Bicycle Wheel and Chain Chandelier

Amanda C, Hometalk Team
by Amanda C, Hometalk Team
9 Materials
5 Hours
I found some old bicycle wheels on the side of the road about a month ago with the intent of making something with them. When we did one of the Facebook lives someone mentioned a making a chandelier out of one and -POOF!- Here we go! Fair forewarning my hands are a bit sore from all the clamping, but it's a pretty fun piece and worth it in the long run. All you need is a bike wheel and LOADS of bike chain, a pendant cord and some chandelier hardware to make this industrial piece.
Such a great industrial looking piece and not a bad way to repurpose some old bike gear. If you have chains even better! The cost listed varies greatly because I ran out of chain and bought it from a local store and geesh it was double the cost of an Amazon chain... With that being said you can certainly make it for cheaper if you buy wisely. At least I helped out a local business.
Here is the gem all lit up in the dark. I couldn't get a good picture of the vintage bulb, but it looks even better in person with all the showing filaments.... Just love it!

SUPPLIES: -Bike Wheel -Hammer / Nail (OR link chain remover) -Chandelier Canopy -Ceiling Fan Rod -Vintage Bulb -Pendant Cord -Link Chain (for hanging) -Bike Chain / Rolling Chain.... LOTS (I bought 2 packs of rolling chain and 5 packs of bike chain) -Drill -Gorilla Glue -Pack of small Lock Washers
STEP 1: Remove the center axel of the wheel. Drill holes around the top and bottom portion of the rim of the wheel evenly spaced. You can drill as many holes as you plan on having strands of chain. On the bottom rim I drilled 30 holes and on the top 10 holes. (On the bottom I did 15 strands of chain, but needed 2 holes per end of the chain and 10 strands on the top, but only one end of the chain rests on the wheel rim while the other end will feed through the canopy)
STEP 2: Cut as many strands of chain as you want to drip down from the bottom of the chandelier. Cut them in varying sizes. Using your lock washers link the chain through the holes you drilled around the rim of your wheel. Start on one side of the wheel and drip the opposite end of each chain to another hole and connect it. The far right picture is how things looked after the first few that I attached.
STEP 3: Once you are done attaching your chains to the bottom it is time to assemble the top support system. First you will grab your canopy piece and drill holes around the edge evenly. Remember you only need to drill as many holes as you will have strands of chain. I drilled 10 holes for the 10 chains I will be attaching to the top. Drill 4 small holes near the center of the canopy so you can attach chain to it later. (I know there are only 2 shown in the picture, but you will need 2 more right next to the ones shown) Attach your ceiling fan rod through the center of the canopy and screw it into place.
STEP 4: Attach the open end of the ceiling fan rod to the center hole of the bike wheel where you removed the axel. I used Gorilla glue and let it dry completely before moving forward. I am honestly trying to figure out another way to keep it more secure and would love suggestions, but this has been holding up great so far!
STEP 5: Measure from the top of the bike rim to the holes in the canopy and cut chains to that same length. I cut 10 chains. Then attach them through the top rim holes and the canopy holes with the lock washers in the same way you did for the bottom portion. (*Be sure to close the washers securely)
STEP 6: Moving right along... Now it's time to wire this sucker up! Take apart your lamp pendant cord so that it is small enough to feed through the rod and wheel center. Here is a great link on how to take it apart ( Once you have disassembled the cord feed it through the ceiling fan rod and bike center hole. Once it is fed completely through simply reassemble the cord so that it is ready for a bulb to be installed.
This fella is getting gifted to someone with higher ceilings than I, but I can't wait to see it in it's true element.
If you want to hang this to the ceiling there are a bunch of great tutorials online about how to install it versus using the plug in that comes with the cord.

Suggested materials:
  • Bike Wheel   (Recycle)
  • Bike Chain   (Amazon)
  • Ceiling Fan Rod   (Lowe's)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Ainsley Ainsley on Mar 13, 2018

    how long does the rod need to be?

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2 of 86 comments
  • Renata Renata on Feb 02, 2017
    WOW that is the koolest light I have seen!
  • John O'gurek John O'gurek on Feb 02, 2017
    u can use other type of chain cut on cost! glue dont know bout that cleaning well and remove a little chrome on wheel its at the top and wont be noticed it! then sodier it too wheel! just a thought! good idea though!