How to Make a Homemade Chandelier

    by Katherine Kally

    About the Author

    Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.


    Making a homemade chandelier with beautiful paua shell beads or strands of clear crystal beads is a simple craft project that you can complete in an hour or two. Paua shells are iridescent shells in the colors of the ocean and are particularly beautiful hanging on a chandelier as the light will glow through the translucent shells. Clear crystal beads are the perfect complement to the paua shells as they add design interest to your chandelier, but do not conflict with the colors in the shells.

    Things You'll Need

    • Single-bulb ceiling light fixture, installed
    • Stud finder
    • Four small ceiling hooks
    • Ladder
    • 10-inch metal craft circle
    • Six 16-inch paua shell strands
    • Fishing line
    • 100 8-mm crystal beads
    • Clear nail polish
    • 24-gauge craft wire and cutters

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    Assemble your materials. You can find shimmering paua shell beads at online bead retailers, most of which are shipped in a 16-inch strands and come in shapes including coins, emeralds, diamonds, ovals and squares, so you can be creative with your chandelier design. You can also find 8-mm clear crystal beads at online retailers. You have a variety of shapes to select from. Craft circles, ceiling hooks, fishing line and craft wire can be found at a craft-supply or discount store.

    Surround the ceiling light fixture with the craft circle and trace the circle lightly with a pencil. This will help you as you search for the studs to hang your hooks. Locate at least one ceiling joist along the perimeter of the circle with your stud finder and mark the spot. Make a mark for the remaining three hooks every 2.5 inches around the circle. Insert the ceiling hooks.

    Cut four 18-inch lengths of fishing line. Thread one of the top-hole crystal beads to the end of one line and tie a double knot to secure the bead in place. Thread 25 8-mm crystal beads to the line and knot the end with a double knot. Leave the excess at the top of your strand so you can attach it to the craft ring. Coat the knots with clear nail polish for added security. Repeat this step to make three more strands of crystal beads.

    Tie the top of each of your strands at equal intervals around the craft circle with a triple knot. Alternate the paua strands with the crystal bead strands. Coat the knots with clear nail polish for added security.

    Cut four eight-inch lengths of 24-gauge craft wire to make a hanger for your chandelier. Wrap the ends of the wire securely around the metal craft circle at equal intervals. Make a small loop at the other end of the wires by tying the wire in a circle; 24-gauge craft wire is very flexible. Hook the wires onto the ceiling hooks to hang your homemade paua shell chandelier.

    • You can add any type of decorative strand you like to your homemade chandelier.