How to Make a Faux Capiz Shell Chandelier Shade for under $20

Posted in BEDROOMS, DECOR, DIY
on May 7, 2015

Capiz shell lamp shades can cost a fortune, but this lamp shade can be made to look like Capiz shells for a fraction of the cost – less than $20! Get the look you want for less!

If you’re new here, my current project room – at least the one that has most of my focus – is my daughter’s bedroom. It’s a small, cramped room, in need of a makeover.  I have a lengthy list of projects to get through before I can call it finished, of which I’d only crossed off one item – the rearranging part, at least until today!

how to make a faux capiz shell chandelier from wax paper and ribbon
Unfortunately, fans are an absolute must in our house, which limits the fixtures we can buy.. at least within our budget. The present light was made using a large barrel shade turned upside down, but it lacked that certain.. oomph.

On my travels, I came across this one at my other home World Market.

Source

Although the price wasn’t too bad, it was the wrong color, as well as it didn’t work with the fan. Plan B went into effect.. or, should I say. The Plan B that I suddenly came up with went into effect.

Or rather, Plan B found itself in a fantastic tutorial at Fabulous Fashions for Sensible Style.

They promised I could make a DIY Capiz Chandelier for under $15.. and.. they were right! I’m not going to do a full tutorial here – theirs was well written, but I’ll give you a brief overview of what I did to attach it to my fan rather than a regular ceiling fixture.

MATERIALS

A glue gun and glue

Wax Paper – I used two 75 foot boxes

A circle cutter – I used a 2.5″ circle

1/4″ organza ribbon in white

Scissors

2 Towels

Iron

Ruler or Tape Measure

A bell-shaped lamp shade (ensure it has a spider fitter, used to attach to a lamp harp)

A lamp harp

 

WHAT TO DO

1. Strip the lamp shade of it’s cover down to the wire.

 

CREATE THE SHELLS

2. Layer 5 sheets of 12″x12″ wax paper and fuse them together by placing the layers between two thin towels, and ironing them with a very hot iron.

3. When the layers are cool, use a 2.5″ paper cutter to cut out as many circles as will fit on a sheet.  You’ll need about 300 circles for this project. These will be your “shells.”

Tips for paper cutters:

Be sure your cutters are extremely sharp. I recommend the EK Success Cutter – after trying three different punches, this was the best of the three. I also tried a Fiskar and a Michael’s cutter that I picked up at – you guessed it, Michaels!  Neither was worth the money. The Fiskar wouldn’t get through the paper at all, while the Michael’s brand only partially cut.

CREATE THE STRANDS

4. Cut 60 – 13″ lengths of ribbon and 30 – 9″ lengths of ribbon.

5. Glue five “shells” to the 13″ lengths of organza ribbon, starting 1 1/2″ from one end of the ribbon (this becomes the “top”) butting each circle against the next as you go down the length.

6. Glue three “shells” to the 9″ lengths of organza ribbon, starting 1 1/2″ from one end of the ribbon (this becomes the “top”) butting each circle against the next as you go down the length.

Add faux shells to capiz shell lamp shade

ADD THE STRANDS TO YOUR FRAME

7. Turn the lampshade upside down. The widest end of the shade becomes the top.

8. Starting on the bottom – not what I did, but the smarter way to go – fold the top 1″ of ribbon strand over the wire and secure it with a dot of hot glue. Be sure to press both sides of the fold together to ensure the glue dries securely.  I used ten strands per lamp shade section. On the top there were six, on the bottom of the frame, there were still six sections, but some were smaller than others. On the narrower sections, I attached three 8″ strands, on the wider sections, five.

 

attach strands of ribbon with wax circles to bottom first

FINISHING

9. Trim any remaining ribbon along the bottom of each strand up to the lower edge of the last “shell” in a row.

10. To give the top edge more of a finished look, cut the remaining circles in half, and glue them just slightly above the wire line on the top, with the cut edge facing up.

If you’re attaching the shade to a fan, and your fan is relatively new, try this: Thread a lamp harp – the thingy that you attach to your lamp to hang a shade through the holes reserved for the light and speed chains. Bend them to secure them to the fan base. I added a large glob spot of hot glue.. because it’s almost like duct tape.. good for everything.. over the holes to give it a bit more stability. It worked like a champ.
Lamp harp, aka the thingy that you attach to your lamp to hang your shade

 

Now, you can attach your shade to the harp. Here is what it looks from the underside.

And here it is in the room.

Because of the way and how low the shade sits, we can still use the fan – at least on medium, which is as high as we ever go anyway.

Here it is lit up. I love how the light shines through and shows each “shell.”

So, this one is a wrap. New, chic and trendy DIY Capiz Shell Lampshade, for under $20.. check! Huge thanks to Fabulous Fashions for Sensible Style for such a FANTASTIC tutorial!

With the lampshade checked off, my honey-i-am-going-to-do list is as follows:

Build a closet organizer
Re-arrange the furniture
Replace the light, leaving the fan
Add a rug
Attempt to dye the duvet cover and update the bedding
Repair built-in shelving to add missing shelves
Add a built in desk
Add a focal point to area above desk
Create a PBTeen Style Tile Knockoff to go with desk
Create upholstered headboard
Create multi-canvas wall art
Add window treatments
On to the next! As always, thanks for following along on these crazy adventures. It means so much!

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30 Comments

  • Emily, our house now a home

    This is beautiful! I cannot stand the look of fans, but they are so functional and needed. I like to keep the windows open all summer and only turn the air conditioner on when I have to. SO some fans are needed a lot. But, ugh, they are just not as pretty ad a chandelier or pendant. You did a beautiful job dressing this up!

    May 8, 2015 at 3:26 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks so much, Emily! I can't stand them either and I'm always looking for ways to dress them up. It was a fun project!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm Reply
  • The Gastronom

    Such a cool idea!

    May 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      I see what you did there! Fan.. cool.. haha. No really, thanks! I'm happy with how it turned out. 🙂

      May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm Reply
  • Randi Sheets

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

    May 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Randi and thanks for stopping by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm Reply
  • Debra Chapoton

    Awesomely clever. You are very talented and artistic.

    May 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Debra! I appreciate the compliment and thank you for stopping by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm Reply
  • Ashleigh Wright

    Very cool!! I love that look! Thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!! xx

    May 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Ashleigh! It was a really fun project and so cheap and simple!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm Reply
  • Crystal Foose

    My kids have knocked down and broken a number of shades in our house. Something like this would be a great replacement.

    May 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      I feel like I'm always looking for something kid-proof as well! Good luck!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm Reply
  • Aprilrutherford

    This is gorgeous, very cool! I couldn't tell what you were talking about on the phone, but this is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    May 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks April! Now, if I only I had a table to go with it.. hint hint.

      May 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm Reply
  • Sara @ ShabbyGrace Blog

    Now that's COOL! Great job. Also, I LOVE World Market too!!

    May 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Isn't World Market the BEST, Sara? I can always find something new and unique there and the quality is pretty good, too! I'm on my way there shortly.. I need a rug and they have some great options!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm Reply
  • Irion @ Diapers to Potty

    Wow that looks amazing! I would have never guessed that you used wax paper to make it.

    May 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Irion! It is amazing how similar the paper looks to actual shells.. I was drawn to it the first time I saw it for that very reason. I love projects like that! Thanks for stopping by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm Reply
  • annabelt - geeks diet

    That looks so pretty – very creative!

    May 9, 2015 at 2:50 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thank you! My daughter loves it, and it's a great focal point when you walk in the room.

      May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Kim

    Wait…what? I am still in shock! As I was reading through your post I kept having to go back to the first picture because I couldn't make my mind believe you made that from wax paper!? Amazing job!!

    May 9, 2015 at 3:57 am Reply
    • Kim Young

      I know, it's crazy! I wouldn't believe it either had I not cut out 300 circles of the stuff! Thanks so much!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Jen

    What a great project for so cheap! Looks great!!

    May 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thanks Jen! The cheap ones.. they're the best kind!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Adrienne

    This is an awesome idea. So creative!

    May 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Thank you, Adrienne! I'm glad you like it!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:56 pm Reply
  • Sibylla Nash

    Love this! Will you come to my house??? I have plenty of projects.

    May 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm Reply
    • Kim Young

      Sibylla, I would LOVE to! Of course, I'll be working through my own get-this-done list for the next 18 years, but after that I'm all yours! hahaThanks for coming by!

      May 14, 2015 at 1:57 pm Reply
  • Agy Lee

    This is so cool and creative. Waxed paper is definitely better than ordinary paper – better for safety?

    May 13, 2015 at 1:31 am Reply
  • Christina @ The DIY Mommy

    WOW! What a transformation. So creative!!

    May 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply
  • Leave a Reply

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