No, no, that’s not the first step. First glue the broken pieces back on the chandelier, paint the white ceiling medallion and charge the battery-operated drill you bought to supplement the electrical drill that you still can’t find. Wait 24 hours. Then…

  2. Set up the ladder under the light fixture. If you have a very small room like mine, be careful to avoid getting goosed by the door knob.
  3. If you don’t have a helper/spotter, dial “91” and put your phone on the floor. That’s where you’ll end up if there are any ladder mishaps.
  4. Run an extension cord from another room and clip a work light to the ladder.
  5. Remove the old light fixture.
  6. Install the new strap and the threaded post (called a lamp nipple).
  7. Hold the chandelier up at the height you want it and determine the chain length needed.
  8. With 2 pairs of pliers, open the link of chain at the predetermined measurement. This may require you and the spotter  working together with a pair of pliers each.
  9. Hook the open link onto the chandelier.
  10. Try to close  the open link. Go ahead, just try it.
  11. Wrap white electrical tape around the gap in the open link. Don’t even try to open the link on the other end of the chain. Just use a big, fat “S” hook.
  12. Adding quite a lot of length beyond the chain length, cut the electrical wires on the chandelier. Thread them through the chain links.
  13. Add all the crystals to the chandelier by opening up the needle sharp rings they’re strung on, and thread the rings through the itty-bitty holes provided. This will hurt.
  14. Apply glue to the back of the ceiling medallion and place on ceiling, centered on the light fixture box. Realize you forgot to charge the drill. Curse. Have spotter hold medallion up with broom handle.
  15. Attach all the chandelier wires to the  ceiling wires. Realize that the lamp nipple is too short for a medallion and the chandelier.
  16. Take everything down.
  17. Run to hardware store, which is where you learn the term “lamp nipple”. Buy longer nipple. Run home.
  18. Reinstall the lamp nipple and put everything back up.
  19. Find that that the wires you cut so generously long are too short to accommodate the  longer lamp nipple. Curse.
  20. Take the chandelier down. Duck as the medallion falls of its own accord.
  21. Decide to forget the medallion.
  22. Reinstall the original lamp nipple.
  23. Put the chandelier back up.
  24. Attach the wires and screw the cover over the light fixture box.
  25. Unclip the work light and fold up the ladder. Smash your finger in the process (optional). Curse.
  26. Restore electricity at the circuit breaker.
  27. Flip switch to “on”. Chandelier does not light up.
  28. 3 hours have passed. Your spotter must leave.
  29. Get something to eat. Read a book. Take a nap.
  30. Admit your spirit is broken. Be like Scarlet O’Hara, and decide to think about it tomorrow.
Builder fixture.

Builder fixture.


Pretty. Pretty dark.

Disclaimer: I’m not an electrician and I assume no liability if you try electrical work on your own. If you follow these instructions you’ll have, at best, a non-functioning light fixture, and at worst, a nasty fire. Please consult a professional!

Stay tuned…

P.S. I linked this post to Chic on a Shoestring Decorating.