Monday, September 6, 2010

Make a Capiz Chandelier

I’ve spent all morning and some time last night on a new project that I’m excited to share.  I’ve always loved the capiz chandeliers that people have in their homes and that various stores sell.  Here are some store chandeliers:

Cost Plus World Market $69.99

worldmarket Pottery Barn Teen $129.00

pbteen West Elm $259.00


I couldn’t see spending a lot of money on one so I decided to see if I could make my own!  When I was home LAST Fourth of July (as in 2009) I brought home the capiz chandelier that my Dad brought back from the Philippines and gave my Grandmother.  When she passed away my Dad got it back and it hung in their back storage room for years.  Enter Heather.

IMG_1706 Look at how 70s this baby is! I took the chandelier apart (sorry, Dad!) and washed the disks.  They then sat in my basement for the past year. This weekend I decided that I had a lot of time and I wanted to try to make my own version of the capiz chandeliers that you see in stores today. 


  • Fishing line
  • Capiz shells
  • Metal wreath form
  • A method to hang the chandelier to the ceiling

Step 1: I bought a metal wreath form to use as the base since it had rings of various sizes that I could hang the shells from.  This was spray painted white.

Step 2: Cut the fishing line in the desired length. I decided that I wanted the longest strands to have 12 shells so my fishing line was long enough to hold the shells plus have extra at the top so I could attach it to the wreath form.

Step 3: Tie the two bottom shells together. My shells already had holes in both the top and bottom so I simply triple-knotted the fishing line through the top and bottom holes of two shells.

Step 4: Add a third shell to the strand. In order to get the shell to stay in place I looped the fishing line through the bottom hole (a) twice. You then thread the fishing line through the top hole (b) of the shell.  I was not attaching shells to each other – if you look at the left side in the pic below you’ll notice some space between some shells.  When I say loop the line through the hole, I mean you are just looping the line through hole (a) ONLY.

IMG_3942Step 5: Continue step 4 until you have the desired number of shells on the strand. Repeat numerous times until you have all of the strands you need.  I had strands of 12 shells, 10 shells, 8 shells, and 5 shells.

Step 6: Double-knot the strands to the wreath form starting with the longest strands in the center.  You want the shortest strands on the outside so that you can see them.

IMG_3940 Step 7: I used an existing light fixture so I needed to figure out how to hang the chandelier from the light.  For now I simply used four lengths of wire to attach the wreath form to the light but I may change it in the future.  It was hard to hang with only one person!

Step 8: Adjust any positioning of the strands after you hang the chandelier.  That’s it!

Where did I hang my light?  In the spare bedroom! 


IMG_3944 After:

IMG_3957 IMG_3946 With the lights turned on:


Total cost for me was around $8 for the metal wreath form. I already had the shells and fishing line. It is much fuller than the Pottery Barn version that sells for $130! 

IMG_3956 What do you think?  Has anyone else made their own chandeliers? 


  1. It turned out beautifully! Can I have it back now?

  2. It is gorgeous, Heather! I absolutely love it! Do you know how many things I find on your blog that I never knew I wanted until you posted them?? Add a Capiz Chandelier to that list now!!

  3. This looks amazing. I can't believe you had the patience to do it all yourself. I have the patience of a 3-year old, so it would have stayed in the basement forever. I would have never known it wasn't West Elm. =) Go girl! DIY!

  4. Wow, it's gorgeous and you, my dear, have the patience of a saint. That was a lot of work and it really paid off!!!

  5. Wow, this is sooo beautiful! I love your blog, keep up the good work.

  6. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing how you made your beautiful product. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Glad you all like it! If you have any questions on how I did it, feel free to send me a message!


  8. I have always wanted one of these capiz chandeliers too but just cant seem to find them here in Australia. I love what you've done it looks fantastic. Im insanely jealous!


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