4.27.2013

DIY Paint Chip Chandelier Mobile

I've been a busy Mama-to-be lately, nesting and crafting like crazy!  My most recent endeavor was a DIY paint chip chandelier to be used as a mobile above Baby's crib. 

I found this tutorial from the "Hey, Gorgeous" blog on Pinterest and fell in love with the pretty ombre colors and waterfall-like lay of the cut-outs. The instructions looked simple enough and well within our budget ($3 for a mobile? HECK YES!), so I decided to take it on.

{1} Gather your supplies.
First I chose my color scheme. While the project I was referencing was a gorgeous pink ombre, since we don't know Baby's gender I couldn't go with something quite as gender-specific. Instead, I opted for rainbow ombre - ROY-G-BIV minus the indigo.

After choosing my colors, I sheepishly grabbed literal fistfuls of paint chips and stuffed them into my purse, wondering how many other Pinterest-inspired girls and women and had also raided the Menard's "Paintspiration" displays. I snagged five of each shade - 120 chips total - and ended up using EXACTLY all of them. I think, though, that if I repeat this project in the future I will spring for card stock-weight scrapbooking paper in the desired shades at Hobby Lobby. I know those paint chips are *technically* free, but I couldn't help but feeling like I was doing something seriously sinister since I wasn't planning to use them for their intended purpose.

After successfully avoiding eye contact with every employee in the paint department, I made my way to the lighting department at the front of the store. Once I broke the spell those stupid glitter lava lamps had over me, I turned my attention to the lamp shades and picked up the most neutral, simplest mini lamp shade could find. BONUS: At $2.97, it was also the cheapest.

You will also need a paper puncher in whatever shape you desire (found in the scrapbook section of your favorite crafting store), thread, and tape.

{2} Punch your chips.
I got home, organized my chips into neat little piles, and got to work punching them. I used a burst-shaped punch that is typically employed to make brad covers for scrapbooks; it was way cuter than plain circles and way less feminine than pretty, scalloped edges. 
Now, you may think this would be the most tedious part, but you'd be wrong. The next step is what, sans-nesting energy, I think would have made me throw in the towel.

{3} Tape, tape, tape.
After all of my medallions were punched and in order, it was time to string them up to prep them for hanging. And THIS is the worst part (aside from nabbing the chips from the store) because unless you want the chips to twirl as they hang - revealing the bar codes, text, and color names that are printed on their backsides - you really have to go to town with the taping. To me, this is even more of a reason to go ahead and spend the ten or so extra dollars at Hobby Lobby and just buy some colored card stock instead. In fact, I like the spinning effect, if not for the uggo backs of the paint chips.

ANYWAY, I set out my little colorful bursts in the order I wanted them to hang, backsides up, laid some white thread out across the line of them with one end long enough to attach them to the lamp shade, and began taping.
I taped each burst to the thread, and then with a teeny tiny piece of tape, secured each chip to its neighbor to stop them from spinning like tops. It took several episodes of Destination Truth to finish, but was worth it to hide the backs of the chips. 

After all that nonsense, I was so focused on just getting this project finished that I forgot to take any more pictures of the mobile in progress. Sooo...we'll just blame it on "Mommy Brain," ok? Ok.

{4} String 'em up.
After that feat was accomplished, I hung the lamp shade upside down from the ceiling, so the widest part was closest to the ceiling and the narrow area was facing the floor. In the tutorial I was referencing, she had a nicer shade with metal ribbing, but because I was overlapping my chips slightly, I opted to go for the cheaper shade without the ribbing. This also saved me a step, as I didn't have to cut out the fabric from the shade to expose a metal foundation. 

Since I didn't have metal ribbing to work around, instead of tying the strings of colors to the lamp shade, I used a needle to pierce my shade from the outside and pull the thread through, taping the hole and a little down the thread on the inside of the shade to hold it in place. It worked like a charm! I hung the chips along the bottom, narrower area of the shade first and trimmed the excess thread as I went. Then I repeated for the top of my shade.

{5} Add your finishing touches.
When it was all done, I cut out a little guitar from some coordinating scrapbook paper I found among my crafting supplies and hung it from the bottom part of metal loops where the light bulb would pop in. It adds nice movement to the mobile and pulls together all of the colors really well. 

Then, I cut a length of thick coordinating ribbon from my stash and looped it through the top part of the metal loops in the center of the shade in order to hang it. 

Voilà! Now, while this project was not as fast or painless as I thought it would be, it was WAY cheap and I really am in love with the finished product!

While I would take on this project again, I'd definitely hit up a crafting or scrapbooking store for colored card stock instead of going the paint chip route. Not only would I be sparing myself the embarrassment and moral quandary of nabbing 100+ paint chips, but also I would avoid spending tedious hours taping the bursts all together. Nobody should have to cut up that many pieces of Polly Pocket-sized tape. Seriously.
 
Until next time...







Next up on the DIY to-do list: A Chicco-friendly car seat canopy!

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