Bubble chandeliers update the traditional multi-bulb chandelier into a bright, modern art piece comprised of shimmering, round glass shapes. Even small bubble chandeliers typically cost several hundred dollars, but you can create a convincing facsimile of their straightforward design using inexpensive materials from the craft store and hardware store. Most bubble chandeliers use only clear glass balls, but you can mix in a few translucent pink, blue or silver balls for an extra dose of iridescence.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- White extension cord
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- 3 standard cord kits without plugs
- 3 clear, round light bulbs, 25-watt
- White floral wire, 20 gauge
- Large nail
- 18 clear Christmas ornament balls
- Fishing line
- Ceiling hook
Cut off the outlet end of your extension cord. Grasp that end of the cord with your wire strippers, and then twist and pull to remove about an inch of insulation. Also strip 1 inch from each of your three cord's socketless ends. Twist the three exposed black cord kit wires around the extension cord's exposed black wire, and twist the three white wires around the extension cord's white wire. Cover your work with white electrical tape.
Screw a bulb into each socket. You now have a hangable plug-in pendant that consists of three round, clustered light bulbs that you'll surround with clear balls.
Cut your floral wire to 2-inch lengths. Set a length of wire onto your work surface, and then place your nail perpendicularly across its centre. Pull each side of the wire up and across the nail, which should wrap the centre of your wire around the nail in a single loop. Slide out the nail to reveal a single, perfect loop with about 1 inch of wire length extending from each side.
Make another 17 looped floral wire pieces. Pull off the silver hanger tops from each Christmas ball. Insert a wire piece vertically into the opening at the top of each glass ball. Work the inserted wire piece until the white wire loop emerges from the ornament hole. You could leave on the silver hangers if you wanted, instead of using the white looped wire, but replacing the hangers with the more inconspicuous wire makes the balls look less obviously like repurposed Christmas ornaments.
Cut 18 1-foot long lengths of fishing line, and tie the end of each line to one of your protruding wire loops. Organise your prepared balls into three groups of six. Cluster all the balls in each group around one of the light bulbs, and then tie them to the cord just above the socket. Play with the length of each string until you get the appropriate clustered effect.
Attach the chandelier to your ceiling with a ceiling hook screwed into a ceiling stud.
Tips and warnings
- You can add or subtract cords and glass balls to create a larger or smaller bubble chandelier. Attach your hanging bulbs and assembled bulb and cord kits to a wire grid panel for an extra-large bubble chandelier. Use four small silver or white chains attached to each corner to hang the grid.
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