what you hang your masterpiece from and it’s got to be sturdy.  I attached the chain from an old necklace then tied the whole thing to an open dresser drawer handle so I can work on it while it was hanging.

Step 7:  Add Your Pick-Up.
You’ll need to tie fishing line from Rim-Top to Hole-Top, letting Hole-Top hang a couple inches below the wire wreath.

Step 8: Cut Those Wires
Once you’ve got about 20 bead-strings attached, it’s time to cut your skeleton wires on the inside.  When these are gone your whole chandelier will be supported by nothing but bead strings and you’ll find it looks more even.

Step 8:  Bead Until you Think you’re Face is Going to Melt Off
In the same way you’ve been beading the top, add bead-strings to the bottom part of your chandelier.   Take a piece of fishing line, tie it to Hole-Top so it leaves two long ends.  Bead these with about half as many beads as you did for your top half of your chandelier, then tie it to your wire wreath.  Repeat.  Continue with adding bead-strings to the top part of your chandelier, as well, until you think it looks full enough.  This is the part where you turn on Pretty Little Liars and fantasize about Ezra Fitz reciting Yeats to you before he ravishes you for hours upon hours.  (Side-Note:  Sorry, Panda!)
 Step 9: Your Dangly-Bit
Once you’re done beading, tie a piece of fishing line to the centre of your crossbar on the top of your chandelier and let it hang down through the middle of the entire structure.  Add something that gives the whole thing an extra bit of sparkle—I used a pendant.

Step 10: Add your Bits and Bobs
Glue some ribbon around the wire wreath to cover up all the bits of sticky-out fishing line.  I added a bow on top of my chandelier which is completely optional.

Step 11: C’est Fini
Be amazed at creating a piece of unadulterated beauty for under 20 bucks, then sit back and revel in your ingenuity and overall fabulousness.

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