diy bubble chandelier
we really needed a lighting fixture over the dining table, it was getting ridiculous eating in the dark all the time, but I couldn't decide what to put there...it's already got "a whole lot of look" going on...big slab table, crazy macrame weavings (which I'm sure you're sick of seeing in every photo). then I remembered this cool project from Readymade magazine (RIP, Readymade...I miss you) and decided now was the time to do it. because now is the time of year when you can find very cheap glass balls, in the form of christmas ornaments! I headed to Michaels, Ikea, and Lowes, and came back with the following:
twelve 3" diameter glass ball ornaments - $10
twelve 2.5" diameter glass ball ornaments - $10
Ikea "Hemma" hanging light cord - $8
roll of jute twine - $2
white electrical tape - $2
1.5" silver welded ring - $1
Here's my slightly tweaked version of Jean Pelle's original idea...mine ended up looking a little more...organic? but that's ok. While I was making it I decided it was inspired by those cool glass floats that are tied up with twine...and actually that's a great idea which if I'd had more time I might have incorporated. but anyway...
I decided that I was not up to the task of splicing electrical cords together, as they did in the original project, so I just went with one light socket. first of all, you should decide how low you are going to have your light hang down from the ceiling. I can't hang anything low or one of the cats will try to climb it, so I decided I wanted the center of the cluster to be about 20" below the ceiling.
I felt the christmas ornaments were just way too obviously christmas ornaments, so I started by hot gluing the twine around the silver caps to disguise them a bit. then I tied a knot in the twine at the hanging wire and left about a yard of twine as a tail.
next I created 8 bunches of three balls and then tied one of the pieces of twine around the other two in what my old macrame book tells me is a "half hitch" knot...I did a bunch of those knots in a row and ended up with these twisty ropes. the ropes varied between 3-6" long.
then I did the same knots of twine around the light socket cord for a few inches.
then (and this is where I stopped taking photos), using white electrical tape, I taped the ends of the 8 bunches to the cord, attempting to make a nice grape-bunchy sort of shape. this part is hard...the glass balls are all clacking against each other annoyingly, and it gets surprisingly heavy. I would recommend having a friend hold it while you do the placement, or hanging it from something. I just kinda winged it!
anyway then I kept doing the half hitches with the twine over the electrical cord, covering the taped sections as I got to them and trimming the ends of the twine tied to the balls as I covered them.
I covered the cord till it measured about 18" from the top of the socket. then I tied a silver metal ring to the twine and did some knots around that, and threaded the end of the cord through the ring. (this is just to have something nicer than the cord its self to hang everything from) threaded the end of the twine onto a big needle, weaved it back through the half hitches till it was secure, and trimmed off the excess.
and that's it! all in all it only took me a few hours. I wasn't too sure about it at first, but once I hung it and turned the light on, I was really happy with it. it's visually very "light", and doesn't compete with all the other stuff in the dining room. I love that it feels both handmade and modern at the same time, that's a balance I strive for in everything I make.
I need another hanging light in the bedroom, so this has inspired me to brainstorm and think of something original to do in there!
xoxo Jody Rice