Straw cluster chandelier
Believe it or not, I have a drawer full of old drinking straws — superfluous craft supplies are an occupational hazard. So I was thrilled to see this straw chandelier project come across my desk, because now I can use them for something beautiful!
- one bolt of 24-gauge wire
- 120 drinking straws
- 1 yard of 10-gauge wire (you can also use an old wire lamp shade or heavy gauge wire coat hanger)
Time: 3–5 hours, depending on size and scissor skills (80% of time is spent cutting straws)
1. Cut straws into non-uniform sections, removing any bendy parts (is there a technical term for these?)
2. Use a small pair of scissors to make vertical incisions around the straw, leaving a 1-cm band in the middle. No need for precision here, just work toward the maximum number of incisions while leaving yourself something to grip on to later.
3. Run a 10” length of the 24-gauge wire through the remaining/unsliced tube and bend in half.
4. Use your fingers to twist the wire around itself, locking in the straw at one end.
5. Make your base by shaping the heavier 10-gauge wire into a loose spiral (wrapping around a sauce pot works well). You can also skip the spiral and go for a free-form bird cage shape, or just use and an old wire lamp shade. If you are hanging a pendant light through the base, use the lighter 24-gauge wire to form a star shape at the top, as this will allow you to slip the bulb in later.
6. Wrap the twisted wire around your lamp base and secure. Note, 70% of the straws here are secured so that they remain suspended 4” off the base; the other 30% range from 1” to 10” to give it a more non-uniform, organic feeling.