January 30, 2012

DIY: Poodle Chandelier

Meet my "Poodle Chandelier", an easy DIY for transforming any (low heat) light fixture... if you're the kind of girl who likes a fluffy and fun pendant- like me!

When we moved into our current apartment/ home a few years ago there was a lot to love. It has been well maintained with much of the original 1920s detail and character, but there was one tiny superficial thing that I knew right away was not for me. The brass(ish) chandelier in the dining room. I'm oddly obsessive about little details and I started fixating on replacing this light fixture before we even moved, browsing through catalogues and online shops looking for the perfect thing that would bring a fun flare to the space. Sadly our budget was totally tapped by the move and there wasn't any wiggle room for a light fixture or the electrical work of installing a new one.

I brainstormed ideas for how to work with this existing cheap brass fixture (spray paint, knit some kind of "cosy", ribbon) but the idea I kept coming back to which would convert the chandelier and wouldn't even damage it was wrapping the whole thing in pipe-cleaners.

Sounds crazy- right? Big Smith thought so too but I could not be stopped. I went ahead and ordered a bunch of inexpensive white jumbo chenille sticks (aka giant fuzzy pipe-cleaners) and, at 7 months pregnant, I stood on the dining table and meticulously wrapped the whole lamp from head to toe.

It was very easy but it did take some time and patience (and a bit of arm strength to hold them up over your head for the better part of an afternoon). There is no glue or tape so it's perfect for renters or anyone who is timid to commit to trashing their current lighting. 

I started with the arms, wrapping tightly from center of the light out to the "candle" and tucking in the loose ends whenever I ran out of a section of pipe-cleaner. Next I did the body of the fixture working from bottom to top. Finally, I wrapped the whole chain chord and coiled the end of a length of pipe-cleaner around the brass rosette on the ceiling totally covering all of the brass. My original chandelier also had little brass (plastic) covers on the tops of the "candles" and I removed those as well for an all white look.

 The final result is fluffy, silly, and I think it makes a beautiful and unique centerpiece to our dining/ play room. Guests have compared it to a parade float, a bouquet of flowers, and a bunch of cobwebs but I'm sticking with poodle-as-light-fixture. I love it so much that I have no more plans to upgrade!


  1. How flippin' cute is that! I could see how in theory this would not turn out well, but the finished product is quite fun! (We have a little poodle, so that's where my mind goes as well when I see this.)

  2. Thanks Tara- I know it sounds like it would be a total disaster but it actually looks better in person than photos (I guess acrylic hair isn't photogenic :))

  3. What? This is amazing. And something to keep in mind since we're renters with ugly brass fixtures :)

  4. So cute! And I would never, in a million years, think that was a brass fixture with jumbo pipe cleaners wrapped around it.

  5. How creative and modern! I love it!

  6. Wow!! I love it!! And I love your dining area!! Great colors and super cool table!!


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