As you probably know, my main mission in starting this website was to make people more comfortable exploring their creative side. It just so happens that, in creating the projects on this website, I get to explore the boundaries of my own creativity! We recently partnered with Evergreen Packaging to explore fresh ideas for their Choose Cartons project. The Choose Cartons project is all about recycling cartons in creative ways in order to encourage the use of sustainable materials. I love upcycling projects, and I loved that this was an opportunity to make something completely new for a good cause. They sent us a box of gable-top cartons and we got to brainstorming! Eventually we came up with this handmade chandelier using a variety of carton sizes for an interesting and unique piece. Maybe it’s just because I live in Portland, but I think this would be a perfect chandelier for a trendy coffee shop! And the best part is that it was so easy to make with regular household items like cartons.
We used a mix of 7 cartons in total to make our handmade chandelier. The mix included half gallon cartons, 1-quart cartons, and 1-pint cartons. We went with a metallic color scheme by using copper, gold, and silver foil to cover the cartons. Begin by cleaning out your cartons with water and a bit of soap. Empty out the water as much as possible and dry the outside of the carton. Use acrylic craft paint to paint the cartons. We used silver metallic paint on some cartons and white paint on others. Cover the cartons with two coats of paint to hide the colorful logos. Next, use Mod Podge glue to adhere foil onto the cartons. Let the foil dry overnight, then brush off the excess pieces of foil for a smooth finish. Use an x-acto knife or box cutter to remove the bottom of the cartons. You can also cut the cartons to different heights depending on the look that you are going for with your handmade chandelier. After cutting the bottom of the cartons off, use a paper towel to wipe out the inside of the cartons. If there is any moisture, mold could grow, so be sure to dry it out as much as possible! Cut the plastic circular spout out of the carton using the same knife. The opening of the carton happens to be the exact size of a light bulb socket. Perfect! We ordered copper sockets to match our metallic color scheme. You can find the full tutorial here
Putting the handmade chandelier together uses the same technique as my industrial chandelier. I would highly recommend using an electrician for this part of the process! Attach cloth covered wire to the sockets and pick out a piece of wood to use as the base of the chandelier. Drill holes into the wood to thread the wire through. Once you have set this up, stick the light bulbs into the cartons and then screw the bulbs into the sockets. We used T6.5 bulbs for our chandelier. Make sure to get LED lights so that the bulbs don’t overheat the cartons! Add any finishing touches to personalize your handmade chandelier and then have your electrician hang it up. Voila! I never expected how pretty the result would be from just using basic milk and juice cartons. I encourage you to try making your own DIY chandelier if you are feeling inspired! Send your photos in by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, tagging me in your Instagram photos, or using the hashtag #DIYDreamingWithLia. Enjoy! ~ Lia