For best results, choose clean, unbroken seashells to decorate your chandelier.

How to Decorate a Chandelier With Seashells

by Charity Tober

Whether for a coastal vacation home or a suburban residence, an ocean-inspired decor theme can invoke a sense of relaxation. This type of theme is typically comprised of shells, nautical items and light, ocean-inspired colors. When decorating with a beach motif, do not forget to include the light fixtures. Decorate a new or existing chandelier with seashells to create an eye-catching focal point in the room.

1. Determine Finished Look

First, decide how you envision the finished chandelier will look. Do you want the entire chandelier covered in small shells, or perhaps a variety of shells dangling from the fixture would best complement your room's design? Do mock designs and lay out actual shells in different patterns to see what you like best. A clear picture of the finished product is the first step in ensuring the outcome is what you expect and helps reduce errors along the way.

2. Prepare Chandelier

Remove the old chandelier from the ceiling if you are using an existing fixture. First, ensure the power to the room is turned off before removing the fixture. The power to each room in the home can be turned on and off from the home's breaker box -- usually located on the wall in the garage. If you are unsure how to properly remove the chandelier from the ceiling, contact an electrician for assistance in removing as well as reinstalling the chandelier. Take off all hanging crystals, light bulbs and attachments and wipe down the chandelier with a damp cloth followed by a dry cloth to remove any dirt or dust. Select a spray paint color that best fits your beach theme such as white or a sandy brown. Place the chandelier in a well-ventilated area -- suspended in the air if possible -- and apply the spray paint to the fixture according to the instructions on the can. Wear a mask when painting and keep all pets and small children away from the area to prevent inhalation of paint fumes. Let the chandelier dry and apply another coat of spray paint if needed.

3. Clean Seashells

If you purchased shells from a store you can skip this step; otherwise, thoroughly clean shells collected from an actual beach to remove bacteria and eliminate the "beachy" odor. Soak the shells in a mixture of 50-50 water and bleach and use a brush, such as a toothbrush, to remove buildup. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the bleach. Allow the shells to thoroughly dry before attaching them to the chandelier.

4. Attach the Seashells

Use a hot glue gun and attach shells directly to the chandelier. Hold shells up to the chandelier before applying the glue to determine correct placement. Press each seashell firmly for a minute to ensure a tight bond between the shell, glue and chandelier. Continue applying shells all over the chandelier until you are satisfied with the appearance. Hang starfish and sand dollars from ribbons or fishing line on the fixture for additional enhancement. Adjust as necessary to create an even look to the fixture. Place the completed fixture in a safe place -- away from pets and young children -- and let dry for at least 24 hours before hanging back on the ceiling.

Photo Credits

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