How to Make a Shabby-Chic Style Chandelier


An old chandelier missing half its glitz can dazzle in shabby-chic-style decor with a little paint and some added sparkle. Junk from the garage or the kitchen drawer can rise above its humble beginnings to add some shabby elegance to a dining room or kitchen. Found and fabulous objects, suspended overhead, make inexpensive but striking chandeliers for a house that defines its style slightly on the shabby side.

Twice-Around Glitter and Glamor

  • Rescue a flea market chandelier and repurpose it to charm your fairy princess in her bower. Remove any pendants, shades or other decor and spray the frame of the chandelier matte white. Use metal paint and give it a couple of coats for good coverage. Dry-brush the painted chandelier to add pale wisps of bedroom decor color -- pink, lavender, mint, metallic silver or gold. Rewire and replace sockets if necessary. Add bulbs that work on a dimmer for creative control of ambient light. With clear monofilament line, attach clear and colored crystals and pendants to hang down from the column and arms. Glass or plastic pendants in rose and pale pink, lilac and lavender, mint and teal, or another combination that works with the decor, will sparkle like bits of rainbow in sunlight or at night, when the chandelier is turned on.

Poseidon's Pearls

  • Light up the beach house with a shabby-chic-style chandelier any mermaid would love. Spray an old metal chandelier skeleton sky blue or seagull gray. Rewire it or have it wired by an electrician, and then get busy with beach finds. Hang shells, sand dollars, sea stars and bits of sea glass from the chandelier with clear fishing line. Drape the arms with ropes of pearls that swoop down in graceful curves. Screw in clear light bulbs the same round shape as fishing floats to illuminate an overhead collection of treasures from Davy Jones' locker or a pirate's treasure chest in your entry or guest room.

Pantry Pendant

  • A chandelier goes country-shabby when you paint the metal fixture and substitute empty mason jars from your pantry for glass globes or hanging shades. Take apart the tops of the mason jars -- the lid ring and jar lid. Remove the chandelier, take off shades or bulb covers, and remove the flanges that hold the bulbs. Spray the bare fixture, flanges, jar lids and lid rings with your chosen metal paint. Oil-rubbed bronze or a chalky enamel color to match a vintage-style appliance are a good choice for a retro kitchen or shabby dining room. Tin-snip a hole in each jar lid the same size as the circular flange from the light fixture -- just trace a flange on each lid and cut out the shape. Then replace the lights in this order: lid ring into fixture; cut jar lid; screw-in light flange; medium-watt bulb; and mason jar.

Cleverly Corked

  • Spray an old round fan grille coral or gray; then, spray a topcoat of antique white over the color and lightly sand here and there around the edges to reveal the colored paint beneath. Screw tiny eye hooks into the tops of about 75 to 100 wine corks. Tie twine to the corks and hang them in uniform lengths around the outer rim, just inside it, around circular braces in the middle of the grille, and at the center opening. Each circle of corks should be even, but create a graduated length from the adjacent circle, with the longest circle of corks in the middle. Attach twine-woven chain to the center edge of the grille to hang it from the ceiling. Add a light bulb socket and low wattage or LED lamp to the center of the chandelier to hang inside the corks. Run the power cord through the chain to the ceiling mount to connect it.

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