Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DIY Fabric Chandelier

Before getting engaged, I rarely ever looked at wedding things for two reasons; one: I didn't think I would be getting engaged any time soon, and two: I knew my mind would change on the things I liked by the time I actually got engaged.

I knew I would eventually marry Patrick, but I thought he was going to wait a lot longer before proposing. We dated for two years before getting engaged, but it was a SLOOOW start. He really shuffled his feet at the beginning of the relationship, and I expected nothing less when it came to our engagement. But low-and-behold, he proved me wrong, which was a very nice surprise. So once he popped the question, I punched my time card in on Pintrest and every wedding blog out there and didn't clock out until a week or two before the wedding. I knew I wanted a soft, "vintagey", story book wedding, but figuring out how to put it all together was the challenge. 

The first project I completed (with the help of a my roommates and a couple friends) was two fabric chandeliers. Patrick and I hadn't booked a venue yet, nor did I know if I was even going to be able to use them, but I loved the idea so much I just had to do it. 

We had an AMAZING photographer. If you're in middle or east TN, you should definitely check out Jessie Holloway Photography

I knew we were going to have to pay quite a bit for a few things for the wedding, so to keep the budget intact, I Goodwilled and yard saled all of our decorations. The chandeliers were among the cheapest of my thrifty finds. 

The only items you need to make these is fabric and a cooling rack

I realize fabric can get very pricey, so I bought a couple different sets of sheets in coordinating patterns (including fitted and pillow cases) and lace curtains at Goodwill. I think the most expensive set was $5, which is cheap when you think about how many yards of fabric you get in a set of sheets. And, luckily, I found two cooling racks in the same Goodwill trip, which cost me ninety-nine cents a piece. 

This project is so simple that I broke it down to three easy steps. 

1. Using sharp fabric scissors (I learned the hard way), cut 1"-2" strips in all of your fabric. To give you an idea of how much fabric you need to make two chandeliers, I used about half of the fabric in the three sets of sheets I purchased (I used the remaining fabric in other wedding projects). After cutting the strips, you need vary the lengths, so leave a third of strips long (lengths vary depending on where you want to use it), cut the other third an inch shorter, then the last third an inch shorter than that. I went back once I finished the chandeliers and trimmed it up to make it look loose and undone. 

2. Next, take one of your long strips and wrap it around the ends of your cooling rack, tying it in a simple knot at the end.

This just disguises the fact that you're using a cooling rack. 

3. Lastly, beginning in the middle of the rack, tie the longest strips of fabric in the middle and work your way out with the shortest strips obviously being on the ends. In order to hang your chandelier, take the left over strips and braid four long, even ropes. Tie these in the corners of the rack, then bring them together and tie into a strong knot.

To give it some texture, braid some more of the strips of fabric together and tie in random places around the ends of the rack. 

I think these chandeliers fit perfectly in the downstairs cellar of The Knoxville Botanical Gardens. The gardens fit everything Patrick and I imagined our wedding to be: quirky, woodsy, and quaint. (More on that in a coming post)

The chandeliers are still hanging in my closet at my parents house. I think they will look great in a guest room, office, or my personal favorite...nursery. 

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