Easy DIY Beaded Chandelier

For the last six months, I have been tripping over a builder’s grade chandelier in my garage.  It was a perfectly nice chandelier and hung in our dining room for many years, but when I fell in love with the Cardboard Clover Chandelier, this ordinary fixture had to go.

I tried to sell it at a garage sale, but there were no takers.  So, it was destined to be donated during my next trip to the ReStore.  Luckily, I kept forgetting to take it with me.

I say “luckily,” because inspiration struck.  The old chandelier was the right scale for our lofted playroom that I’m working to update, but it needed something to make it extraordinary.  I’m not sure how the crazy idea of beaded necklaces popped into my mind, but Emma and I immediately raced to Party City for supplies.

The beads I bought were $1.99 for a set of 8 necklaces.  I loved the colors and that they have a metallic sheen to them.  I think I used a dozen sets total.

I cut each necklace between two of the beads so that it was a long, single strand.  I added some hot glue to the the first two beads of the strand and then applied them to the chandelier.  I’d wrap the strand around 4 or 5 times, and then I’d add a blob of hot glue to the chandelier to secure the beads and wrap some more.  I finished each strand by adding glue to the last two beads an attaching them to the chandelier.  I started the next strand where the previous had left off.

Because I wanted this to be funky and fun, I alternated the colors in a rainbow pattern.  I plan on painting large horizontal turquoise and white stripes on the playroom walls, so the alternating stripes of the chandelier are going to be amazing in the room.  You could do this with all one color, and I think it would look really luxe.

I wrapped and glued for a few hours each day over a three day period.  When it was finished, I painted the old chain and a set of socket covers with Rustoleum’s Painters Touch spray paint in Blue Lagoon and then coated them both with a clear gloss.

Because the beads are metallic, the chandelier really shimmers in the light.  We have a large window in the playroom, so it is sparkly even when it’s not lit.

I was worried that my 6 year old son would think it was too girly, but he thinks it’s the most amazing light he’s ever seen.  He might not agree when he’s 10, but for now, I’ll take what I can get.

If you’d like to bead your own chandelier, I’d like to offer a few tips:

  • If you are starting with a fixture that’s not white or dark brown/black, I’d spray paint it before you start beading.  You will be able to slightly see the base color underneath the beads.
  • Go with metallic beads instead of just plain plastic ones.  It will kick your project up a few notches.  If you can’t find them locally, try ordering from Party City or Oriental Trading online.
  • Prepare yourself for some glue gun burns.  I used a low-melt glue and managed to burn my fingers a handful of times.
  • If your chandelier needs to be rewired, do that before you start beading it.  It will be virtually impossible to take it apart without ruining it otherwise.
  • Know that your beads will not be incredibly close together on curves and just accept that.  Geometry makes it so that your beads won’t touch on both sides of the curve.  When you are finished with the chandelier, you can go back and glue in single beads into any places that have too much negative space.
  • When you are beading areas that you need to go around in a circle (like the silver cups that hold the sockets), start from the smallest part and work to the largest.  I had to turn the chandelier upside down to do those parts.  Otherwise, it’s hard to get the beads to lay straight.

Couldn’t you see this in hot pink in a preteen girl’s room?  Or in silver tones in a funky hair salon?  Or in turquoise over your dining room table?

Are you bedazzled over this chandelier?  Have questions or need more directions?  Let me know!




Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Project Gallery 78 Comments

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).



Comments

  1. Although the rainbow colours wouldn’t be my first choice, this looks amazing and I would love to see it in the sun! This version actually reminds me of something that would be in Jack Brennan’s New Orleans Cafe. I think you’re brilliant and I know the kids are going to love it!

  2. It turned out so cool Lindsay. I can’t wait to see it in the playroom!

  3. I have a similar chandelier, only in BRASS. It’s horrible. I’ve been looking for funky ways of redoing it. What I loooove is that you posted ‘tips’. This is one of those things where you’d see it online and try to recreate it and then wonder why yours has gaps and hot glue showing and looks nothing like the one you saw online. Thanks for ‘keeping it real’. That’s refreshing in a thrifty mommy diy blog.

  4. This is brilliant! I love it!! I have a bag of old mardi gras beads I have been wanting to make into a light fixture, and this seems to be a much better look than having them drape/hang. Great job!

  5. Lindsay – it’s gorgeous! So creative and the result is so fun! Great tips too!

  6. WoW! Hard job.

  7. Wow… it turned out so incredible! The beaded idea is over the top creative with soooo many options! Very very cool!

    Pinning!

    Donna

  8. Fabulous! I am sure this one will go mega-viral!

  9. That is gorgeous!!! Screw the playroom, hang it in the dining room, I say! : )

  10. BEAUTIFUL!!!

  11. becky mercado says:

    OMG….I am the queen of loving the UNEXPECTED. This is so cool. Isn’t always the case that when you find an “easy” project….it may be incredibly “time consuming”. But hey…love to do stuff like this while watching TV. Great job. Just got to find an old chandelier and figure out where I’d put it once I was done….but….hmmm…challenge accepted.

  12. This is AWSOME! I pinned it – so clever!

  13. Dude. It’s incredible. Great inspiration piece.

  14. That is stunning! I saw the photo and the title and thought there is no way that is going to be easy. But it looks like it was! Ha!

  15. I love unique projects! I’ve noticed the pinning problem with EVERYTHING not just your blog, the past several days. I’ve discovered if you hover your cursor over the image size thing that appears at the bottom of the picture (when I use the “pin it” button), the “PIN IT” icon then appears on the picture, and you can then pin directly from the post. Weird.

  16. This is such a neat DIY project and what a way to completely change a light fixture! I love it:)

  17. I think this is amazing! Great job! :)

  18. My head is spinning around right now looking to see what I can wrap in beads!

  19. So cool! One day when I’m big I want to be as creative as you!

  20. Love it!! Fabulous makeover idea!!!

  21. I absolutely love this! I’ve been wanting to do something like this, and just haven’t been totally sure how to go about it. You did an amazing job! Thanks for sharing!

  22. I can’t believe how amazing that looks!!

  23. I love it!!! I’ve had an old chandlier in my garage for a long time and you have inspired me to get it out, clean it up and and get with it!! Thanks so much!!

  24. Really really delightful. Thanks!

  25. Amazing! What a fabulous idea! Love the colors too….thanks so much for sharing!

  26. Timarla Johnson says:

    Thi is amazing!
    Is there a trick to getting the colors to line up so perfectly? This looks just so Cool!

    • It’s just magic. :)

      No, really, it’s quite easy. All of the beaded necklaces were the same length, so each color ended in roughly the same place as I wrapped. A few were off because I didn’t wrap as tightly as the others, but it’s not noticeable at all.

      • Timarla Johnson says:

        Awesome! Thanks! I can’t wait to try this! :) PS I think your blog is amazing, I just discovered it on House of Smiths

  27. OMG that looked so much more complicated (although I’m sure it was still very tedious). I love the idea of using a solid color. I bet it would look amazing!

  28. Jane Jones says:

    That is absolutely amazing. “Who’d a thunk it?!?!?!” You are one creative lady!!!

  29. Just discovered your website… I feel like I’ve been injected with motivation (and admiration!) to start revamping my whole house!
    Just a few questions- I’m a huge Anthro fan, on a nursing school budget. I know you recommend target, etc. I’m looking for websites that would sell mugs and bowels similar to the vintage-style feel of Anthro. Any suggestions?
    Thanks for your brilliance, Lindsay- I’m officially a follower!

    <3 Michelle (Middletown, DE)

  30. Nice…

  31. chandelier installation says:

    Oh wow! Such a nice combination of colors! I really enjoyed the creation with this chandelier. It’s stunning. :)

  32. …i’m thinking christmas! i need a lil more bling in my house and a new way to use the beads i have. i’ve draped and dangled and filled about everything in sight …now its time to wrap:)
    if i go neutral enough on my beads, i might be able to wrap our already spraypainted light fixture and leave it all year! fun!

    ooh a solid colored glitzy fixture done like yours would be great over a bathtub too….

  33. kristin says:

    brilliant!!!!!!

  34. Wowsers! What a terrific idea. It’s absolutely perfect for a play room. Very, very, nicely done. I agree that pink for a girl’s room would be great. But that purple would also be magical!

    I have a similar piece that I’m thinking about turning into a candle holder. Now I’m wondering which color of beads I should be looking for!

    Liz

  35. Very cute idea and your colors blended perfectly.

  36. KristenK says:

    sooooooooooo much fun!!!

  37. Hi Lindsay, just stumbled on your website from One Pretty Thing. I am so glad I did! I am in the process of redoing my basement into a family room/work-craft room and I have two old chandeliers I was going to paint bright orange. Guess what I am going to do now? Wrap it with metallic orange beads! Fantastic idea – thanks so much!

  38. This is awesome! It looks so cool. I would have never thought to do that

  39. Wow this is a creative idea! How long does this craft take? It looks like a lot of fun and a good way to make your home stand out. Have any ideas for other bead crafts?

  40. FrugalMomma says:

    OK! I’m wanting to do a version of this but with Pearl(fake obviously) beads for my little girls room! She has a chandelier in her room now but it has pink on it and I was wondering what I was going to do now that she wants a purple room in our new house. The chandelier was quite pricey, so I wasn’t looking forward to not using it, but THIS post made my day. Can’t wait to get started!

  41. I’m so in love with this – it’s FABULOUS! the bright shiny happy colors are wonderful. So fun for the playroom.

  42. This is a great idea! For low cost beads I used EBAY. I make a theme xmas tree every year so I use these bead necklaces as garlands on the tree and I’ve found the best deals for them on Ebay. Last time I got a HUGE box of beads (200 of them) for about $4.00 – and now with this idea I can keep an eye out for thrift store finds to glue the beads to.

  43. debby matassa says:

    instead of buying those beads, you need to find a friend who lives here in New Orleans to send you some beads! If you only knew how many of us have attics full of them…garages full of them, boxes in the closet full of them! flower pots full of them! I’m trying to remember where else I stashed them…LOL

  44. Hi Lyndsay
    I’m looking for a glue gun, which one do you use?

    Thanks

    Rosana

  45. LOVE it so much and both my sons aged 6 and 9 want me to make one each for their rooms too…oh boy now to find the right light fitting to give it a try… :)

  46. We love your bead covered chandelier. Great way to recycle Mardi Gras beads. Thank you for sharing!

  47. Very inspiring tutorial! I, too, have a funky fixture that would (could) become a masterpiece with a lot of beads and hot glue. Thanks for sharing your know how!

  48. FUN!! I think this would be fun to do to jazz up a playroom, back patio/deck, or maybe my kids’ bedrooms. I think a teen girl would also appreciate the funky style.

  49. bellissimo,originale!

  50. Jenn Prendergast says:

    How do u think this would do outside? I have a chandelier that I took the wires out of and use candles that I hang from a pergola.

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