Easy Chandelier Makeover With Driftwood

5 Materials
6 Hours
I have a dated chandelier that was gifted to us when we moved into our house yet it holds sentimental value it works just fine. My solution was to update it again somehow. You see originally it was a gold fixture that later I spray painted silver....while balancing high up on a ladder!! Lol!
But that updated look has gone stale once more and I was inspired to create something similar to this light fixture. It was shabby, chippy, interesting and full of texture so much so that I fell in love with it. How could I easily replicate it?
Picket Fence Light Fixture
In my hometown there are many who earn their living by fishing from the sea, one species they catch is lobsters. Have you ever seen a lobster trap? Here are two versions, old wooden style and modern, green wire type.
Lobster Fishing Traps
What does that have to do with a light fixture you are asking? Haha, stay with me. The big storms sometimes break up the wooden traps and they often get washed ashore in small pieces along with other driftwood.
Driftwood at the Beach
So I collect as much as I can when it's plentiful and wash, sterilize, dry and store it for crafts. Here are bits of lobster trap strips that are laid out to dry in my house because it's Winter season here now afterall.
So some pieces still had rusty nails in them which I carefully removed with pliers but once that was done the wood was ready for chandelier making! I gave some of the pieces a light sanding with a heavy grit sanding block others were worn very smooth from weathering.
Sanding the Strips
The original prisms on the light were of two different lengths so I cut my wooden strips in the same way for the style of the fixture.
Choosing My Strips
I used a basic mitre box and saw to make my cuts, it wasn't hard because the strips are small and relatively thin. I made rough markings on them for each of the cuts, this one I boo-booed and had to make a second mark.
Cutting the Strips
Once my wood cuts were done now I could focus on the attachment pieces, cafe rod curtain rings! I bought 3 packages awhile back on clearance for $.50 a pack, they sure came in handy!
Next, I had to cut and shape wire for the part that would hang from the fixture but that was easy. I used a big spiral wire saved from a notebook, heh it was cool so I couldn't throw it out. Each turn of the wire gave me a loop, all I had to do was close each one together onto the rings.
Cutting the rings from Spiral Notebook
Here's how the first batch lined up and were now all ready to hang, these are the shorter ones for the top row.
Curtain Rings attached
You see....wayyy up there is where they have to be hung! I was a while needless to say getting up there and completing the whole thing but Rome wasn't built in a day either! P.S. Yes I made the epoxy window it's in another post, feel free to check it out here http://www.hometalk.com/diy/decorate/walls/vi...
Bare Light Fixture
Two layers added on, looking good but I ran out of curtain rings and would you believe I had to pay $7.00 for the fourth package? I sucked it up and splurged because the idea was working and I wanted it to get finished.
Two Tiers Hung
So lets talk safety....yes wood is flammable BUT I took precautions! 1. I only have a portion of the lightbulbs screwed in my fixture thus reducing the heat from the lightbulbs. 2. This front entry light is turned on for brief moments at a time for guests or if we grab coat and boots heading out the door ourselves. 3. The photo below shows that the section of hooks highlighted with yellow would be the row closest to the bulbs, I left that row bare.
Wood Layer Omitted
So ready for the reveal? Its unique, it has the vertical picket fence look, it was easy to create, easy on the budget and it suits my decor style!
Tiered Driftwood Chandelier
Heres a closeup to show you the texture, nail holes and weathering marks on the strips.
Close up View
Heres another angle to show you the dimension it gives to the light fixture.
Angled view of the Tiers
As I look at it now I feel I may take down the bottom layer and shorten the length just a bit, you see I made that tier longer than the rest. I just may have over compensated for that tier I was leaving out...oh well I live and learn every single day! What's that? You want to see it with the light turned on? Not a problem, here you go. Isn't it fabulous with all of the shadows it makes on my walls?
Chandalier with the Light On
I hope you enjoyed my project, I love sharing them with you and as a suggestion for a substitute there's always paint stir sticks!😄 You could paint and distress them in the color scheme you choose ...hmmmm that sounds like an idea for me to use in 2030!!
LED Bulbs for Chandeliers
*UPDATE... thanks to all of you wonderful Hometalkers I learned that LED lights do not give off the heat that my older style bulbs do. I am pleased to update you all that I swapped out the old bulbs for LED and yay, winner, winner chicken dinner! So there's no more worries about the wood getting too close to the hot bulbs! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
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  3 questions
  • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Dec 30, 2019

    Awesome project! How and what did you use to sterilize the wood to prep it?

  • Jolly Jolly on Dec 31, 2020

    What a fantastic idea ! My question is - what does the socket fit into ?

  • Jaye Jaye on Dec 31, 2020

    What are your plans for the strips of glass that were removed from the frame of the chandelier?

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