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Make a cutlery chandelier

Shabby chic style is trendy at the moment - combining vintage chic with modern style. This is a fun way to re-purpose unused cutlery. Use secondhand, odd pieces, or vintage cutlery to craft this cutlery chandelier for your home. It's easy to make if you have some welding savvy and Dremel tools.

 

  • Aluminium flat bar
  • Dremel MultiTool
  • Dremel VersaFlame
  • Quick clamps
  • Dremel accessories - mentioned below
  • Aluminium welding rod
  • Sheet of 2mm thick aluminium
  • Stainless steel abrader
  • Stainless steel wire brush
  • Dressmakers flexible tape measure
  • Safety goggles
  • Paper clips

You will find all the tools and supplies needed for this project - with the exception of aluminium flat bar and rods - at your local Builders Warehouse.

You will need 3 one metre strips of aluminium bar that is 3.18mm thick by 25 mm wide to make the three rings of the chandelier. For the large ring you will need to use the whole metre. For the medium ring, use a length of 75cm and the small ring, use a length of 55cm. Bend each length into an individual circle.

Use a Dremel MultiTool and #530 brush on the ends to be welding. This removes the oxidised finish and allows for welding. Heat the aluminium edge of the two ends of the hoop to melting point – 380 degrees - with a Dremel VersaFlame or blowtorch. Lay a bead of the aluminium rod onto each face of the ring, then abrade to break through the oxidation so that the bead of filler rod merges with the aluminium. Close up the ring, then heat up until it reaches its melting point again and the two mating faces will fuse together. If necessary, add more filler rod.

Measure the external circumference of all the hoops and note down their sizes. Working on the large hoop, divide into equal segments, one segment per piece of cutlery you are going to hang on each hoop - mark this on the hoop. We used 24 pieces of cutlery on the top hoop, 12 on the middle and 12 on the bottom hoops.

You also need to divide the hoop circumference into quarters and make a mark at the quarter points - where you are going to attach your chain. These four chains will suspend each hoop, one from the other. Drill a hole at each quarter point with your Dremel MultiTool and 3.2mm drill bit. The middle hoop will need two drilled holes at the top and bottom of the hoop to attach the chains.

GOOD TO KNOW
Use a punch to avoid your drill skating across the surface of the aluminium. It's also recommended that you use cutting fluid when drilling into metal. This not only improves drilling, but reduces wear on the drilling bit.

The centre aluminium disc for the crown will take the support rods from the large hoop. Cut a 60 mm disc out of a sheet of 2 mm thick aluminium using your Dremel MultiTool and #9901 3.2mm tungsten carbide cutter square tip. Cut a circular hole in the centre of the disc to create a 27mm circular hole to take the light fitting. Smooth the edges of the hole using a #952 grinding stone.

On the hoops, weld a 6.35mm thick aluminium rod 230 mm long to the inside of the hoop - at the quarter points - above the hole you have drilled. When all four are fixed in place, bend the rods and weld to the centre disc, overlapping each by 10mm.

To add a decorative touch, weld on two aluminium rods - bent by hand into shapes to mimic tangled stalks - onto which you can attach metal leaves. To make the leaves, mark up and cut out leaf shapes from very thin sheet aluminium mm thick using your Dremel MultiTool and SC456 metal cutting wheel. These are welded in position using your Dremel VersaFlame.

Use your MultiTool and SC456 metal cutting wheel to cut a groove on the top of each hoop at each of the marked up segments.

Use the holes drilled earlier to add spiral link rings and attach the chains to link all the hoops together.

Unscrew the ring from the lampholder to insert the lampholder into the disc at the top of your chandelier. Replace the ring and tighten to secure. Hang the chandelier from the ceiling - wiring up to an existing light fitting.

GOOD TO KNOW
Switch off the main switch before removing and replacing any light fittings.

Safety First: If you have never previously replace a light fitting and are unsure as to the procedure, attend a DIY Divas Basic Electrical workshop or call a qualified electrician.

Use your Dremel MultiTool and 3.2mm drill bit to drill holes in the handles of your cutlery. Make the hangers by bending a paper clip into an 'S' shape. Hook over the frame of the hoop in the groove and into the drilled cutlery. We hung the largest hoop at the top with large spoons, interspersed with large forks in between facing outwards, the middle sized hoop with forks and the smallest hoop at the bottom of the chandelier with small teaspoons all facing outwards.

 

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