you light up my life

I have developed a horror of overhead lighting that verges on the Blanche du Bois level. Flattering low light is now required for all rooms of my apartment, which makes me look pretty good. However, I have a finite number of outlets in which to plug lamps, and limited floor space for said lamps, and I have an abundance of Contractor's Special Bulk Purchase overhead lights.

Fug. And is it just me, or do they look like breasts?

A few weeks back, I was at this amazing midcentury furniture store, where I realized that even if the chandelier I was swooning over was priced in 1964 dollars, I could still not afford it. Kalmar, how you taunted me with your gorgeousness.
Then, I thought about it. Hourglass shapes in blown glass, eh? I can't buy this particular chandelier, but I can convince my mother to go to Hobby Lobby and purchase the entire clearance section of clear glass ball christmas ornaments, and to drive the 168 glass spheres to me on the occasion of their next visit. And you know what's easier to work with than fishing line? Dental floss: strong, cheap, and much easier to tie into endless knots than fishing line.

Two iterations of this idea and one entire forty-yard spool of dental floss later, I have a fake-ass chandelier. Is anyone going to mistake this for a Kalmar? Of course not, but then again, the total cost for the DIY version breaks down as such:

$2.89 for wire wreath base
$7 for spraypaint to turn the wreath base from dark green to white. (Fun fact #1: you cannot buy spraypaint in Chicago, thanks to Mayor Daley. My friend Tim bought me the contraband spraypaint in a suburb and delivered the forbidden goods.)
$14 for seven boxes of clear glass ornaments
$9.08 for box of 100 s-hooks to shove into the existing light fixture
$1.29 for spool of dental floss

Grand total: $34.26, and several hours on my couch painstakingly tying the ornaments onto dental floss while listening to the Stones. (Fun fact #2: your fingers will smell intensely minty after this project.)

Approximate price range for actual Kalmar chandelier: $1,000 and up, plus the deposit I'd lose by installing such a piece into my apartment ceiling.

Saved: $965.74
(Which, incidentally, I am now spending at the vet to treat my poor sick kitty, but that's another story and is one cost I am not going to think twice about.)


Ruth said...

awesome! i will enjoy the mood lighting as we help care for sick kitty this weekend.

Zia Madeira said...

um... I have always referred to those overhead lights as "boob lights." Love knowing I am not the only one!