What can I make from a broken crystal chandelier?
September 14, 2009 8:19 AM   Subscribe

I have the crystal pieces from an old, broken chandelier. What can I make from them?

The pieces are all clear, and there are three shapes: octagonal, cut like a diamond (pointed on one side, flat on the other) in various sizes, but mostly about 2 or 3 cm wide; trapezoidal, about 1.5 cm on the short side, 2.5 on the long and 7 cm tall; and teardrop shaped, also about 7 cm long. The teardrops have one hole at the top, and the others all have two holes, one at each end. The shapes do not refract light into rainbows particularly well.

I have access to any supplies I might need, as well as any other kind of beads. I have thought of suncatchers but haven't really thought of any designs I like. I have also thought of jewelry, but the same issue. I'd prefer not to make a lamp.
posted by jeather to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a beautiful piece of dead wood with beautifully shaped branches that I hang in the corner of my living room. I hang all sorts of collected pieces from it, including chandelier pieces I found at a flea market, colored glass balls, mercury ornaments, etc. It spins lazily in the breeze and the sun reflections are beautiful.
posted by HeyAllie at 8:27 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Did I say it was beautiful ? (ugh, need to preview)
posted by HeyAllie at 8:28 AM on September 14, 2009

This may be a little too easy, but I have seen them used as Christmas tree ornaments.
posted by TedW at 9:14 AM on September 14, 2009

You could use them in a mosaic.
posted by orme at 9:46 AM on September 14, 2009

Mobiles (or used to accent several mobiles made with other items) can be made with these using fishing line and 14 gauge wire. You'll want some pliers to shape, bend, and curl the metal to hold the hanging drops. You can use this method to make a new chandelier, a window suncatcher mobile, or as art.

Alternately, pile them (perhaps with colorful marbles) into a clear glass vase and put in a window. The facets will be lovely, and throw light around.

If you have the small ones, you can use them as evenly-spaced lampshade dangles (use a needle and your fishing line to attach them - loop the fishing line around the bottom metal ring/holder at the bottom of the lamp shade.

If you get 20+ gauge wire (take a crystal with you when buying the wire), you can turn the crystals into creatures or plants - using the wire to link pieces together, and then heavier wire to create bodies and legs. Butterflies, dragonflies, daisies, snarling beasts...

If you use them in a mosaic, plan to use a heavier adhesive to make sure they stay in place before grouting. It might be a good idea to use concrete instead of a translucent mosaic; it'll reflect the most light when light is placed on it, and you won't be surprised by how construction adhesives can yellow or grey behind the glass.
posted by julen at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2009

I hang them in a window that gets direct sun, as they generate lovely sparkling light. Someday, I'll get around to making a light fixture for the bare lights I have, and I'll use glass balls, and prisms, hung with fishing line. I've seen them used in mosaic-style stained glass panels, to very nice effect.
posted by theora55 at 10:37 AM on September 14, 2009

Earrings. A mini swag chandalier using a cord/socket/cup shaped metal thing that fits over the bulb and has pierced holes around the edge.
posted by x46 at 11:58 AM on September 14, 2009

Response by poster: The thing about earrings is that they are all awfully large for earrings -- I don't think I can do multiple dangling threads unless I use mainly other beads. I could try to integrate them into a stained glass piece, though I'm not sure my soldering is good enough for that.

The ideas sound lovely, but I am having trouble with the visualizing of them. Links or photos?

I like the lazy-for-now idea of keeping them in a clear vase, though I'd prefer to do something with them longterm.
posted by jeather at 6:14 PM on September 14, 2009

Here is a project of a new chandelier made from an old chandelier that shows some of the techniques (although it's not quite what I was thinking of):

Here is a cool Wire Doodle that uses some of the techniques (the bending and twisting, although I hadn't envisioned the looping) You can see where you could use the same technique and incorporate crystals.

These wire and glass mobiles use a classic formation of balanced bars from which drops hang at different levels. Because your materials would be different, it'd look different, but you can a sense of construction.
posted by julen at 8:04 PM on September 14, 2009

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