Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Let there be light.....

Many an hour have I frittered away pondering all the pretties out there in the wondrous world of the web. And many a list have I compiled of all the home lovelies that would be mine if someone happened to dump a bag of cash in my lap. (I mean when that happens - think positive, right?)
Now, often, what happens is I see something bright, shiny and gorgeous in some cool and hip shop/ site/ magazine, and after berating myself for not being a super star that can afford such a wonder, I then become inspired and decide to have a go at making it myself.
A thousand dollar TV cabinet - Can't be that hard to make, right?
Designer cushions - I'm up for a bit of that.
A mirror that takes my breath away because of its beauty and its price tag -  Duh! Of course I'm capable.
Now usually with the combination of op-shop treasures, slatherings of spray paint, elbow grease and some imagination I can usually achieve a creation that I'm pretty happy with at a fraction of the price.
My shed may also hide some of the poor unfortunates that didn't make the grade, but hey, the spiders are enjoying them.
So, back in the bygones of 2010 I made myself a Christmas wreath constructed from a coat hanger, scraps of old fabric from my stash and some holiday cheer.

 I was so happy with it that I built all of my Christmas decoration colours around it. At the start of December I happily unpacked my festive wreath when I was struck by inspiration.(That's what I call it when I may have inadvertently ripped off someone elses ideas - "inspiration"). I had seen a lovely light on apartment therapy but lacking in wads of cash and 10ft high ceilings, I had to improvise. How could I get a colourful and fun light without breaking the bank? Hey presto! Let there be light and there was a rag covered light!

In case anyone else feels like having a go, you will need LOTS of strips of various fabrics. I used complementary colours and used up bits and pieces of vintage clothing and rags. I used about 20 different types of fabric and tried to have a selection of textures to add interest. The strips were about 2.5cm  wide and  20 cm long, but you don't need to fret about exact measurements and making each strip exactly the same because the variations add charm and you will trim the ends of the strips anyway. Cut lots and lots and lots.

After all that snip snip action you will need to find metal rings (available in any craft shop) in the size you want your chandelier to be. You can choose rings in the same size or varying sizes depending on the look you are after. I happened to have an old lamp shade and so ripped out the metal insides, but alas, disaster struck in the form of my Ruby and so I had to buy another ring.

If you have beautiful high ceilings or want a long drop chandelier you could use more than two rings.
Now, find something good on TV and start knotting each fabric strip around a ring so you have the knot fastened on the ring and the two ends of fabric hanging loose. Try and push each knot tight against the last so you can get a full effect and remember to be random with the fabric. I put all of my fabric in a bag and let the craft gods decide as I pulled each piece out. After watching  a couple of episodes of the "The Walking Dead" (I am such a sucker for a good zombie tale), I had discovered that I had finished knotting both of my rings. Huzzah! Almost done people. OK, so a bit more snip snip while you trimmed the strips so that they are to your desired length. I went with ends that are about 3 to 4 inches. Again, I can't stress enough that you don't want each strip to look even with its neighbour. Slightly varying lengths and varying angles of cut add to the chandeliers loveliness.
Connect each ring to the other by using ribbons, or as I did, some jewellery chain. I just measured out six even lengths of chain, attached three to a fabric ring (evenly spaced) with jewellery jump rings and then attached both rings to each other using the same method. The three bits of chain at the top can be hung from your ceiling, but I was happy to hang mine from an existing light fixture.
Now, admire your handiwork! Ain't she purty!

* A Warning! I don't tend to use our lounge room overhead light and so chose that one to hang my chandelier from as, even though I'm no fireman, I'm pretty sure that heat and fabric are not good friends and could lead to FIRE. The light hanging is a decorative piece and should not come in contact with a bare bulb.
I looooove my new chandelier and am so happy with how it has brightened up my living room. It is bright, cheerful, inexpensive and uses up old fabric. So go get snipping!

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