Skip to Content

How To Repurpose A Thrifted Vintage Chandelier

Have you seen old, outdated chandeliers donated to thrift shops? Want to learn how you can repurpose a cheap vintage chandelier with some solar lights and vintage chandelier crystals?

Here are the step-by-step instructions for How to Repurpose a Vintage Chandelier into a stunning DIY solar light fixture that can be used outdoors or in a greenhouse / she shed.

Thrifted Vintage Chandelier - How to Repurpose into a DIY Solar Light Fixture and add vintage chandelier crystals.

When planning our DIY Greenhouse, I knew I’d want a fun chandelier to hang inside. As luck would have it, I found a cheap vintage brass chandelier begging to be repurposed at a Thrift Store. Since it was only $10 and I had saved some vintage chandelier crystals, it was easy to transform into a DIY Solar Light Fixture.

How to Repurpose A Vintage Chandelier with Dollar Tree Solar Lights for Greenhouse

Repurpose Outdated Vintage Chandelier

First, let’s remove the outdated brass finish on this old chandelier, and then we will add the solar lights and the vintage chandelier crystals I’ve been saving.

Paint The Thrifted Chandelier

First, remove any removable parts and find a place to spray paint all the pieces you plan to use with the chandelier.

I used Krylon Chalky Finish Spray Paint in Classic White because I wanted a white light fixture. I have found that chalk paint will adhere to the slick brass surface much easier than some spray paints.

If you can find a way to hang the light fixture, you will be able to spray paint the entire piece without moving it to a different position.

Paint Thrift Store Chandelier White DIY Solar Light - Repurposed Chandelier.

Next, lay out all the removable parts and give them a light coat of paint. Chalk paint will dry quickly, allowing you to flip the pieces for another coat on the backside.

Deconstructed Chandelier gets a fresh coat of chalk paint.

How To Add Vintage Chandelier Crystals

You may want to include this optional step to add some elegance to the chandelier. It will depend on the style of solar chandelier you desire.

Since I’d been saving these vintage chandelier crystals for a while, now was the perfect time to use them.

Once the paint is completely dry, you can add crystals to your chandelier. Since the thrift store light fixture didn’t include crystals, it was necessary to punch a hole into the rim.

Use Hammer and nail to punch hole in metal

Now use a large nail, hammer, and wood block to protect your surface. Because the metal on this fixture is relatively thin, it was easy to punch a small hole.

Punch Holes for crystals

The hole should be large enough for the wire to slip through easily.

You will want to space your punched holes evenly around the rim’s circumference because you want the weight of your crystals to be evenly split. Due to the number of crystals, placing two larger crystals across from each other and two smaller also across from each other to give each cup balance was necessary.

Add vintage chandelier crystals to repurposed chandelier

Test for Balance

After adding all the vintage crystals, I recommend testing the fixture for balance. The addition of heavy crystals can cause the chandelier to hang unevenly if they are not distributed evenly.

To test the balance of your light fixture, you should hang it temporarily to ensure it is hanging evenly.

Hang the Repurposed Thrift Store Vintage Chandelier in Greenhouse with added vintage crystals.

Resources for Vintage Chandelier Crystals

Fortunately, I had a supply of vintage crystals that I’d been saving for just such a project. If you don’t have a collection of crystals, you can order replacement crystals or check with Etsy or other online vintage sales sources that offer crystals for sale. These are also budget-friendly options.

Use nail and wood block to punch holes for the vintage chandelier crystals to be added.

You may want to search for a chandelier with crystals already attached. However, these can be more expensive. You may expect to search longer to find a deal.

Be sure to check out these tips for Successful Thrift Store Shopping.

How To Add Solar Lights To Vintage Chandelier?

First, remove the wires and bulb holder from your chandelier. Start by clipping the wires with wire cutters, then unscrew the holder from the fixture. Finding these crystal-like solar lights for just $1.25, each was a perfect choice.

To get the lights to be attached securely to the chandelier, it is necessary to use the pipe attachment provided with the solar light.

Most of these are approx. Six inches long and, therefore, will result in a very tall light. Since I wanted the light to sit closer to the cup, I cut the pipe approximately 1 1/2 inches long.

Repurposed the Dollar Tree Solar Lights to add to Thrifted Chandelier.

This still allows the solar light to fit into the pipe, as it was designed to do. It also left enough room for the other end of the pipe to attach to the chandelier cup.

Dollar Tree Solar Lights Repurposed to make a DIY Solar Light Fixture for Greenhouse.

Note: Each Light Fixture will be different, and all the fittings may not work exactly as described. Therefore, you may need to add some adhesive or fittings to attach the solar lights to the fixture.

The DIY Solar Chandelier receives plenty of natural sunlight from the transparent roof material on the Greenhouse.

Dollar Tree Solar Lights allow the DIY Solar Light Chandelier to Glow at night in the greenhouse.

How to Hang The Repurposed Chandelier

I quickly attached a large nail to the center rafter to hang the Vintage Chandelier in the greenhouse.

Using the chain initially attached to the chandelier, you can easily adjust the height by moving the links up or down on the nail.

How to Repurpose a Vintage Chandelier with Dollar Tree Solar Lights for the Greenhouse.

You will want to hang your solar chandelier in an area where the solar lights will receive enough sunlight to charge the batteries. Fortunately, the greenhouse allows enough light to keep the solar chandelier burning at night.

If you plan to use your chandelier under a tree or inside a covered area, consider the light source that will charge the solar lights.

DIY Solar chandelier is perfect hanging in the greenhouse along with the DIY Apothecary cabinet

The combination of the crystals and the crystal-like design of these Dollar Tree Solar Lights give the Chandelier a fun, elegant feel.

Additional Repurposed Lighting Ideas

I hope you like the addition of the re-purposed Chandelier to the greenhouse. Thank you for stopping by, and as always, your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.

How to repurpose a vintage light fixture with solar lights.
vintage chandelier repurposed into a greenhouse solar light.
How to Re-purpose a Chandelier into a DIY Solar Light Fixture.  Thrift Store Transformation, Flea market Flip, before and after, lighting makeover.


Sunday 18th of February 2024

I love it! Do you have any pictures of it at night? I recently bought the house I've been renting for the last 10 years and I am searching for inexpensive ways to makeover the inside and outside of the house with diy projects for the inexperienced. I am looking forward to browsing through the rest of your site.


Sunday 18th of February 2024

Pamela, Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I have a lot of inexpensive ideas and hope you find many that will help with your renovations.


Friday 19th of March 2021

I painted a chandelier years ago about the color of your page background and used it for my granddaughters birthday. We had an elegant brunch and fashion show. I added tea cups and saucers to the stems and right in the middle a teapot with flowers in it. My granddaughter was in heaven! I still have the chandelier up in the attic and should get it down and repaint and add the lights to it but I lack somewhere to actually hang it outdoors. Oh wait I can use it on the front porch. Anyway yours came out just lovely!

[email protected]

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Shirley, Yes, pull that thing out of the attic. Sounds beautiful.


Sunday 16th of August 2020

Adorable! What did you use to cut the stem of the solar light? It looks like you're using tin snips?

[email protected]

Sunday 16th of August 2020

Nancee, Thank you so much. I used garden shears. It's just a soft plastic and was easy to cut. Rachel


Friday 19th of June 2020

That's darling. I have that exact chandy hanging in a tree in the front yard. I painted it white but it doesn't actually work. It's just for pretties. Yours is way better! Pinned :)

[email protected]

Friday 19th of June 2020

Cindy, pick up so Dollar Tree Solar lights and make it work. You'll love it. Thanks for stopping by. Rachel


Friday 19th of June 2020

Hi Rachel,

Great project with amazing results.! Love the solar lights you found too.


[email protected]

Friday 19th of June 2020

Cindy, I loved how elegant they were for just a dollar. Rachel