Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DIY Capiz Chandelier

Last Christmas, at our annual Christmas party, I kept getting comments about our capiz chandelier we have hanging in our living room.  See it here?
Well people were sure surprised when I told them that it's actually hand made out of wax paper!  Yup, wax paper! 

I wish I had more photos of the process, but I actually made this chandelier last fall when I didn't think to take photos until the finished result.  But here are my directions!  I used these directions as a guide and just personalized them a little.

First, gather supplies.  I bought a 3 layer fruit basket and disconnected the layers.  The largest basket was used for this particular project (I still have plans for a future chandelier using the smaller baskets- perhaps a crystal chandelier for the hallway?).  I also used wax paper, white ribbon, white spray paint, a circle cutter, a glue gun, and an iron (I used my CHI hair straightener because it gets that hot). 

After you have your hanging device, spray paint it white and let it dry for at least a full day to let as many toxins go away before bringing it inside.  

Then, start making the "capiz shells"  Take three pieces of wax paper and lay them all together with the waxy sides on the inside.  It might help to tape the layers together if you're using an iron.  How much wax paper you use entirely depends on what shape you want your chandelier to be and how many "shells" you want to use.  Don't worry, you can always make more shells later if you run out.

Next, take your circle cutter and set it to be one inch wide, which will result in circles with a two inch diameter.   Then, just cut!  And cut!  And cut some more!  I ended up using the whole roll of wax paper for the circles in my chandelier.  

Now comes the assembly of the fixture.  Here, you'll have to play with what works for you, but for my project,  I used 8 inch pieces spaced in every other wire nook around the outer brim of the basket and then every two nooks around the base of the basket.  I also ended up attaching a few other random strings of shells to fill out any sparse areas.   So to assemble, simply place a little dot of hot glue on the top of a circle, then attach it to the ribbon.  Work from the bottom up because it's way easier.  It's even easier to attach the ribbons to the wire shape first and then glue on the shells, but my glue gun couldn't reach the hook, so I just glued the shells first and then tied them on.  At some points I applied an extra little dot of glue to keep the ribbon securely in place.  
Now, this chandelier was just for looks for me, so installing a light in the middle was never of any use to me.  However, with my new hanging light relatively close to where I have the capiz chandelier hanging, I decided to see if they looked nicely together (I didn't want to cover up the light too much and defeat the purpose of having a bright light in the first place).  

Here you can see how I "prettied" up the light that I smashed apart and hung on the ceiling.  I installed a little white hook on the ceiling and hung the cord from it.  Then I painted the cord along the ceiling and over the molding white, and then used cord wrangler clips to keep it snug down along the wall and painted the cord gray to match the walls.  It look's very nice, if I do say so myself!  But, it doesn't have a shade because the light just isn't quite bright enough.  So, Tim and I popped over to Target to grab a brighter CFL light to brighten things up a bit.  With the new bulb, I figured it might be a good time to try the capiz chandlier over the bulb.

Perfect! Just to note, I took these photos right before I painted the cord along the ceiling white.  So just image that it's disappeared into the wall!  You might also notice the circle of blue painter's tape hanging out to the left of the mock frame wall- those are there to designate a future round or oval mirror that will be framed out in a similar thickness and color as the quaterfoil mirror you see here. 

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