Make An Inexpensive Outdoor Candle Chandelier!

I made an outdoor chandelier for our new pergola, and it was pretty easy to do.  This original idea came from an old Country Living magazine, but I refined it to suit my tastes.  You will need:

  • Some wire garden edging, long enough to make the circle of wire that will form the base of your chandelier.  Part of it has single straight pieces of wire that would normally be the part that you push into the ground, and the top part features curved wire and is decorative.  I found this locally at the Camas Plant Sale, but likely it can be found from online sources, or if you are lucky a thrift store or garden center.

  • Some glass punch cups.  These I got second-hand at a local thrift store.
  • Light-weight wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Some tea lights.  I prefer these to votive candles because they keep your punch cups cleaner.
  • A long-neck candle or fireplace lighter
  • Three pieces of chain, cut by the hardware store to your preferred length for hanging the chandelier.
  • Single chain links with a screw mechanism on the side.  You unscrew the link, insert the ends of the chain lengths, and screw them closed to attach the chain to the chandelier, and the three chains together at the top for hanging.
  • A hook or additional piece of chain and chain link for hanging the chandelier

Here is what I did:

1.  Turn the wire edging upside down, so the curved parts are facing downward, and form the wire into a loop the size that you would like your chandelier.  Cut the wire to size, leaving a couple of loose wires on the ends.  Use the loose wires to wire the circle of edging closed, trying to match the pattern as much as possible so it all blends together somewhat invisibly.

2.  Using lighter-weight wire, wire the punch cups to the wire edging.  These will hold the individual tea lights.  Use the wire cutter to cut the wire as needed, and the needle-nose pliers to wrap the light-weight wire around the heaver wire tightly.  I wrapped the wire around the handle of each punch cup, then around the “belly” of the cup to the other side.

3.  Attach each of three pieces of chain to the top of the chandelier’s ring, equally spaced so that you can use them to hang the chandelier.  Use the individual chain-screw links by unscrewing one, slip the end of the chain length inside it, and then screw it closed around the top wire ring of the chandelier.  Repeat with the other two chain lengths.


4.  Attach all three of the chain lengths together with another single screw chain link.

5.  You are now ready to hang the chandelier.  You could put a heavy hook into the wood where you want to hang it, but we chose to instead place a chain loop around the top beam of the pergola, and hang the chandelier from that.  Use individual chain screw links to attach the chain around the beam, and then to attach the chandelier to the chain loop.


6.  Add a tea light to each punch cup, and light using a long-neck candle or fireplace lighter that will reach inside the punch cups easily.

7.  Enjoy!

The directions are more complicated than the actual making–this is really super simple to make!  Give it a try–having outdoor lighting adds so much to your seating areas, and allows you to use them even into the evening hours.

Head on over to the Tuesday Garden Party, too.


  1. Olga said,

    June 30, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Wow, how creative. It’s a wonderful addition to your beautiful pergola.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      June 30, 2010 at 7:47 am

      Thank you–it adds a little sparkle to that outdoor room.

  2. Flowers said,

    July 1, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Just gone through your blog and found i wonderful. It was nice going through your blog. Keep on posting.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      July 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      Thank you!

  3. July 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Wow, very creative to use the garden edging- I wouldn’t have guessed! Thanks for sharing at the TGP.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      July 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      I enjoy the garden party each week–it is so much fun to read about everyone’s cool garden! It is a great resource for ideas!

  4. Heather said,

    July 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    What a great idea! It will be at Pottery Barn next year:)

    Thanks for your chicken input on my blog… my husband has been putting up the chicken wire this week. I am thinking they can roam the garden in the winter and spring to do their worst to the slug/bug population but definitely not during gardening season:)

    Are you in the Pacific Northwest?? Just wondering from your comment “it only just warmed up here” on my blog.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      July 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm

      No doubt!

      I would suspect that chickens are an excellent defense against slugs, so that sounds like a good plan.

      I am in the Pacific Northwest–Camas, WA. In Southwest Washington State.

      I really enjoy your blog–keep up the great work!

  5. July 3, 2010 at 7:29 am

    […] Read this article: Make An Inexpensive Outdoor Candle Chandelier! « Minerva's Garden Blog […]

  6. September 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    […] I also had people warn me about growing grapes under a pergola where we had a dining table.  They said the bees would become a problem, but I had no trouble with bees at all.  Perhaps because I kept the grapes picked often, so they didn’t fall to the ground and attract insects.  I also have a ton of flowers nearby, and maybe they were so busy with the flowers they didn’t bother with the grapes.  It does produces a dense leaf cover that makes it kind of dark when you are seated there, but that’s why you add a candle chandelier! […]

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