After admiring various ribbon chandeliers in baby stores, catalogs, magazines, and even over on Pintrest, I decided to try my hand at one for Clara’s closet. Her closet is actually big enough to become a little reading nook when she’s a little older (I have visions of making her a beanbag for chillaxing on the floor with a book). And I love that the closet has its own light but it’s one of those fugly bare bulb ones that you tug on a piece of string to turn on and off. So I thought a happy little ribbon chandy could pretty things up.
So I spent $2 for an embroidery hoop (with a 10″ diameter from Ben Franklin) and used some white spray paint and a box full of old ribbons that I already had (I save them like gift bags to recycle them ’cause I’m
cool cheap like that).
So the total project cost was just two dolla. Holla. (Yup, that’s the second holla I’ve used today- and yup, I’m counting).
Anyway, first I went outside and spray painted my big metal embroidery ring thing with white paint on a piece of cardboard. While it was drying I went through all of the old ribbon scraps that I have and picked out the ones I wanted to use. Then I popped back outside to flip my ring over with a stick so I could spray the other side.
Then it was back inside while it dried to cut 16″ lengths of ribbon from all of the ones I picked to use. Here are most of them cut and ready to glue to my drying ring (I still had a few more hot pink ones to be added to the mix). Oh and I should note that I wasn’t exact about my cutting at all. If I wanted to use a strand of ribbon that I could almost get two lengths out of, I’d cut it in half (even if each piece was only 14″ instead of 16″). Yeah, call me Loosey Goosey. Wait, that sounds bad. Don’t.
Here’s where I’d show you a few photos of me and my handy glue gun as I glued each ribbon to the now-white-and-dry metal embroidery hoop. I just curled it over the top and glued the ribbon to itself in the inside of the hoop and worked my way around the top, just gluing each ribbon in place next to the other one with about an eight of an inch of space between them so they didn’t get all up in each other’s area. And I burned my fingers approximately fifteen times, which might be why there are no photos. But it was worth it. No pain, no gain. Sidenote: I accidentally typed “no paint, no gain” at first, but upon thinking about it, I also believe that’s true.
Here’s the bare bulb we’re dealing with in Clara’s closet. And I only realized as I took this photo that we never switched it out for a CFL. Probably because we never actually turn it on, but still – shame on us. It has been rectified. And the old bulb betta recognize. I’m in a weird mood today, huh?
See those hooks on either side of it? We had those in the ol’ tool drawer, and I thought they’d come in handy for stringing up my ribbon chandy. I was going to use fishing wire but I couldn’t find it so I went with white string (you know, sewing machine string?). Wait I mean thread. Anyway, it worked like a charm.
I just made four loops of white thread at four even intervals around the ring and looped them up over the two hooks so they sort of pulled from four points and stabilized the hoop o’ ribbon. Here’s what I was left with:
Cute, right? When Clara woke up from her nap I couldn’t wait to hang it slash show it to her. She loves it. And that my friends (as Martha would say) is a good thing. Oh and I totally should have ironed the ribbons before gluing but I was feeling lazy. I figured I can always take it down (it’s just hanging on those little hooks) and iron it if the urge ever strikes. Not that I’m counting on it. For now I look at it like wavy hair. There’s a place for it.
See that cute pink ribbon with the bunnies on it? It’s from this Easter basket we made her a while back. Memories. Oh and note that the bottom of the ribbons are random and staggered and some are cut at an angle or dove-tailed (is that what it’s called or did I make that up?). I went with the keep-it-casual approach.
As for how it looks from the rest of the room, I love how it just sort of peeks out from behind the curtain like her bright little dresses. So you don’t really know what’s going on until you get closer…
… and peer up to see those fun little ribbons.
So there you have it. A $2 project that the ceramic animals in Clara’s closet get to enjoy (they’re up there because they’re breakable and now that Clara is toddling around they were in constant peril on her dresser and side table- so up they went. And yes, that’s a framed photo of Burger. Clara’s quite fond of him.
Oh and when I showed John he said “how’s it hanging?” and I said “har-har very funny” and he said “no, I’m asking you a question- how is it hanging from the ceiling?” and I explained it while trying not to wet myself. Maybe you had to be there though.
Anyone else making things out of ribbon? Or dressing up a bare bulb in another way? Tell $herdog all about it.
Psst- Don’t burn your house down! Many lamp shades are made from fabric and paper, so ribbon is cool. Just make sure it’s not even close to the bulb (and definitely not pressing against it). Our 10″ hoop offered lots of space for the heat to escape, and using CFLs helps too since they burn cooler than the regular guys. In some places exposed bulbs in closets aren’t even to code (glass domes are recommended, which could still be covered with a fun little ribbon chandy to dress them up).
Amy @ larryspearslive.com says
$herdog, just wanna say that I enjoyed your jokes throughout that post. Good one. Now I’m thinking about making one of those to hang temporarily beneath a ceiling fan for a bridal shower I’m throwing. Maybe too childish? Hmmm.
I think it could totally be charming and adult-y (I’ve seen them at weddings!). Maybe go with softer more serene colors like champagne and ivory and celery or something? And cut them all evenly so it’s a little more polished?
oh that would be pretty! especially something like a white lace ribbon!
Thats so super cute! Of course If I saved ribbons and such I would have a very cluttered house! I dont know how you do it!
Oh man, I just love this blog! You guys crack me up. Love the ribbon chandy! I would have been anal and ironed the ribbons first though. :( I’m weird like that.
It’s so weird because one of the top three adjectives that my friends would use to describe me is anal. So I still can’t figure out how I didn’t iron those. Haha. Maybe Clara’s making me more relaxed than I’ve realized…
lol $herdog…..my hubby claims that my anxiety and anal-ness (is that a word???) have totally subsided since we had our little bug….must be a mom thing! It’s one of the best parts of being a mama!
ooh i have a fugly light fixture just like this! (many actually) def going to try this, I am a little old for it haha but whatev! thanks sherry!
Love this! Now I want to make one… Just curious, did you think about ironing the ribbon so that it’s less crinkly or is some of the ribbon un-ironable (not even sure if this is a word!)
I totally should have ironed it. Just being lazy. I figured I can always take it down (it’s just hanging on those little hooks) and iron it if the urge strikes. Haha.
If you have a hair straightener you could use that and wouldn’t even have to unhang it!
laura’s a genius!
You could also just spritz the ribbons with water from a spray bottle (with the light off of course) and they would “iron” themselves as they dried.
Laura! best suggestion ever. I secretly use a hair straightener to spot iron my clothes… while I’m wearing it. I’m glad to know other people think this way!
Laura @ driftwoodhaven says
So cute! Love it!
So cute..thinking about where I could do this. I will iron my ribbon first though :)
$herdog-I am actually new to younghouselove and well, I LOVE it! You and John’s ideas are fabulous, and might I add-I love your posts! You’re hilarious…This one was particularly entertaining for me…I’d love to try this ribbon chandy possibly in my apartment. I’m entering my senior year of college *tear* and moving into a new apartment, so I need some ideas! You keep giving me plenty though! Thanks!
Ummm, the only reason I know I didn’t write your comment in my sleep is that I’m not moving this year. But, Mary, I TOO am new to YHL, love the posts, want to try the ribbon chandy (desperately, might I add), and am entering my senior year of college. Not to mention, my name is Mary too!
Sorry if this seems slightly creepy… but we’re totes doppelgangers (yes, I am so cool I abbreviate “totally”). And of course, thank you, $herdog, for the absolutely marvelous inspiration! :)
Love it! Mary #1 and Mary #2 sound like they’re destined to be the best of same-name friends.
Future Mama says
LOVE LOVE LOVE! Now I am off to go see if I can convince my husband that it would be ok to hang one outside of our baby’s room, ha!
Melissa T says
ooh this is getting me thinking about something cool I can do in place of the ugly “boob” shaped light in my bedroom. I have a bag full of vintage lace ribbons that I have looking to use on something. This ribbon light gets my wheels turning!
Sounds so pretty! Share pics on our facebook page if you tackle it!
Amanda R. says
Great idea to hang a “grown up” version over existing ugly ceiling lights! Have been trying to figure out what to do about our ugly living room light in our apartment and since we’re probably moving a year, this might be the perfect cheap fix!
Hery $herdog! It looks amazing! I’ve seen a bunch of pictures on Pintrest and have been dying to make one of the ribbon chandeliers. I just need to find a place for one. I love your idea of hanging it in the closet. I think my master closet will be getting a ribbon chandelier soon!
I love this idea! It’s so girly & fun! Do you think there’s any way I could do this with skateboard and skulls ribbon to boy it up, or would it still read girly? SB has a bare bulb in his closet, too. I love how you just improvised the hanging system. Thanks for sharing.
Ooh I think skateboard and skulls sound bad a$$ and very boy-ish. I would definitely give it a go. You know how bad boys wear tattered stuff in dark colors and patters? Might look like that.
Melisa Anderson says
I think I’d add some sort of chain to the mix too, like the ball pull chain or just cheapo small chain from the hardware store. That would boy it up a little. (I have 4 of them, can you tell?)
Ooh yeah. I love that idea!
I think I would also cut all the ribbon straight and exactly the same length to make it more “manly” and less organic/girly.
You guys all rock! Thanks for all the great ideas. I’m putting this on my things to make list for when we get back from vacay.
bridget b. says
what a cute idea! i totally want to try it now. i’m just a little nervous about how it would fare since my 1 1/2 yr old insists on being picked up to turn her closet light on and off herself (we use it as her nightlight with the door slightly cracked).
Call me old fashioned…..but I ALSO WOULD HAVE IRONED ALL THE RIBBONS!!! They will hang so much smoother. I figure that if enough of us say it……you will do it. Come on Sherdog….won’t take much effort!!
BUT….on the whole, it is pretty darn cute!! Nice job and to think that all those ribbons have memories.
Yes….pretty darn bueno!!
Haha- someday Barb. When the house is spic and span and Clara’s napping peacefully and I’m sitting on the sofa with a spot of tea wondering what I should do. That’ll be the day I break out the iron I think! Haha.
It’s things like this that make me think I need a little girl! Super cute :)
Love it!! So creative, and so cheap!
Megan Brewer says
That is really cool! Thanks for sharing! Megan http://cottagebluedesigns.blogspot.com/p/books-reading.html
I haven’t seen this idea! I’ll have to remember this one when we have kids… and great idea for a reception or shower!
Love that you call yourself $herdog… I could imagine you coming up with that name while rapping/dancing to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby got back”
I like spray paint and I cannot lie! You otha brothas can’t deny. That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty … uh… I might be foiled.
– when a girl walks in with ceramic animals and oil rubbed bronze in your place you get faint (obviously you don’t get “sprung” so I needed something a little more P-C)
Haha, I like it.
Love it! I am also swooning over Clara’s Capiz chandelier. I’ve been looking for a cool capiz DIY for my teen daughters room. Do you know of any?
Hmm, maybe try ebay? Or google “capiz chandelier” and see what turns up?
I found this DIY capiz chandy on Design Sponge, it seems like it would be pretty simple. I only wish I had a place to try it in my house. http://www.designsponge.com/2010/08/diy-project-brennas-paper-capiz-shell-chandelier.html
heather s. says
I made a DIY capiz chandelier last year. http://athomewithh.blogspot.com/2010/09/make-capiz-chandelier.html
I sent the pics to John and Sherry but they stopped posting Reader Redesigns, sadly. Enjoy!
So amaaaazing! Feel free to share it over on our Facebook page- folks will eat it up there too and I’m sure they’d love to see your tutorial!
Cute! Now I just have to think how I can do something like this for my totally-all-boy boy.
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
I love that you call yourself $herdog. It makes me laugh every time I read it :) Love the ribbon idea, such a fun, cute way to dress up the ugly lone bulb. the only place we have one of those is in our attic so I think it will stay all ugly up there by itself ;)
Tracie J. says
I kinda like the crinkly look. I hope when I try this, mine looks as good as yours $herdog.
Sabrina I says
So cute! I am turning my weird semi walk in closet in the bathroom into a “dressing-room nooky thing” ( yeah, that’s how I can describe it) It has one of those lightbulbs with the string but its on it’s side in the wall!! Poo! Any ideas how to make it work?
Hmm, maybe you can make some sort of ribbon sconce with a semi-sphere piece of metal? Make sure the ribbons don’t touch the bulb or anything though!
Love it! I also love the ceramic animals. Where did you get the elephant?
Sir Elephant is from Pottery Barn Outlet (he was a gift from a friend when Clara was born, and he’s actually a piggy bank, er, elephant bank).
Do I spot a dress with Cherries on it? I love me a cherry dress!!!!
So cute right? It also came with matching bloomers and a wide brimmed cherry hat. Adorable! From my mom of course. She loves accessorizing my baby. Haha.
Jen A says
With your gorgeous hair, I’d be tempted to say that you own a flat iron. I’m sure you could straight iron it in a flash, without even taking it down (all you’d need is an extension cord).
I use my flat iron for everything. Even grill cheese (ok, perhaps not grill cheese, but for a few little ribbon type things on my clothing. Works great)
Jessica G in NN says
aaaaadorable. saw one on pinterest recently and pinned it under “possibly procreating” so i’m feeling the ribbony-vibe.
Ribbon tends to be my go-to thing for any need I have… My most recent is attaching it to the side of the mirror in my bedroom with a pretty painted clothespin, and just letting it hang down. I use it for holding all my cute barrettes for my hair – they just clip on and then I can see all of them together without having to search through a box of them.
I keep all my ribbons in a giant jar on a shelf and they’re so pretty and colourful it’s like its own deliberate design choice. I’ll call it a happy accident (:
I love this idea- thank you!
I love this little ribbon light! I might need to make one for my apartment! I recently made some cute ribbon headbands for my nieces. You can check them out on my blog if you are interested. :)
umm..I hate to be the dark cloud.. but that could catch fire. Our home inspector said lights in the closet are a no-no (which we kept them anyways but switched to compact fluorescence and make sure to only turn them on when in the closet). Also, when I was a kid I put my sister’s blanket over a ceiling lamp fixture to warm it up for her while reading in the bunk beds and it went up in flames! Just be safe. please.
Thanks so much for your concern. Of course safety is first- especially in Clara’s room. Lots of lamp shades are made of paper and fabric, so as long as there’s breathing room and nothing is pressed up against the bulb (like a blanket over a bare bulb) it should be 100% safe. Using CFLs is also a great option since they burn a lot cooler than the regular bulbs. Hope it helps!
Emily Z says
Why no lights in closets? We’ve got a large windowless walk-in closet. Without lights, I wouldn’t be able to see what I was putting on in the morning. Just curious.
Ways to NOT dress up a bare bulb… don’t stick a gray foam tube from the scrap store around it to make the bulb into an “interrogation room” light when you’re about 7 and playing with your friend in the basement. And DEFINITELY don’t let your mom catch you!
(Don’t worry, nothing was harmed in the making of that memory except a little bit of slightly melted foam.)
Haha- so glad nothing caught fire!
I used to curl up in my closet with a flashlight to read all of the time. Or sneak into the attic and sit under one of the (very dusty) windows.
When I was little, my idea of heaven was, seriously, a place where I had a gigantic library of my own, with huge windows and window seats.
Geeze, what a dorky kid.
I hope Clara is just like that. Seriously.
We gave our daughter the larger of the two second floor bedrooms so that she would have more floor space for play. Where does she play? The closet! When I was growing up, my sister had a huge closet that we used to play in so I get it.
Devon @ Green House, Good Life says
As soon as I saw the ribbons laid out, my eyes went straight to the bunnies! Love it!
(Here’s my best bunny shot.)
Very cute! Just to add a little dab of extra cuteness you could use a bead or button or some other equally cute weight at the end of the pull string. I’m sure you have one laying around!
Adorable! I’ve actually been admiring this one on Pinterest myself: http://d30opm7hsgivgh.cloudfront.net/upload/30482342_BpZ8rJbv_c.jpg
Maybe I’ll tackle it sometime in the near future.
Not to change the subject but have you and John updated your Macbooks to the new Lion OS yet?! Just got mine all installed and running this morning and the new features…OHEMGEE.
That one’s really cute and feisty. Like a perky bob haircut. Haha. And as for Lion- not yet. But so excited to! Glad to hear it’s amazing!
omg. she explained the ironing in the post. who cares if she didn’t iron it? it’s adorable! i think the crinkled ribbons are much like life: crazy, fun, imperfect.
Aw it’s cute! I think a fun adult way to do this would be to take patterned handkerchiefs and tie one corner in a knot around the wiring. Depending on the fabric, it could look pretty and bohemian! Lightweight scarves could do the same though they might be a tad long.
Just Googled around for fun handkerchiefs and thought that even dying plain white ones would be awesome if they had an ombre or ROYGBIV effect! I may have to try this out, and I’m not even much of a DIYer! :)
That sounds fun! Share pics if you tackle it!
Mmm, bohemian = awesometown. Send pics if you end up doing it. I’d love to see how it turns out!
I thought for sure there would be an ironing step in there. But once it got to the finished product and you hadn’t ironed it I thought, you did it on purpose because it looks so good krinkly. Not sure what the ones you pinned look like but, I’m digging the not so perfect look.
Confession time: I make cheerleading bows (those huge obnoxious ones that cheerleaders wear), so I have several rubbermaid bins of ribbon in my closet. I may just have to make a “grown up” version of this (I’m thinking with white and cream colored ribbons and maybe some strands of costume jewelry from the thrift shop!
I suggest heating the ends of the ribbon to keep them from fraying. Just use a lighter (I use an aim and flame) to heat the edges so they “melt’ together!
Oooh that sounds so pretty! Share pics if you tackle it! Oh and great tip about keeping the ends from fraying – love it!
Couple A Saving says
So cute. Love it!
So Cute! This looks like something I could even do. I figure if I just get my feet wet with something easy and succeed maybe I can try and tackle more things ha! Thanks!
So cute! :) Great idea
Behold! Ribbony goodness! Love it! Trying to figure out a way to do something like this in my boy’s room! Probably won’t be happening :) but i LOVE Clara’s new ribbony goodness!
Adorable! Great way to give that bare bulb some love!
Great idea! I think I may need to try something similar for our master bedroom closet.
How cute! I wish I would have done this for a bare bulb we had in our apartment closet (never wanted to spend the money on something permanent).
Is there any chance of fire danger? I also worry about that with capiz chandeliers, although I’m not sure it’s an issue. Do you need to use a certain watt for safety’s sake?
Lots of lamp shades are made of paper or fabric but they’re not a fire hazard as long as they’re a good distance away from the bulb (ex: a 10″ hoop gives the bulb lots of breathing room so nothing is pressing against it and heating up). Also, using CFLs is always smart since they burn cooler. Hope it helps!
$herdog (It is awesome to call a total ‘stranger’ that)…I have been known to use my hair straightener to iron ribbon during projects before. It’s super easy (read lazy) and my craft room is upstairs and the hair straightner is closer than the iron. And it sucks less than getting out the board etc. Don’t think I’m being a hater and telling you to iron, just giving you a lazyman tip. Personally I think the wrinkles give it character. LOVE IT
Wait a minute- I like the sound of that. A lazy gal’s iron. I might just try it. Someday.
$herdog, I have to say I spray them with my Downey Dewrinkler spray before I plugged in a hair straightner or the iron. I’m lazy. :)
Haha- love it.
you are a crazyyyy lady! hilarious post!
also, very cute ribbon chandy.
I think $herdog is sticking… =)
BTW, love the chandelier
Yesssssssssssssss. Don’t tease me. It better be.