For my friend’s recent baby shower, I wanted to make something that she could keep and use long-term in her baby girl’s room. I love the floaty, delicate look of all the butterfly chandeliers out there, but I didn’t think butterflies really matched theme of her shower. I also wanted to make something out of fabric instead of paper or cardstock, since I knew I would need to transport it in a small box, and didn’t want to risk it tearing or bending.
I was inspired to make a flower chandelier after seeing pictures of the Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Japan. It’s a vast canopy of long, delicate wisteria vines, hanging in luxurious waterfalls over a serene, romantic pathway. It looks like something out of a fairytale, and is certainly appropriate for welcoming a sweet baby girl into the world.
Chiffon and Tulle Flower Chandelier
- 1 14 inch macrame ring*
- About 15 yards 20 lb. fishing wire*
- 2 yards fabric, chiffon or some other light, thin fabric
- 2 yards tulle fabric (or 25 yards of 18 inch wide tulle)
- 1 embroidery needle
- About 275-300 crimp tubes
- Crimping pliers*
- 4 floral wires, 18 in. each
- 10 feet ribbon, 7/8 inch wide, white
*Please note that while the above links are to the products I actually purchased for this project, some of them may be affiliate links, which means that I will receive a (small) commission if you happen to purchase a product through one of those links.
1. Make the flowers: Cut fabric and tulle into about 2 inch square pieces. Stack a piece of fabric and a piece of tulle together. Fold in half and then in half again, making a square. Fold square in half diagonally into a triangle, and then holding the folded point, cut the folded fabric into a petal shape. Cut the petals as deep as possible for a floatier look. Unfold the cut petals to see the finished product and make adjustments as necessary. Cut several more flowers out in this manner. (You don’t have to make all of the flowers at once; it may be helpful to make them in batches between threading them on the wires, to see if you want to make any adjustments.) Make about twice as many fabric flowers as tulle flowers.
2. Cut 17 28-inch piece of fishing wire. Thread a crimp tube onto the end of each wire and crimp securely. (This is to help ensure that the flowers don’t fall off the end of the wire.)
3. Make the garlands: Thread the top of one fishing line through the embroidery needle and fold the top inch of it over the needle. Thread on one flower, down to the bottom of the fishing line, about a quarter inch above the crimp tube at the bottom. Pinch the middle of the flower surrounding the fishing line, and give it a few twists so that the point is very sharp, and hold it with one hand. Thread a crimp tube on the wire and push it over the twisted point of the flower. Crimp securely. Space the next flower about 2 inches above the first and repeat the same process to secure it on. You will need about 13-14 flowers per garland. I alternated between flowers made of a single layer of fabric and flowers made of a layer of fabric plus a layer of tulle.
4. Place two of the floral wires together across the diameter of the macrame ring, looping the ends around the ring to secure the wires. (If your floral wire is thicker, you might be able to just use one wire, but my wire was relatively thin so I wanted to use 2 for extra support.) Place the other two floral wires across the diameter of the ring but at a ninety degree angle to the first two, and secure. Secure garlands around the ring evenly–you’ll need 12 on the outside ring, 1 on each of the 4 spokes in the middle of the ring, and 1 at the center point of the ring. Tie tulle and ribbons around any parts of the metal ring that are showing. Tie a tulle ribbon at the top for hanging.
In all, this chandelier probably took me about 13-15 hours to make. Cutting the fabric, threading it on the fishing line, and crimping it down was the bulk of the work, but luckily those are things that you can easily do in front of the TV or while talking with friends. One way to cut some time is to buy pre-made chiffon flowers or even chiffon flower garlands, if you can find them–that would cut the cutting, threading, and crimping work down significantly and you could probably finish it within just a few hours. Another idea is to make a girl’s night out of it–having company to help out (or even just chat with) would make the process go by much faster.
One word of caution–I made this over the course of 2 days, so by the end of it, my hands were quite sore from all of the squeezing involved (of scissors, the crimping tool, etc.), so if you are making the flowers by hand, be sure to pace yourself, stretch your hands, and rest when needed.