When planning our DIY Greenhouse, I knew I’d want a fun chandelier to hang inside. As luck would have it, I found a great brass chandelier, that was begging to be re-purposed, at a Thrift Store. Since it was only $10 and I had some saved crystals, It was easy to transform into a DIY Solar Light Fixture.
Here are the step by step instructions for How to Re-Purpose a Chandelier into a stunning DIY solar light fixture for my greenhouse.
Gather Your Supplies to Paint your CHANDELIER
First, remove any removable parts and find a place that you can spray paint all the pieces that 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.
- Chandelier – Thrift Store
- Chalk Spray Paint (Krylon Chalky Finish Classic White)
- Solar Lights – Dollar Tree
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.
Lay out all the removable parts and give them a light coat of paint. Chalk paint will dry quickly, allowing your to flip the pieces for another coat on the back side.
This is an optional step that you may want to include to add some elegance to the chandelier. It will depend of the style of solar chandelier you desire.
Once the paint is completely dry, you can begin to 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. Now use a large nail, hammer and a block of wood to protect your surface. Because the metal on this fixture is fairly thin, it was an easy task to punch a small hole.
You need to punch a hole large enough for the wire to slip through easily.
Sources for 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 supply of crystals, you can order replacement crystals or check with Etsy or other online vintage sales sources that offer crystals for sale.
You may want to search for a chandelier, with crystals already attached. Because these can be more expensive, you may expect to search longer to find a deal. If you’d like some tips for Successful Thrift Store Shopping, click here.
You will want to space your punch holes evenly around the circumference of the rim because you want the weight of your crystals to be evenly split. Due to the number of crystals, it was necessary to place two larger crystals across from each other and two smaller also across from each other to give each cup balance.
To test the balance of your light fixture, you should hang your fixture and make sure it is hanging evenly. Once the light fixture was hanging, adding solar lights that could fit into the existing cups was a logical solution.
Add Solar Lights
First, remove the wires and bulb holder from your chandelier. Begin by clipping the wires, with wire cutter’s, and then unscrew the holder from the fixture. Finding these crystal like solar lights for just a $1.00 each was a perfect choice.
In order to get the solar lights to attached securely to the fixture, it is necessary to use the pipe attachment that is provided with the light. Most of these are approx. 6 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 approx. 1 1/2 inches long. This still allows the solar light to fit into the pipe, as it was designed to do, and left enough room for the other end of the pipe to attach to the chandelier cup.
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 additional fittings to attached the solar lights to the fixture.
Hang your Fixture
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 night.
The combination of the crystals and the crystal like design of these Dollar Tree Solar Lights give the Chandelier a fun, elegant feel.
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.