Welcome to The Worst Tutorial On The Planet.

Sorry, but it’s true.

The problem is that I was learning as I was making this thing, which means the pictures and directions will be confusing to say the least.

However, the finished product is AWESOME so I’ll do my best to make the how-to as clear as possible. Tons of bloggers have done this, but for some reason I decided to go rogue and design my own based on a few real models out there.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pendant light kit
  • Steel wire-found in the hardware section at most home improvement stores. Pick a gauge that’s flexible, but still requires pliers. I used 18 gauge.
  • Pliers
  • Wax paper
  • Parchment paper
  • Iron
  • Circle cutter or punch, 1.5″ diameter
  • White or ivory thread
  • Hot glue
  • Ribbon (optional)

I started out by trying to make a framework from the steel wire. The first one I came up was a bit too conspicuous for me, looking TOO crafty, which was the same reason I didn’t use a wire basket.

I decided to simplify and came up with a new plan. I made two circles, one fitting inside the other. I would say one was about 8″ in  diameter and the other one was 6″.  Let’s pause there for a minute and talk about making the shells and stringing them together.

I used the same method I’ve seen a dozen places, ironing 3 sheets of was paper together between 2 sheets of parchment paper. This makes a thicker shell that looks very realistic! I used a 1.5″ circle punch to cut them all out (although you can trace something and cut them out by hand). When you decide on the length you want, line up your circles and lay the thread on top close to the center. I found the best way to glue the thread down is to put a small dot of glue at the top and bottom of each circle. This allows for movement of the strands, but each shell is still secure.

I used 11 shells for the large (outer) circle and 16 (inner) for the smaller- I’ll explain these numbers below.

See how the far left circle is spaced further out than the rest? That’s the extra circle that gets wrapped around the wire frame and hot glued in place (this eliminates having to tie the string). I decided to attach the strands this way to hide the wire (again, going for a more professional look here). If you want to mount them differently you can leave out the extra circle and just tie them on. It took me about 4 hours to cut out all the circles, make the strands, and attach them.

Here is the best shot of the finished frame I had.

I put all the shells on each circle separately before putting them together with thread. The shells and wire are so light, I think I tied 3 pieces of thread to hold the small circle inside the large one (are you starting to hate me yet?). The very small circle at the top is sized to fit over the pendant fixture. I attached it to the rest of the chandelier with 3 spokes. This was the most difficult part and required some dexterity with the pliers. I hot glued some white satin ribbon to the shells that sat right over the wire. The ribbon was just sitting out, and I thought it might look cool. I love it!

Once everything was attached, I slid the very top tiny circle onto the pendant fixture and secured it with the supplied ring (this is how you would attach a glass shade).

Clear as mud?

Here’s the finished faux capiz shell chandelier hanging in our guest room.

Up close and personal.

And one with the light off…

It’s most definitely better than the “boob” light that was there before.

Image courtesy of Home Depot

So, what do you think? Is it nice enough to risk trying out my bad instructions for yourself?

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No Responses

  1. Kristin Dudish

    Ha! You had me at “Welcome to the Worst Tutorial on The Planet”! (It definitely caught my attention… but, I have to say, your tutorial really wasn’t bad :)

    I loooove your brown paper floors and I am planning on trying them! (Will you be posting about the stained version soon? I’d love to learn more about that.)

    You have wonderful ideas and a great blog!


    • Lovely Crafty Home

      Aw Thanks Kristin! Yes I will be posting in more detail once I finish the stairs. The paper part is done, but I’m doing some finishing work to the risers and trim (which I didn’t do to the basement stairs) so that’s why it’s taking longer!

  2. Malory

    That is hilarious. I call them boob lights too! My mom was offended when I told her that her basement was filled with them. I love your new look!

  3. Melissa

    Wow, that light really does look like a boob. *scratches head* Your chandelier really looks fabulous though, very realistic. Nice job. Good tutorial too ;)

  4. liz boulos

    ooooh!!! I want to make one. i’ve had my eye on one of those for years. it brings a beachy feeling to any room with cheesy shells and sand. now we can leave that in the bathroom’s of the 80′s and the lamp bases at beach houses everywhere. thanks, rach.

  5. Tracy

    Love it! As soon as I find some parchment paper,I think I might try this.

  6. Christine B

    Oh wow this looks great. So i bought one similar to this on amazon. Super excited because I thought it would be more of a actual shell and yeah it was all plastic. So good for you for actually making one instead of buying one like me. I am impressed.

  7. Woah, That’s GREEN.

    [...] Comments Auto Adsense WPRemember a while back when I shared the guest room makeover (including a capiz chandelier, drop cloth bed skirt, wood shim mirror, and stained paper [...]


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