shell chandy

wanna go from this

to this?

please forgive me if you have one of these (hideous) chandeliers.
i think they came in every track home in the 90’s, so it’s really not your fault.

my mom found one of these “lovelies” awhile back for a few bucks and had a vision for it – covered in shells.
first she spray painted the whole thing in whatever whitish spray paint i had.
oh, actually first she covered the electrical parts with paper and tape.
don’t spray those!

then she had this really thick twine from my gramps’ garage that she used to wrap the arms of the chandelier.
regular twine would work, too.

when the kids were asleep, we broke out the shells and sea glass she’d been collecting forever, the glue guns, and a big tarp.
we started with the big ball part at the bottom, just layering the biggest shells first, covering as much area as we could with them.

then we filled in the empty spots with smaller shells and the pretty stuff – like coral and starfish.

the next ball up we covered in only sea glass.
oh yeah – we did all this with hot glue, and burned ourselves way too many times!

we also covered each of the little cups that hold the lights in shells.

my mom channeled her inner hippie and recalled how to macrame the cord cover –
the perfect addition!

and to finish it off she made this cute little tassel to hang off the bottom, wrapping the sea glass in thin wire then attaching it to the twine.

now it’s your turn!
take down that ugly chandelier you’ve had hanging over your table (in your formal dining room that you never use) and give it and your whole room (or porch in our case) a new life!



  1. 1
    Michelle@Fromhousetohome says:

    That looks great! My mom had one from her 1991 built home and I spray painted the entire thing, it was horrible. Hers had a white space in the middle with pink and blue flowers, an "upgrade." It was so, so bad.
    Loving the shells!

  2. 2
    Lisa Leonard says:

    that is so fun! is it your home or hers?

  3. 3

    it's for both (the loft behind our house)!

  4. 4

    I love this! Very neat idea, how creative.

  5. 5
    Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    Seriously loving this project! This is SO cute and summery! How fun and creative, you did a great job! Thanks for sharing :),

  6. 6
    Calamity Anne says:

    And to think that I just threw that ugly chandelier away…yes, I had the EXACT same one!!!

  7. 7

    i love it! it looks amazing. seriously i have no idea how you find the time. did you tap into the extra 4 hours a day i've been asking for?

  8. 8
    Sherri Jorgensen says:


  9. 9
    Donna @ Party Wishes says:

    Totaally cool! Love the macrame!

  10. 10

    we totally have a hideous chandelier in our new house, but it's the metal one (similar to your moms) with the nasty glass covering it. I'm going to try and remove the class "shade" and paint the metal and find lampshades for the bulbs…i'm a little nervous, but it can't get any worse than it already is! ha!

  11. 11
    Slow Motion says:

    I have almost the exact same chandelier and I'm thinking about painting it. Should I scratch up the gold surface to help the spray paint adhere?


  12. 12

    Looks like it belongs in a 1970's psychedelic beach house or something!

  13. 13
    Mama Mote says:

    What a fun idea! Bringing back the macrame'. LOVE it! That would work in our 'beach' house. :)

  14. 14
    The Tulip Lady says:

    Beep, beep, back the bus UP!!!!!!!!! That….is….amazing. You guys must be so tickled with that. So when people come over and everyone is just standing, staring at the ceiling instead of looking at each other, we can all understand perfectly why. I really, really do love this. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 15

    that is absolutely adorable! love the shells

    we had one of those ugly things in our house too and it got a face lift and moved to another room :)

    Have a blessed day,

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    tell your mama to come visit me please! mount vrnon wa. call if she needs directions!!!! joy, jenny

  17. 17 says:

    What an amazing idea!
    I love it!

  18. 18

    Oh, I just love this so much! The best part of it is that you used something old (and ever so slightly tacky) to make something new and lovely! I giggled when I read about your mom channeling her inner hippie – hee! Thanks for the inspired and truly lovely idea!

  19. 19

    Awwww so cute…..your mommy is talented….must run in the family.

  20. 20
    Dear Lillie says:

    You guys are so talented!!!! Love you blog!

  21. 21

    slow motion – i don't think you need to sand the surface. even though it is really shiny, you won't really be handling the chandelier much once it's hung, so paint scratching off shouldn't be an issue.

  22. 22
    Miss Amy O says:

    love the sea glass bits. well done, Michelle!

  23. 23
    Wishful Nals says:

    very creative!

  24. 24
    Sewn With Grace says:

    That is so cool!

  25. 25

    I love all the fun things you and your mom come up with! Have fun with both mommas this weekend :) love ya!

  26. 26

    That is so pretty! Very creative.

  27. 27

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the whole process!

  28. 28

    thanks for inspiring me lindsey! i have been looking at my chandelier wondering what i could do to it…thanks for sharing this adorable idea.

    check out my post


  29. 29
    Tara @ Feels like home says:

    I love it! I've been looking for something to do with all of my beautiful shells. :) Thanks!

  30. 30
    Maya @ Completely Coastal says:

    I just saw this on Tip Junkie. So awesome!! I'm probably going to feature this on my site also.

  31. 31
    ClassiclyAmber says:

    I saw it on the Tip Junkie, too! I've acquired an ugly bright brass chandelier for free off CraigsList, and am wanting to turn it into something fabulous. Thanks for the inspiration~!

  32. 32
    Kimberly Knoess says:

    Thanks to Maya at Completely Coastal, I found you blog! This is an ingenious project and doesn't look as labor intensive as the typical shell chandelier. Thank you for the very detailed tutorial. Now, I'm going to go look around your other posts!

  33. 33
    Kimberly Knoess says:

    Thanks to Maya at Completely Coastal, I found you blog! This is an ingenious project and doesn't look as labor intensive as the typical shell chandelier. Thank you for the very detailed tutorial. Now, I'm going to go look around your other posts!

  34. 34
    Diane @ InMyOwnStyle says:

    Hi Lindsey-
    I am so glad I found your blog thru Laurie at Tip Junkie. I just love what you did to the chandelier. It is so unique, clever, and well done. When I move into my dream house on the water. I am making this.

  35. 35
    Denise says:

    You can also remove that extra hideous round thing from the chandelier by unscrewing from the bottom until it’s released then replacing the finial. I am actually collecting the “round things” to make a cool modern table lamp using them all stacked up. :)

  36. 36

    Wow, I’ve had so many of these canned rental chandeliers… Can’t even remember how many or just exactly HOW I’ve personalized them!!! This is a wonderful idea… Was originally planning on learning to make a monkey’s fist ceiling fan pull, but you all bring my idea to a whole new level w your ideas!!! Yay!!! I live in north Florida so the shells are totally doable… Still, I’m renting, so I need to make a new chandy that won’t damage the original… Security deposit always on my mind!!! :))) twine wrap:YES! Ceiling fan pull:YES! Hot glue n shells?….. I’ll think of SOMETHING! What an awesome blog! So happy to have stumbled upon this!! (I noticed that this post is years old, but new to me and I love stuff like this!!!) gonna look around a bit! Thanks for the fresh inspiration!!!!

  37. 37

    This post seem extremely nice.

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