The other day I was browsing through a stack of magazines, and one particular product caught my eye. It was a photo “chandelier” from Crate and Barrel, with wires and clips dangling down from a frame in varying lengths to imitate a chandelier formation. I’ve posted on the blog before about various ways to display your Christmas cards, like this DIY Christmas Card Star, but I’d never seen anything like this before!
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I knew I wanted one for myself. But after seeing the price tag, I was motivated to find a way to make something similar for less. Luckily, I already had most of the supplies I would need on hand!
- 4 wire clothes hangers
- 3-5 yards of 18-gauge wire
- Wire cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- 16 clips of your choice
- Twine or string
- Metallic spray paint (optional)
The first step in making your card chandelier is building the framework using the wire hangers. Start by using your pliers to “unravel” 3 of the hangers where they twist around near the hook. (You’ll use the intact 4th hanger as a wrapping point for the other hangers.) Use your wire cutters to snip off the hooks of all 4 hangers.
To build your framework, you want to create a tic-tac-toe board with the bottoms of the hangers – two parallel lines that are vertical, and two parallel lines that are horizontal. But instead of each hanger standing straight up and down, you’ll lean the tops of the hangers over slightly so that they all meet in the center.
It helps to have the tic-tac-toe formation laid out and wired together before dealing with the tops of the hangers. Just use 6″ or so of wire to wrap around the hangers where they cross. Make sure to wrap in both directions around the intersection so that the hangers don’t slip.
Once you get to that point, you can move on to the tops of the hangers. This part is a bit tricky, but it doesn’t have to be perfect! Use your pliers to wrap the top ends of each hanger over the top section of the one intact hanger. Just fold the tops back toward the hanger, and wrap them around themselves as best you can. Repeat this step until all of the hanger tops are wrapped securely around themselves.
Then I used my pliers to bend the entwined section of the one intact hanger into a hook shape, so I could place it on a hook once I was done. I also used several lengths of wire to wrap around the top ends of each hanger, for added strength (and to hide the places where I couldn’t quite get the hangers to wrap around right!). This step is optional, but I think it adds a certain rustic charm! :-)
So now that you have your structure finished, you can make it extra chic by giving it a coat of a metallic spray paint. I happened to have some metallic spray paint in “Antique Brass” on hand, so I used that. I love how it brings the different kinds of wires into a unified whole.
Once your wire frame is done drying, all that’s left to do is add the dangling photo clips! I used three different lengths of twine to create a chandelier effect: about 5″, 8″, and 12″.
4 pieces of 12″ twine
4 pieces of 8″ twine
8 pieces of 5″ twine
Tie a clip onto one end of each piece of twine. It is hard to describe the pattern I used to get the chandelier effect, so here’s a quick diagram I drew up:
All that’s left to do is put it on a hook, hand it up, and load it up with photos, Christmas cards, ornaments, or whatever else your heart desires! :-)