Pictures and a description of how I made this elaborate chandelier for my Gothic Victorian room box.
This is the Gothic Victorian room box that I made recently. The huge crystal chandelier was a project that I started about 2 years ago, set to the side, and finally finished. This is how I made it.
I started with a simple LED 15 light string with a lithium coin cell battery switch. Since I had 15 lights, I knew I needed a 2 tier chandelier with 8 lights on the lower tier and 7 on the upper. I created a metal armature with wire from the Dollar Tree. It comes in a 3 pack, with silver, red and black coated wire. I used the silver. I bent wires into hook shapes – 7 with two hooks, and one with one hook (for the 8th arm on the lower tier). Then glued them all to a piece of aluminum tubing. Since the tubing was aluminum, soldering wouldn’t work – plus I’m not that great at soldering, so I used E6000 glue to attach the wire to the base of the tube. Holding everything together with masking tape until fully cured. Don’t try to work with it until then. When dry, carefully bend the hooks so that each of the 7 “arms” are spaced above and between each of the 8 “arms”.
Now take your light string and feed the end through the metal tube and pull to the end of the wire, where the plastic sleeve starts before the battery pack. Start from the first LED light closest to the battery pack and position it at the end of one of the upper metal arms. Then wind the wire around the armature, positioning each LED light at the end of a metal hook, until you have them all in place, with the last light at the end of the last lower metal arm. Wind the wire as much as you need to make the distance between lights correct. Bend the wire in half just past each led light and work your way to the next light position. When finished it should look like the photos below.
Using thin white thread (which I think works better than fishing line), and a beading needle (a sewing needle eye is too big for the seed beads), start stringing small clear glass seed beads and 3mm crystal rondelle beads on your chandelier, draping between the arms. I used the clear glass seed beads as spacers between the crystal faceted rondelle beads to reduce the cost, so I could add lots beads for a totally decadent look. From the bottom I also hung champagne colored tear drop crystal beads. As I went, I wrapped and tied the thread around the wire armature in inconspicuous places and adhered with a drop of tacky glue.
For my room box, I cut a slot in the ceiling and fed the battery pack through to the top. I created a medallion out of a toy capsule top with lace and jewelry findings glued on it, and painted it white to put around the place where the wire goes through the ceiling. You could also buy a medallion to use. The extra lead wire can be wrapped up with a twist-tie. You could possibly hide the battery pack inside the medallion, but you need access to the on/off switch somehow.
And there you have it – a gorgeous 15 light crystal chandelier for your dollhouse, that costs around $20 in supplies, and many hours of your time. One other thing I’ll mention, is that I glued metal jewelry bead cap findings around each metal armature at the base of each light as decoration, but I don’t recommend it. When the metal from the bead cap touches the wire in the light string, which is not insulated, it causes a short that causes the whole thing to flicker. I’d leave that out in the future.
Good luck with your own dollhouse light chandelier project! If you try this, please share your pictures and experience.