Reclaimed Cardboard Tube DIY Chandelier




randomly walked by 48 of these cardboard tubes waiting to be recycled on way to a meeting. On the way home couldnt bring myself to walk by them. So lil ol me , dragged these cumbersome things back to my apt. My apt was in dire need of a chandelier but i was too cheap / broke to spring $300+ for all the ones i liked. And POOF, the idea was born. I got the light sockets from ikea for $5 a pc , bought about $20 worht of apoxy , and went to town. I mapped out the design in photoshop , and got to work . I had a blast, and am thrilled at how it came out, and on the cheap , no less!


Step 1: Gather Your Materials

gorilla glue
cardbaord tubes
seam ripper / something to poke small holes with
metal wire
light sockets { i got mine from ikea for abotu $5 a pc}
serge protector
light bulbs { i got large clear edison bulbs from home depot for about $1.50 a pc }

Step 2: Design Your Chandelier

I guess you could play it by ear , but i found it really helpful to map out the shape i wanted in photoshop

Step 3: Start Assembling

I lined up two tubes , and used the bordering tube to draw a straight line on the next tube. this gave me a straight guide of where to apply to glue. I then clamped the tubes together until they dried.

Step 4: Continue Glueing / Assemble Your Structures

once i had all of my 'rows' glued together, and then glued and clamped the rows together according to my guide that i completed in step 2. Once i aligned two rows together, i poked little holes into each individual tube about 1 inch from the edge. This gave me holes on the two separate rows that i could wire together for extra support.

Step 5: Ad the Light Sockets

Next i simply pulled the light sockets throught the tubes. my sockets where the exact same diameter of the tubes. I applied gorilla glue in between the tube opening and the plastic socket , then pulled the wire taught from the opposite end and clamped them so until the glue dried.

Step 6: Finish Up & Enjoy !

plug in your bulbs, hang it , and plug the sockets into a high quality serge protector. ENJOY your new one of a kind , recycled chandelier!



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    13 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I've been thinking bout a light/lamp/chandelier type thing for a while. I might just do this. Maybe make more of a light with square shapes and say maybe 3 LEDs in each "box".. I was thinking milk jugs like the addressable milk jug led Ible. But now I might do this. It seems easier and decently cheap and DIY-ey and neat! Thanks for the idea! -MackeFeet

    incineration temperature of paper is like 300-600 degrees celsius bulbs never get so hot unless you cover them with something and i guess the bulb would probably burned down before it would lit up...from the accumulated heat


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea. I see a lot of fire and wire concerns. You can leave yours alone, since it is what you wanted anyways. Nothing wrong with that at all. But for those who want to hide the wires and not have to have them professionally installed inside the ceiling/wall, DIY stores sell wire covers that attach to the wall/ceiling. That way, it's not quite so noticeable. For the fire hazard worry, perhaps a coating of some kind of fireproof spray paint or clear coat? Not really sure what it would be called, but I'm sure there's something out there that is heat resistant. And if you don't like the cardboard look, these can EASILY be painted over or covered in some way. The look can be changed multiple times even, depending on your mood/season! :D I love this idea in general and ALWAYS feel guilty about throwing out those amazingly sturdy tubes. Great job!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I was thinking about those wires.... Why not put small nails or some such going up the wall:_-_-_- vertical of course. Sorry with my comp knowledge that's the best illustration I could come up with :( Then run the wires zig-zag from nail to nail-it would make them an attractive wall feature?


    9 years ago on Step 1

    I love the look of your chandelier. It would have been even better if you had wired it into your house electrical system. All the wires are distracting.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    thanx for all the comments. As far as burning the house down , they are only 25 watt bulbs, and an industrial serge protector, so the heat should be under control, hopefully :] Of course i don't leave it on when i'm not in the room , just to be safe. As far as not liking the wires, that's obv a personal preferance , and was part of my design , not a mistake { which is why i bought different colored wires}. Thanx again for checking out my project :]


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Not crazy about the looks of it (especially not the visible wires on the wall), but nice idea nonetheless.

    Mikey D

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice design but I dare say thoes incandesents are generating a BUNCH of heat! Put your hand up there and make sure you're not going to have to use yoru rental insurance. Good idea though!