August 9, 2011

DIY: Mardi Gras Bead Chandelier

Not sure what to do with your extra Mardi Gras Beads? Here's an easy tutorial on how to make a festive Mardi Gras bead chandelier with only a few inexpensive supplies. We'll even show you how to light it without electrical cords!

This chandelier was inspired by the beaded chandelier created by Heather on Dollar Store Crafts. She used a wire basket as the structure and spray-painted the beads after attaching them with craft wire. The other inspiration is 1920's New Orleans Jazz fashion and style, especially fringes from flapper dresses (photo: Fashion Lover). Our Mardi Gras bead chandelier has a tiered shape and looped fringed edges (from leaving the strands uncut.)

For supplies, you'll need:
    Box Wire Wreath Form, 12"
    Hot Glue Gun or Skillet Glue & Drink Stirrer
    Strong Craft Wire
    4 packs of 12mm 48 in. gold Mardi Gras beads (12)
    1 pack of green 12mm 48 in. Mardi Gras beads (12)
    1 pack of purple 12mm 48 in. Mardi Gras beads (12)
Optional: Battery-Operated Lights

Of course, you can use any color or size beads that you already have, or you can customize the chandelier to your taste with different colors. Just make sure you have a lot of beads.

1. First, heat the skillet glue in a crock pot. Skillet glue is like hot glue, but comes in granules that melt when heated. Applying it with a drink stirrer worked best for this project, but a plastic spoon or knife will work too.

2. Attach the end of an uncut gold bead strand to a spot on the inner ring of the box wire wreath form. Make sure there is glue underneath and over the strand to secure it properly. If you don't have hot glue, use short lengths of thin craft wire to secure the bead strands. This takes longer, but works just as well. It helps to do this over a table edge with the frame weighed down.

3. Continue filling in the inner ring all the way around to make the longer inside tier. Add in a purple or green bead strand after every 3 or 4 gold bead strands.

4. Once the inner ring is done, add beads to the outer most ring, this time draping each uncut strand in half over the wire frame so that the outer tier is shorter, revealing the longer inside tier.

Just like for the inner tier, add a purple or green bead strand after every few gold beads for color accents.

Don't worry if the strands don't line up perfectly along the bottom edge; this gives the chandelier some variety.

5. In order to hang it, use some strong craft wire and attach 4 long pieces to the top of the box wire wreath frame at even intervals. Loop each end under and twist several times. Twist the 4 wires together at the top, leaving one to form into a loop.

6. Optional: This chandelier was easy to light with battery operated LED lights. Hide the black battery box on the inside of the chandelier. Attach it to the wire wreath frame with some craft wire.

These battery operated LED lights consist of 36 amber colored lights on a wire. Pull this lighted wire down through the middle of the chandelier. Wrap the light wire around the strands of  beads a few times to keep it secure. This a super easy way to create a lighted chandelier with out bulky electrical cords...perfect for outdoor or temporary events!

And that's it! This project only took a few hours to do. You can find all the items we used for this chandelier at

1 comment:

  1. love the idea I might use this for my wedding



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