I was inspired by a beautiful beaded chandelier I saw on Anthropologie, but I wasn't sure the colors would be right for my space. So, I decided to make my own! Yes, it includes more than 3,500 hand-strung beads, but don't let that scare you off. It really wasn't hard to do at all - just tedious. I did a few strands a day to break it up, so it wasn't too time consuming. See below for step-by-step instructions.
2 Lamp Shade Ring Sets I used a 12" & 14"
Upholstery Tack (optional)
1. Start with a pattern
A couple of things to note here as you make your pattern: The inner strands need to be a bit smaller than the outer strands, and the strands of the inner frame need to be longer than the main frame. Did you just zone out? I know, it sounds hard, but trust me - it will make sense. Don't feel like doing math? Just use the pattern I made and adjust bead sizes where necessary. I made six sets of each of the 5 strands for each frame, so you will have 60 strands all together. That's 3,510 beads!
2. Start stringing!
Following the pattern, start with the smallest bead on the end and work your way up to the largest, and then back down to the smallest again. I found it to go much faster if I laid the beads out ahead of time according to how I was going to string them and work on a textured surface so they don't roll away (I used a felt puzzle mat). Tie each strand off in between the last two beads instead of what I did. I learned the hard way that if you tie it off at the end, it's VERY easy for the beads to come loose and you will be picking up 50+ beads off the floor. Make sure to label each strand when you're done.
3. Attach the strands to the frames
Group the strands into three sets with the shortest on the inside and the largest on the outside. They should form a star pattern by each set of strands going under the set next to it, and over the set next to that one. Use the glue gun to go over the tied strands to secure. Repeat with second frame.
I didn't like the exposed frame, but depending on if you are hanging it or mounting it, you have lots of options. I first tried adding beads to the rim, but I didn't love the way it turned out because they wouldn't lay evenly due to the glue.
I was much happier with my second attempt. I removed the beads from the ring of the top of the outer frame and decided to try fabric. I got lucky and found some canvas fabric that happened to be the exact same color as the beads. I used upholstery tacking for structure, and glued it to the fabric, then glued the wrapped fabric to the frame.
Here's the finished chandelier! I think the structured fabric gives it a much more finished look. I decided to keep the beads on the top of the inner frame, because I did like them and the fact that they aren't straight is less noticeable since it's on the inside.