DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier

Like a lot of people, I have one of these in my house:

boob light

Yep…the dreaded “boob light”.

This beauty hangs in my upstairs hallway. It certainly could be worse, but it could be a lot better too – so I started brainstorming budget DIY ideas to improve the situation.

I found this tutorial from the Heathered Nest for a DIY Capiz shell chandelier:

Heathered Nest Capiz Shell Light fixture

And it got me thinking.

I had two capiz shell wall hanging things stashed in my attic. Basically they are wooden dowels with long strings of capiz shells. Wall hangings?  Curtains? I have no idea. I haven’t used them in years, they are remnants of my coastal decor phase.  If you can’t find something like this, Capiz shell windchimes would work just as well.

I hunted around the house for something to use for a frame to hang the shells from. Most tutorials I’ve seen use either an old lampshade frame or an outdoor plant holder. The problem I ran into was that my light is only about 8″ in diameter, which was smaller than the plant holders and none of my old lampshades fit quite right either.

I was getting a little frustrated, but then the DIY gods smiled on me, and by some insane stroke of luck I found this in my favorite Rescue Mission thrift store:

Fan cover

What it is, I have no idea. My best guess is it might be a fan cover?

thrift store mystery

There is a place where it would screw onto something, but what that something might be is a total mystery.

Who donates stuff like this??

$.99 thrift store find

But it happened to be exactly 8″ in diameter and priced at just $.99. What are the chances of that?

I sprayed it to closely match the existing light fixture base, which turned out to be Rustoleum Aged Copper.

Rustoleum Weathered copper spray paint

I thought I would have to remove the glass globe. I was trying to figure out the best way to mount this thing – Heather used zip ties and had to cut holes in her base – when the DRG said, “Hey – can’t we  just fit this right over the old fixture?”

Boob light cover


I am definitely guilty of overthinking my projects sometimes.

I hauled the Capiz shell wall hanging/curtain things out of the attic, and unfortunately they had fallen off the shelf and mated with each other in a terrible, tangled mess.

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I propped them up on chairs in my dining room to try and untangle them.

capiz shells

Surprisingly, I got most of them unsnarled.

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I used zip ties to attach the spray painted round mystery piece to my dining room chandelier so I could easily work on it.

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…..what? Weird? 

And yes, the Donald Trump orange furniture is till temporarily parked in my dining room.

Make sure your base is level, otherwise your strings will side around and make it tough to see where you are.

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I figured out that the longest the shells could hang would be about 16″ and I cut my pieces accordingly. I decided to make 3 levels of  Capiz shells and I draped the strings over the base – so each string is doubled.

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I continued on until I was happy with the arrangement. Once I had enough strings on the base, I needed to secure them in place.

white glue for DIY Capiz shell chandelier tutortial

I don’t think it matters much what kind of glue you use, as long as it dries clear. I put some basic white glue I had hanging around into a dish and used a small paintbrush to blob it on.

Once I had the 2 smaller levels glued in, I started playing around with the outer level. I wanted the frame to show as little as possible, so this was the one level that I was pretty careful with. I arranged that layer so that the shells laid nice and flat and so that I would have a little area to glue. You may have to turn the string around to get them going in the right direction.

DIY Capiz shell chandelier tutorial

Once you have everything where you want it, dab some glue to the back of the shell and on top of the fishing line.

DIY Capiz shell chandelier tutorial

And that’s about it – I let it dry in place for an hour or two before I installed it.

DIY Capiz shell chandelier tutorial - Turn your not-so-awesome boob light into a super awesome DIY Capiz shell chandelier

I should probably scrape that sloppy ceiling paint off the base.

It looks a lot longer in the photo than it actually is in real life, but I do think it’s a little longer than it should be. I’m going to live with it for a few days before I think about trimming it down.

I wasn’t sure how it would look, but it’s a actually kind of graceful and pretty up there. It might not be a permanent solution, but it’s a pretty decent $.99 solution. 🙂


DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier Tutorial - Turn your not-so-awesome boob light into a super awesome DIY Capiz shell chandelier

 I’m linking this project up at some terrific blog parties – you can find my complete list of places I party HERE.


Cheers Julie Signature




About Julie

Julie is a serial entrepreneur, marketer, former newspaper columnist, black belt bargain hunter, voracious reader, gardener, music lover, foodie, wino, avid party thrower, hopeless romantic, closet Parrot Head and DIY machine.

  • Angie Chavez

    What a beautiful way to update that boob light! Thanks for linking up at Talk of the Town – I shared it on Facebook and pinned it to the Knick of Time party board!

  • I LOVE your results Julie!!! What a thrifty DIY with a FANTASTIC result!!

  • Crochet Hooks

    totally cool! I have always wanted a capiz shell chandelier and now I can make one for myself!

  • Julie, the light is fantastic. And how fortunate to find the wire what ever it is that fits perfectly. A new light was meant to be.

  • DazzleWhileFrazzled

    Super pretty! We have a few “boob” lights in our house that need a transformation. Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday.

  • Julie, this is so pretty! I love that you found something perfect to use and upcycle for this. It turned out lovely. Pinned and Tweeted. Thanks for partying with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  • Lori -thestonybrookhouse

    I love your “boob” light hack!! Capiz shells are sooo much prettier! Great Job!! I just spray painted mine to match the ceiling. I didn’t want any attention drawn to them, but if I have an accent one, this is the thing to do!! Thanks for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It!! 🙂

    • Thanks Lori! I wasn’t sure if this would come out okay, but I like it much better than what I started with.

  • What a pretty upcycle! Love how it turned out. I’m a big fan of shells like that. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Pinned & shared. See you again soon.

  • Sherry Thecharmofhome

    That turned out awesome! My kinda upcycle.

  • Stacey Keeling

    So pretty and so much improved! Pinning. 🙂

  • Julie it looks great. What a transformation that was. And yes, I think almost everyone has those types of lights in their homes. I like how your attic is like my basement. Always finding useful things to repurpose.

  • I absolutely adore how this turned out Julie! Looks beautiful, especially to this momma who loves all things coastal and dreams of retiring to live out the rest of my days sitting on the beach and listening to the ocean waves!

  • Julie Nichols

    Thank goodness for your patience! I would have given up detangling all those shells. Your project turned out so pretty! Thank you for linking to Talk of the Town, you are my feature pick for this Tuesday’s party.
    Julie @ Love My Simple Home

  • Carol Lander

    Julie, I just saw a package of these shells as a design store. No holes in them. But I’m dying to try something with them. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for sharing this cute project at Your Inspired Design Link Party.

  • Sherry Nappa

    This is beautiful! I love the look. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday.

  • Kim Seghers

    Wow! Julie your chandelier turned out gorgeous. I am glad you were able to use things around your home for your project. That’s the reason I keep telling my husband to leave my junk alone ..I never know when I may use something for a future project. Thank you for sharing at the Talented Tuesday link party! Have a great week!!

  • This is an amazing transformation! I love the new light fixture. Thanks so much for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase link party.

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