UPDATE: I was recently asked to enter this chandelier into Lamps.com’s DIY Chandelier Face Off. Voting ends May 17th, please vote for Design Waffle’s “Chandelier Drum Shade”!
This was a super easy project and it’s a very inexpensive way to add life to an old chandelier without any electrical work!
My chandelier was about 20″ in diameter and 10″ tall from the top of the arms to the bottom of the glass lightbulb shades. I used 2, 23″ wooden quilting hoops from Joann Fabrics (about $2.50/ea, Make sure you measure the height and width of your chandelier to make sure the drum shade isn’t too big or too small. You want it to be at least an inch or so larger so the chandelier doesn’t actually touch the shade), 1 commercial plexiglass light panel (under $7 from Lowe’s), 74″x14″ of white cotton fabric, 74″x14″ of sheer patterned fabric (You could use just one piece of fabric but I was too in love with the pattern to pass up on it. So I layered the two), matching ribbon (at least 4 yards), 4 eyelet hooks and fishing line (found lying around the house).
Here you can see what the sheer fabric looked like with and without the white lining.
I used the center hoop since it’s formed and glued into a perfect circle, unlike the adjustable outside piece. So you can toss or save the outside hoop for a future project.
I started off by cutting down the plexiglass [insert husband assistance here]. Our shade is 12″ tall so the plexi needed to be 12″x 72″. The plexi panel wasn’t long enough so I pieced it together with my trusty hot glue gun. I wrapped the plexi around the outside of the wooden hoops, applying the glue generously. Gloves would have come in handy, but I’m stubborn and don’t like wearing them… I would advise you wear them.
When I attached the next wooden hoop, I used chip clips to hold it in place. Then I pried open a space to squeeze some glue into every inch or so. I’m a little obsessed with the glue gun so I used a handful of glue sticks for this project.
Wait a second, how’d that fabric get on there! I know, I skipped a photo in this step, I’m sorry. What I did was wrap the fabric around the cylinder, good side against the plexi. Then I used sewing pins to tightly pin the fabric ends to one another. I carefully slipped the fabric off the shade and then sewed a seam. Then I flipped it right side out and slipped it back onto the cylinder. This was tricky because if you did it nice and tight like I did, then you’ll need four hands… and if you don’t have four hands, then a friend or husband will come in handy. Then I wrapped the excess fabric into the inside of the wooden hoop, folding it under to conceal the frayed edge, and hot glued it in place. I covered up the wooden hoop completely so that it was concealed. Make sure the fabric is nice and tight. Mine was a little trickier since I was working with two layers of fabric.
Then I glued a piece of ribbon all the way around the top and bottom of the shade. I only applied a thin line of glue towards one edge of the ribbon all the way down. That way once the shade was hanging, the light and shadows wouldn’t show all the squiggly glue lines if I had glued right down the middle of the ribbon. When I got to the end, I folded it under neatly and glued. You don’t have to use the ribbon, but in my opinion, it really finished it off.
Now at this point it was practically done and I was beyond giddy. I screwed in the eyelet hooks by hand directly into the inside of the wooden hoops. Make sure they aren’t long enough to poke through to the other side.
Then I tied on the fishing line with quadruple knots (because I like to be absolutely positively sure this thing isn’t going to squash me in the middle of dinner). You’ll need to do this step while the chandelier is in place, so you’ll need someone to hold it while you’re tying. I started by tying to one eyelet hook, then I threaded it through a link in the chandelier chain, then I tied it to the eyelet hook on the opposite side. I did this for the other two eyelet hooks as well. The photos really explain it better than I probably am.
And there you have it. An inexpensive, yet beautiful way to add a fresh new look to an otherwise drab chandelier. I’m in love.