Right now I am sitting at my dining room table…. with a chandelier over my head. That’s right. I finished my bubble chandelier, and I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Let’s begin.
I wanted to find a chandelier to put over the dining room table in our new apartment. I really don’t like lamp lighting. I prefer overhead lighting. And we have this whole huge living/dining room with no overhead lighting. I started by trying to find a chandelier to buy. I looked at goodwill and on Etsy, which is a place to find amazing handmade items. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, except a cheap chandelier of course. I wasn’t having any luck. So I thought to myself, hey, maybe I could make my own?? And proceeded to google, “DIY chandelier”, where I came across the bubble chandelier. The bubble chandelier is basically a bunch of clear, glass globes with a couple of lightbulbs in the mix. The light from the bulbs reflect off the glass and make a pretty cool effect. I was in love.
So here is my attempt to make a bubble chandelier:
The cast of characters, so to speak. And I’m terribly sorry, but I’m not going to list out all of the “ingredients” and the project step by step. I’m not trying to be secretive, just lazy.
I liked this picture for some reason. I am also learning photography.
Don’t forget that if you are trying this at home, you probably need a 16 pound cat to chew on your wires. He’s just testing to make sure they work.
It also helps to take ridiculously cute pictures of said cat, taking naps with the “ingredients”.
Okay, so quite a bit happened inbetween the last two photos. I cut wooden skewers and insterted them into the glass globes. Problem #1 – the wooden dowel that I bought was waaaay too big to fit into the globe with a string tied around it. Luckily we were planning on having kabobs for dinner in the near future, so I had skewers in the kitchen. They worked perfectly. Then came Problem #2. No one carries 4″ diameter lightbulbs. They are either 3″ or 5″. So work stopped for a few days. I finally found 3.75″ diameter lightbulbs at Menards. They worked perfectly. The next step was to tie 4 glass globes around each lightbulb/porcelain socket and wire combination. It took a little time to figure out what length I needed, but I finally got it figured out. Problem #3: when I was trimming the string after I made the knots, I accidentally cut off a globe instead of the excess string from a knot. Annoying, but I still had enough string left on the globe to re-tie it and make it work. After I finished that, I had to coil a thicker string around each of the clusters. Rocky was particularly helpful with this part.
After coiling string around each of the 3 clusters, I had to braid those strings to bring the 3 clusters together. Then the wiring came in. I had to attach the 3 black wires with one side of an extension cord and the 3 white wires with the other side of the extension cord. I’m sure that this is not a good explanation. I apologize if it’s confusing. This is when Problem #4/Meltdown happened. The exposed wires from the porcelain sockets weren’t quite long enough, so with my husband’s guidance I began to strip them a little farther down. On my first attempt, I accidentally cut through all of the wires and ended up about an inch shorter than when I had been short in the first place. I kinda freaked. So he came and helped calm me down/do the wiring part for me.
Isn’t he sweet?? Then came Problem #5. As I was wrapping the braided strings around the wires, I heard a weird clinking noise. I couldn’t figure it out, but upon further inspection, I realized that a glass globe had broken. I didn’t take a picture of it, because it was too sad. But I just cut it off and kept working.
But after all the problems, the meltdown and the hard work – I finally finished! Here is the chandelier in it’s natural habitat.
I’m so excited!