Thursday, November 3, 2011

DIY Umbrella Chandelier from Free People

          I'm so excited to share this guest post from Free People, a premiere bohemian clothing boutique. (I'm sure you have heard of them...) This project is so inspiring and pretty. I have a window in my kitchen that looks into the living room that needs something new hanging from it. It NEEDS it. I've been thinking about a chandelier and luckily this project has come into my life! AND Wouldn't this be a great project to use up-cycled materials with? Enjoy! 
The Free People store display design team recently created beautiful umbrella chandeliers for the Pittsburgh store. Take a look at this intriguing chandelier display made of paper umbrellas, stripped and then beaded, which we hung above the dressing rooms to evoke the spirit of artist Sylvia Marius.

Here’s a DIY for you so you can tackle this abstraction on your own:
You’ll Need:
1.       A paper umbrella (Not the kind in your Tiki Palace Drink. Think: Chinatown! Party Supply stores!)
2.       Cord, twine or heavy string.
3.       Beads! There are never too many beads in the world.
4.       Scissors.
5.       Strips of fabric, for fun.
6.       Tape or glue.

You’ll Do:

  1.     Open umbrella. Cut paper from the umbrella frame. Don’t cut the string parts. Just remove the paper. (You can leave some paper for artistic purposes too.)
2. Wrap handle and post of umbrella in fabric strips if desired.


3. Measure pieces of twine that will span from one spoke’s end to the umbrella handle, when the umbrella is fully opened. Add a few inches for tying and knots. Tie one end of twine to end of umbrella spoke.


4. String beads. If you like, you can sting beads and knot them, leaving string in between beads to space them out.
5.  When finished beading, tie the end of the twine to the umbrella handle. Don’t pull too tight, but a little curve in the spokes will be OK. Secure both ends with tape or glue.
6. Add strands of beads and/or strips of fabric as your heart desires.

Hang ‘er up and you’re done!
This guest post was contributed by Free People, a premiere bohemian clothing boutique. For more DIY posts, check out their blog at every Wednesday!


  1. This would make a really cool mobile for a baby room. Nina.

  2. This is amazing. Must make one. Immediately! Thanks so much for sharing this, Gillian! p.s. let's do lunch soon!