Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Make Your Own Chandelier Rings

About a year ago, my boys literally swung from the chandelier in my bedroom one afternoon while "napping," and pulled off the main crystal drop from the chandelier's center.

I was not pleased with them, and I couldn't figure out how to fix it because all the little silver rings between crystals had been stretched open -- and they were made of thin wire anyway, so even if I tried to reshape them they had lost their strength and they would gradually open from the weight of the crystal hanging below. 


None of the stores I visited carried this particular chandelier accessory (even specialty stores), and the cheap and stubborn frugal and resourceful parts of me refused to pay $5.99 or more on ebay for 200 or more rings, when I needed fewer than 10.

What to do, what to do... then someone suggested split rings for jewelry making. I went and bought a pack only to discover that they didn't fit through the chandelier crystals' holes. I was discouraged. I threw the pack of split rings into a cupboard and forgot about them for a year.

I stumbled across them again recently, and this time I had an epiphany. 

The reason the split rings didn't fit through the crystals was because the wire was too thick; a split ring has only one small spot where the wire isn't doubled (like a key ring) and that wire is thick and strong:

If I used wire snips, though, and cut off some of the overlapping wire resulting in a circle where only one small spot had wire that was doubled, the jump ring would fit through the hole in the crystals perfectly.

Confused yet?

I very carefully cut each ring in two places, making sure to only cut one of the doubled wires. You can see the half circle that I cut away in the bottom of the photo below:

Ta da!

Then I simply strung up those crystals up...
(I did use needle-nosed pliers to help with this step since the split rings are less pliable than a real chandelier ring)

...and finally, over a year later... I have my chandelier back. Better late than never, right?

Lesson learned: Sometimes taking a break from a frustrating problem is all you need in order to finally solve it. (although I bet you wouldn't have to wait a year like I did!).

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