Art by Rebecca Barkley
When we decided to have a Viking inspired wedding (which you can read all about here) I had this brilliant idea to make a couple of medieval chandeliers. I’d seen some online retailing for around $400 +postage. Screw that, that’s half our wedding budget! Ha! I could so make them myself anyway. How sweet would that be!? The only catch was.. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I researched DIY tutorials and came up with nothing. Not one! That’s ok I thought, how hard could it be?
First things first I needed a big wooden wagon wheel. Easy right? I scanned ebay and came across a whole bunch of them for sale and not too far from me at all, better yet they were going for $10. For the lot. Score! I made my bid and watched it like a hawk for the next few days as the bidding came to an end. Then just my luck, with about 5 mins to go.. some bastard made a bid. Oh hell no! So I bidded again.. outbid. No. I tried again. Outbid. NO! For the final few minutes I was ranting at my computer screen frantically typing in larger bids and slamming my hand down onto the enter button ‘Noooooo!’ I wailed as the bidding came to an end and the wagon wheels were sold for $61. I had a few strange looks in the office as I told the computer to get stuffed.
Fail. Now that I had my heart set on making these chandeliers I decided to keep at it and my next stop was a local buy/swap/sell facebook page where oh my goodness would you believe there was a bloody wooden wagon wheel up for grabs! I asked the lady how big it was but unfortunately it was way too small, like 30cm diameter. I considered making a mini one.. but no it wouldn’t do. I told her thanks but no thanks it just wasn’t big enough, when she suggested I check out the Reject shop as she’d seen some big garden wagon wheels just recently. Holy shit you bloody ripper! Thank you!
So off to the Reject shop I skipped and to my amazement I found two huge wagon wheels for $30 each. Yes please, I’ll take them both! It was amusing to see the odd looks as I wheeled around a trolley with two enormous wagon wheels on each side, I was even stopped at one point by a lady asking where I got my steampunk trolley from.
But of course I was only at the starting point, I was yet to find some kind of candle holder to attach to these monsters, with a way to attach them, and my gawd it turned out to be far more difficult than getting the bloody wheels. I searched online, ebay, etsy, cheapo shops, not so cheapo shops, wedding shops.. with no luck! I came close, my plan B was going to be screwing on some hooks and from there hanging little lantern tealight holders.. but I had one more lead to try out first.
I found a blacksmith online who offered custom made work. It was worth a shot. So I emailed and crossed my fingers..
Hoorah! Challenge accepted! The guy was happy to make me my candle holders for $15 each – I emailed him a few photos with measurements and explained what I was after and he said they’d be ready in a few weeks. I’d need 12 of them, totalling $180. I also needed to pick them up. In Bendigo. A 3 hour drive away. Shit.
I managed to convince my fiancé what a fun road trip it would be! He agreed to come with me and the three of us (including our 2 year old) headed North to get collect my custom made hand forged iron candle holders. The trip wasn’t bad at all, in fact it was a beautiful drive but by the time we got there all we wanted to do was head home, so back in the car we got and another 3 hours on the road we got home in time for dinner.
All that was left to get was some bolts, (2 for each candle holder) some chain, and bolts with hoops to attach the chain to. Oh and some S hooks to attach the chain for hanging. I’m sure there’s a better name for that stuff but that’s the best I can do. I went to Bunnings to collect these goodies, all up it cost me around $40 and I was very pleased to work it all out for myself, I even bought the correct size bolts first time. Go me!
As for putting it all together, well it was just a bit of drilling holey holes here and there and putting the bolts through and securing them with the other bolty bit and washers (ok that’s onle thing I do know the name of! The flat donut metal pieces that came with the bolts yo) ta da! I bloody well did it! (With a little help from hubby to be who insisted on giving me a hand, naw!) Here’s the proof:
How amazing did they turn out!? All together they did end up costing me a small fortune, about $460 for the both of them, so $230 each which includes the candles and the petrol for our day trip. But hey, I get to keep them and they were hella fun to make!