Introduction: Fabricate an Elegant Chandelier From Paperclips

About: "Almost Toast"

"Your cubicle's answer to a garish lifestyle!"

Hi-Ho Instructabrarians!

Have you ever wanted a chandelier for your home (or office) but lacked the thousands of dollars to buy one?  Well today you're in luck because I will be showing you how simple it is to make your own for less than $20*, and right from your cubicle!  Introducing Paperclip Chandelier!  

*regional differences may apply

Step 1: Design/ Inspiration

The inspiration for this Chandelier Paperclip came from a lot of different sources, but one of the basic structure was inspired from ReDesign's Etsy Limited Edition version.  I loved the woven feel of it and was disappointed that almost no (Free) documentation existed online for it anymore.  So, in the spirit of Instructables, I decided to create my own through reverse engineering!

Of course i also added my own flair once I completed it.

Step 2: Materials: Guess.

Basically this is a very inexpensive project and you really only need four things:

  • Box 1000 Paperclips (Two of them)
  • Bendable Ornament Wire
  • Four different sizes of metal rings (I used a wreath frame) 
  • Circular Picture Hanging kits vs Giant Paperclips (depending on where you hang it)
  • Wire Cutter

However, two things I must stress for this project are Time and Patience.  This is not necessarily an extremely complicated project, but it is very time consuming (I had to finish mine in 3 days).

Step 3: Lattice Structure Building Pt 1

OK, let's get things started!

Basically the way a paperclip chandelier is set up is like an interwoven net of paperclips, jointed onto three or four separate metal rings.  

To create this initial net, begin by taking three paperclips and chaining them all together so they form a Y.  Continue with this step until you have at least six different Ys. 

Step 4: Lattice Structure Building Pt 2.

Next, take the interlocked paperclips and connect them together along with two other paperclips.  Your final step should resemble something like a Super Mario Sunshine M with two hanging legs in the middle.    Make sure all of the paperclips are interconnected to each other.

Congratulations!  You just made one perfect Paperclip Chandelier Segment!  Easy right?  Now all you have to do is make 300* more of them.

*Give or take depending on the size of your rings

Step 5: Removing the Wreath Segments

Now that we got the basics out of the way, let's get our skeleton.  The metal rings are crucial to this project because they will serve as the basic shape to how our paperclip chandelier will adhere to.  I decided to go with a craft wreath frame from Michael's.

Being extremely careful, use a pair of pliers to cut away at the connecting wired "arms" that hold each of the segments together, while being careful not to bend them too much in the process. Your final goal is to have 4 nicely shaped, differently sized, light metal rings.

Step 6: First Frame Build

Fantastic, now we can begin building the project.

Basically, start off by taking your smallest metal ring in your wreath frame and start connecting interconnected paperclip lattice structure strands with it.  How many you decide to hang will depend on the surface area of the subsequent rings, ie, how large the next rings will be in accordance to your first one.  I made the mistake of only using twenty hanging paperclip points, which was discovered to be very small, and ended up having to pay for it later.

Keep connecting paperclips the same was as in 3 & 4 until you get something that resembles a metal basketball hoop.

Then, connect each of these paperclips to the next sized circular ring.

Step 7: Second (Hang It!) and Third and "N"

HOLD IT!  Before you do anything else, it is absolutely crucial you hang your chandelier, regardless whether it's finished.  If you don't it is extremely easy for it to get tangled and it is' really annoying to fix.  Just take some yarn/string and secure the top so that it hangs carefully.

Basically all that happens subsequently is to keep connecting subsequent paperclips and subsequent metal rings until you get a strangely shaped cylinder.  However, here in my project is where i had a little bit of trouble.  Because I didn't end up using enough hanging paperclips around the circumference of my smaller ring, when I tried connecting the next ring to it, it was found out to be too tight.  So general rule of thumb for this project, always use more paperclips than necessary.

Anyway, to rectify this problem, I just hung more paperclips in each of my subsequent sections and connected them to the first half.  Go from Smallest Ring- Medium Ring- Largest Ring- 2cd Medium sized Wreath Ring.  

Step 8: Close Off the Bottom

Now it's time to safely close the bottom of this paperclip chandelier.  For this exit, I used a pair of pliers to fashion a small metal ring from my Giant Paperclips I got from Staples.  Be extremely careful and make sure all of the paperclip points connect to it evenly. Your basic shape is already done!

Step 9: Fancy Accouterments

Congratulations!  You are now essentially done with your Paperclip Chandelier project!  However, if you want to get even more creative, like I did, you can easily adapt more onto this caged design.

After doing a lot of research on other hanging, chained chandeliers, I decide to go for the more traditional view of draping chains.  After chaining 10 different paperclips together, I chained them across the middle and top of the chandelier.  I like it because I think it gives it more of a Victorian-esque feel.  

Finally, to chain it to the ceiling, create 5 more chains of paperclips (10 clips per strand) and connect it to the top most ring of your chandelier.  Then, taking the Giant Paperclips, bend the paperclips outward so they create a kind of hook for fastening.  

Step 10: Finished!

And now your are finished with your paperclip chandelier!

One thing to note, however, is if you have the addition of a hanging light bulb, you can actually build your paperclip chandelier around to give it a more "glowing" effect (all you have to do is start with a much smaller top ring, that fits around the lightbulb's base.  Unfortunately, my dorm room does not have that so I had to make do with the strange lighting fixtures we were given.

Anyway that's basically it for paperclip chandelier!  It's easy, looks AMAZING and is easily one of the most elegant decorations you can build in your cubicle (if you have a 10 hour coffee break). 

So go and make one right now!  Impress your coworkers and employers!   Who knows- they might be so impressed with your craftsmanship, they could give you a promotion to "Creative Consultant" or something.