DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier

on May 7, 2015

Besides a quick segue into some delish Mexican food, I’ve been hitting the heavy stuff pretty hard.. Wait.. no, no, no! Heavy stories, people, not the actual heavy stuff, geesh! Anyway, it seemed like a good day to lighten the mood and get back to my roots.. this is a craft/diy blog after all, so, we should probably do some of that.

If you’re new here, my current project room – at least the one that has most of my focus – is my daughter’s bedroom. It was a small, cramped room, that was in need of a makeover.  I’ve a lengthy list of projects to get through before I can call it finished, of which I’ve only crossed off one item – the rearranging part, at least until today!

One of the major tasks was to reorganize the closet. We had removed one of her dressers to give her more floor space, and as a result, we needed to rework the closet to make up for the storage space loss. The worst of it is done and we’re on to painting. I’ll be sharing soon.

In the meantime, I took on a project that was a little more fun, and had a little more cosmetic bang for my buck, if for no other reason than it helped me to feel like I was making progress. I’ll take whatever I can get!

So, in addition to the closet re-org, we also decided on a new light shade.

Unfortunately, fans are an absolute must in our house, which limits the fixtures we can buy.. at least within our budget. The existing light was made using a large barrel shade turned upside down, but it lacked that certain.. oomph.. is that a word? that I was looking for.

On my travels, I came across this one..


at my other home World Market and although the price wasn’t too bad, it was the wrong color, as well as it didn’t really work with the fan. Plan B went into effect.. or, should I say. the Plan B that I suddenly came up with went in to effect.

I found this amazing tutorial at Fabulous Fashions for Sensible Style – they really had me at their blog name – for something very similar to what I was looking for.


They promised it could be made for under $15.. and.. they were right! I’m not going to do a full tutorial here – theirs was really well written, but I’ll give you a brief overview of what I did.

I used:

  • A glue gun and glue
  • Wax Paper – I used two 75 foot boxes
  • A circle cutter – I used a 2.5″ circle
  • 1/4″ organza ribbon in white
  • Scissors
  • 2 Towels
  • Iron
  • Ruler or Tape Measure
  • A bell shaped lamp shade (ensure it has a spider fitter, used to attach to a lamp harp)
  • A lamp harp

I did:

To begin, I stripped the lamp shade of it’s cover so it was down to the wire. 

To create the “shells”, I layered 5 sheets of wax paper and fused them together by placing the layers between two thin towels, and ironing them with a very hot. I used the better part of two full 75′ boxes of wax paper for this shade. When the layers cooled, I used a 2.5″ paper cutter to cut out the circles
that would be my “shells”.

Doing this was actually a bit frustrating. I used about 300 circles – yes, I said 300 – and you must have an extremely sharp punch to get through the waxed paper. I used the EK Success cutter – A brand I’d never heard of before –  I picked up at Joann’s. I tried two other punches as well – a Fiskar and a Michael’s brand. The Fiskar wouldn’t get through the paper at all, the Michael’s brand, partially cut, but the EK Success worked like a champ, only sticking a few times during all the cutting. Also, it folds flat – easy to store. I’m not receiving any compensation in any way, this product was just fantastic and I would highly recommend it for tackling this project.

The strands were created by gluing the “shells” to the organza ribbon. I used    12″ strands for the top row, and   8″ strands for the bottom row.

The 12″ strands each held five “shells”, the 8″ strands held three “shells”.

To start, I turned the lampshade upside down. Then, beginning at the widest part of the shade, now the top, I folded 1″ of ribbon strand over the wire and secured it with a dot of hot glue. Be sure to press both sides of the fold together to ensure the glue dries securely.

Next, I began attaching the “shells” to the strand. using hot glue, five in a row, starting at the top.  

Then.. repeat. My top row was divided into six sections, and I used ten strands in each section. In hindsight, it probably would have been simpler to start at the bottom. I wasn’t thinking that day.. so, instead, to attach the bottom row, I simply moved the strands to the side and repeated the same sequence on the bottom wire. On the bottom there were still six sections, but some sections were smaller than others. On the narrower sections, I attached three 8″ strands, on the wider sections, five.

To give the top edge more of a finished look, I decided to cut the remaining “shells” in half, and glue them just slighting above the wire line on the top, with the cut edge facing up.

To attach the shade, Shay had an ingenious idea – so lucky my man is a smarty pants! Our fan is fairly new, and as a result, was made with a lamp pipe which extends down to attach a glass shade.

What the original shade looked like

This is a lamp pipe

Around this pipe, was a collar with two holes used to hold the chains for fan speed and the light switch. Because the chains would be easily accessible, we didn’t need the holes for that purpose, and instead, were able to thread a lamp harp – the thingy that you attach to your lamp to hang a shade..  

Lamp harp, aka: the thingy that you attach to your lamp to hang your shade

…through the holes and bend them to secure them to the fan, automatically making it simple to change out the shade for any that you would use with a harp lamp shade. I added a large glob spot of hot glue.. because it’s almost like duct tape.. good for everything.. over the holes to give it a bit more stability. It worked like a champ. 

We simply pulled the old shade down and put up the new. Here is what it looks from the underside.  

And here it is in the room. 

Because of the way and how low the shade sits, we can still use the fan – at least on medium, which is as high as we ever go anyway. 

Here it is lit up. I love how the light shines through and shows each individual “shell”.  

So, this one is a wrap. New, chic and trendy DIY Capiz Shell Lampshade, for under $15.. check! Huge thanks to Fabulous Fashions for Sensible Style for such a FANTASTIC tutorial! 

With the lampshade checked off, my honey-i-am-going-to-do list is as follows:

Build a closet organizer
Re-arrange the furniture
Replace the light, leaving the fan
Add a rug
Attempt to dye the duvet cover and update the bedding
Repair built-in shelving to add missing shelves
Add a built in desk 
Add a focal point to area above desk
Create a PBTeen Style Tile Knockoff to go with desk
Create upholstered headboard
Create multi-canvas wall art

Add window treatments
On to the next! As always, thanks for following along on these crazy adventures. It means so much! 

If you’re interested in where we’ve come from, you can check out:

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  • Emily, our house now a home

    This is beautiful! I cannot stand the look of fans, but they are so functional and needed. I like to keep the windows open all summer and only turn the air conditioner on when I have to. SO some fans are needed a lot. But, ugh, they are just not as pretty ad a chandelier or pendant. You did a beautiful job dressing this up!

    May 8, 2015 at 3:26 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks so much, Emily! I can't stand them either and I'm always looking for ways to dress them up. It was a fun project!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm Reply
  • The Gastronom

    Such a cool idea!

    May 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      I see what you did there! Fan.. cool.. haha. No really, thanks! I'm happy with how it turned out. 🙂

      May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm Reply
  • Randi Sheets

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

    May 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Randi and thanks for stopping by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm Reply
  • Debra Chapoton

    Awesomely clever. You are very talented and artistic.

    May 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Debra! I appreciate the compliment and thank you for stopping by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm Reply
  • Ashleigh Wright

    Very cool!! I love that look! Thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!! xx

    May 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Ashleigh! It was a really fun project and so cheap and simple!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm Reply
  • Crystal Foose

    My kids have knocked down and broken a number of shades in our house. Something like this would be a great replacement.

    May 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      I feel like I'm always looking for something kid-proof as well! Good luck!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm Reply
  • Aprilrutherford

    This is gorgeous, very cool! I couldn't tell what you were talking about on the phone, but this is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    May 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks April! Now, if I only I had a table to go with it.. hint hint.

      May 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm Reply
  • Sara @ ShabbyGrace Blog

    Now that's COOL! Great job. Also, I LOVE World Market too!!

    May 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Isn't World Market the BEST, Sara? I can always find something new and unique there and the quality is pretty good, too! I'm on my way there shortly.. I need a rug and they have some great options!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm Reply
  • Irion @ Diapers to Potty

    Wow that looks amazing! I would have never guessed that you used wax paper to make it.

    May 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Irion! It is amazing how similar the paper looks to actual shells.. I was drawn to it the first time I saw it for that very reason. I love projects like that! Thanks for stopping by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm Reply
  • annabelt - geeks diet

    That looks so pretty – very creative!

    May 9, 2015 at 2:50 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thank you! My daughter loves it, and it's a great focal point when you walk in the room.

      May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Kim

    Wait…what? I am still in shock! As I was reading through your post I kept having to go back to the first picture because I couldn't make my mind believe you made that from wax paper!? Amazing job!!

    May 9, 2015 at 3:57 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      I know, it's crazy! I wouldn't believe it either had I not cut out 300 circles of the stuff! Thanks so much!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Jen

    What a great project for so cheap! Looks great!!

    May 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Jen! The cheap ones.. they're the best kind!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Adrienne

    This is an awesome idea. So creative!

    May 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thank you, Adrienne! I'm glad you like it!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:56 pm Reply
  • Sibylla Nash

    Love this! Will you come to my house??? I have plenty of projects.

    May 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Sibylla, I would LOVE to! Of course, I'll be working through my own get-this-done list for the next 18 years, but after that I'm all yours! hahaThanks for coming by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:57 pm Reply
  • Agy Lee

    This is so cool and creative. Waxed paper is definitely better than ordinary paper – better for safety?

    May 13, 2015 at 1:31 am Reply
  • Christina @ The DIY Mommy

    WOW! What a transformation. So creative!!

    May 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply
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