Capiz shell chandeliers can cost a fortune, but this DIY chandelier uses a faux Capiz shell for the same look at a fraction of the cost – less than $20! Talk about getting the look 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!

DIY Chandelier

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.

Lampshade Makeover


On my travels, I came across one at my other home World Market. 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,  who promised I could make a Faux Capiz Shell DIY 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.




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

how to make a lampshade



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.”

faux capiz shell



Be sure your cutters are extremely sharp. After trying three different punches – Fiskar, an EK Success, and a Michael’s brand cutter,  I recommend the EK Success Cutter – Surprisingly, the reviews on Amazon are mixed for this, but by far, this was the winner of all the ones I tried. The Fiskar wouldn’t get through the paper at all, while Michael’s brand only partially cut, but the EK Success cut through consistently throughout the project.


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.

diy capiz shell
paper capiz shell


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.


faux capiz shell chandelier


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


ceiling fan shade
Now, you can attach your shade to the harp. Here is what it looks from the underside.
chandelier ceiling fan
And here it is in the room.
capiz shell chandelier

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.”

diy capiz shell chandelier

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

As always, thanks for following along on these crazy adventures. It means so much!

More Projects - Boho Bedroom


If you like this DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier project, I’d appreciate your sharing it with others by pinning it!


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

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  1. Emily, our house now a home on May 8, 2015 at 3:26 am

    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!

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      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!

  2. The Gastronom on May 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Such a cool idea!

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm

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

  3. Randi Sheets on May 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Randi and thanks for stopping by!

  4. Debra Chapoton on May 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Awesomely clever. You are very talented and artistic.

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

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

  5. Ashleigh Wright on May 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm

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

  6. Crystal Foose on May 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

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

  7. Aprilrutherford on May 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

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

  8. Sara @ ShabbyGrace Blog on May 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      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!

  9. Irion @ Diapers to Potty on May 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      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!

  10. annabelt - geeks diet on May 9, 2015 at 2:50 am

    That looks so pretty – very creative!

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

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

  11. Kim on May 9, 2015 at 3:57 am

    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!!

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

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

  12. Jen on May 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

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

  13. Adrienne on May 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    This is an awesome idea. So creative!

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:56 pm

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

  14. Sibylla Nash on May 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

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

    • Kim Young on May 14, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      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!

  15. Agy Lee on May 13, 2015 at 1:31 am

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

  16. Christina @ The DIY Mommy on May 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    WOW! What a transformation. So creative!!

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