Monday, 30 April 2012

{ let’s create } diy chapiz chandelier

Have you seen the awesome DIY capiz chandeliers out there in the blogosphere? Here are just a few that inspired me to make my own – and yes, believe it or not, they’re all FAUX capiz. {Click the images to read about how each one was made.}

Lisa Roy Muskoka |A Happy Place Called Home |SZInteriors

I’ve already hung chandeliers pretty much everywhere in the house that a chandelier can go. Ahhhh, but wait! What about this spot in the hallway outside the bedrooms…


I have a couple of old brass chandeliers that I tried to give to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, but they didn’t want them. Can you believe it?! Who wouldn’t be all over this brass & plastic beauty ;-)

old chandy 1[12]

I can’t find a before picture of the chandelier I used, but it’s the same as this one except tiered as opposed to spiraled. But the the tiers were opposite from the direction I needed them to go, plus it was too big. So hubby worked a little magic on it and changed it from too big and upside down to just right.

before 1


Now the fun part – making the faux capiz shells. The first thing you need to do is Iron three sheets of wax paper together. Over and over and over. You’ll need a LOT of wax paper! Put parchment paper on top of the wax paper before you iron so the iron doesn’t stick to it.

wax paper pile

I crumpled and then flattened out some sheets of wax paper to add texture to my “shells”. I randomly combined crumpled and uncrumpled sheets in each set of three.



crumpled texture

Use a circle cutter to cut out your circles. I bought a 1-1/2” Fiskars punch at Michaels. Fold your wax paper like an accordion and punch out the circles in double-thicknesses. This will make things twice as fast, plus the cutter doesn’t cut very well through just one layer. I recommend doing this step front of the TV while watching March Madness :-)

watching bball

You need a LOT of wax circles…

circles 1

Once your circles are cut, it’s time to attach them together. My original plan was to use jumper rings, but after linking one batch with rings, I realized this method would take me about seven years. Plus my thumb & finger were really not happy with me opening and closing all those rings. {Check out A Happy Place Called Home to see the jumper ring method done right.}

jumper rings on circles

So I switched over to the sewing method – WAAAAYYY faster and easier. {Check out Lisa Roy Muskoka for an easy-to-follow tutorial with lots of pics.} Sew long chains of circles together, and then cut them to the lengths that you want.

Image via Lisa Roy Muskoka

Mine ranged from 7 circles per chain for the outer top tier, 10 circles per chain for the lowest tier, and 20-22 circles per chain everywhere else. In the end, the circles on the lowest tier don’t actually show, but they help give the chandelier a fuller look.

Hubby installed the chandelier – remember to put in the bulbs before you put on the chains!

naked chandelier 2{Note: funcolors asked about the potential fire hazard of the wax paper with the light bulbs. We’re using 40W bulbs, and even after having the light on for quite a few hours straight, there was no issue with the wax getting hot. Although that being said, I wouldn’t leave the light on for a prolonged amount of time with nobody home, just to be safe.}

And then I hung the chains on it. I don’t have pictures of this part, because, well, I forgot to take pictures. Plus I didn’t hang them in the most logical order, so you don’t want to hang yours the way I hung mine. You want to start with the lowest tier and then move up. Also, after I hung all the chains, I took them all down when I realized that it would be better to wrap wire around each tier and hang the chains over the wire instead of over the brass arms. This way, the flat side would be pointing out instead of sideways.


And this is how it turned out…

against gallery wall

My top outer tier is all the same length, and the rest of the chains are hung at slightly different lengths because I didn’t want the bottom to be perfectly straight.

close on

from bedroom

towards kitchen

with staircase on

Even close up, the wax paper really does look like capiz shells.


close on 2

I still may do a little bit of tweaking to the top tier to make it fuller around the top. Just have to figure out how…

Here’s a breakdown of the supplies and costs:

  • Chandelier base – already had it, $0.00
  • Wax paper – already had a mega roll, bought 1 roll at the Dollar Store, $1.00
  • Jumper rings – 1 pack at Michaels, ~$3.00 with coupon {better to sew circles together}
  • 1-1/2” circle cutter – $21.99 + 40% off coupon at Michaels, ~$14.00
  • Spool of wire – $2.00
  • Thread & sewing machine

TOTAL COST: $20.00

Yep, that’s right – just 20 smackers for what’s essentially a brand new chandelier. Not too shabby, eh? :-) So what do you think – will you be making your own capiz chandelier?

kelly sig

Linking up to…

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  1. OMG......fabulous. I thought I was a detail person, but you take the cake with this project!

  2. Wow, amazing! It looks like the real thing. Well done you. Thanks for sharing, liz

  3. Shut the front door!! Omigosh that's unbelievably cool looking. But the worrywart part of me has to ask if you're concerned it's a fire hazard - bulbs low wattage, etc?

    1. I was a bit concerned about the heat from the bulbs and the wax paper. We used low-wattage bulbs (40W), and even after leaving the light on for quite a few hours, there were no issues. I'll add a note about the bulb wattage to my post - thanks for mentioning it :-)


    2. 40W - good to know no issues. Seriously, if you didn't know it was waxed paper, you couldn't tell.

  4. Wow, how imaginative is that! You did an amazing job.

  5. I did one of these for my entry hall (a bit different) so I KNOW how time consuming it is :) Great job!

  6. Wow! Kelly it's great! I can't believe how much patience you had to cut all those circles and then sew them all together. Well done!

  7. This is beautiful. How proud you must be of this DIY project. Looks fabulous.

  8. Kelly, your chandelier is FAB-U-LOUS!!! I love the way it turned out, and it looks just perfect where you've hung it!!! And, thank you so much for featuring mine - that was really nice :-) On the note of fire hazard concern, we have ours hanging in the office with the light on for long chunks of time each evening. There are 2 - 60w bulbs inside, and we have't had any hint of it being too hot so far. I am careful to turn the light off when we're not in the room, or when we don't really need it, but in general I am comfortable with the safety of it...

  9. What a beautie this turned out to be Kelly!!! I bet it looks even more beautiful in real life. I have been thinking of one of these for a very long time. I adore it.

  10. Kelly, LOVE your chandelier! I made a tabletop version using the sewing method, then did another of book pages for my craft studio with hot glue and string. Totally want a long one for my master bedroom and maybe even a longer one for an awkward corner in my livingroom. Once I find a project I like I tend to rework it in many different forms. Again, LOVE how yours came out!

  11. oh my goodness ... shame on you for being so darn creative and thrifty :~) That is amazing, but oh my what a lot of work. You are so clever and so creative. Amazing.

  12. Beautiful! So crafty ... and you'd never know it was faux!

  13. Freaking awesome Kelly! Wow, what a great idea!!

  14. That is just so amazing and for $20!!! You rock!

  15. Fabulous, Kelly!!! Wow..., I have utter respect for everyone who took on this project. The outcome is so coatalicious! The wax chandies have become so popular, easy to see why.

  16. Oh my gosh Kelly, this is just amazing!!! I LOVE the way it turned out! Looks exactly like the real deal, even better! Thank you for the inspiration =D

    xox Linda

  17. Kelly
    Oh how I love capiz shell chandeliers! This is a fantabulous faux version - if I could sew, it would be mine!

  18. Kelly,

    Great project thanks for sharing the details on this DIY. I'm telling ya you and your hubby should be on HGTV your projects are great and your talents compliment each other. Great team work.


  19. Is there no end to your cleverness and ingenuity - faux or not - I love it - you are so clever !!

  20. This is so great! I've thought of doing something like this...just not sure I have the patience. :)

  21. Sooooo prrrrreetttty. I just love that project. Serious patience needed!

  22. Kelly,

    How incredible is this? I love it! I have been studying the pictures and I am absolutely amazed at the wonderful job you did! There is always so much inspiration around here!


  23. You did such a wonderfully beautiful job! Wow thanks for sharing! I am in awe :)

    1. Thanks Danielle :-) I came up with a way to make the top tier a bit fuller - I'll be posting some more pics soon.



  25. Thanks for the shout-out of my chandelier! Yours looks amazing too! I love that you modified an existing fixture, and it worked out perfectly! You're right about the jump-rings too ... it does take a million years (speaking from experience here), and I still think my fingers cramp up because of that very project. Ha!

    Kelli @

  26. Oh my goodness. I googled chandeliers and you popped up! What a cute idea. I think I will try this in my living room.

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