Try This: Baby Food Chandelier

This baby food jar chandelier has the all the charm of medieval ironwork—but it comes from the recycling bin.

| May/June 2009

  • STEP 1: Measure and cut two 24-inch lengths of tie wire. Make a loop in the center of each wire. Place one loop over the neck of a baby food jar and tighten slightly. Then put the other loop over the neck in the opposite direction. Cinch down.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 13: Insert a link through the bolt’s eye to attach the chain to the bottom hoop.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 14: To attach the top hoop, thread the bolt’s head through the chain’s link.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 15: All three chains meet at the top in an S-hook from which the chandelier hangs.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • These pretty votive holders can stand alone. Follow the first six steps to create them.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 2: Pulling the loops tightly, twist the end wires around each other to secure the wire on the jar neck. Using needle-nose pliers, tighten loops.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 3: Bend the lower wire on each side up so it shoots straight up from the jar. This wire should measure about 8 inches; cut if necessary. Bend the other two wires out horizontally from the jar. Cut these to be about 5 inches long.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 4: Grab the tip of the vertical wire and curl it outward to form a spiral. The finished spiral should be about 1 inch across and have about three twists.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 7: Cut a 20-inch piece of wire and make a loose loop in its center. Loop it over the two top spirals as shown.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 8: With the pliers, make three tight twists at the loop’s neck. Create an oval about 3 inches long. Twist to close the oval, then make 12 to 14 twists in the two wires to create a 3-inch twisted section.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 9: Use the pliers to bend the twisted portion down as shown. Leave a few inches of wire beyond the twists. Bend the remaining wire ends into 90-degree angles. Cut each end so that about 1 inch of wire extends beyond the bend. Make a small hook on the end of each wire. The hooks should face forward. They clasp onto the wire loop to lock the candle-holder to the hoop of the chandelier. Repeat steps 7 to 10 with all votives.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 10: Clamp the overlapping ends of the metal hoop to your work surface and drill a hole through both layers.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • STEP 12: Measure the circumference of your hoop. Drill holes in the hoop at 1⁄3 intervals and affix an eyehook bolt at each position. The chains attach to these bolts. Repeat with second hoop.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger
  • This chandelier is crafted from humble materials. Aside from a few nuts and bolts, everything was either salvaged or recycled.
    Photography By Susan Wasinger

Lighten up the recycling

This chandelier has all the charm of medieval ironwork—but it comes from the recycling bin. Used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain are all it takes to spark images of exotic locales. Powered by votive candles, the chandelier crackles with energy without drawing a single watt.

Materials
Tie wire (about 40 yards)
15 to 18 baby-food jars
15 to 18 votive or tealight candles
2 barrel hoops
6 eyehook bolts (black or rusty, if possible)
12 nuts to match the bolts
About 9 feet of lightweight chain (dark or rusty, if possible)
Large S-hook

Tools
Wire cutters
Needle-nose pliers
Jigsaw with metal-cutting blade for barrel hoops (if needed)
Clamp
Drill
Wrench



1. Measure and cut two 24-inch lengths of tie wire. Make a loop in the center of each wire. Place one loop over the neck of a baby food jar and tighten slightly. Then put the other loop over the neck in the opposite direction. Cinch down.

2. Pulling the loops tightly, twist the end wires around each other to secure the wire on the jar neck. Using needle-nose pliers, tighten loops.






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