For those of you who want to make a decorative miniature chandelier, here’s how I did it. No, I haven’t found a way to comprise a light bulb in it so it’s strickly for decoration. Once I know how to add real light properly, I’ll post an update.
First, I chose Swarovski Crystallized components for this chandelier. These are a bit more expensive than other brands of beads, but they have the most shine and their quality is of the highest grade. If you want, you can also try Czech crystal beads, which are still good enough to emit charming beams for the chandelier, for a more economical price.
As much as miniature chandeliers appear complex, they actually only require very basic skills of beading. You just need patience and passion for making it.
Since this time I wanted to make a chandelier with antique touch, I chose Swarovski Crystallized components of “Golden Shadow” color.
When you create your own chandelier, try to think what kind of “theme” you want to bestow on it–for “antique” touch, you probably want to choose more “classical shapes” for your pendants, such as pear, baroque, round, etc. If you want something with modern foliage theme, then you can try leaves, flowers, and even butterflies. How about something sweet and cute? Maybe heart-shaped pendants can do it. However, there’s absolutely no restriction on how you want to make your chandelier, as you can also make something of modern-classical clash!
These are the beads and pendants I used for this particular project:
5301 Bicone beads 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm. (5301 Bicone beads will be gradually replaced by 5328, which has, generally, the same bicone shape, but with slightly more facets)
6106 Pear pendants 16mm, 22mm, and 38mm.
6401 Octagon pendants 12mm. (one hole)
6404 Octagon pendants 12mm. (two holes)
6091 Baroque pendants 28mm.
The quantities are:
5301 Bicone: 4mm–>72 beads
6106 Pear 16mm–>3 pieces
6401 Octagon 12mm–>3 pieces
6404 Octagon 12mm–>3 pieces
6091 Baroque 28mm–>3 pieces
Also you need some base metal findings such as jump rings of different sizes and eye pins with appropriate length. (Eye pins have loops on one end of them, and head pins have a flat end on them)
In order to choose the correct jump rings, make sure that the jump rings can go through the holes on your pendants. Some holes are drilled on a thicker part of the pendents, or the holes are further away from the edge of the pendents, so you need bigger jump rings. As for choosing eye pins, it depends on how big your beads are, because you want to make sure that after you string the beads on them, you are left with enough space to make another loop.
Since I wanted to make an “antique” style chandelier, I chose antique brass color for my findings. Usually you can use 20 gauge jump rings and eye pins. These are firm enough to hold your components but also easy to open and bend, and more importantly, soft enough not to damage the rim of the hole.
P.S. Please note that “jump rings” are different from “split rings” as jump rings have only one loop but split rings are like key rings where you slide stuff in it.
And of course, you need some proper tools. Actually the tools I used are never “proper tools” for crafts. They are simply tools for fixing housewares. I used them because I really got used to using them to cut my wires, make loops, and open split rings. If you can tolerate it, it’s actually a cheaper way to go. If you want to have the “professional” set of tools, you can find “round nose pliers” to easily make a perfect loop for eye pins and “cutters” to cut your wires and pins in craft/hobby stores.
Finally, you need a chandelier frame. If you are good at soldering, you can create your own unique chandelier frame. Here I just used a pre-made frame.
Before you start stringing, you can draw a blueprint of your creation, this gives you a more clear and specific idea on how many beads required, and how you want the chandelier to appear.
As I mentioned, the making of chandelier only requires fundamental skills of beading. Here’s how you should use eye pins.
You first string a bead onto it, then bend the pin against your bead to 90 degrees.
Now you trim the rest of the pin and leave about 8mm. (If you choose an eye pin that leaves less than 8 mm to you after you string your bead on it, you’ll have a difficult time making a loop. However, if you choose a pin too much longer, you might just waste your money and metal since longer pins are, not surprisingly, more expensive)
Now make a loop on the other end of the pin. This may take some practice–you want to make the loop as round as possible and firmly loop back to the base. If you want, you can get a “round nose plier” to make the loop more easily.
Now use two pliers to adjust the loops. You want both loops to open to the same direction. It is VERY IMPORTANT if you want to make a “neat” chandelier, else you may encounter a bit trouble later when you put the links together and place them onto the chandelier frame. In fact, it’s the best if you can make them point to the same direction when you make the loop, because excessively twisting the wire can damage it.
Now, to connect two links, open the loop of a link carefully sidewat, not too big but big enough to let another loop in.
You can adjust the direction of the loops if necessary.
How you want to link the various sizes of beads solely depends on your design. Usually I put larger beads to the middle if the chain of beads goes sideway. If the chain goes up-and-down, I will put larger beads on the bottom for a more balanced feel. Nevertheless, there’s no strict rule to it.
Now, start to place the chains of beads to the chandelier frame and connect them with jump rings. Make sure you always open jump rings sideway.
While chains of beads bring out the structure of the chandelier, you also need these chain-pendants to reveal your “theme” of the chandelier. Also, take a look at your chain-pendants to see which direction the pendants are facing. If you have various number of links on your chain-pendants, they will face the different directions–you can use a jump ring to adjust this problem.
Another important note is that, when you assemble the beads chains and pendants, you want to see which direction each chain relaxingly faces and turns, so you are able to place it accordingly on the frame. Else, you may have a chandelier full of messy and twisted chains.
Tata! The finished work:
If you want, you can try different frames, beads, pendants, and colors for renovating your very own miniature chandeliers.
For this one, I used crystal beads, crystal AB (Aurora Boreali) beads, snowflake pendants, and icicle pendants to comprise this “snowdrop chandelier.”
Stars and moon for “celestial chandelier.”
I used violet, light rose, rosalin colors and many different shapes of beads to give this chandelier a lively spring garden ambience.
And how about bordeaux foliages and raven black frame for some gothic flare?