Ok, guys! I'm pretty pleased with the outcome of this little experiment, let's see if you agree with me when you see what I'm talking about.
Take a gander at this beauty I just put up in the kids' room, starting off the beachy/underwater theme that will be in there (trying my hand at a classier version of a kid's room, SpongeBob will still fit in but he won't be the main theme).
And do you believe me when I tell you it cost me a grand total of...... $0? It's true! And it looks (almost) exactly like the real thing while still being virtually unbreakable :) Perfect for my monkey babes!
The best part (and you're going to love this one!) is that every one of you out there can make one too! For those of you that get your three glasses of milk a day you'll have the main ingredient right at your fingertips - milk jugs!
So here's what you need.
*1 bell shade (from the thrift store or your stash), stripped of all fabric
*Mason's line from the hardware store (or other string of your choice)
*Many (empty and clean) milk jugs, amount varies depending on how dense and long you want your finished chandelier to be
This is what I did.
1. I cut up the milk jugs into panels, using a kitchen knife to cut out and discard the spout and the handle. The rest I did with regular scissors, the plastic is pretty soft and pliable. The spout and the handle were the only parts I decided were too curved, the rest is usable with a little force. If your circles are a little bent or textured it'll just make for a more organic looking chandelier. After the jug was disassembled I had 4 sides, the bottom and a half circular strip from the top. Repeat this step as needed :)
2. I then used the rim of an empty baby food jar to mark evenly sized circles, trying to squeeze in as many as possible on each panel. I just used a pen for this, it didn't really write well on this material but it made an indentation that was easy to follow and my circles didn't have any dark markings on them thanks to this.
3. I used a small nail to pierce each circle at the top and bottom. I put the circle on a cutting board and hit the nail with a heavy object (too lazy to go and get the hammer) and it worked just fine. I'm sure something like a thumb tack or similar would work too.
4. I turned my stripped bell shade upside down and started stringing the circles on there with the tapestry needle. Before this I had verified that the bell shade fit over the existing light fixture, one of those "boob" lights. It was a perfect fit, love it when that happens :)
The mason's line consists of three strands which I divided and used one strand at a time. To make sure the strings weren't going anywhere I attached them to the shade using a lark's head knot, each of the two hanging strands being one strand of circles on the finished chandelier. I folded the extra strand to the side while working on the first strand, stringing one circle onto the strand and pushing it into position, then making a single knot underneath each circle to hold it in place. I used 9 circles per strand. When I got to the second strand I would re-tie the string to the lamp shade about 1/2 to 1 inch away from the lark's head knot and then start stringing circles on. I wanted my strands of circles to be fairly close together to try to obscure the lampshade structure but I didn't want the strands to hang in pairs right next to each other either. Does that make sense? You know me and my lack of "during" pics... Sorry :)
5. I filled both bell shade rings with strands of circles to make a two-tiered chandelier. I was going to cut the strings off after the last circle of each strand, but I really liked the jellyfish-like look of the chandelier with the strings hanging down a bit so I left it that way.
6. Now for hanging the whole thing. I removed the "globe" of the light fixture, placed it inside the still upside down bell shade and made a sort of suspender-like wire contraption to hold the chandelier onto the light fixture, like so.
How's that for a cool chandelier?! Mine measures about 36" from ceiling to the bottom of the strings so it's a pretty big/long chandelier. For $0 since I had all supplies on hand. It took me maybe a month to finish it since I had to wait for my family to drink enough milk to supply me with enough materials to work with :) A friend took pity on me and donated a few of their jugs as well - thanks Janice :)
So this is what the light in the kids' room looked like before.
And here are the afters! Still drowning in a sea of white (which will change), but at least it makes a statement now.
And some with the light turned on as well.
As you can see it looks quite dream-like, the plastic circles look like they're glowing from within. I've read that you can sand milk jugs with sandpaper and achieve the look of rice paper but in this case I didn't want to bother since I had about a billion circles to work with and it was for the kids' room and no-one's going to look all that closely anyway. And the raw material looks good the way it is, the plastic reflects some of the light in a similar way to real capiz shell.
The chandelier does hang down quite a bit into the room so a grown up will either have to duck or walk through it. It is very light weight and feels sort of like walking through a string curtain so no-one's going to get hurt here. The kids can barely reach the strings even when jumping to reach them. It was a big hit with them, by the way :)
At one point I did consider painting the bell shade structure but as you can see I decided against it. It's really not all that visible in the grand scheme of things. You mainly just notice this glorious cascade of circles and string :)
How's that for a recycling project that doesn't look like recycling? :)
Ps. Linking up with
Blue Cricket Design
The Thrifty Home
Beyond The Picket Fence