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DIY Bubble Chandelier

July 20, 2011

We’re feeling extra bubbly today (pun intended)! Remember Kara and Andrew’s wedding? Well, we fell in love with their glass bubble ceiling so much that we scoured the interweb for more bubbly goodness. Which brings us to this chandelier on Alison’s ever-so-sultry boudoir blog, Frou Frou Fashionista.  We’re huge fans of how the final piece came out and adore that both Alison and her mom made it for only $300! Now, it’s your turn.

diy chandelier diy chandelier

•   2’x4′ white wire grid panel (though you can do any shape or size) (about $15-$23)
•   CB2 Bubble Balls (50 small & 40 large) ($1.95 ea small, $3.95 ea large)
•   Silver Christmas ball ornaments (80 small, 80 medium)
•   Fishing line (we bought high knot strength /30 lb.) $3
•   One spool of sterling silver wire (20-22 gauge). You can also do 22 gauge floral wire.
•   4 ceiling mounting hooks
•   white chain (about 10 feet, cut evenly into 4 pieces)
•   4 S-hooks
•   2 lamp cord kits from Urban Outfitters (white) $12 ea
•   2 half mirror light bulbs $9 ea

Tools you will need:
•   a 2″ nail
•   Pliers
•   one pair of wire cutters (or use scissors if you must)
•   Scissors

diy chandelier

Step 1: Insert your 4 chandelier hooks into the ceiling and attach about 2-3 feet of your white chain to each (make sure it is secured in the ceiling so as to carry the weight of the chandelier!). You need that extra amount of chain so that you can bring down the wire grid low enough to work on and install the lighting fixtures (and then raise up to the ceiling when you are done). Suspend the wire grid from the ceiling using your chains and s-hooks.

Step 2: At your work table, cut the silver wire into 2″ pieces (your quantity depends on the number of glass balls you are using). Loop each 2″ piece once around a nail to create the toggle. You can use pliers to adjust the size of the loop, particularly to make it small enough to fit inside the top of the glass bubble.

Step 3: Cut a piece of fishing line a few feet long. Knot one end to the silver toggle you just made. Slip the toggle inside the top of the glass CB2 ball. Then attach the other end of the fishing line to the wire grid. Hang each glass ball at varying lengths. We started from the center of the grid and worked our way out.

Step 4: In the very center of the grid we added our 2 light sockets. We wired both sockets close to the top of the grid and plugged in both cords to the ceiling fixture (or you can easily have an electrician wire the cords to a single ceiling outlet). Plug in your Half Mirror Light Bulbs.

Step 5: We added silver ball ornaments to the chandelier. We hung these balls extremely close together near the top of the grid so as to completely conceal it (the grid shouldn’t show when you’re done). For some of the balls we created toggles using our silver wire, and for some we simply used Christmas ornament hooks! Make sure that for each ball you hang directly on the grid that you twist the wire together so the hooks will not fall off if the chandelier is ever shaken (we live in California, so it’s a factor we need to consider!).

Step 6 (optional): We ended up creating a cover around the top of the chandelier so as to conceal the chains holding it up as well as the sides of the wire grid. We simply created a light-weight crate that could be hooked to the chains holding up the rest of the chandelier. It was painted a pale pink to match the color of the walls in our store. Another option is to create a framework around the chandelier and cover it in a semi-sheer fabric so as to let the light shine through, much like a lamp shade. If you hook the chandelier close enough to the ceiling, you don’t need any cover…we simply have high ceilings in our store and wanted something to finish the look of the piece.

Bookmark this post, print it out, do what cha got to do to save this baby for your next DIY project, and have fun with it. Imagine all the goodies you can put inside – glitter, confetti, succulents, flowers… And, please let us know (and send photos) if you end up making one of these for your wedding. We can’t get enough!

{top photo by Sarah Yates for Rue Magazine, multiple photo grouping by Alison, bottom photo by Aruna B. Photography}