Join us in a new installment where we scout out some of the most amazing do-it-yourself projects from the blogosphere. Check back each week for our latest high-style finds at a super low price, so you can save your wedding funds for the stuff that really matters to you...
The editors at BG have been obsessing over this bubble chandelier ever since we saw a picture of one last week on 100 Layer Cake. So we did a little research and found out that Gail and Alison Rubke, the mother-daughter owners of Faire Frou Frou, a luxury lingerie boutique in California, are the masterminds behind this creative decoration. Instead of paying $3,000-$7,000 on a chandelier to illuminate their store, Gail and Alison decided to create their own unique chandelier and are now sharing this fun DIY project with crafty gals everywhere. We think it's a great idea for brides on a budget looking to dress up their wedding venue with something eye-catching and whimsical. We've provided their step-by-step instructions below so now you can grab a friend and make one for your big day!
Supplies you will need:
- 2'x4' white wire grid panel, although 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, preferably high knot strength/30 lb. ($3)
- 1 spool of sterling silver wire, 20-22 gauge, although you can also use 22 gauge floral wire
- 4 ceiling mounting hooks
- White chain, about 10 ft., cut evenly into 4 pieces
- 4 S-hooks
- 2 lamp cord kits from Urban Outfitters, white ($12 ea)
- 2 half mirror light bulbs ($9 ea)
Tools you will need:
- A 2" nail
- A pair of wire cutters
Set up the base of the chandelier: 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.
Prep the toggles: 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.
Suspend disbelief: 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. Gail and Alison started from the center of the grid and worked their way out.
Light it up: In the very center of the grid, add your 2 light sockets. Gail and Alison 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.
Add decorative accents: Gail and Alison added silver ball ornaments to the chandelier. Hang the 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 they created toggles using the silver wire, and for some they 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.
Step 6 (optional):
Cover up the base: Gail and Alison 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. They 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 their 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 probably don't need any cover.
And voila! You've created your bubble chandelier. For additional photos and to read more about this neat project, visit froufroufashionista.blogspot.com.
Top Photo by Aruna B. Photography, courtesy of 100 Layer Cake
All other photos by Faire Frou Frou