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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Faux Capiz Shell Chandelier

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If you can recall from last weeks Stuff I like Sunday, I highlighted the gorgeous paper capiz shell chandelier that Brenna from Design Sponge made:
I decided that this looked easy enough, and would be the perfect addition to the mini-overhaul I'm working on in my bathroom.  This is what I had to work with:
Bare light bulb, yuck.
Cute huh?  Definitely in need of a makeover!

First thing I did was gather my supplies...wax paper, parchment paper, ironing board, and iron.  Ready, set...Go!
wax and parchment paper
The parchment paper is used so that when you iron your wax paper, the wax doesn't melt all over the iron or board.  Nothing worse than going to use the iron the next time and having melted wax all over your clothes :(

You are going to need to iron together 3 sheets of wax paper, so tear off 3 equal squares of paper.  Then tear 2 sheets of equal sized parchment paper
Now you are going to make a paper sandwich.  First layer is a square of parchment paper, lay this down on the ironing board.  If you do not have an ironing board, lay a towel down to protect your surface and put the parchment paper on top of the towel.

Now lay down the 3 pieces of wax paper, on top of the original layer of the parchment paper.
Add the second piece of parchment paper on top of the layers of wax paper.  Mine wasn't quite big enough so I ended up adding an additional piece of parchment paper to cover the edges.
paper sandwich
You should now have 5 layers...parchment paper, wax paper, wax paper, wax paper, parchment paper.  You are ready to iron!  Set your iron on a low setting, and iron over the top layer of parchment paper.
iron on top of the parchment paper
I then flipped the wax paper over and ironed again to make sure there were no bubbles.  Using the 3 sheets of wax paper help to give the appearance of the Capiz Shell.  Here are a couple examples of what your wax paper will look like once it is all ironed together:
Follow the above steps for multiple sheets of was paper.  You will need a bunch of them...trust me!  I went through over a roll of wax paper.

Now is when you would get out your handy dandy circular hole punch.  But, if you are a super cheapo like me, and don't have a circular hole punch....there are some extra steps to follow.  This was probably the most tedious part of the whole process...

I went off in search of a circular object, approximately 2" across, that I could trace.  I found my "grown-up" piggy bank, and the cork in the top was the perfect size:
I took one sheet of the pre-ironed wax paper, the cork, and a pencil and got to work tracing...
Here is what you should end up with:
hard to see, but it is a bunch of traced circles!
In order to save cutting time, I stapled together 3 sheets of wax paper:
Then it's time to start cutting.  You will need a whole bunch of circles, so follow the above steps numerous times:
 Now it was time to start forming my strings of circles.  I found some white string to use.  Make sure the measure a couple extra inches on the end, because you will be tying the strings onto your basket.  I left about four inches hanging off the end.  I laid everything out on paper, so that my hot glue wouldn't drip onto the top of my table.
 I decided to make my strings about 8 circles long.  Here I lined them up to make sure everything looked ok:
Begin attaching the circles to the string with a small dot of hot glue.  I attached each circle directly to the string, rather than to each other, in order to allow more movement.  Get ready, because this process takes forever!
 Here is what a string of the circles looks like completed:
Now I went off in search of a basket to use for my light fixture.  I found an old wooden one, and spray painted it white, to help it blend in.
Later on, I did end up cutting out some of the base of the basket in order to allow more light to shine through.  I will show you this further down in the tutorial.

It is now time to begin tying on strings of circles.  I started at the bottom and tied on each string at every third intersection on the basket:
Each time that I moved up a row on the basket, I used one less circle, in order to create a layered look.  For example, all of the bottom strings have 8 circles.  The next layer has 7 circles on each string, the next level has 6 circles on each string, etc.  By the time I reached the top my strings only had 3 circles attached to each string.

Here is what my basket looks like with the first few strings of circles attached:
I attached my basket to the light by attaching 3 white paperclips, and stringing them from the basket to lip of the previous light fixture that was installed.  I evenly spaced the strings of paperclips so that the basket was hanging evenly:
Now you just continue to tie on strings of circles:
Once I got to the very top of my basket, I used the glue gun to glue the circle directly to the basket.  This helped to eliminate the wood showing at the top.  Here is what it looks like completely covered:
 Here is what it looks like from underneath where you can see how I removed the center of the basket to allow for more light flow:
And a couple more finished product shots.
 What do you think?  It's certainly not perfect, but I think it has come a long way from the lonely light bulb that was there to begin with!

Overall I was pretty resourceful and was able to complete this project almost entirely with materials I already had at home.  The only thing I had to purchase was the wax paper and parchment paper.  Overall, I spent less than $5.  Love it!

If this is a project that you are considering doing yourself, please be forewarned that it takes FOREVER!  This was certainly not a one day project.  Things would have gone a lot faster without the need to cut out each individual circle, a hole punch would be a wise investment.  However, it certainly isn't impossible without one!

Happy crafting!

Simply Living


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