Opulent Candelabra

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I am absolutely in love with those candelabras I’ve seen online, the really romantic looking four and five branched ones that are dripping with crystals and look like the ones that Liberace used to set on his piano.  But I’m not in love with the price. They can run anywhere from $100 dollars to over $300 a piece!  I figured I could probably make my own for a fraction of that cost if I could only find an adequate unadorned candelabra to start with. I wasn’t able to find any here in my area so I checked on Ebay and sure enough there were tons of  brass candelabras starting at about 8 or 9 dollars plus shipping.  I ordered a really pretty one that only set me back about 20 dollars shipping included.

This is what the shiny brass candelabra looked like when I bought it.

This is what the shiny brass candelabra looked like when I bought it.

Before I could put on any crystals I had to drill tiny holes in the bobeches to hang the crystals from. I measured and marked the spots where I would drill with a felt tip marker.  Then I took the candelabra apart and drilled where the marks were.

Felt Tip Marker

The first thing I noticed about the expensive name brand candelabras was that the length of the arms were completely beaded with small transparent or Aurora Borealis crystal beads and this is what gave them such sparkle because then the larger hanging crystals reflected light off the tiny beads. So I began to try and figure out a way to attach the beads to the slippery candelabra arms. After much experimenting with sewing thread, wire, hot glue and crazy glue,  I found that the best way to attach the beads to the candelabra arms was to thread them with dental floss and then attach the floss to the candelabra with fishing wire wound in a spiral fashion.

I used Aurora Borealis crystal beads. I tied one end of the dental floss to the candelabra and threaded the beads on to it.

I used Aurora Borealis crystal beads. I tied one end of the dental floss to the candelabra and used a needle to thread the beads on to it.

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Then I took nylon fishing line and wound it around the strung beads in spiral fashion to fix them in place to the arm of the candelabra.

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You have to pull tight so that the beads don’t end up moving around later

Once all four candelabra arms were beaded and the whole thing was reassembled once more,  it looked like this.

I then began to hang the crystals. I purchased inexpensive non-leaded glass crystals on Ebay. You can get a box of about 100  one and a half inch drops for about 20 dollars or so and you’ll have enough for three or more candelabras depending on how heavily you apply the crystals. I also purchased crystal octagon chain which is always pretty strung from one arm to another.  I had drilled five holes into each bobeche. This allowed me not only to hang individual drops in each hole, but I could also double up and hang the octagon chain in some of the same holes too.

Hanging the crystal drops

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I added swags of octagon chain, hooking them into the same holes. A teardrop hanging from the middle of the swag adds fullness.

I added swags of octagon chain, hooking them into the same holes. A teardrop hanging from the middle of the swag adds fullness.

I was feeling kind of ambitious so I purchased another candelabra on Ebay a few weeks later. Unfortunately the arms were slightly crooked on the second one and being the nitpicky perfectionist that I am, I just HAD to try and straighten them out obssesively. The result was that I broke the center pin that holds everything together. I had no alternative but to glue it back on with epoxy glue. Naturally I glued it on…well…slightly crooked. I guess fate just wanted me to own a crooked armed candelabra no matter what. Meh. I drilled holes into it too, and I decorated it much in the same way that I did the first one. But I didn’t bead the arms. That sure made a difference in sparkle. I will definitely bead the next one.  Here’s both of them together:

The candelabra on the left is the one that has the beaded arms. It's much sparklier than the one on the right who's branches aren't beaded.

The candelabra on the left is the one that has the beaded arms. It’s much sparklier than the one on the right who’s branches aren’t beaded.

Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

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6 thoughts on “Opulent Candelabra

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