504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! A Birthday Chandelier
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! A Birthday Chandelier

I made this Birthday Chandelier last year for my hubby's big b'day and just recently made one for a dear friend who turned 40 (did anyone make one for me...no...but I am not bitter at all!). I have also had many readers make their own versions of this chandelier - from a decorative chandelier with vintage goodness to a learning tool for kids with special needs.

The possibilities are endless...
and this beauty can be made with things you already have in the house!

My original inspiration for the birthday chandelier came from the
book and burlap wreaths that were (and still are) all over blogland…
but as far as I know this is my own “creation.”
{as of 2/2010 I had not seen a similar creation}
Even as I was making this and especially
when I saw the finished project,
I could totally see this becoming so many things…
baby and bridal shower decor...
made in colorful paper as party d├ęcor...
made out of a children’s book for a nursery...
Endless possibilities {and I will milk it for all it is worth}!

DIY Birthday Chandelier
  • Wire coat hanger (or wreath frame) and wire snips/cutters if you use the coat hanger.
  • Exacto knife {or preferred cutting/ripping tool}.
  • Ruler (metal)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (I used the small hole punch)
  • Glue sticks (glue dots could probably work well too).
  • Old book (you will be tearing it apart) or scrapbook paper cut to size.
  • Ribbon (I used ¼” ribbon and a thin string to complete my chandelier)
  • String or fishing line
  • Cardstock in preferred color (You could use double sided scrapbook paper, but I found it helpful to use solid color cardstock…anything you can utilize both sides of the paper is good, so that you do not have to cut double mats to cover up the back side of the paper).
  • Photos
NOTE: For my purposes I will be referring to a wire hanger and an old book – {I have made one with a wire wreath form and scrapbook paper}
1. Cut the hanger part of the hanger off on both sides
2. Using the wire snips or pliers make hooks at each end of the hanger. Hook them together and them use your hands to form a circle with the hanger. It does no have to be a perfect circle…but it should resemble one.
3. With an exacto knife, cut the pages from an old book. The size of the wreath and the size of the folds you do in the next step will determine how many pages you need.
4. Fan or accordion fold (lengthwise) each page. A large fold will make a fuller look, a smaller fold will be a tighter look (see photos for example). I used a larger fold for my chandelier. {If you are going to pink, tear or dip the edges* do it now}
5. Once the page is folded, fold it in half, and run a glue stick along length of folded paper.
6. Sandwich the hanger between the folded page…the hanger should go right into the crease of the page. For extra hold, I stapled mine too. You can use two lengths of pages for a different style rosette - you will have to test out your rosettes on the type of paper you use to determine the fullness you desire.
7. Continue placing and gluing until your wreath is full. 
8. Before fanning out your folded pages, cut 3 lengths of ribbon approximately 36 inches long (you may want more lengths to add some flourish to the wreath like I did). Visualize a triangle on your wreath and tie (knot) a length of ribbon in these places. I liked placing one of the ribbons at the closing point/hooks of the hanger. Leave long tails so that you can take the 3 lengths and tie them together (hold them up and visualize the lengths being equal and tie a knot). 
NOTE: For Step 8 and for step 9, I am showing your the ribbon placement without the paper attached to the wreath frame. It is much easier to attach the ribbon with the paper already on the wreath...as it hold the ribbon in place.
9. If you are going to be hanging photos or anything else from the chandelier, you may want to attach the fishing line now as well. You can do as many lines as you want. I did two, dividing the wreath frame in half, each way. See NOTE from step 8.
10. Glue The top of the folded paper and then fan out and glue the two halves together.
11. With wreath still flat (or…I actually found it helpful to hang the wreath for this stage of creating), glue the top of the folded pages. Then open the folds to create a rosette and glue the sides together. Repeat as many times as necessary.
NOTE: Top, a larger accordion fold. Bottom, a smaller accordion fold.
12. When the glue on the wreath is dry you can hang your photos.
13. Tie photos to the wreath frame and along the strings you crisscrossed across the frame. Hang them at different levels for interest. Stand back every now and then to reassess positioning. You will also have to balance out the photos so the chandelier hangs straight at this stage.
  • On the computer, print out your photos. I found it helpful to print them all out in the same size using Microsoft Picture Manager, wallet size photos.
  • Cut mats out of cardstock or paper. I found it helpful to use solid color cardstock and then I could put photos on both sides.
  • Cut photos out and affix to mats (I used glue, but you could use scrapbook tape runner)
  • Punch a hole in the center top.
  • Cut lengths of ribbon or thin string (I cut them about 36” long…enough to play with) and then tie to mounted/matted photos.
Add Some Sparkle!
Dip the edges in glue and then glitter for some sparkle!
Hang a few crystals for some glam! 
Pinking shear or tear the edges for some additional detail. 
Oh yeah, did I mention the best part...
this cost N-O-T-H-I-N-G! And how FAB is it!

If you want to see a gorgeous and different version,
go check out Pretty Paper Book. It is beautiful!

Happy DIYing!

freckled laundryPhotobucket

Strictly Homemade Tuesday


  1. What a cute idea! I am hosting a retirement party for a fellow teacher in a few weeks. Pictures from her years of teaching would be perfect using your idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Woah! THis is just AWEsome!!!

  3. I love this project Holly! This would also be a cute party decoration for a kids birthday, bridal shower, etc. So cute and clever.

  4. love this wreath project...and the dangling photos add such a personal touch...thanks for the inspiration!

    stuff and nonsense

  5. Oh I think I'll do this for my grandson's 1st birthday in September - but I'll change from the book pages to cutting the Sunday comics to book page size, to make it more colorful for him! GREAT idea! Thanks!

  6. I have to make one of these!! Thanks for sharing your tips!!
    Have a beautiful day!!

  7. This is such a clever idea. I could see it for so many special celebrations too.

  8. too cute! and I love, love, love the cost! :)
    great tute holly!

  9. Nice job. Very clever. Thanks for the inspiration.


  10. Get outta town!!! That is fabulous!

  11. oh to be 40 again! happy belated. this is such a great idea...i loved it the first time you made it...and i love it even more now. i'm thinking that i might do one for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary..
    thanks for sharing your amazing talent :)

  12. Very cute Holly! Love this chandelier. Hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration!

  13. This is beautiful. I'm going to make one for my office! You should come link it up, girl. You used a textile for the ribbon. :) Love this.

  14. Inspiring project and blog.

  15. I love this idea. I am starting to collect ideas for my daughter's 6th birthday and this would be wonderful to display not only at her birthday and put in her room later as decoration. You are so original!! Love it!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Strictly Homemade Tuesday and posting about my linky party on FB. I truly appreciate the support!!!

  16. Featured this project tonight, Holly! Thanks for linking with air your laundry Friday.



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