Make a Chan­de­lier From Scratch

Modern Pioneer - - [barn Wedding] -

To ac­cen­tu­ate the beau­ti­ful rafters in the barn where our re­cep­tion was held, we built a chan­de­lier, en­tirely from scratch, with wiring help from my grandpa.

To start, I con­structed three sep­a­rate hexagons of ta­per­ing di­men­sions from pine lum­ber, cut­ting out 18 boards with 30° cuts. I made the mid­dle tier half the size of the top tier, and the bot­tom tier half the size of the mid­dle tier. This en­sured sym­me­try and pro­por­tion from top to bot­tom.

With sturdy 2-inch wood screws, I con­nected the boards to cre­ate the hexagons, and then I re­in­forced each con­nec­tion with metal brack­ets on top and bot­tom. The three tiers were spaced and con­nected to one an­other via screw-in hooks and chains. The chains were spray-painted matte black so they wouldn’t stand out.

Next, I drilled a large hole in the cen­ter of each board for wiring. Then Becca and I stained the wooden tiers with a rus­tic-look­ing, trans­par­ent stain. Once dry, I at­tached porcelain light­bulb out­let boxes—spray-painted matte black—over the holes. At that point, the chan­de­lier was ready to be wired.

With Romex 14-2 wire, I helped my grandpa wire the chan­de­lier. Note: Elec­tric­ity is noth­ing to mess with, so don’t at­tempt wiring projects un­less you’re ex­pe­ri­enced.

To keep the sheath cas­ing or­ga­nized and in­vis­i­ble from the floor, we spray-painted it black and nailed it flat on top of each wood hexagon us­ing dou­ble-nail ca­ble clips. We wired the chan­de­lier so that light­bulbs on all three tiers were on the same cir­cuit. At the top, we out­fit­ted the loose wiring with a stan­dard 15-amp male plug. When fin­ished, we in­stalled 60-watt light­bulbs in the out­let boxes, then hung faux-di­a­mond gar­land in strips from each tier. The mo­ment we plugged the unit into an ex­ten­sion cord was phe­nom­e­nal.

I built a sep­a­rate H-brace to rest across the rafters and dis­trib­ute the weight, then out­fit­ted it with a steel chain hook as the an­chor. The chan­de­lier at­tached to the an­chor by a metal loop at­tached to the chains run­ning above the chan­de­lier’s top tier. The setup was fail­proof and re­moved wor­ries of the large chan­de­lier fall­ing and hurt­ing some­one.

The fin­ished DIY three-tiered chan­de­lier wowed our guests and us, all for less than $90.

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