Home Swoon Home: DIY chandelier

I'm on a home redecorating kick at my house.  I am trying to make my home into a haven that truly reflects my style and fill it with things and colors that I absolutely love.  I am slowly moving room by room and have finished up the living room, dining room, playroom and laundry room.  I'll be posting before & afters in the coming weeks and months and will also show some pretty easy (and inexpensive!) ways to make some upgrades.

Today: my dining room chandelier.  When we bought the house in 2004, it came with a classic brass chandelier.  Totally not my style.  At all. But it was functional and the perfect size for the space and while I can do lots of handy projects, I do not touch electrical.  For two years I lived with that chandelier and gave it dirty looks every time I saw it.  Finally, while on maternity leave with my son, I decided I had had enough.  I went to Michael's and bought some foam brushes and two tubes of antique copper craft paint.  In a few hours, my chandelier went from this (note: drapes, furniture & wallpaper belonged to former homeowner):

to this.

Nice.  However, after a few years, I wanted a different look.  I had since removed the former owner's wallpaper and painted the room a lovely deep red.  I changed that to a light taupe a few months ago, which you will see when I do the before & afters.  In working on my dining room redo, I absolutely fell in love with this chandelier from Pottery Barn.  I did not love the $300 price tag (not including shipping).  So I looked at my chandelier.  The lines were kind of similar to the Pottery Barn number.  Maybe I could paint it again and add some crystals? I figured the worst thing that could happen was that I destroyed the chandelier and would have to replace it.  I had saved some money for a new light fixture anyway, so I had nothing to lose.

Here's the Pottery Barn chandelier

and here is my knock-off

What I did:  bought a tube of "wrought iron" colored craft paint at Michaels and applied with foam brush. The finish was way too flat, so I topped it off with a shinier black.  I bought some crystals on eBay for about $20.  I strung them together and used (gasp) hot glue to affix them to the chandelier.  Then I bought new white linen shades, at $4 a pop online.  The ivory shades that I had just weren't right.

What it cost:

* two containers craft paint from Michaels: on sale for 99 cents each = $2.00 total

* crystals from Chandelier Liquidators on eBay: $20 (I have more than half of them leftover for future projects, too!)

* six new white chandelier shades from Kiefer's Chandelier Parts online: $24

* foam brushes & hot glue: $0 (already had on hand)


I love the finished product.  I know this isn't my forever chandelier, but for right now, it works.  I can use the extra crystals for other projects and will be able to either reuse the chandelier shades or just sell those puppies on eBay if they don't work out.  The moral of the story: don't be afraid to work with what you've got!  Have confidence in your ability to transform things in your home.  It's fun.

Got any projects you're dying to try but not sure how it will go? Let us know!

See you swoon,


  1. I love it! I never saw the finished product side by side with the PB "inspiration" chandelier. Great job :)

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