The icicle and fairy lights used at Christmas for lining windows and porches are useful all year as imaginative lighting with an extra sparkle. The sparkle comes from knowing how cheaply you solved a problem. The Christmas lights turn into glittering chandeliers with very little work and for mere pennies. Cover an ugly hanging lamp that you can't remove. Create a new fixture for a dark space in desperate need of illumination. Do it with an adapter, a leftover board, white paint, a few shiny ornaments or plastic icicles, and a spare hour or a few minutes on the weekend.
Things You'll Need
- Light socket adapter
- 12-inch-square flat wood scrap
- White paint
- 4 white eye hooks
- 10 to 12 white cup hooks
- 2 anchor ceiling hooks
- Lengths of thin chain
- Long, clear extension cord
- Christmas ornaments and plastic icicles
- Twist ties (optional)
Buy a string of icicle lights and two strings of fairy lights. Make it cheaper by finding some in your existing Christmas closet stash. Remove the bulbs and any little shades from the ugly chandelier you want to disguise.
Set the plug for the first fairy light string in the center of the existing chandelier, and wrap the fixture in a circle of lights. Plug in the next strand, then weave the lights throughout the rest of the chandelier to fill in gaps.
Plug the icicle strand into the second strand of fairy lights, and drape it to hang down randomly from various points on the fixture and in the nest of fairy lights. Be very free with this step--there is no wrong way to do it. Just avoid leaving big gaps in the lights, and the design will be fabulous.
Screw a light socket adapter into an empty bulb socket in the chandelier, plug in the connected strings of lights and turn on the fixture at the wall switch.
Paint a 12-inch-square flat board white. Screw white eye hooks into all four corners on the top, then screw white cup hooks around the edge and in the bottom-center.
Install an anchor ceiling hook where you want the light to hang. Suspend the painted board from four short chains that run from the eye hooks to a ring attached to a single chain that hangs from the ceiling hook.
Drape and weave fairy lights and icicle lights from the cup hooks and over the topside eye hooks until you have an interesting tangle of connected lights. Plug the light strings into a long, clear extension cord that runs from the top of the fixture, weaves through the chain to its ceiling hook, loops across the ceiling to a corner hook and runs down the wall to a light plug.
Turn on the lights with a wall switch that controls the switch plate, or click the fixture on from a switch on the extension cord. Hang a few pretty Christmas baubles from the hooks on the underside of the board to twinkle in the fairy lights.
Tips & Warnings
- Wrap lights around spokes or arms of the old chandelier to secure them, or use white twist ties inside the nested structure where the ties will be difficult to see.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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