Chandelier

December 14th, 2009

I’ve been hunting for a new chandelier to go in the dining room for about four months now. Throughout constant thrifting and ebay scouring nothing popped up that was affordable or amazing enough to warrant purchase.

But, while I was on the hunt I did fall in love with one lighting designers work. At many MANY thousands of dollars for each handmade chandelier it was a totally unattainable item.

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Except…

The lovely and talented Lindsey Adelman posted a DIY version of her chandelier design including a parts list and how-to instructions.

I changed her design (seen above) by switching it to a hardwired installation and shifting / tilting the way the armatures are designed to extend.

OK, apologies but this whole DIY light project was a bit of a test run due to improvising so many changes to the original instructions on the fly. I didn’t document what went down as it exploded over two extremely frustrating days that included a huge learning curve and bigger mess.

All the kinks aren’t worked out with my adjusted design. If you want to try Lindsey’s DIY instructions just follow them closely – it will totally work.

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F*ck yeah! It totally works.

Surprisingly, it was much easier to make a wire harness than I imagined.

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Now that I have the basics (sort of) down and a little more experience with the many little particulars and issues inherent in lighting design I want to try out a smaller version for the pink bathroom. I’ll totally do a step by step DIY for that nonsense.

The project cost about $120 in lamp parts, one trip to Home Depot, two days of labor and some pretty intense arguing, jimmy-rigging and brainstorming with the Boy. All completely worth it – I love it!

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    93 Comments

    1. Myles Henry Blog on 12/14/2009:

      wow that looks so good!

    2. brismod on 12/14/2009:

      seriously good!

    3. Fiona on 12/14/2009:

      How generous of the designer to post DIY instructions. It's beautiful. Your house looks amazing.

    4. This Thrifted Life on 12/14/2009:

      LOVE it

    5. Jeremy and Kathleen on 12/14/2009:

      I am beyond impressed. It is so beautiful.

    6. eva ravenstein on 12/14/2009:

      good work! i love the simplicity and the shape.

    7. Louis W on 12/14/2009:

      I was just at a party this weekend and admiring one of this designers works but had no idea who it was by. Looking at her site, I am now OBSESSED.
      There are so many possibilities to build upon her basic design, so impressed she posted it.

      Wonderful work on the DIY. Looks great in your space.

    8. Lisa on 12/14/2009:

      I think I'm in love with a chandelier

    9. modfrugal on 12/14/2009:

      Holy smokes…I had no idea she had a DIY…I've loved her work from afar for ages! You are totally getting reposted…Awesome job. Seriously fantastic.

    10. Kate on 12/14/2009:

      sweet baby jesus I love you even more now! these is flipping fantastic, I need to make this as the bookshelf thing didn't quite work out for me…

    11. UNIFORM Studio on 12/14/2009:

      yeah, what kate said.
      I'm speechless.
      and your home gets more lovely every day.

    12. Sarah on 12/14/2009:

      Ungh.

      Perfect.

    13. erin@designcrisis on 12/14/2009:

      Dude, that is totally amazing!

    14. Anonymous on 12/14/2009:

      what they all said! so awesome.

    15. Kristine on 12/14/2009:

      RAD!!! I agree, your home keeps getting better and better.

    16. Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog on 12/14/2009:

      Wow, I love it too. This is a perfect example of why it's best to wait until you find something that you really love… plus, you can't beat that price!

    17. thevioletpear on 12/14/2009:

      We just hung a patrick townsend orbit chandelier in our living room yesterday and while we were putting it up I thought this would be pretty easy to make… now I'll have to try lindsey's diy… so cool!

    18. david john on 12/14/2009:

      two words for you.

      fuck yeah!

    19. kim. on 12/14/2009:

      i sooooooo have to try this

    20. Veruca on 12/14/2009:

      Well, this seals it. I've packed my bags and two cats and decided to move into your guest bedroom. FYI: We prefer waffles for breakfast.

    21. Anna at D16 on 12/14/2009:

      WOW. Someday, when I have more motivation, I will be just like you.

    22. John on 12/15/2009:

      That is super awesome, Nice work… again!

    23. Anonymous on 12/15/2009:

      wow.. i wanna be just like you when i grow up…oh i guess i'll never grow up.. maybe i'm gonna be like "the boy"… the lamp is ok btw…

    24. littlefindgirl on 12/15/2009:

      I heart.

    25. Elfriede on 12/15/2009:

      I am in awe – I congratulate you. How much electrical wiring experience did you have before you started this? I am so tempted to make one for myself.

    26. THE BRICK HOUSE on 12/15/2009:

      Thanks all!

      Elfriede : Not much. I've installed hardwired lights and replaced plugs, but thats about it. It's all pretty basic stuff – not hard at all.

    27. manuel on 12/15/2009:

      mesmerizing. stunning. so simple and understated! congrats!

    28. Jo in NZ on 12/15/2009:

      If Anna@D16 wants to be like you, then I SUPER WANT to be, like, some crazy talented love child of you BOTH!

    29. Project Whore on 12/15/2009:

      that is beautiful!

    30. Anonymous on 12/15/2009:

      Cool! I like the brass. Its a good dose of modernism against the MCM furniture.

    31. designheaven on 12/15/2009:

      how flippin talented are you! that is amazing. wow!

    32. Alice at Simply The Nest on 12/15/2009:

      Hells yeah! This project totally rocks. I'm British, so my immediate reaction on reading this post was BLIMEY. Your blog is fast-becoming my favourite read out there. I'm still giggling at the Hairy Chair post.

    33. pambamboo on 12/18/2009:

      I like it better than the original by far!! More graceful and the bulbs work better!! KUDOS – AGAIN! :)(:

    34. The Wife of an Artist on 12/18/2009:

      Hi Morgan,

      Jess from AT…thanks so much for sharing your version of Lindsey's piece. I know quite a few people who are now planning to take a stab at their own version (as am I…weekend project?)

      Thanks!

    35. Anonymous on 12/21/2009:

      we are going to make one this week during our christmas break. Morgan where did you find that awesome mounting plate that attaches the diy chandelier to the ceiling? it looks great!

    36. Amber on 01/01/2010:

      Awesome! I'm about to embark on the same project. I also want to hard wire my light. Did you get the stuff to hardwire it from Home Depot?

    37. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/02/2010:

      I found the mounting plate at grand brass with all the other parts. I didn't really get it to work right…I'm still working out those kinks.

    38. Lisa on 01/04/2010:

      Hi,

      I had the exact experience as you. My best friend, who builds lighting, is going to make it. Question….were you able to find the glass bulbs? I would like to do milk glass.

      Thanks …it's beautiful and I am so happy to see it worked.

    39. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/05/2010:

      I just got clear glass bulbs at the Home Depot – the vanity ones…

      wait. do you mean light bulbs or like the hand blown glass shades?

    40. The Girl in the Mask on 01/05/2010:

      I just got all of the parts in the mail today – Yeah baby! I too would prefer a hardwire install. What modifications did you make to Lindsey's DIY instructions? Thanks.

    41. Lisa on 01/05/2010:

      The hand blown glass shades…..?

      thanks!

    42. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/05/2010:

      nope – those would be tricky to find. i never intended to use those.

    43. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/06/2010:

      Girl -

      Oh man…I added a tube for the hardwire to run in and ceiling cap to cover it all. ummm it didn't work out perfectly – I got the wrong cap, and it's not hanging correctly.

    44. Nick Heywood on 01/06/2010:

      Hey, it looks fantastic. I love how you've worked off the plans.

      I have yet another question for you — I am in the process of ordering all the parts, and have hit a stumbling block — the part described in the plans as "O — 2 plug buttons – item # SS48154K5900" that is available through Index Fasteners. They have a $50 minimum order and do not sell online. I have a feeling that if had a better sense of what this part is, I could find an alternative.

      What did you use for this part? Did you find it elsewhere (was this the trip to home depot?)?

      Thanks, love the blog, and I pity the crush of question you are so graciously answering.

      –Nick

    45. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/06/2010:

      It's the part that caps the hole in the bottom. There are a few like 5 holes but you only use 4 of them.

      I just didn't get it – there is a hole in the bottom of my lamp, but no one seems to notice. I just assumed I'd work it out later…

    46. Nick Heywood on 01/06/2010:

      Great, and thanks for the clarification. I was afraid that somehow this was something that held the whole contraption together! I'll let you know if I locate something that does the same thing.

      Best,
      Nick

    47. Anonymous on 01/07/2010:

      @the brick house

      Even FastCompany are linking to your DIY execution. Nice work.
      The article can be found here: http://bit.ly/7lqywS

      Kind regards,
      Kent

      http://workworkwork.tumblr.com

    48. Anonymous on 01/08/2010:

      I saw Lindsey Adelman's instructions, and all I could think was… wonder if I could hard-wire it. How did you do it!? Please share!

    49. Abs on 01/20/2010:

      Thanks for showing us that this is actually possible! I love your version.

    50. AGL on 01/25/2010:

      Looks gorgeous & kudos to you for making your own modifications! My husband and I just made one ourselves, but we’ve had the hardest time trying to hang it from the ceiling with a canopy. How did you get it up there, with the canopy flush against the ceiling? Is the structure hanging by the rayon cord containing the wiring? Please share your tips!

    51. Charley on 01/25/2010:

      Sorry to rain on a parade of any sort, but I’m just back from my local electrical supply house to purchase the 16 gauge wire and generally check out all the specs – they tell me the 26 gauge wire is perilously thin… and that even if it does work it, the DIY approach to fixtures which plug-in (or are hardwired) effectively void one’s fire insurance. They tell me even if the actual fixture is not to blame, the insurance field agent will find a way to blame a non-UL approved fixture (or, of course, non-professional installation).

      So, Mr. Brick & Mrs. Adelman, I have to pose the following question: while I really, really, really love the design (and have even bought all the supplies from grandbrass.com), is going through with this or any similar DIY fixture risking the terms of one’s insurance policy?

      If so and there is no work around solution, I’m a big boy and just won’t proceed. Which is really very sad. And, of course, I’ve wasted about 115 dollars which is kinda sad/stupid too.

    52. Charley on 01/25/2010:

      *** the post above should say “26 gauge wire” NOT “16″… my mistake!

    53. Billy on 02/05/2010:

      Can anyone tell me the dimensions of the finished chandelier?

    54. marianne on 03/07/2010:

      We made it too.
      just wondering what wattage your bulbs has. I started with 40W, but finding them way too bright when they are open like that. Now have mix of 15 and 40 W. Works better, but still not completely done adjusting it.

    55. THE BRICK HOUSE on 03/08/2010:

      Ours are 40 watt. They are BRIGHT. Been thinking of a different solution…

    56. Denise on 04/09/2010:

      What about trying a dimmer switch in place of your regular switch?

    57. Billy on 05/25/2010:

      I love this light, but am having huge problems with wiring! i’ve done it twice, once with the 26 gauge (and as charley says this is completely illegal and counter to advice from electricians), and again with 20 gauge (very tight squeeze, especially in those swivel joints). Both times i had it working on the table, but once i mounted it, it shorted out. i think it’s just so easy for the insulation to get scraped by all those sharp edges, or for the wire to get twisted when you make adjustments (i was very careful to avoid twisting on my second try)… after many long hours, i’m about to throw in the towel. unless someone has advice on this. did you all use 26 gauge?

    58. ccxtina on 06/20/2010:

      Where did you get your brass base plate that attaches to the ceiling? I just put my chandelier together and it looks great and this is my last step. At grandbrass.com their brass plates have 1/8″ holes which look to be non-threaded. Based on the specs you provided I need a plate that has 3/8″ threaded hole which will house the brass tube coming up from the light (like your design; I’m hardwiring as well).

    59. THE BRICK HOUSE on 06/20/2010:

      I got it from grandbrass – problem is I designed it to have a nut hold up the ceiling plate, but with the nut on it made it impossible to install it.

      We still haven’t resolved the ceiling plate yet. I was going to tap two screws into it and then just screw it up. Thats my adhoc solution.

    60. dale on 06/22/2010:

      Can’t wait to try it!

    61. Brian E. on 06/22/2010:

      I just finished building my chandelier too. A had to wire the entire thing twice because I used a 14 gauge wire (at the advice of a Home Depot tech) and that was too thick and it shorted out. I then switched to a thickly insulated 18 gauge wire that worked well (thanks to the advice of a more experienced tech at Home Depot). I was able to get the wire through the elbow joints by taking the joints apart, threading the wire around the screw hole and putting them back together. I am going to use a 12″ brass pipe to connect the chandelier to the ceiling junction box. After asking around I think I can get all the necessary parts to mount it at grandbrass. The parts will be BAFL05/NW (canopy), CB1/8 (crossbar) and SRO-3/8 (slip ring, same as the others). The plan is to attach the pipe to the crossbar, attach the crossbar to the junction box, and cover it all with the canopy that will be held in place by the slip ring. Maybe that’s all obvious but I’ve never done anything like this. Hope it works. And I love this site. You guys are the coolest. Your modification on the chandelier inspired my own. Keep it up…

    62. Nat on 08/02/2010:

      Hi, love the chandelier, yours and the original designs. Have a silly (probably) question, but do you have glare from them? Since there is no shade to protect the eyes from the light bulbs? I have really sensitive eyes and, thought I love this and would totally try my hand at making one, if it’s going to bug me, there’s just no point. Thank you. Love your blog, style and attitude.

    63. Melissa on 09/20/2010:

      i just completed my chandelier, but have one simple problem that probably has an easy solution — just one that escapes me!

      because of the asymmetrical nature of the design – i absolutely can’t get it to hang level. is there an easy solution to this?

      thanks :)

    64. Greg Long on 09/24/2010:

      I may have a solution to the base/ceiling plate attachment issue. Interestingly enough, it also integrates an adjustable swivel at the top connection, allowing the fixture to be tilted as a whole & tackling some of the asymmetrical weight issues.

      I’m expecting the parts back from dogfork lamp arts in San Francisco this upcoming week and will post a link to a flickr set showing assembly.

      - Greg

    65. Missy Menzes on 10/04/2010:

      I’m taking on the task of trying to make a similar but different fixture using the parts list and wiring instructions. Can anyone tell me what the 2 steel nipples and 1 brass reducer are used for since they are not shown on the diagram? (listed below N.) I’m not sure how many to order for my project or how to use them.

    66. Brian E. on 10/12/2010:

      The brass reducer is used in the cluster body as the threaded hole on one side is slightly larger than the hole on the other side and you need to insert the brass reducer to get a spacing that will accept either a brass pipe or a plug button. I didn’t end up using the steel nipples so I’m not sure what they would be used for.

    67. Adri on 02/17/2011:

      Hey guys nice job! We have the same exact dinning table you have except we keep tuck in the leflets. We paid 3 buckss for our table I love it! Cant beleive someone else out has one!

    68. Rebecca on 03/26/2011:

      Hi there,

      I’m in the process of purchasing the parts and on grandbrass two items from the list show up as the same thing:

      I. 5 sockets item #SO10045
      M. 5 brass cups item #CU578

      When I search for the first item, the second comes up.

      On the diagram I only see 5 brass cups. What are the 5 sockets??

      If the answer is obvious, just call me “silly” (but share it with me anyway, please!)

      thanks.

    69. Rebecca on 03/26/2011:

      okay. sorry about that. i just had to scroll down…oops.

    70. Jessie on 06/08/2011:

      Has anyone solved the how-to-harwire this problem? We got the BAFL05/NW (canopy), CB1/8 (crossbar) and SRO-3/8 (slip ring, same as the others) from grandbass based on BRIAN E’s JUNE 22, 2010 advice… but we couldn’t figure out how to attach the canopy to the ceiling. Thoughts? Advice? Suggestions?

    71. Liz on 07/21/2011:

      Hey there…heard about your site from my friend who lives around the corner from you…wondering if you have a picture of this when it’s ‘lit’ up? Wondering what kind of light it gives off…

    72. Jen on 09/03/2011:

      Wondering if Greg Long ever finished his piece, and whether Jessie was able to mount it to the ceiling. Hmm!

      Brickhouse – what bulbs did you end up purchasing? I love the round ones shown in your photo and can’t find them on grand brass.

      Thanks!

    73. Jen on 09/03/2011:

      Wondering if Greg Long ever finished his piece, and whether Jessie was able to mount it to the ceiling. Hmm!

      Brickhouse – what bulbs did you end up purchasing? I love the round ones shown in your photo and can’t find them on grand brass.

      Thanks!

    74. maria on 11/02/2011:

      Really stunning. Now is an original piece.

    75. Leslie on 01/16/2012:

      Love this, and will build it with my SO, sure wish I knew how to mount to the ceiling!

    76. Olivia on 01/23/2012:

      Finally I had a chance to make one of these for my dinning room!! Check out my blog: oliviachenworks.blogspot.com
      It’s not hard at all. And I’m planning on making a couple more from Lindsey Adelman’s DIY instruction.

    77. Jane on 06/12/2012:

      I know I’m years too late, but I’m trying to put mine together right now and can’t fit all the wires and twist caps inside the cluster body. Any advice? What size (color) caps did you use? How’d you cram them all in there?

      Thanks!

    78. Lisa on 06/21/2012:

      I love your style! We also made this chandelier for our dining room. Can you tell me where you got the beautiful white pottery on the mid century hutch? (The two to the right on the lower shelf). Thanks!

    79. martino on 08/10/2013:

      I used a long 3ft brass pipe to connect to the ceiling. So it doesn’t dangle from a cord or chain, rather comes straight down. Looks very cool this way – you can see others online have done something similar. You need a cross piece that has the same size hole in the middle as the pipe – and that is threaded, that way you can just screw the pipe right into the cross piece. However, i only discovered the “hang straights” now, which i would recommend if your chandelier has uneven weight distribution due to there being more “branches” on one side. GB carries them too.. The canopy doesn’t attach to the ceiling. Instead, I used a slip ring at the top of that 3ft pipe and made the canopy rest right on top of it, so the canopy can’t slide down – you could drill a small notch in the pipe and line up the slip ring’s screw to it to be more secure.

      As far as running the wire through all the pipes and clusters and joints? That’s the hardest part – was really difficult on my 3ft piece. I used 18 gauge (recommended for code) and it barely worked. Had to use thread to pull it through, and it took forever.

      Here’s a pic of mine http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinoob/9479290812/

    80. John on 08/19/2013:

      After reading this thread and giving great consideration to the wire gauge issue, I tried using 18 gauge wire. I wired it once, and it was a mega pain getting all of the wires to fit through the joints. I even tried soldering the wires together and sealing them with heat shrink tubing when they met at the joints so I would have fewer wires to solder together at the cluster body. I did it once, and when I checked it with the multimeter, it was shorting out. So I redid the whole thing over again, and it shorted out again.

      I consulted an electrician friend about the gauge issue, and he said that 26 gauge was pretty thin, but the main thing that mattered was the math: 6 x 40w bulbs / 120 v = 2 amps. The conservative max load of 26 AWG in air (not bundled together with other wire) is 2.2 amps. So wiring this lamp with 26 AWG will not cause the wire to burn. But it’s pushing it.

      I went back the drawing board and just used the 26 gauge wire. It was so much easier. A pleasure in comparison.

      I’d like to see someone do an LED version of this chandelier. Then there would be no issues with exceeding the amperage load of the 26 gauge wire.

    81. ADDI on 09/03/2013:

      Hi Martino,

      Can you tell me where you purchased your 3ft Brass Pipe? Id like to do the same thing

      Thx
      Addi

    82. Naddlles on 09/20/2013:

      Can anyone tell me what the 2 steel nipples – item # NI0-1/2X1/8 are for? I cant figure out where they go…

      Thanks!

    83. Raphael deValle on 02/22/2014:

      Great! Saw it a while ago. Hmph! Seems like the DIY instructions are no longer on her site……

    84. Joe D. on 02/22/2014:

      Gorgeous! Can anyone send the DIY??? I do not see it on her website….. :-(

    85. helen on 02/22/2014:

      Can anyone please post the instruction? This is exactly what i want for my dinning room. Please, please!

    86. helen on 02/22/2014:

      Hi all, i found the instruction, it is in the grandbrass site. There isa link on the designer‘’s website. I amgoing to make it.

    87. Helen on 02/26/2014:
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