Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Drinking Wine & Killing Time

You might remember my post about the lovely chandelier that inhabited my dining room and my post about the chandelier I wish were hanging in my dining room. Well,worry no more! This past weekend that monstrosity from the 70's was replaced!

But first, a few before pictures of what came with our house.
In case anyone needs to borrow a bong, I have 5.

Please take notice of the blue paperclip holding the canopy plate in place. Very classy.
It isn't a classy chandelier without paint splashes everywhere.
I would have loved to buy a Chandelini (created by Touch Design Studios), but I don't think $1,995 was in our budget for a chandelier. Instead we opted to make our own.

I originally found this tutorial for a mason jar chandelier over at kara paslay designs and figured it shouldn't be that difficult to tweak her instructions to work for my wine glass idea.
We started brainstorming on the best way to execute our plan, with structural integrity being #1 on the list and aesthetics being #2. Let me tell you, we were almost divorced by the time we finished this little project AND we haven't even gotten married yet!

But here she is, our pride and joy, in all her glory!


Close up.
View from the bottom.

With the lights dimmed down.

Cost Breakdown
keyless sockets = $8 (Lowe's)
lamp wire = $3 (Home Depot)
lamp nipples =  $2 (Lowe's)
offset crossbar = $2 (Home Depot)
hex nuts = $2 (Home Depot)
machine screws = $2 (Home Depot)
fishing line = $3 (Wal-Mart)
candelabra light bulbs = $6
wire connectors = $2 (Home Depot)
glass drill bit = $17 (Lowe's)
pack of 12 wine glasses = $8 (w/ coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond)
12 glasses of varying sizes = $7 (Goodwill)
stemless wine glasses = $7 (Homegoods)
ceiling medallion = $20 (Home Depot)
steel ring = $2 (Home Depot)
crimp beads = $9 (Jo-Ann's)
crimp tool = $10 (w/ coupon at Jo-Ann's)

Featured On:


The full how-to can be found after the jump (sorry in advance for the lack of pictures).

After numerous trips to Home Depot, Lowe's, Michael's, Jo-Ann's, Goodwill, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Wal-Mart we finally had what we needed. Drum roll please.......

4 - keyless sockets (the kind for candelabras)
9 ft - cut to length lamp wire (size 18-2)
4 - nipples (we bought a pack similar to this one and used the 1" and 1-1/2" nipples)
1 - 4" offset crossbar
8 - hex nuts
2 - 3" machine screws
1 roll - fishing line
4 - candelabra light bulbs
2 - wire connectors
1 - 3/8" diamond core glass/tile drill bit
4 - 21oz stemless wine glasses
1 - 16" ceiling medallion (optional)
1 - 3/16" x 1-1/2" steel ring
60 - 3mm (#3) crimp beads
1 - crimp tool
20-25 - wine/champagne/martini glasses (we used 22)
1 - canopy plate (We used the plate from the chandelier we took down. However, we found that the opening for most  canopy plates at the hardware stores were too small. So I would suggest you go with Kara's idea in her tutorial and use a PVC end cap and just drill a hole big enough to fit your wires/fishing line)

Once you've gathered all your supplies, start by drilling a hole (using your diamond core drill bit) into the bottom of your 4 stemless wine glasses. Make sure the drill bit you purchase is 3/8" because that is the only size that will work with the lamp nipples. There are other varieties of glass drill bits that are cheaper, but we found that the diamond core drill bit works much better and is 10000x faster than the spade shaped glass bits. 

NOTE: When drilling make sure to follow the instructions for the drill bit and provide water lubrication. We did this by placing the glass in a large Tupperware container and while one person drilled the hole, the other stood over the container slowly dribbling water over the glass/bit. And PLEASE wear eye and hand protection while drilling!

Holes drilled, wire cut.

Next you want to cut your lamp wire into 4 equal parts, each should be around 24-1/4". Now you want to wire the lamp cord into the keyless sockets (it's pretty easy, just follow the directions provided with the sockets). Once that's done, you need to slide the cord through the hole of the glass so that the socket is inside the glass and the cord is dangling outside. To secure it in place, you want to screw on a hex nut.  
Be sure to do tighten the hex nut by hand since tightening it too hard can cause the glass to break.

Sockets in place.

Next, you want to start stringing the fishing line around the stem of each wine glass. I used an  improved clinch knot and then finished it off with a crimp bead for added security (this video was very helpful in learning how to tie the knot correctly). Leave about 2ft of fishing line hanging from each glass.

Improved Clinch Knot
For added security and so that the weight of the stemless glasses wasn't being held up by the lamp wire, we also tied some fishing line around the nipple right above the hex nut. We tied it as tight as we could and then slipped another hex nut on top of the fishing line to secure it in place.

Now it's time to install it. The first thing you should do is TURN YOUR BREAKER OFF! Then you want to install the offset crossbar. I didn't do these steps myself, but if you follow the directions on the packaging you should be fine. One thing we did change was adding the steel ring to the crossbar. This steel ring is what will be holding up all the fishing line so it needs to be supported by the crossbar.

Thread ring over crossbar, then install crossbar.
Now you want to tie the fishing line of the stemless glasses to the steel ring using the improved clinch knot and crimp bead. It is recommended that chandeliers hang 30" from the ceiling, but since our ceiling is pretty low we hung it at about 22". String the stemless glasses at whatever height you want them. I strung them each at a different height so that the light would cascade down.

Remember to thread your fishing line through the ceiling medallion (if you are using one) and the canopy plate. If you don't follow this step, you'll be cutting down the fishing line to start over again like we did. You don't have to secure either one at this point, just let them hang.

Canopy plate and ceiling medallion in place.
Now you want to take the lamp cord that is hanging from your stemless glasses and connect them to the wires in the ceiling. Again, I didn't do this part.... but I'm told it's fairly simple.

The black wire coming out of the ceiling is the hot, and the white wire is the neutral. Take the ends of your lamp wire and strip them about 1/2"-1". Twist all the hot wires together (the smooth wires), and then twist all the neutral wires together (the ribbed wires). Now you want to twist your twisted bunch of hot wires to the black wire coming out of the ceiling, use your wire connectors to tighten and secure the wires together. Do the same for the white wire coming out of the ceiling and neutral twisted bunch. We left some slack on the lamp cords so that they don't end up carrying the weight of the chandelier.

Now it's time to hang the rest of the wine glasses. Tie the finishing line to the steel ring and use a crimp bead to secure the line in place. Raise and lower each line to get the shape/body you want. I bought a pack of 12 nuance goblet wine glasses and used those for "filler" just to take up space and give it more body. I then purchased 12 glasses of varying sizes (small wine glasses and champagne glasses) to finish it off. I put the small glasses towards the top and dangled the champagne glasses towards the bottom.

Once that's done, hold your ceiling medallion and canopy plate against the ceiling and screw the machine screws through the canopy plate holes into the holes in the crossbar as tight as you can.

Finally, stand back and admire the beauty!!

On a side note, it really annoys me that the cardboard body of the keyless sockets are pretty visible. So I went out and bought some Rust-Oleum High Heat spray paint in white to paint the cardboard wraps. I haven't gotten around to that yet, but as soon as I do I will post an after picture.

I hope you found my instructions useful and if anyone decides to try this out I'd love to see pictures!


  1. GABY!!!!!! It looks so good!!! I am so happy that my instructions helped you to create your own unique and BEAUTIFUL chandelier!! :) I would love to post this before and after on my blog if you don't mind!

  2. I don't mind at all! We absolutely love how it turned out! Thanks again for getting us started with your instructions! I love your blog and all of your work!

  3. Gorgeous!! What a unique and beautiful fixture.

  4. Awesome! I love the way the reflections look smokey on the ceiling.

  5. I love the look of this chandelier!! Great job!

  6. Your chandelier turned out amazing, still can't believe it was a diy project! :) I love that you added the ceiling medallion from some extra omph

  7. Great Work! I commend your significant other for even trying this out! You both did a terrific job it looks Ahhhmazing!

  8. Oh and I love a post with both of the words bong and nipple somehow used together.

  9. I'm pretty sure you're a genius - that is amazing! Wanna come over and make one for my house?

  10. Did you use any epoxy or anything to keep them from 'clinking' together? like just a dab on each where they touch each other? Or are they all free hanging?

  11. Not bad girl, I would have never thought about that, and I should. I sadly have only used a wine glass once in maybe the past 5 years, we just don't drink much around here. But I have a whole shelf occupied by them. I love your little bio, its funny, and Im a dork right there with ya girl. Only Im no longer 20 something,,, boo hoo. lol. Great blog, Great new light, and Im your newest follower. I would love to have you link this project to my new party. :) Oh I'm looking forward to the post about how much you hate cleaning your new chandelier, it's coming, I know it. :)

  12. Amazing job! Hats off to you! LOVE what you’ve done! I hope you won’t mind me adding you to my DIY Pin board on Pinterest.

  13. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful comments!

    @ Liz - I love the reflections too!

    @ Dee - It took a lot of convincing and nagging to get him to agree to help me with this project. The way I see it a project isn't a success unless bongs or nipples are involved!

    @ Allison - Let me think about that.... lol

    @ Kristi - I didn't use anything to keep them from clinking together. They kind of just fell into place after adjusting the height of the fishing wire. We figured that if we ever need to replace a glass or change a light bulb we wouldn't be able to get to them as easily if they were glued together.

    @ Bella - I would love to link this project to your next party! I haven't had to clean it yet, but I think I might use a can of compressed air...

    @ Jolie Elise - I don't mind you adding me to your Pin Board at all :)

  14. This is a very impressive project--congrats!
    I am ready to buy some wine glasses but am concerned about the heat from the bulbs causing the glasses to break--was this a concern for you? Or do the bulbs you used not get *that* hot? Also, how did cleaning with the compressed air go?
    Thanks for sharing your very creative and daring idea with us!

  15. Thank you for stopping by!

    I made sure to buy wide mouth stemless glasses and decided to use candelabra bulbs (when you buy the keyless sockets make sure to check what kind of bulbs you can use with that type of socket) so that the bulbs have some room to breathe. So far we haven't had any issues regarding heat.

    Surprisingly the glasses haven't gotten dusty yet, so I haven't had a chance to use the compresssed air. But once I do I'll be sure to post an update.

  16. wow - great job!! You're so creative.

    I'm a new follower from Whatever Goes Wednesday.

    Would love for you to visit sometime at...

    Thanks & Happy New Year to you!!!

  17. Thank you Marie! Welcome to my blog and happy new year to you too!

  18. Followed your link from Kara Paslay. Splendid.