Tutorial for Capiz Shell Chandeliers


Capiz shell chandeliers have an attractive, natural look while still lending a dramatic flair to a room. Unfortunately, capiz shell chandeliers are often quite costly. You can make your own, though, and if you work carefully, it's possible to make a capiz shell chandelier that looks just like a professional or manufactured one. The easiest tactic is to create a chandelier which fits over a light fixture that is already present in your home so that you avoid wiring or electrical work.

Things You'll Need

  • String or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Wire hoop
  • Capiz shells
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Fishing line, decorative chain
  • Cup hooks (optional)
  • Cut strands of string or ribbon to equal lengths. Ribbon is easy to work with but will be visible. Thin string that is clear or the same color as your shells will be less visible. You can also use a natural fiber, like twine, for a more rustic look. The length of the strands depends upon how long you want the capiz shell strands to be. Around eight inches is easy to work with, but the strands can be shorter or much longer. Remember that long strands will weigh more than short ones.

  • Tie your strands around the circumference of a thin metal hoop. You should tie on the strands before gluing on the shells rather than gluing on the shells, then tying the strands. However, you may want to glue shells onto a few strands before you tie on every strand so that you have an idea of how far the strands should be spaced.

  • Spread a thin line of hot glue across the middle of a shell, then glue it onto the end of a strand. Continue adding shells along the strand until the line of shells reaches close to the top of the strand. Repeat for all of the strands tied to your hoop.

  • Attach the chandelier to an existing light fixture. This step will vary depending upon what kind of fixture it is. You may be able to tie the chandelier to the fixture using fishing line or use a decorative chain to attach the chandelier. You can also put cup hooks around the fixture and attach the chandelier to the ceiling instead.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make faux capiz shells from ironed layers of wax paper.
  • If you want to make a chandelier with multiple layers, use a wire basket, such as a planter basket, and tie the strands in layers. Start tying on strands and gluing from the innermost layer and work your way out.
  • Be careful when using hot glue, as it can burn you.

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