How I Turned a Builder Grade BOOB Light Into a Beaded Chandelier

3 Materials
20 Hours

Do you have boob lights all over your house too? You know the one I mean right? The standard builder grade lamps that were clearly designed by a man?! They come in many varieties but the one thing they all have in common is they all resemble boobs (.)(.) When we bought our house, my mission was to convert all the boob lights into something that, while still delicate and beautiful, did not have such a clear rendition to the feminine form.

I was inspired by Pottery Barns beaded chandeliers that are absolutely stunning and breaking the internet at the moment! I struggled with the $500 price tag (on sale from $700). After looking at many photos, I thought to myself "I can make this!"

Here is how it all began. The project was somewhat tedious but not very hard. I feel that most will be able to create they very own beaded chandelier if you have some time and patience.

I ordered a kit of 700 beads in various sizes from Amazon (x5). The sized ranged from 8mm to 20mm. I also purchased 25mm (1inch) wood beads separately for the largest size. By stringing the beads from in a gradient with the largest beads in the middle, I achieved the draped look. All together my chandelier is made of 3,600 beads strung together one by one!

For the frame, I use a lamp shade ring. You can get these on Amazon in a variety of different sizes. They are for DIY lamp shades in order to add a funky print but it was perfect for this DIY as well! I used the 12in for the inner frame and 16in for the outer and just discarded the open piece it came with. This allows you to customize what size you would like as well. Additionally, since it was metal and designed to be by a light bulb I felt it was a safe option.

I used cording to string the beads with a doll needle. This is a strong material but thin enough for the smaller beads.

I put each size in different colored bowls to make it a counting game with my 2 year old who was eager to help! I would tell her what color and how many beads I needed and I went along. I suppose you can say I had an assistant

This project can be how ever big or small as you would like. I chose to do 6 sets of 5 strands for each tier. The inner strands need to be smaller then the outer for them to fall correctly, but not by much, just about an inch between each subsequent strand in length.

I used the largest (25mm) beads 1-5 for each strand. This gave me the look I was going for and also helped me keep track of which strand I was on. It can become confusing after a while!

As stated, this lamp fixture can be your own but here is the pattern I used. Keep in mind that other then the first line (size 25mm or 1 inch bead) all the others were double the number indicated in my chart because they were on either side of the largest bead. Ex. 20mm, 20mm, 1inch, 20mm, 20mm. So for the main frame strand 1 I used four 20mm total, 2 on each side so that the largest beads were in the middle of the strand.

Once the strands are strung, I tied each to the frame with the shortest on the inside and the largest on the outside of each set. I used 6 sets. Since the frame was already divided into 3 parts, I used it as a guide of how to hang each set going under the next set and over the set after that to create the star pattern.

Once I finished tying it all and securing each strand to the other in that set, I trimmed the strings and used a little hot glue on the inside just to make sure the cording didn't begin to unravel. This would probably be unlikely since I used a lot of knots! Call me a perfectionist. However, I would wait to trim all the strings until you are completely done in case you need to re-tie anything.

Now your chandelier is all done and ready to hang! Well I used the same frame as the old boob light and just removed the glass part! I took out the light bulbs because I didn't want them in the way. That middle pole of the inside of the lamp is threaded. If you recall my photos from earlier, the frame has a circle in the middle and that fit perfectly on the bolt. I just used a nut to hold it all in place!

Here is a picture of just the main frame hung (16in) and this looked nice on its own. Maybe if I hadn't already completed the inner tier I would have stopped there.

All together this cost about $100 in materials. I am absolutely in love with the results! An amazing addition and a hand made touch to the room

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  • Kathy Coulson Knitter Kathy Coulson Knitter on Apr 08, 2021

    I love this it is very nice work, "what gives" for me is that its what you want it to look like, and how you want to hang your beads on YOUR light fixture in YOUR home. It can be anything you imagine. It doesnt have to be a certain way. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Apr 14, 2021

    I'd like to add my "this is beautiful and fabulous!" to all your other compliments. I love this!! Your level of creativity and patience are commendable. Thank you for the detailed instructions- I'm not sure I could do such a great job, but I want to try!