June 8, 2012

The Chandy Challenge

A project that has taken me two years to finally
get done is at a "finished for now" point.
I have loved the Niermann Weeks Company's
Italian Chandeliers for years but knew I could
never afford the hefty price tag the chandys command.

To read an article about how the Niermann Weeks Company started making the
Italian chandeliers and many variations on it, see this interesting article.

I found a 9-light chandelier in a brown finish on the internet
for $75 that I thought I could embellish to make it
have some of the same features of the NW chandys.  It and
all of it's many parts sat and sat and sat around my house.
After a year of no activity on the brown chandy,
I thought that maybe if I started a blog, it would MAKE
me get that and other decorating projects done just
to have something to put ON the blog.

Ummm...it did get some activity when I bought a can of
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and gave it a coat of "Old White"
but then it sat for about another year.  Finally
(when the old dining room fixture kept falling off the ceiling, denting the table, broke the fixture glass,
leaving us with bare light bulbs and looking like a crack house)
with company coming, I had to stop procrastinating
and get the fixture done and hanging up.

I had held on to an inspiration magazine as a "go by".
I'm not positive that is a Niermann Weeks' chandy but it is similar.

Another inspiration chandy photo I held on to had acanthus
leaves on the arms...I liked that too.  I got a roll of flashing
and a metal cutter from Home Depot in the roofing department
to try to cut out leaves to add to my chandy.

Here is the paper pattern I made to trace onto the metal
to make the chandy leaves.

For the leaves for the small chandy arms, I just
used the top part of the original pattern.

Not content to have only one unfinished chandelier floating
from room to room in boxes, I had purchased another cheap
chandy on the internet with good "bones" for the bedroom.
It has kept the now-white chandy company for about a year
waiting for its transformation too.  Here I am working on
both of them hoping to get them up before my party.

Because the metal leaves had to bend along the curve
of the chandy arms, I glued them on in stages, waiting
a day between stages for the glue to dry and hold.
First Stage

Second Stage
Floral wire was used to hold the metal leaves in place along the arm and in contact with the glue.

Third Stage

After the leaves were stuck on pretty well,
they also got a coat of AS "Old White". 

To tell the truth, I was disappointed at this stage.
The chandy did not have the old, chippy look of the NW ones.
I was digging through my box of craft paints to try
to paint on some character and came across this product:

Should I try a totally unknown product on this project
I had thought about (and moved around) for so long?
I decided that I could always sand it off if I didn't like it.
Turns out that the texture crackle added so much
personality and faux age to the chandy.

It even filled in gaps between the chandy arms and the leaves.

A lot of the NW chandys have "hang-y down-y things"
dangling from the arms.  I was hoping to find wooden ones
pre-made but didn't have much luck,
so I tried to make some out of polymer clay. 

Before baking the dangles, I added a small metal pin
with a loop on top from the craft store jewelry section.

After baking, the dangles got a coat of texture paint also.
Bottom dangle is before texture crackle paint, top is after paint has been applied.

Not having much experience with polymer clay, I didn't
realize that they would flatten on one side while baking.

A very time-consuming task was to glue the rings onto
the arms that the dangles would hang from.  I tried all
kinds of "fast holding glues" but I still had to glue
and then hold, hold, hold, the ring in place till it took.
In retrospect, I should have glued the rings on BEFORE I added paint to the arms.  The glues did not like the paint.

Here is the nice electrician that came to hang the
"not quite finished" chandys before the party.  After he
left, I realized that all of the little rings had busted off
during the installation process. 

Some rings got put back on before the party so I
could attach the dangles, but some dangles just got
wired directly onto the arm at the last minute.

Ready for "show time":

After living with the dining room chandy for a
few days, I realized I was not completely happy with it.
 About this time, I was reading a blog post by Donna at
Funky Junk Interiors about getting projects done
and facing what you fear.  She challenged us to stop
procrastinating and get a put-off project completed
 in a week and blog about it.  I decided to get this chandy
FINISHED and not let it's incompleteness bother me
anymore.  I did get the chandy done in time but I
ran out of time to post about within a week.

Here are some chandy changes that I made:

I don't really like to see the working elements of a clear light
bulb but I didn't like the "whiteness" of the bulbs
that I had purchased for the chandy.  I had not planned
on putting shades on the bulbs but I got some $6 linen
shades at Hobby Lobby that I like very much.

The dangles got remade with more polymer clay.
This time I tried to support the curve so it would not
flatten during the baking process.  They are not
perfect and have a "home made" look that I am
telling myself might look "hand crafted" to some.

All dangles got re-glued rings to hang off of.

A whole variety of colors got dry-brushed on to give
the chandy more dimension.  I might add some darker
colors later but for summer, it has a light look.

Thanks, Donna, for challenging me to get this project done
and to be free from the mental weight of this (for so long)
unfinished but needed addition to my home.


  1. I am amazed at the things you come up with! The chandy turned out wonderful.

  2. Miss Kitty- YOU are MY hero! lol Not to be confused with MyHero that I live with!!! Anyway, this is a spectacular job you did here- I read every single word....amazing! I love how it turned out.

    I have a few projects that I really need to DO NOW. Thanks for the nudge to "get going". xo Diana

  3. You are a genius! The chandy turned out just gorgeous, WOW!!!


  4. That is one amazing project. Had fun looking at all you did. Thanks for posting. linda

  5. You are so creative with all the "hang-y down-y things" and the leaves that you were able to create from simple supplies. It turned out very pretty. I like a handmade look!!

  6. I'm in awe!!! Really, what a project! The way you cut the tin and made leaves.. I have a rather ucky chandy that I re did in my dining room several years ago and hated it.. I may just follow your instructions and see what I can do with it... Great transformation!
    Thanks so much for coming by my blog... Following from Funky's challenge!

  7. AMAZING!! Your chandy looks fabulous! I LOVE your whole dining room!!

  8. You really take on a challenge and do it up with style. Love it!

  9. You really put some hard work into this chandy and it turned out really special. I can't get over that you made the embellishments your self! I am impressed.

    Robin Flies South

  10. Wow, I'm impressed!! Your chandelier is fabulous, and now you can enjoy it even more because of your hard labor.
    Mary Alice

  11. This is one amazing project! You did an incredible job on this chandy. Wow!

  12. You should be so proud of this! What a great result! It really is beautiful. Thanks for linking up at SaltTree's Open Call Tuesdays!

  13. Job well done...LOVE it!! You had an idea and with with it...that's a great DIY:) Thanks for sharing at my party.


  14. Truly amazing! Your chandy looks every bit as wonderful as those that you would pay big $$$ for. You did a great job!

  15. This is just amazing. This post is so inspirational. I would love it if you could share this awesome post at our What’s It Wednesday linky party. I hope you can join us.


  16. What a fantastic job you did with that! If you had not walked us through it and said you went out and bought a Italian chandy I would have believed it. Looks great! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  17. I love how your chandelier turned out. It's beautiful!!!

    I've used roof flashing to make Christmas ornaments. Your so smart to make leaves.


  18. Kitty it turned out so good! You have way more patience than I do. I am in love with that style chandy as well so I look forward to learning more about them. Thanx for the link.

  19. Your chandy is fabulous! Thanks so much for linking it with us. It is now a feature this week at Ivy and Elephants. Please drop by and grab a featured button!

  20. Holy cow...now THAT'S a lot of work! But it looks great!
    Blessings, Lorraine

  21. Wow! That is an undertaking! I am impressed at how beautifully it turned out! Great job!!

  22. Miss Kat this chandy is fabulous. I love the way you kept finding ways to make what you want. Great ideas.

  23. A nice chandelier can turn a ugly room into a beautiful one.


  24. The police then cleared Mohammad Asif of any charges because of Balram’s bribes, tropical chandelier


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