We have been redecorating parts of the house – decluttering, and generally making it less fussy and more functional. As part of the process, I turned a cabinet into a wall hanging (I’ll write about that one later) that took the place of two iron candle sconces.
The sconces were fine, just heavy looking and no longer matched the style of the room. We tried to sell them via an in-house advertising email list at work, but found no one else really wanted them either. They lay in my office for months, taking up valuable desk acreage. Then I scooped them both up in one hand and they magically formed a chandelier! Well, a candleier, um candelier? A hanging fixture for candles!
While we don’t need another candle holder in the house, we frequently eat outside and have a large canopy over one of the tables. The apex of the canopy would be the perfect place for a little shabby-chic glamor. I pulled out paint, bought some beads and wire, and sat down for some crafting.
Blue and grey craft paint
Flat and round glass beads
Silver jeweler’s wire (this is the cheap stuff from Michael’s)
Fairly heave gauge black jeweler’s wire
Gorilla glue (super glue version)
Foam and fiber paint brushes (the cheap ones meant for use with kids work perfectly)
To make sure the paint will adhere, first clean the sconces with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry. Paint both sconces with blue craft paint. I wasn’t super careful with ANY of the painting steps, as the desired finish is one that is worn and uneven as though the item was found in a barn. 🙂
Since I started my project in the evening, I allowed the blue paint to dry over night. Totally unnecessary! Just make sure the paint is dry before going to the next step. Once the blue is dry, coat the sconces with crackle medium, which is basically the consistency of thin, clear glue.
While waiting for the crackle medium to dry, begin to assemble the bead dangles that will hang from the curled parts of the sconces. If you hate beads, leave them off. However, the beads achieve the same effect as the crystals on a chandelier.
I tried several combinations of beads to get different lengths of dangle, and also tried the dangles in various locations on the sconces. SO much more could be added, if you are so inclined. Ropes of beads would achieve an “after Mardi Gras” effect, and loops between the arms of the sconces would look fun too.
Once the crackle medium is dry, it is time to put on a coat of the grey paint. White would work well too, I just happened to have run out. Again, being a tad sloppy is actually a good thing and helps with the shabby chic look. Cracks in the top coat begin to appear after the paint has dried. However, I didn’t find that the effect was pronounced enough, so I used a sanding block to sand back to the black iron finish in a couple of places where wear would be obvious on an old fixture. Capturing the paint effect was pretty much impossible using my iPhone, but you will know when you are done. I did a bit of dry brushing in places using the original blue as well. Pretty much just stopped when the sconces looked like they had been through a couple of lifetimes with different coats of paint.
When the paint is finally dry it is time to marry the two sconces into one candle fixture. Before the glue is fully dry, tuck one end of the wire between the sconces. Then begin wrapping the shafts of the sconces (in this case they had a wrapped effect at the top and bottom already – I simply followed the established lines) in consecutive circles until the fixture is secure. Tuck the trailing edge of the wire into the center and pour in some glue at the points where the separate tubes that form the arms meet. A quick dry brushing with the grey and the blue paint nicely covers the wire.
Add the bead danglers by wrapping the wire around the curls of the top and bottom arms. I left the wire unpainted as it adds to the jewelry feel of the danglers, but you could paint it if you think that looks better. Add ribbon to the hanging hole, and tie a bow around the loop to finish it off.
Add some candles, find a good place to hang your finished masterpiece, and voila!
I love how this turned out, especially the feeling of taking something unwanted and making it really special.