Like a lot of people, I have one of these in my house:
Yep…the dreaded “boob light”.
This beauty hangs in my upstairs hallway. It certainly could be worse, but it could be a lot better too – so I started brainstorming budget DIY ideas to improve the situation.
I found this tutorial from the Heathered Nest for a DIY Capiz shell chandelier:
And it got me thinking.
I had two capiz shell wall hanging things stashed in my attic. Basically they are wooden dowels with long strings of capiz shells. Wall hangings? Curtains? I have no idea. I haven’t used them in years, they are remnants of my coastal decor phase. If you can’t find something like this, Capiz shell windchimes would work just as well.
I hunted around the house for something to use for a frame to hang the shells from. Most tutorials I’ve seen use either an old lampshade frame or an outdoor plant holder. The problem I ran into was that my light is only about 8″ in diameter, which was smaller than the plant holders and none of my old lampshades fit quite right either.
I was getting a little frustrated, but then the DIY gods smiled on me, and by some insane stroke of luck I found this in my favorite Rescue Mission thrift store:
What it is, I have no idea. My best guess is it might be a fan cover?
There is a place where it would screw onto something, but what that something might be is a total mystery.
Who donates stuff like this??
But it happened to be exactly 8″ in diameter and priced at just $.99. What are the chances of that?
I sprayed it to closely match the existing light fixture base, which turned out to be Rustoleum Aged Copper.
I thought I would have to remove the glass globe. I was trying to figure out the best way to mount this thing – Heather used zip ties and had to cut holes in her base – when the DRG said, “Hey – can’t we just fit this right over the old fixture?”
I am definitely guilty of overthinking my projects sometimes.
I hauled the Capiz shell wall hanging/curtain things out of the attic, and unfortunately they had fallen off the shelf and mated with each other in a terrible, tangled mess.
I propped them up on chairs in my dining room to try and untangle them.
Surprisingly, I got most of them unsnarled.
I used zip ties to attach the spray painted round mystery piece to my dining room chandelier so I could easily work on it.
And yes, the Donald Trump orange furniture is till temporarily parked in my dining room.
Make sure your base is level, otherwise your strings will side around and make it tough to see where you are.
I figured out that the longest the shells could hang would be about 16″ and I cut my pieces accordingly. I decided to make 3 levels of Capiz shells and I draped the strings over the base – so each string is doubled.
I continued on until I was happy with the arrangement. Once I had enough strings on the base, I needed to secure them in place.
I don’t think it matters much what kind of glue you use, as long as it dries clear. I put some basic white glue I had hanging around into a dish and used a small paintbrush to blob it on.
Once I had the 2 smaller levels glued in, I started playing around with the outer level. I wanted the frame to show as little as possible, so this was the one level that I was pretty careful with. I arranged that layer so that the shells laid nice and flat and so that I would have a little area to glue. You may have to turn the string around to get them going in the right direction.
Once you have everything where you want it, dab some glue to the back of the shell and on top of the fishing line.
And that’s about it – I let it dry in place for an hour or two before I installed it.
I should probably scrape that sloppy ceiling paint off the base.
It looks a lot longer in the photo than it actually is in real life, but I do think it’s a little longer than it should be. I’m going to live with it for a few days before I think about trimming it down.
I wasn’t sure how it would look, but it’s a actually kind of graceful and pretty up there. It might not be a permanent solution, but it’s a pretty decent $.99 solution. 🙂
I’m linking this project up at some terrific blog parties – you can find my complete list of places I party HERE.