Here's a post from CasaSugar Community member Alicat94177 from the Su Casa group about building a gorgeous bubble chandelier for her Los Angeles lingerie shop:
At long last we are excited to share the process of how we created the Champagne Bubbles "Frou Frou Chandelier" for our boutique (aka Bubble Chandelier for those of you who want a simpler name for it)! Instead of paying $3,000-$7,000 for a chandelier, we thought it would be much more rewarding to create our own for just a few hundred dollars. This is a step-by-step guide for how we made the chandelier you see at Faire Frou Frou. Our chandelier measures 2'x4', which we needed to make it large enough to make a statement in our boutique. Of course you can create any size or shape that you wish.
2'x4' white wire grid panel, though you can do any shape or size. About $15-$23.
CB2 Bubble Balls, 50 small & 40 large. $1.95 ea small, $3.95 ea large.
Silver Christmas ball ornaments, 80 small, 80 medium.
Fishing line. We bought high knot strength /30 lb., $3.
One spool of sterling silver wire, 20-22 gauge. You can also do 22 gauge floral wire.
4 ceiling mounting hooks
White chain, about 10 feet, cut evenly into 4 pieces.
2 white lamp cord kits from Urban Outfitters, $12 ea.
2 half mirror light bulbs $9 ea
One 2" nail.
One pair of wire cutters, or use scissors if you must.
Continue reading to learn the steps!
See the little silver toggles on the table? We tied fishing line into a knot around the toggle and slipped it into the opening on top of the CB2 ball . . . the other end of the fishing line was tied to the wire grid.
Fastening the fishing line to the wire grid.
We suspended the wire grid from the ceiling, and started tying our fishing line to it from there. We made sure to place the wire grid under an existing ceiling electrical fixture so we could easily install the lighting. We also made sure that we had enough chain length to raise and lower the grid as needed.
Seeing the first bubble hanging was so much fun.
A view from above the wire grid. We later went back and trimmed the excess fishing line.
The first 60 glass balls have been hung . . . now onto the silver ball ornaments. (The light you see in the background is from another chandelier.) Right around this step we added the 2 light fixtures.
We hung the small silver ornaments right up against the wire grid so as to hide it.
Ultimately, the entire top of the chandelier should be covered with silver balls so as to fully conceal the wire grid. We actually placed some silver balls on top of the grid so as to hide it as best we could.
The finished product!
If you look closely (above) you can see the silver balls lining the top of the chandelier along the wire grid. You can also see the pink box cover that extends from the ceiling down to the chandelier itself (this picture was taken in the reflection of a large mirror).
Insert your 4 chandelier hooks into the ceiling and attach about 2-3 feet of your white chain to each (make sure it is secured in the ceiling so as to carry the weight of the chandelier!). You need that extra amount of chain so that you can bring down the wire grid low enough to work on and install the lighting fixtures (and then raise up to the ceiling when you are done). Suspend the wire grid from the ceiling using your chains and s-hooks.
At your work table, cut the silver wire into 2" pieces (your quantity depends on the number of glass balls you are using). Loop each 2" piece once around a nail to create the toggle. You can use pliers to adjust the size of the loop, particularly to make it small enough to fit inside the top of the glass bubble.
Cut a piece of fishing line a few feet long. Knot one end to the silver toggle you just made. Slip the toggle inside the top of the glass CB2 ball. Then attach the other end of the fishing line to the wire grid. Hang each glass ball at varying lengths. We started from the center of the grid and worked our way out.
In the very center of the grid we added our 2 light sockets. We wired both sockets close to the top of the grid and plugged in both cords to the ceiling fixture (or you can easily have an electrician wire the cords to a single ceiling outlet). Plug in your Half Mirror Light Bulbs.
We added silver ball ornaments to the chandelier. We hung these balls extremely close together near the top of the grid so as to completely conceal it (the grid shouldn't show when you're done). For some of the balls we created toggles using our silver wire, and for some we simply used Christmas ornament hooks! Make sure that for each ball you hang directly on the grid that you twist the wire together so the hooks will not fall off if the chandelier is ever shaken (we live in California, so it's a factor we need to consider!).
We ended up creating a cover around the top of the chandelier so as to conceal the chains holding it up as well as the sides of the wire grid. We simply created a light-weight crate that could be hooked to the chains holding up the rest of the chandelier. It was painted a pale pink to match the color of the walls in our store. Another option is to create a framework around the chandelier and cover it in a semi-sheer fabric so as to let the light shine through, much like a lamp shade. If you hook the chandelier close enough to the ceiling, you don't need any cover. We simply have high ceilings in our store and wanted something to finish the look of the piece.
We hope these steps help you put together your own Bubble Chandelier. We had a lot of fun creating it, and it really makes a fun project for two. We would love to build another piece, with the next chandelier on a circular grid. If we end up making a few smaller chandeliers for our fitting rooms we will be sure to let you know! If you end up making a chandelier based on our DIY, let us know!