Introduction: DIY String Light Chandelier for $40

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This simple and rustic chandelier is made with string lights and wood and you don't need a whole lot of tools to put this together. It would be absolutely perfect to hang over a dining table, or anywhere really where you want some extra light and a nice focal point.

Step 1: The Lights and the Wood

For this project I'm going to use a 10 bulb string light. They're so cool because they come all wired up with a whole bunch of bulbs ready to be turned into something interesting.

In terms of wood, I'm using some barn style wood and I found these boards at my local home improvement store. This wood has a greyed whethered color on one side only, and it's made out of cedar. But of course you can use any wood you have on hand.

First thing to do is to plan out the design - how large do I want this thing? I figured two boards connected would be a good width, and in terms of the lights I decided to go with a rather random distribution of the bulbs - I didn't want it to look too structured.

Step 2: Cut to Size

I also want to add a border around, so for that I figured I would just rip this board in half. Then I cut the main boards to size and cut mitered corners for the border pieces.

Step 3: Holes and Connecting

To make the holes for the bulbs I used a 1 inch spade bit.

To connect the two boards together I used pocket screws, and glue.

For the border, I wanted a bit of a lip, so it wouldn't come flush. So I just propped the pieces up a little, and then it was easy to secure the border evenly with some glue and the nail gun - and this is a really simple way to connect everything, perfect for this project.

Step 4: Finishing

I wanted to seal the wood, just to bring the color of the rustic look out a little more, and I used a water based polyurethane for that.

Here I'm also painting a piece of the same wood in white, and this will secure to the ceiling.

Step 5: Steel Cables

Now, I will connect the main box to the white board with steel cables, and I've got some eye hooks here that I'm securing in the corners.

I'm also adding some extra lamp wire to make the string light cord longer, and if you're not comfortable doing this step, then get someone to help you.

OK, so to connect it all, I'm pulling the steel wire through the hook, I also have two hooks attached to the white board and I'm pulling it through, and then going through all the corners until they're all connected. To secure the cable in the corners, I'm using these crimpers and making a loop, which can't go through the hook. And here's the general idea - and I really like the idea of having one cable like this attached so can adjust it, as opposed to cutting four cables exactly the same length and trying to get that even, that sounds difficult to get just right.

Step 6: Setting It Up

Next I have the light strip sockets and I'm just pushing them through the holes. Also securing the wire with some fasteners, so they won't pop up and be visible.

Ok - so I'm attaching the board to studs in the ceiling, and then simply screwing in the bulbs.

Step 7: Conclusion - Watch the Video

To see the final result and to gain a much better view of the process, make sure to watch the video.