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

Berta Lily
by Berta Lily
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 icon

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 icon

Are you a renter looking for ideas to update your space?

Don't miss our slideshow on 9 Gorgeous Updates That'll Make a Renter's Dreams Come True. Discover stunning projects to transform your home.

Resources for this project:
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 12 questions
  • Buffy Edgar Bandley Buffy Edgar Bandley on May 19, 2022

    Wood or plastic beads?

    How much does it weigh?

  • Lisa Wilson-Kline Lisa Wilson-Kline on Feb 15, 2023

    You say you connected the small circle to the bolt. How did you attach the circle without the small circle?

  • Patty Patty on Mar 11, 2024

    Really cute idea, but does it cut off most of the light?

Join the conversation
3 of 68 comments
  • Rensart Rensart on Oct 15, 2021

    This inspired me to add beaded strands to my current light fixture. It's a large, beautiful, wrought iron chandelier type fixture that looks like branches with leaves, and has glass upright "cups" placed to hide light bulbs. I judiciously added several swags of graduated wooden beads, keeping the look open enough so that the wrought iron is not hidden. OMG! It is absolutely perfect. Your post gave me the courage to go ahead and do the project, thank you so much! (I would like to add one suggestion to your own beautiful beaded creation: Perhaps wrap twine/rope/cord around the exposed metal rim for a more professional and finished look. The cat's meow!)

    • Berta Lily Berta Lily on Oct 18, 2021

      That's a great idea! And so happy to be of inspiration 🥰

  • Peggy Peggy on Jul 01, 2022

    Angel in escape to the château made one for the French Chateau! You and she think alike!