While I was in the midst of DIYing my house to into Everyday Luxury, I found myself wishing I could have a chandelier in my bedroom. However, since it is on the second floor, a ceiling fan is MUST, especially in summer.
What did I do? I hit Google for ideas on how to fancy up my ceiling fan without replacing what I have. That is how I discovered there is a thing – a real thing, called a fandelier. Its a ceiling fan with a chandelier underneath it where the lights usually are. And boy howdy are they expensive! Anywhere from $250-$500, not to mention the cost of an electrician to put it in or the time and possible danger of installing it yourself. (Here’s the one I would have bought if I was getting a new one. And this is a cheaper version w/o a remote.)
I also found that I was not the first person to run into this dilemma. Google “DIY Fandelier” or “DIY ceiling fan makeover” and you’ll find hundreds of ideas. The one that fit my personal style was from Nicole (cool that we have the same name, right?) at Fancy Fix Decor. Full credit to her for inspiration! Thanks to her idea, I was able to make my own fandelier for under $50!
Armed with inspiration, I gave my tired old ceiling fan the side-eye, got out my screwdriver and went to work.
Step One: Remove the lightbulbs and glass shades. Even if you don’t replace them, it makes it easier, at least on my fan, to get to everything you need. I wanted a more authentic chandelier look, so I bought Edison candle bulbs. I also found out they don’t make the kind of base my lights require any more, so I had to buy adapters. I chose to leave the glass shades off but kept them for when I move so the next people have a normal fan.
Step Two: Remove the fan blades – Not knowing how the fan went together, I made the mistake of thinking I had to remove the light kit to get the blades off. Nope. All I did was create more work for myself. I eventually figured out that the screws that hold my blades are well hidden, but I could get to them with a manual screwdriver.
Step Three: Replace the fan blades or paint the ones you have – I tried taking the lazy way out and just replacing my old blades with these new ones, only to find that my fan has very weird holes in the blades that I could never recreate without a specialized saw. So I ended up spray painting them with Rusoleum. Make sure to sand your blades at least a little before you paint them. It only took two coats to get them looking like new.
Step Four: Reassemble your fan blades and reinstall them. This was my least favorite part. It wasn’t hard to get the metal arm back onto the blades, but reattaching them to the fan was difficult. Those screws are small and when you do this yourself, you only have two hands (three our four would be ideal). I dropped those screws, cursed and went up and down my ladder more times than I could count. But eventually I got them in.
Step Five: Decorate! This is the fun part. I used acrylic bead chains for the main part of my decoration. When I removed the light shades my fan had two metal prongs on each side of the blub. I hung one of the circle chains on each one and wrapped the chain around the lights to get the desired effect. Then I took leftover crystal Christmas ornaments and hung them from the same prongs. I had some other crystals left over from another project and those already had hooks on them, so I hung them from the chains. And the best part is, even with the fan on high, the crystals don’t make noise or fall off!
That’s it! The whole thing took me weeks because I was figuring it out and buying supplies as I went along. But if you get everything ahead of time, you should be able to get this done in a weekend (if you need to paint your blades) or even just a few hours if you aren’t replacing your blades.
If you choose to do this, please send me some pictures. I’d love to see your ideas and how it came out!