So, let me tell you a little about The Mama-In-Law.
I cannot even begin to describe to you how wonderful this woman is, or find words that accurately explain how thankful I am to have married into such an amazing family with whom I have such a fantastic relationship…or how I really do feel like they are my “family” rather than my “in-laws”…
So, we’re just going to discuss how she always finds the coolest stuff at thrift stores.
This woman can spot an awesome piece of furniture, or a crazy cool accessory, buried under piles of junk and get a good deal to boot. She loves to shop, and she has great taste, especially when it comes to house stuff and things for the girls.
And one day, shortly after we moved into our current home, she mentioned that she had several (yes, several) chandeliers she had picked up here and there at thrift stores and the like, and asked if we would be interested in seeing them, suggesting that we maybe could clean one up, paint it, and use it for something.
Um, yes please!
So they come to visit, and they bring three or four chandeliers out of their trunk (yeah, for real…nice trunk) and lay them out on our porch. After some discussion amongst ourselves about which one had the most potential and some funny looks from passers-by, we picked one, brushed it off, and brought it into the house. The others returned to the trunk, headed back to the magical other dimension where The In-Laws store all of the thrift store awesomeness that they have yet to find a use for.
I didn’t think to take a picture before we painted it (I know…stupid, stupid!), but the best description that I can give you is a plain, black chandelier of unknown date and origin with little going for it other than being not too tall and not too fat. The shape was good, and the curly parts were nice, but pretty boring as far as chandeliers go.
And what I had in mind would require some sparkle and class. This was going in my girls’ room, and it had to be pink and girlie and beautiful.
So, after a lot of work and countless hours spent stringing fake pearls, here is what we got (and I gotta tell you, I LOVE it):
And for anyone who wants to know, here’s how I did it:
1. Took off all removable parts and taped up the parts that I didn’t want painted (sockets, etc) with blue painter’s tape.
2. Cleaned it off really really good.
3. Hung it from a tree in the backyard (with a small rope through the top chain link). Make sure to cover anything that you don’t want painted, or you may end up with a white tree like I did.
4. I used some matte finish white spray paint to cover the black. Google tips on spray painting, because I didn’t do a very good job and don’t think you should listen to my advice on that part.
5. Then I used some pearl finish spray paint. That stuff was awesome! It took me like three cans of it to cover the whole thing, but again, I suck at spray painting. Yeah, I know right, an art school graduate who can’t spray paint…sad.
But really, that pearl finish is what does it. It’s not just a white chandelier. It’s got a pearl coat. It makes it pink and green and opal and gorgeous, and sparkly. Mission accomplished.
6. Once the whole thing was dry, I started getting the decorations ready. I had found pictures online of chandeliers that I liked, and made a plan for how I wanted it to turn out. I decided I wanted a long hangy thing on each big curly arm, some small hangy things on each of the little top curly arms, and pearls draped around the circumference. So, I would need six of each of the long and short hangy things and a good many pearls.
7. For the pearls, I bought a box of fake pearls at Micheal’s. I got two boxes of 500, but that was way more than I needed. I still have one unopened box and half of the other left. I got some fishing line (that we just had laying around, for some reason), and strung up an es aitch eye tee ton of pearls. For real…I threaded fishing line through every single one of those pearls. And kept my two-year-old from swallowing a single one. I’m very proud of that.
8. For the hangy things, I got some beads in the Micheal’s jewelry making department in pink and clear. I got them at a half-off sale, and got plenty, just in case. Again, I still have a ton of them, so if anyone needs some cute pink and clear fake jewel things, just let me know.
9. I laid out all of the ones that I had six of, and then played around with different configurations. Here is a close up of one of the long hangy things:
10. I did six of the long ones and six of the short ones, and, here’s the part where you really need to be a talented artisan…I tied the fishing line around the arm of the chandelier and put a dollop of hot glue on top, to hold it in place. Yes, hot glue. I worried it might reheat and drip down, but that hasn’t happened yet, maybe since I put it so far away from the bulbs. Be careful of that possibility, though. I don’t want any children injured by hot glue raining down from their chandelier because of me.
11. With the pearls, I actually counted them out to try to get an even number between each arm, but as I was trying to put them on, the paper clip marking my place came off and everything went to hell, so I just eye-balled it. And more hot glue to hold it in place.
Yeah, you can pick on me for the hot glue, but I get compliments on this thing all the time.
And did I mention that I LOVE it?