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8.20.2013

DIY Orb Chandelier Tutorial - Zgallerie Eclipse Knockoff

Jen from Tatertots & Jello and I have been friends for about as long as we've both been blogging. I remember the first time we met... and ironically, it was over a lighting fixture exchange!
Who knew that over 3 years later we'd become the best of blogging buddies and life-long friends (???) It's so crazy how life works, isn't it?
Shelley and Jen utah bloggers

From painted chevron rugs to Valentines day subway art and even a little help with a bedroom makeover (soon to be revealed on Jen's blog), I've had a BLAST working with this super-talented-creative-mega-mind friend of mine, and hope we NEVER stop collaborating on awesome projects together.

All that being said, about 2 months ago Jen and I were laying around in a hotel room, during a blogging event, talking about things we wanted to still get done in our homes, and we both mentioned how MUCH we really wanted one of those cool orb chandelier lights that we kept seeing around in all the high-end stores. If we saved, we knew we could probably afford one, but neither one of us felt like spending over $500, or DOUBLE THAT on a single light fixture was really the best place to put all of our hard earned cash. 
So what do you do when you can't find something that you WANT, at the price you NEED it to be at? You MAKE IT of course!DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

I definitely have to give Jen all the credit when it comes to material choices and basic construction of this awesome DIY orb chandelier.
PS: This is my "things are gettin' serious here" face.  ack!

Jen and her smarty-pants hubby Jeff figured out how to get the orb shape we needed, and then once we had the basic idea down, Cason and I were off to figure out how to construct our own... in a smaller version than Jen's with a little bit of a different twist.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Here's how we did it:
We bought our chandelier base from Home Depot. It's called the Charleston 6 light chandelier and it was $95.00. (Jen's was a bit larger and ran about $120.00)
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

After we had the light constructed, we looked at the overall size of the store-bought chandelier, and then measured about how much bigger we wanted our entire light to be from end to end. We went with about 30 total inches, so that meant that we needed to cut our wires double that size, to wrap around the entire chandelier. (so 60 inches long, or a 30 inch circumference)
how to make an orb light - DIY orb chandelier - the house of smiths

For the wire, Jen and I used the thickest, yet still most pliable material we could find, and that happened to be high tensile wire. The kind you typically use for fencing. You can find it in your hardware store, next to the chicken coup wire. It comes in a large coil and it's HEAVY, so keep that in mind.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Before we attached any of our large wires to make orbs, we bent about a 4 inch piece of the wire around the top of the chandelier, so that we would have something to hook the other orb wires into, once we strung them. You can see in the layered image, how it's useful once the other wires are in place.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Once we were sure on the size of the overall orb/circle we wanted around the chandelier, we bent either end into a small hook, so there was something to hold it in place.
TAKE NOTE: Your measurement will have to include enough on each end for bending as well, so add an inch or two to make room.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Once you've got your first three, and most important wires in place, here's how it will look.
(see first image)
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Don't worry, it DOES look droopy, but that's only because you are going to have to manipulate/bend that wire a bit into a more circular shape, to get it to round out some more. But even THEN, you'll need to make some adjustments, and I'll talk about that more in a second.

This light is going to be pretty dang large and you're going to need to hang it from somewhere high so that you can work around it. At Jen's house we had the chandelier suspended over her staircase, and then at Cason's parents house we hung it from a hook on the ceiling. Just know that it's going to be almost impossible to work with this light when it's sitting on the ground, so find SOME way to get it hanging.

DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

In the end, you should have your 6 wires in place. Your first three wires are the only ones that should be attached to the TOP of the chandelier, like so...
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

The others will be looped around those three bases, to create the orb shape.
If this seems like it's getting confusing, I'll be the first to admit... IT WAS! This ain't no easy lil' DIY project. It took some serious thinking and strategizing, but hopefully now that I've got this little diagram to share, it will be a LOT easier for you!
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

You are going to place your 6 wires around/onto your chandelier in this order (or at least that's how we found it the easiest). Once they are on, you're immediately going to feel frustrated. haha! Don't worry, that's where picture hanging wire comes into play.
First, secure wires 1, 2 & 3 into place, by wrapping wire around the bottom where they meet, and connecting it to the small space between the final of the chandelier and the large ball where the arms of the lights attach. This will hold up your entire orb and give it it's stability and nice, round sphere look.
Then, hook wire #4 around those first three wires, to basically give it a "belt". It will hold those three prior wires more still. Once #4 is in place, use 18 inch gauge wire to tightly secure any connected points, so that everything stays together.
Then add wires #5 and #6 to the party on a diagonal, again, securing any overlapping wire points with the 18 gauge wire.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

NOTE: This will NOT hold your wire completely in place. You will still have to deal with it slipping and moving around a little, but if you use enough wire and secure it onto each joint tightly, it should hold it securely enough for you to be able to move things around and play with the spacing of all the different wires, until you get it perfect.

Once we had the orbs shape and spacing around the chandelier to our liking, we started looking for our soldering gun................... once we realized that we weren't cool enough to own one of those, (and no offence, but neither was a typical, everyday home DIY'er) we turned to plan B, metal tape.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Yeah, it's kinda crazy, but if you can figure out a better way to hide that wire and give the orb a smoother more finished look, that actually holds, WITHOUT a soldering gun?... please, feel free to do it!
Really, the tape worked awesome because it's super sticky and just locked all the wires right into place. It was a little pricey and came in a big, thick roll, so we had to cut it lengthwise to get the width we needed... but it was totally worth it.

Next, it was time for paint. BEST PART EVER!
(because it means you're almost done!)
We used Krylon's paint + Primer duo in Satin White, and went through about 3 cans. It seems a bit excessive, but even with a cool adjustable nozzle, there's still a lot of waste when spraying small, spaced-out, thin wires like these, so plan on more paint than you think.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

A few hours later, after everything was dry, Cason got going on removing our old light so we could hang the new one. In order to get the length we needed he had to remove some of the chandelier's chain and shorten the power cord, but that went really quick. I slipped on our old white, fabric DIY cord cover from our last light over the chain, to give it a softer look, and then we got the light all wired up!

For tips on how to do that, you can see our "How to install a lighting fixture" post.
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Ta-da!
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

She's definitely large and in charge, but that's what I LOVE about her! She adds some more drama to the space, and almost acts as an art piece as well as a light fixture!
(ignore the fact that my cute entryway table is gone, I'm working on a little face lift for her too, you guys are gonna love it!)
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Tell me this doesn't scream "Hey look up here!" to someone standing outside of my front door (?).
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - houseofsmiths

Now if I could only get it to also say, "Betcha' didn't know I was DIY'ed and cost about 75% less than what you can find me for in stores"... then I would REALLY have a conversation starter.
:)
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - entryway decor - houseofsmiths

Okay, now that you've seen mine, you've GOT to go check out Jen's Orb Chandelier tutorial on her blog today too. She's done a bigger, slightly different, GOLD version of the same light, and it's equally as awesome!
Take them both in, and see which size and technique would work best for YOU, if you were to add one of these cool orb chandeliers into YOUR home!
DIY Orb chandelier tutorial - Zgallerie light knock off - Tatertots and Jello

38 comments:

  1. Your chandelier turned out so awesome. I love the way it looks in your home. Thanks for collaborating with me on this project. You are the greatest friend!!

    xoxo

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  2. awesome decorative object!! I so fancy it!! you guys are talent!


    canvas painting

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  3. Wow! Your new chandy is way cool! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial with us. It is really a showstopper!

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  4. I love this light!!! I have been a big fan of the orb lights for a long time. I love even more that you both did one and did them different colors. :) Thanks for sharing!!

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  5. Oh my gosh, I love those light fixtures when I see them. Your knock-off versions are amazing! I have to definitely bow to that greatness.

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  6. Those are so awesome! Thank you for figuring out the math equations for me :)

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  7. Hi! Did you do a blog post about your photo wall in your entryway? The one with the clothes pins? I couldn't find it on your blog. Thanks!!
    -rachael

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  8. You guys did a great job on the chandelier. I really like it.....it adds a unique touch to the room. Very cool!

    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

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  9. wow she *is* truly lovely and you bet she's now calling the shots in the entry :-)
    thanks for the great tutorial, you all did a wonderful job

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  10. Love. It. Kinda makes me want to stand outside your front door. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. all hands on deck! but definitely worth it :)

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  12. Doncha just LERVE a DIY that gets you the look for less? Great job. As to the soldering iron, I must admit that I am an atypical in that I do own one. I have a HEALTHY respect for it to because if you think a high temp hot glue burn hurts? Sista please! Anyhow, strong work! Love it and am so proud for yall!

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  13. Great tuitorial! Had to share on my Facebook page today: https://www.facebook.com/VintageResurrectionsVR/posts/1406404379581087

    Carolyn
    www.vintageresurrections.com

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  14. Hello, lovely! Your chandelier looks great in white and perfect in that spot. Love the look!

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  15. Don't tell Jenn, I like yours better. ;)

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  16. WOW that is gorgeous. You guys always come up with the coolest things. I love it.

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  17. Love love love it! You are so brave getting down and dirty (or up & dirty perhaps) with the electrical stuff. The size and complexity of the project... you guys really know what you're doing :)

    Understand your comment about the regular home DIYer not owning a soldering iron. I don't have one personally, but if I got one (you can get them for like 10 bucks on amazon!) I'd probably be trying to solder any damn thing together just for fun. Probably best to just stay away!

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  18. Oh my Goodness! This looks so beautiful! You did a great job! I wish I had the ceiling height to make one of these!

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  19. Oh my gosh I love this! I loved these in one of the SL Parade of homes this year. Beautiful work! :)

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  20. Totally gorgeous! That's a serious DIY project and a pretty clever one at that. I've oogled those chandeliers too!

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  21. I love the light fixture! We're wanting to do something similar with ours. I was a bit confused with the measurements you stated. You said you wanted your chandelier to be 30 inches, so 60 inches to wrap around. If this is the case, then 30 inches iss the diameter, not circumference, like you said. Diameter is the measurement straight across the circle. Circumference measures the outside, or around the circle. Just didn't want anyone to feel confused :) your light is beautiful! I can't wait to try it ourselves!

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  22. Love this. Thanks for sharing. How did you connect the open ends of wire 4 when you wrapped it around the middle?

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  23. You girls are genius!! I'm in awe of your DIY abilities, that looks fantastic.

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  24. I am coming over from TT&J post. I feel like I am missing a Circular Lighted Sphere in my life, these are just OVER the TOP AMAZING!!! LOVE them, like TOTALLY LOVE them!!! I bet you just sit and stare at that thing for hours, I know I would :) Your hard work Certainly paid off! Oh! and I LOVED the fun fact: I always thought you and Jen knew each other all your lives :) Thanks for sharing this with us!
    xoxo

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  25. So amazing! I have a chandelier at home waiting for something. Now I know what to do with it :D

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  26. That looks amazing! I love it. How I wish we had higher ceilings. Congratulations!

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  27. Overall, how many hours would you say you spent on it?

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  28. You girls are as fabulous as your amazing orbs ~ thanks for the awesome inspiration! It's gorgeous!!

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  29. FABULOUS! I'm speechless! Rendered mute by the Awesome Orbs! Great job!

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  30. I will now call you and Jen... JenGyver & ShelGyver. I don't know how you two come up with this stuff!! Love it:-)

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  31. How awesome!!! DIY with a friend really is the best kind, and your knock off came out so great. Love it!

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