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Chandelier Love: an Easy DIY lighting Upgrade

This easy DIY lighting upgrade doesn’t cost much or take much time, but it sure gives a whole new look to a thrifted chandelier!

I love a good chandelier: hanging over a dining room table, maybe in a master bedroom, or even above a bath tub.  When I started redecorating my bedroom, I knew I wanted a bling-y chandelier.  I quickly found, however, that I did not want to pay for such a chandelier.  

Not being one to condone shoplifting, I decided I’d have to make it myself.  Turns out it’s really not hard, and is actually fun, to design your own!

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I started with a very basic brown 3-light builder grade chandelier that I found for $6 at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  If you have one of these stores in your town, you NEED to check it out.  It’s a treasure trove of used household pieces and parts.  I love to go in and wander around, looking for inspiration or a new project.

After a good cleaning, I covered the electrical components with masking tape and hung it outside to spray paint it white.  (Note: if you have a husband who takes great pride in his lawn, you might want to lay down a drop cloth and save yourself from a scolding.)

I used Rustoleum glossy white paint and made sure to layer on many light, even coats, spraying in every direction to get in all the nooks and crannies.

At this point, I was wishing I had tested the wiring first to make sure this thing was going to work once it was installed.  This is a risk you take when you buy used electronics.  Always check first, before you put in all the time and money on refurbishing.  Too late now, I must hope for the best and keep going!

Once it was dry (and I mean really good and dry), I got down to the fun part.  I found this crystal-looking trim at Hobby Lobby and used needle-nose pliers to pry apart the pieces.  (Be sure you get trim that is threaded through metal links, rather than on string.)  

I tried out a few different designs until I got the look I wanted, then used the pliers again to make little hooks out of the metal links. These I hooked onto all the edges.  This was a tedious process with all the tiny pieces, and I tried not to think of what I’d do if the light turned out to be broken!

Finally I put a dab of hot glue (you could use epoxy as well) onto all the connections, just so they wouldn’t accidentally work loose.  The glue went on top of the edges, so you can’t see it from a normal viewing angle.

I sweet-talked my hubby into wiring it for me over the weekend, without admitting that I wasn’t sure if the wiring was sound, and just really hoped I wasn’t wasting his time.

We flicked the switch, and…

…it turned on!  Yay!

As a special touch, we also installed a dimmer switch, since the three bulbs put out quite a bit of light in our small bedroom.  Now it illuminates our reading corner, and casts a beautiful glow over the whole room.

Stay tuned to see the finished product, once I’m done with the rest of the room redo

Stacy Schmucker

Tuesday 15th of September 2015

I love your idea of twinkling lights in the curtains, but I don't know how you got the lights to stay attached. Please show me how.


Tuesday 15th of September 2015

That's a great question Stacy. I think I'll do a whole blog post on it, since you're not the first one to ask. But in the meantime, here's the quick version. I used a string of umbrella lights (that go inside a big patio umbrella) and affixed them to the wall using thumbtacks. The thumbtack doesn't go through the wire(!), just next to it, so the wire is wedged between the head of the tack and the wall. Just spread them out randomly, and tack them up. You can rearrange as needed to get the right overall look. Hope that helps!

Master Bedroom Makeover on a Budget - The Palette Muse

Monday 19th of January 2015

[…] up-cycled chandelier that was brown and boring when I found it for $6 at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Follow […]


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook