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You ever have one of those ideas that seems absurd at the time, but you try it anyways and it turns out to actually work?! Well this is one of those projects for me. I am so surprised with just how much I love the final product!
I created these two little geometric terrariums with nothing more than an old 80s chandelier and some foil tape used for sealing A/C ductwork.
So, the story behind this makeover, goes something like this:
Last year I bought an UGLY old brass and gold chandelier at the thrift store for $4 with the intention of turning into a beautiful mirror frame like this tutorial from Sarah M Dorsey. But because my garage is such a mess, the stupid chandelier was broken when the kids knocked it to the floor (#keepingitrealwithkimsix)
Of course I didn’t have a ‘before’ photo of the stupid thing before it was damaged, but it looked a lot like this, but without the scallops on the bottom:
And this was what I was left with when I pulled out the actual lamps (You can see I was only left with 7 panels, not the full 10, which made the mirror project impossible.
So for a year I was left with this busted up chandelier and no idea what to do with it. And then I saw these terrariums from West Elm and I thought to myself: I COULD MAKE THOSE. At the time, I was no idea HOW I could do it, but I thought I would figure it out.
So I took the tin snips to the fixtures and tried to cut apart the individual panels.
My first idea was going to be to just super glue the panels together.
Unfortunately, the glass wanted to pull out of the metal frames, and instead of having a brass and glass panels, I ended up with 10 pieces of glass shaped like trapezoids.
Time for plan B. I looked all over my garage for what I could use to put them together and I came up with this foil duct tape (NOT “DUCK” Duct tape, but actual foil tape used for sealing tears and seams in your HVAC lines or even water pipes and hoses). I love this stuff for crafts since it is reflective and highly adhesive, plus it cuts beautifully, like tin foil. This is the EXACT stuff I used, but other brands also make their own versions.
I wrapped the tape around the edges of the glass. (The way you would add U channel zinc or copper around stained glass. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here is a great demo video.) The foil tape is like faux zinc edging.
If you get ripples in the tape when applying it, you can smooth it out with a spatula or scraper.
I was surprised with how much it looked like stained glass edging:
I went ahead and did the tops and bottoms of all the glass, since they would be the top and bottom of the terrarium.Next I laid out the panels to form the three dimensional shapes of the terrariums and taped them together.
I taped both the insides and outsides so you wouldn’t ever see the back of the tape through the glass.
The shiny metallic tape really does look like metal
I was so pleased with the final product... they aren't exactly like the originals but close enough : You never would have guessed it was previously a brass 80s monstrosity. I’m just happy it worked out. I may go back on the hunt for another chandelier so that I can still attempt Sarah’s beautiful mirror, but I’m still happy I was pushed outside the box.. to try something different.