Custom Beaded Chandelier Tutorial – Part I – Planning
I’ve had my eye on all of the gorgeous beaded chandeliers floating around out there, so I was more than excited when a Camilia from Effortless Style Blog came to me and asked my if I could do a build for her nursery similar in shape to this Malibu Chandelier by Serena & Lily. She wanted a more “Hollywood Regency” look than the au natural inspiration and chose green beads and orange leather cording for her accents. Anyone can do one of these builds themselves with a little time and patience…and a little know how, which this tutorial will hopefully give you!
This is a long project so I’m going to split it up into the planning phase and the finishing phase. This build definitely takes a little thought when ordering all the materials, so I’ll try to describe how that all works so you can tackle this project yourself!
Fist, you’ll need to choose the shape of your build. For Camilia’s piece, we wanted a single basket shape, with beads draping from a larger top ring to a smaller bottom ring. In order for this to work, and the whole chandelier to look full (both top and bottom) I knew I’d need different sized beads…larger ones for the top ring, and smaller ones at the bottom ring.
Fire Mountain gems is a great resource when looking for beads. They have all shapes, sizes, and materials to choose from. If you want to do a build like this one you’ll need to find a bead that comes in various sizes. Our custom chandelier used 12mm, 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm round emerald glass beads.
Also we knew we wanted the chandelier to be 12″ in diameter at the top and about 10″ tall. The first pieces I order are the lamp rings which define the overall diameter of the piece. Mine came from the Lamp Shop and are 1/2″ recessed washer top rings. I got one that was 12″ and one that was 5″ in diameter.
Next you’ll need to figure out how many light bulbs you would like in your fixture. We wanted 2, so I hunted down this 2 lite cluster socket from e-bay. I love this product in particular because it already comes wired with power and a ground wire, and includes threaded rod on the top and bottom…perfect for chandelier building.
Next you’ll need some other random components for your build…these are all readily available at Home Depot or Lowes, although my e-bay seller typically has lower prices if you know for sure what you need. Just make sure you watch the sizes and threading configuration to make sure everything will fit together when it gets home…when I order online I always end up with a few oops products that I can’t use.
My build used 3 total couplers so I bought 2 packs from Home Depot.
Brass Lock Nuts (12-Pack) 7017200 will help hold everything in place along your threaded rod.
There are a few different size options for extending the light sockets. Depending on size they can be called steel nipples or all threads. Here’s a couple of the products I keep around for my build.
All-Thread Lamp Pipe Kit 7027200 This kit comes with larger all-thread and already has the nuts and couplings for a good value. It is sometimes hard to cut down the all-thread if it is too long though, so keep that in mind when choosing.
15 Ft. Replacement Lamp Cord, Gold 7010300 – I used speaker wire I had Home Depot cut by the foot in there electrical section but you could use a replacement lamp cord too and either keep the plug at the end or just cut it off for a hard wire application. The gold cord looks best when using a gold chain….
5 in. Canopy Kit 7005300 – Or Similar. Home Depot has them in all different finishes and patterns from basic to ornate.
You’ll also need some chain to hang your chandelier from your canopy. It is readily available at hardware stores or from the ebay lamp store.
Last you’ll need a loop to attach to the top of the chandelier to attach the chain to there…
Now for the top ring you may notice that the band in larger than the edge of the lamp ring. I’ve thickened this a couple of different ways. I have used laminate edging…and spray painted it…or for this project I just used plastic banding that they put on pallet’s which was a gift from my local home improvement store Gotta love those guys!
And you’ll also need some cording to do your wrapping at the large band and bottom. I love using hemp but this project called for leather. Here’s what it looks like out of the box.
Last you may want some of these miscellaneous supplies on hand. Metallic Spray paint to turn all of your chandelier structure pieces the same color…E6000 – the miracle adhesive….painter’s tape to protect the electronics if you spray paint, clothes pins (trust me you’ll definitely want these!), mono-filament for stringing up your beads and pie tins for organizing them.
Ready to Build? Check out Part II of the Custom Beaded Chandelier Tutorial and get going! Don’t forget to share some pics of your awesome creations!
Are you exhausted from thinking about all the parts and pieces? In case you forgot why we’re doing all this hard work…here’s a few reminders!