In my opinion, nothing says “sophisticated lady with refined style” quite like a chandelier. Chandeliers add a sense of elegance and drama to any room…but man, are they expensive! And scary! At my prom, I swear I saw the chandelier above the dance floor quiver as my peers were grinding to LMFAO. I thought, Oh dear god, please don’t let it fall and crush their hormone-ridden bodies. They are just misguided youths wearing ill-fitting polyester formal wear. THEY STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR!

Never fear, my classy friends! Today I am going to show you how to get the luxurious aesthetic benefits of a chandelier without any of the danger—and for little to no cost. I’ll be using stuff you probably already have lying around your house. And when you’re done, your pals will enter your room and be mesmerized, and you can be like, “Don’t be fooled by the chandelier that I got, I’m still [insert your name] from the block!”

You’ll need:

  • One large piece of cardboard. The heavy-duty poster boards that you would use for a school project or science fair work best.
  • Tape
  • A pencil
  • A sheet of 8 x 10 paper
  • Acrylic paint in the color of your choice
  • Scissors
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Foam brush
  • A hot glue gun or super glue
  • Thread or string
  • Thumbtack

Making the chandelier:

1. Draw one half of the chandelier’s silhouette, similar to the one pictured, on your paper. If freehand drawing isn’t your forte, Google “chandelier silhouette clip art,” find an image to your liking, crop it in half along a vertical line, and resize to fit your 8×10 paper. I chose a candelabra style, but you can make yours as simple or as complicated as you please.

2. Cut out the silhouette. This will serve as a stencil.

3. Tape the stencil onto the cardboard and trace. To create a full chandelier, flip the stencil over, align it with what you’ve already drawn (this is why it helps to use a board with a natural crease), and repeat on the opposite side:

4. Repeat the previous step. These two silhouettes together will create a 3D effect, which you would expect of a real chandelier!

5. Carefully cut out both silhouettes using scissors and an X-ACTO knife. Leave one silhouette whole, and cut the other one down the center to create two pieces.

6. Using a foam brush, paint the silhouettes. I chose a shade of acrylic paint called Electric Pink, because light requires electricity and chandeliers are a source of light and blah blah blah I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY CUTE. Acrylic dries pretty fast, so by the time you finish painting the last cut-out, you should be able to flip the first one over and paint the other side. (I used two coats for each side to ensure that the color was evenly distributed.)

7. Wait about a half an hour, or until everything is dry, and glue each half of the split silhouette to the center of the full cut-out. Wipe away any excess glue with a Q-tip.

8. It’s time to hang your masterpiece! Measure the distance from your ceiling to the point where you’d like the chandelier to hang. Double that measurement, and cut a thread or string of that length. Pull one end of the thread through the center of the chandelier where you have an opening, until the two ends meet, and tie a tight knot near the top of the chandelier. Then tie the ends of the string together to form a loop. Using the thumbtack, hang the chandelier from the ceiling. You may need the help of a stool, a tall friend, or a pair of high heels, depending on how lofty your ceiling is. Avoid hanging it near any actual light sources, as this is a fire hazard.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy your bedroom-turned-boudoir. Isn’t relaxation easier without worrying whether a crystal chandelier is going to crash down on you in your sleep? ♦