Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Lights

Bring the beach to your patio with a sparkly handcrafted candelier!

Glitz up your outdoor space by making your own candlelit crystal chandelier. With a simple hurricane candleholder, armature wire, and crystal beads, you can create a glamorous mood light for your deck. And for that seaside look, add sea glass, sand, or seashells. Make three candeliers to hang at different heights and you'll have the beginning of a romantic beach getaway in your own backyard.

For each candelier, you will need:

armature wire, 10 feet (1/8 inch diameter)
silver craft wire, 10 feet (26 gauge)
1 garden S-hook (3 1/2 inches long)
3 lengths steel jack chain, 1 foot long each (#16 size)
hurricane candleholder (5 1/2 inches tall)
white pillar candle (3 inches tall)
4 pieces of sea glass
1 cup of sand, shells, or sea glass
4 clear acrylic gems with holes for beading
12 clear iridescent bicone beads
needle nose pliers
wire cutters

Step 1: Wrap the end of a five-foot length of armature wire around the top of the candleholder one time. Lock the wire tightly into place by folding the end back on itself as shown. Continue wrapping in the reverse direction, twisting three loops into the wire equally spaced around the perimeter to serve as hooks. Give each loop an extra twist to tighten as you go. Finish wrapping the wire and lock the end as before.

Step 2: Wrap the bottom of the candleholder with a two-foot length of armature wire and lock as before. Fold the long end under the bottom of the candleholder and fashion a swirl.

Step 3: Create the "S" shapes by bending a nine-inch length of armature wire. Make four total. Attach a piece of sea glass to each "S" using craft wire. Wrap with abandon!

Step 4: Create the gem danglies by threading a large gem onto a six-inch length of craft wire. Fold the wire in half and feed both ends through three bicone beads. Twist the wire into a loop and wrap the ends to secure. Make four total.

Step 5: Attach three lengths of chain to the garden S-hook. Open the bottom link of each chain using pliers and hook onto each armature wire loop at the top of the candleholder. Hang the candelier.

Step 6: Embellish by hooking three of the "S" shapes to the top lip of the candleholder and hang the last "S" shape from the bottom swirl of the candleholder. Then add a gem dangly onto the bottom link of each chain. Hook the last one onto the bottom "S" shape.

Finish your candelier by pouring one-inch of sea glass (or sand or shells) into the bottom of the candleholder. Set the candle inside. Pour the rest around the sides. Now grab your sweetheart and get those flames a-burnin'!

Colorful Twist: If your look is more ocean blue than seaside green, try using copper wire and cobalt sea glass instead.

Lip Tip: Make sure you select a glass candleholder with a lip at the top. That way the wire won’t slip off when you hang it.

Tip For The Landlocked: Is your nearest beach a thousand miles a way? Take a trip to your garden center for a bag of sand. Use the leftovers to make a sandcastle!

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