Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: Craft beer chandelier


To say that this project has been years in the making is no exaggeration. I enjoy local craft beer. In particular, Revolution Brewing's Anti-Hero IPA. And it's mostly their packaging you're seeing piled up. Craft brewers, across the board, package their cans in a very specific way. The plastic is 96% PCR (post-consumer) and completely recyclable - go them! But I kept all this packaging because it just looked... useful? And as the plastic sheets started to stack up, they looked more and more like building blocks. But for what? 



If you're a regular here, you know I moved into a new apartment in February. I love the place and I've already done a lot work to make it refabulous. But this... thing. I loathe this light fixture. But I'm renting so I'm stuck with it. That doesn't mean I can't cover it though. And so, an idea began brewing (!)


My initial plan was to play with alternating colors. I measured the approx. diameter of the light (about a dozen times) then got to work joining these things with cable ties. Note: for all the measuring, I was still OFF. More on that later.


In case it matters to you, I'm showing you the placement of the cable ties. It seems to be providing the right balance of stability and flexibility. But please see the important point below before you start!


I'm including this image and this note so you can learn from one of my many mistakes: don't pull the cable ties too tight! It can be very tempting. But keep them quite loose at first. You'll see how they work with the space. And you can always tighten them later.


I ultimately sprayed the whole thing white because that bright green wasn't working in the room. Covering the green took a full can of paint (stuff designed specifically to cover plastic). And I still had to do a LOT of touching up by hand. 


I bought copper wire because it's really malleable. When I imagined trying to hang this thing, I figured I'd need something light and forgiving. I was right. And the lovely copper is very forgiving. 



I used really light chain to hang it. I attached the chain in three places and made sure it was connected to a cable tie as well as the wire, so it didn't move.


So here's the very clumsy thing that I hung. All finessing (and correcting of mistakes) happened once it was hanging from the fixture. 


FAIL!  Even though I'd measured multiple times, it was still too small. So instead of hanging, it was wrapped snuggly around the damn light. The remedy involved (buying and) adding one more 6-pack. Then I trimmed all the cable ties and shaped the copper hoop as best I could.  


The last step: painting the chain gold, adding a little gold to the shade itself and rewarding myself with a cold beer.


Gold is not my favorite metallic. But for some reason it's popping up a lot in my home this year. And that's fine because it's working with all the orange, yellow and blue in the place.


And there it is. I will probably add another coat of gold to those spots, but I need a break!


I would love it if you'd share this project on Pinterest. Here's another Pinnable image for you: