This holiday season, many of us may be throwing dinner parties, and expecting more guests than usual on a typical Saturday night. Maybe we'll pull spare seating out of the basement, or rent chairs, fold-out tablecloths, and white linens for the evening, but the last time I checked party rental shops didn't rent light fixtures. So, the next best thing is to fashion one of our own. With a few recycled materials and some tea lights, you can make a gorgeous, energy-efficient, glass chandelier that you may just end up hanging year-round. Make one to hang about each table, and your guests will be well-lit. Just add good food, wine, and conversation! To learn the steps,
- 10-12 spare glass jars (mason jars, baby food, jam)
- Circular gridded cooling rack
- Thick and thin gauge wire
- Beaded chain and locking links
- 1 large S hook
- 10-12 small S hooks
- Wire cutters
- Sand or small pebbles
- 10-12 tea lights
Here's how, from Ecologue:
- Wash all your recycled materials.
- Turn over your cooling rack, and at its center cross two lengths of the thick wire, looping their ends through the feet on the rack and twisting them to secure them.
- Attach the large S hook by twisting the wire at the point where the two wires cross (at the center).
- Under the lip of your jar lids, wrap the thinner wire around the tops three or four times, and tuck the ends underneath the wire to secure it.
- Cut various lengths of beaded chain using wire cutters at twice the length you want them to hang from the cooling rack. You may consider a random arrangement or some sort of pattern for hanging.
- Loop a piece of beaded chain through the thin wire on one jar, and then lock its ends together with the links. Do this with all the jars.
- Fill the base of the jar with sand or pebbles, and then place a tea light on top.
- Hang the cooling rack above your dinner table, or wherever you'd like it to be.
- Then, hook your candle-filled jars with the small S hooks onto the cooling rack.
- Use a long lighter to light them right before guests arrive, and fini!