Our house is 111 years old. When we bought it, every light had some kind of funky glass cover...some amazing, some really ugly! We slowly changed out the ugly ones but didn't throw them away. "That guy" made me keep them on a shelf in the basement. You know him..."Justin Case".
One day, my artsy muse bopped me on the head and said, "Make those old ugly things into snazzy candle holders!" So I said, "OK!!"
So let's make our hands go from purdy to dirty and get busy turning trash into treasure (a.k.a Christmas gifts)
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Step 1: Choose Wisely, Grasshopper...
Choose your ugly glass light cover, make sure it has a nice "lip" at the open end. This is where you'll attach your suspension wires. If you need 1 or 20, check your local thrift store. The vintage "raspberry" shaped one I use in the video below sells new at Home Depot for $2.57.
Ugly glass globe light cover (Or a pretty one if you prefer)
Wire - (black baling wire is cheap, and it rusts nicccccely.
Step 2: New "wiring" for Your Light Cover...
For this step, I thought it would be easier to make a video for you, above. If the video does the trick, skip ahead to step 4.
Otherwise, continue with the directions here:
Pull some wire from your spool. You can leave it connected to the spool or cut it to about 6' if that works better for you. Using your finger as a gauge, about 6" from the end, wrap the wire around 3 times and then pull it off your finger. I wrapped 3 times to make it stronger, plus it looks more interesting.
Grab all 3 loops and give them a twist. Think of it like twisting the twist-tie back onto your organic, gluten-free, free-range bread! Place it around the lip of your light cover and decide where the next one goes. I divided the circumference into 3 sections, so I eyeballed where the next 2 would go. It doesn't have to be perfect, unless you're into that sorta thing. I know I am.
Step 3: Wire It Up to Fly...
After you get the 3 loops onto your wire, wedge it into the groove/lip, do your "twist-tie" action once more time, securing the wire...there's no way that baby will come off. Now take the excess wire and wrap it around in that same groove, stopped at each loop to wrap it around each one. The best place to hide the end of your wire is around one of the loops. Wrap it around the loop, squeeze the end down with pliers, and it's ready to rig for hanging
Step 4: Hanging Wires...
Decide how long you want your candle holder to hang down. I made mine about 4' long...but you can adjust it. It should be long enough so the candle doesn't burn whatever it's suspended from. I hung mine from the ceiling over our mantle, so I wanted it to be nice and long. They can be shorter if you hang them outside from a metal hanging rod, for example.
Do the triple loop from step 2 at the end of each wire. You'll make 3 of these. These loops will be the ends your hanging hook goes into, and the loose end will be the part you wire onto the loops around the glass light cover that you already made.
Step 5: A Spring Collection...
Now...I'm personally blessed with a good hoard of junk. It was inherited, for my father was a class A junk-meister. Here I have a collection of his old springs, all different shapes and sizes. I'm going to string them onto my 3 wires to make it interesting and fun. You can also use metal or glass beads, hardware such as nuts, or any non-flammable item with a hole in it. Or use flammable things (outside)...what's the worst that could happen, right?!
Back to the springs...I chose them at random. Often I had to grab my pliers and give the end of a bigger one a squeeze to close it down. Otherwise, the next little spring will go down inside of it...and be lost forever.
When I got all 3 wires loaded up with springs, I attached one to each loop on the glass cover using the same loop and twist-tie technique. To make sure they're all the same length, hold all 3 together and give the wires a bend at the same spot on the far end. That way, you can start your loop there and they "should" end up even. If not, you can tweak the length by putting a little twist in the wire anywhere along the length. If you do this in the middle where the springs are, your little adjustment will be camouflaged by the springs.
Step 6: The Hook Up...
To find a hook for the 3 looped ends of the springy wires, I moseyed down to my junk-filled basement and scrounged a bit. As you can see, I found plenty to choose from. You can also fashion something out of wire if you don't have a dog clip, carabiner or other such clippy device. Clip on, and you're ready to hang.
Step 7: Let Your Light Shine...
A simple tealight will put out a romantic glow and be the safest option for not heating up the glass too much. You can use a regular candle but it's best if it's inside yet another glass votive holder to insulate it, or fill the bottom of the glass with sand or small pebbles to protect the glass from cracking in case the candle overflows.
We inserted an eye hook into our ceiling over the mantle to dangle it down in front of some artwork we wanted to light up. A wire plant hanger will also work nicely. Use a citronella candle outdoors to add a bug-repellent feature!
This flickering beacon could also help you get to know your neighbors...they might stop by your house like mine did to ask..."Where did you GET that?!"
Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Challenge