Fakin’ it

Is anyone else a sucker for all things faux?  Ok, maybe not all things (I’ve still got animal heads on the mind from yesterday’s post, and those are a definite no-faux)…but I’m certainly up for trying to make something on the cheap instead of dishing out hundreds of dollars for it.  If it ends up a major catastrophe then all I’m out is the time (and hopefully the little money) I put into the project.  If it does turn out, then I can bask in the glory of making something fabulous for less.

Recently, I’ve been drooling over bedroom chandeliers.  I love the interest and romance they bring to a room.  For some reason I’m especially drawn to the capiz shell chandeliers too, like this one from west elm:

Image from West Elm

Seriously.  Drooling over here.  Isn’t that gorgeous?  What isn’t gorgeous is the price tag…$259.  I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if I spent that much on a light fixture.  So I started looking around for alternatives…and came across this unexpected post on Design Sponge:  http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/08/diy-project-brennas-paper-capiz-shell-chandelier.html

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier?  I’m listening reading…. 

I thought it was an interesting concept to try and make my own chandelier.  Besides, all it took was lots of wax paper, an iron, a circle cutter, a couple of metal rings (extracted from an old drum shade), a hot glue gun…and a LOT of patience and vision. 

Remember when you were 5 and you would dry wildflowers between books, then take the flattened flowers and iron them between two pieces of wax paper to preserve them forever?  Well….it’s kind of like that but without the flowers.  I’m not going to go through the whole tutorial here, because Design Sponge does an awesome job.  But the basic concept was to layer 5 pieces of wax paper and iron them together.  Cut out circles.  Repeat (like 500 times if you’re me).  Glue them together how you choose and hang from the wire rings. 

See…those instructions suck.  Design Sponge does a much better job.  So I’ll just stop and get to the “afters.”    Please forgive the following:  (1) lack of “before pictures” and (2) Browny McBrownerton.  These pictures were taken before I upgraded my sheets, duvet and throw pillows.  If you missed that, read about it here.  

For some reason it looks gigantic in this picture....I swear it doesn't overpower the room like that!

Up close I think you can tell it's wax paper...or at least NOT capiz shells

I used low heat/low-wattage bulbs to try to give it a glowing look

So there you have it.  A DIY chandy…all for just under$5.00 (the cost of two rolls of wax paper.  I had all of the other supplies on-hand).

I’ve got to be honest, I don’t see this as my “forever” solution, but it’s tiding me over for now.  And for under $5.00??  Talk about on the cheap.   But you know I’ll be watching West Elm…and if I see the real deal go on sale to a price I can stomach…well maybe I just won’t have to fake it anymore.



  1. Stumbled upon your blog while searching for capiz shells and diy projects for my husband’s beach birthday party! Your writing is so entertaining! LOVE this DIY.. I can hardly believe you only used wax paper. Thanks for sharing! :)

    xo Alanna

    1. Hello Alanna! Thanks for stopping by! Please let me know if you end up making some of these….I’d love to see pics of the end result. If you were looking for real capiz shells, you can buy them in bulk online. Originally that’s what I was searching for….and I found some pretty decent deals at online bead shops like Fire Mountain Gems. Good luck with your beach party! Janna

    1. Hey Alanna! I finally had some time to check out your beach party – it turned out awesome!!! Thanks for the shout-out, I do appreciate it. I can’t wait to see what your next par-tay theme is all about….

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