How to make your own wagon wheel chandelier

Hanging a wagon wheel chandelier anywhere in your house can add a great touch of the old West to a room. This type of chandelier adds a unique look, and you can readily find and purchase one from a local lighting store, or, from the Internet. Or, you can even create your own individually designed wagon wheel chandelier in less than a day’s time!

To start this project, you will, of course, need the biggest part of the light, which is the wagon wheel. Again, you can purchase this type of wheel from the Internet. These wheels are all manufactured, and are made with a lightweight wood. Their sizes usually range from a small, ten-inch, six-spoke wheel to a large, twenty-four inch, sixteen spoke wagon wheel.

If you want your chandelier to be really authentic, you can find an actual wagon wheel to use, as they are still in existence. But, their size and weight would make your project clumsy to handle and difficult to hang up after it is finished.

The next step is to plan how you want your wagon wheel chandelier to look. You can either mount the lights underneath the wheel, or, you may choose to mount them on top. Either way you mount them, you will need to decide how many lights you want and where exactly they will be positioned. For an eighteen-inch wheel, for example, you can use three lights that are placed six inches apart.

Or, for a large, twenty-four inch wheel, you might use four lights and space them six inches apart. Whatever the actual design of the lights you want are, keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase lights that are specially designed to be mounted on a wagon wheel chandelier. They will be either top-mounts or bottom-mounts, and the electrical wiring will be extra long. For safety’s sake, also make sure the lights are all United Laboratories (UL) listed.

After you have the pattern of your lights planned out, and you have purchased them, it’s now time to start actually creating your light. Basically, you’ll need to use an electric drill with a wood-boring bit to carefully drill holes all the way through the rim of the wagon wheel. You’ll need to drill as many holes as you have lights to install. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting the lights in order to do the job right. As you are mounting the lights, lay the electrical wires that go to the ceiling fixture out beside the wheel for now.

Now, you might need to attach decorative link chains to the wagon wheel chandelier if the lights you chose are mounted on the bottom of the wagon wheel. If you chose lights that sit on top of the wheel, the decorative chain is probably already attached to the lights. The chain will serve two purposes: it will hang the light to the ceiling, and, it will help to camouflage the electrical wires. The wires will need to be laid out, along with each chain. Each wire will need to be woven through the chain links, two or three links at a time. Finally, the ends of the wires will go to the ceiling fixture to be attached.

The final step in creating your wagon wheel chandelier is to insert suitable bulbs into the light sockets. Make sure that you choose bulbs that have the recommended wattage. Do not use light bulbs that have a higher wattage than what is safe! Then, place the globes over the lights and secure them on. Attach the wires to the ceiling fixture, and then secure the light to the fixture as well.

The final step

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