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The Chandelier Saga

So, about six months ago while browsing through a Pottery Barn catalog I spotted their wine bottle chandelier. It was safe to say it was love at first sight…. However, the nearly $400 price tag was a little over our meek budget… What’s a girl to do? The answer: Make it herself
(with her awesome boyfriend’s help!)

Here’s Pottery Barn’s GORGEOUS Wine Bottle Chandelier that I am so in love with.

Ok, here’s the part where Brandon interjects and explains he made it with some of my help, but it was my idea, so we both get some credit, right?

Isn’t the finished project pretty sweet?!

So, now you’re probably wondering how we did it, right? Take a deep breath, because here comes the tutorial!

To begin, we collected a bunch of wine bottles from the restaurant where I work and soaked them in hot, soapy water to remove the labels. After removing most of the label we finished them up with some Goof Off to make sure there was no sticky residue.

Next, we gathered up the tools we were going to need:

1.) A jigsaw to cut out larger portions of the frame
2.) A drill and drill bits for the holes (may vary based on bottle size) we used 1 1/8″ and 1 1/4″ for where the bottles would go, and a 3/8″ for the hole for the light kit.
3.) A tape measure
4.) A fine-point sharpie
5.) Sand paper
6.) Sanding file (the metal file for heavy duty sanding)
7.) Retaining ring pliers to attach the rotor clip rings (AKA retaining rings)
8.) A 12-18″ piece of string

Next, we purchased the supplies we needed:

1.) An 18″ round pine stool topper (around $20 or so at Lowes or Home Depot)
2.) A Lowe’s light kit (around $5-$15 at Lowes or Home Depot)
3.) Eye-bolts to attach the chains to (we used 3)
4.) Chain to hang the chandelier (we had extra on hand from another fixture)
5.) A Ceiling medallion with a center ring to attach the chain (ours was around $5 at Lowes)
6.) 1 1/8″ rotor clip rings (enough for 1 per bottle–we ordered 25 for around $4) found at— search for “external retaining rings”
7.) 1 light bulb
8.) Primer and paint (had both on hand)

Note: We also had to buy a box kit because we did not previously have a ceiling fixture, but this is not reflected in the overall price of the chandelier.

1.) To begin building your chandelier, measure pine topper to find the center. This is where you will be drilling the hole for your light kit, so be sure to measure twice and cut once!

2.) Place a nail, pencil, or anything with a point in the center and attach your sharpie to a piece of string that has been measured to the desired radius for the center of the holes that will house the wine bottles. Then, trace a large circle around the edge of the frame.

3.) Next, begin placing bottles around the edge of the wooden frame centered on the line you have just drawn. Note: it is safest to do this on carpet since the domino effect tends to occur and clearly wine bottles like to shatter into a million little pieces when they hit kitchen counters!

4.) Now that you are safely working on the soft floor, continue moving bottles around the edge until they are in the desired positions with as many bottles on the frame as possible. Because bottle size varies, no particular number is “correct”.

5.) Trace around a few bottles as they are placed upside down on the frame to get an idea for positioning. Once two or three are traced, remove all the bottles and only work with two bottles at a time, placing one bottle on the traced circle, and one next to it to be traced. This makes it go by a lot faster and saves you from breaking bottle after bottle.

6.) Now that everything is traced, measured, and ready to go, you can begin drilling. First, use a 1 1/4 inch drill bit to cut about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through the pine frame. Careful not to go too deep because a smaller hole will be drilled within this hole to hold the bottle.

7.) Next, use the 1 1/8 inch drill bit to cut all the way through the center of the 1 1/4 inch holes–go slow to avoid mistakes!

8.) Then, cut out three larger holes using the jigsaw to lighten up the frame and to allow more light to move through. Brandon drew three free-hand, oval-shaped holes, and cut clean through.

9.) Because the pine frame tended to splinter, a lot of sanding must be done before paint. I began by using the metal file to tackle the really rough stuff and to correct imperfections from the jigsaw.

10.) Next, I moved on to more refined sandpaper to prep it for paint.

11.) I applied a coat of latex primer (what I had on hand) and after it dried I applied three coats of leftover paint from our bedroom ceiling (Valspar’s Chocolate Pudding).

12.) Once it dried we screwed in three eye-bolts to hold the chains, being sure to center them around the frame so it is balanced when hung.

13.) Next, I installed the light kit by slipping it through the pre-drilled hole.

14.) I placed a bottle in each hole and used a rotor clip ring around the neck of each to hold it in place.

15.) Once secured, we added the chains and ran the wiring through the medallion to hang our fixture.
Note: Brandon wound up removing the bottles to hang it, but with two people to help you should be just fine leaving them attached.

16.) Attach the chains to the medallion and then attach the wiring following the instructions on the light kit and screw in your bulb! Tada! Your very own wine bottle chandelier!

So, what do you think of our new living room lighting? It may have taken us six months to get our act together to get it done, but it was well worth the wait!


69 thoughts on “The Chandelier Saga

  1. I was inspired by your creation, and decided to build one myself. I used the same pine top and rotor clips, but I used a simple ceiling fan fixture for the light. I can't post a picture here, but I could send a picture if you're interested. Thanks!


    1. The light kit is a single socket hanging light kit. They make ones that plug into the wall, but this particular one was meant for ceiling mount. We bought it in the lighting department at our local Lowe’s. Good luck to you!


  2. I really want to make this for a Christmas gift but i am puzzled as to how in the world it is plugged in or where the cord for the light fixture is if there was not a previous light fixture/ mount?
    Could you email me?


    1. Hey there! I am responding on this post in case others have the same question, but I will email you also! I hope this makes sense haha.

      We did not have a previous light fixture, so my husband had to run wiring and install a box for a light fixture to be installed. It is just like you would for installing a ceiling fan. You would need this in order to have the light run off power directly coming from the fixture (as opposed to getting power from being plugged into an electrical outlet). So, just like a ceiling fan, our light is installed directly to wires that come through the ceiling and can be turned on and off with the switch. Now, to answer your question, you can easily switch out the light kit for one that uses an electrical plug that connects to a standard wall outlet as opposed to one that connects through the wires in the ceiling. Light kits of both varieties can be found in the lighting department at most hardware stores like Lowes or Home Depot. If you use a light kit with a wall plug, install it the same way as we have in the tutorial, but when you hang it you will have a cord that reaches around and plugs in to an outlet instead of the ceiling.

      For personal preference, we chose the light kit that installed into the ceiling to avoid extra hanging wires, but some people might prefer a chandelier that can plug in instead. Tnaks for your comment! We’d love to see the finished project!

      Take care,
      Caitlin @ Sunshine and Whiskey


  3. This was a great tutorial. Nice job with the pictures and descriptions. I was able to put a beer bottle chandelier together by converting an old broken one. Your project is concise and easy to accomplish.


  4. This is so great! I have been wanting to make one but did not know exactly how. Your instructions made it perfectly clear I can do it.


  5. My goodness… I was looking for different DIY ideas for my blog on wine bottles and stumbled across this goodie. Thanks for sharing!! I love your DIY wine bottle chandelier. It turned out beautiful!! I totally will be trying this out with my husband. Lol. Thanks so much for this post.


Thank you for stopping by That House on the Corner! I love hearing from you so leave some love below! Take care, Caitlin

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