Reader Favorites: Industrial Orbit Chandelier

You might have seen my orb chandelier in the office tour last week, or you might have been following House of Earnest since the chandelier made its debut last August.

Either way, this chandelier has definitely been in the top five viewed tutorials and posts for the past year.  It was a fun project to make, and costs way less than purchasing a similar one from any of the many retailers who are selling similar styles. I was pinning rooms with these chandeliers for a few months, and doing some general investigating before I decided that they were all just a little too ornate for me, and I’d be better off to take the plunge and just make one.

*above photos: first from Z Gallerie $499, forth from Currey&Company $1310, all other from Solaria $1035-$3355

Difficulty-wise, it’s about a six on a one to ten scale based on the fact that it uses a riveting tool, which isn’t so common in most households, but only costs around $19 in case you’re interested in one.  If you’re newer to House of Earnest, and are not familiar with this project, you can keep reading below for the full tutorial!  The entire project costs around $50 to make (which includes the cost of the rivet tool), but it turns out so wonderfully, it’s worth it!


3 Aluminum Strips in 36″ x 3/4″ x 1/16″ (found only at Lowes)

1/8″ 3mm Aluminum Rivets and Riveting Tool

Drill with 1/8″  and 3/8″ metal bit (bits that drill through metal are specified on the packaging!)

Spray Paint

Measuring Tape

Permanent Marker

Single Pendant Cord Set with Ceiling Adapter


Step One: Make your Mark

Before you start, remove the stickers and the sticker adhesive from your metal. Start by marking your strips A, B, and C. Measure 1/2″ from the end of strip A, and mark that spot. Also mark a spot in the middle of your 1/2″ line (at 3/8″). Your final mark on strip ‘A’ will be at the very center of the length of your metal. If you’re using the 36″ metal, this should be at 18″. This will be the entry point for your electrical cord.

Continue marking your metal ends. Remember that strip ‘B’ has to fit inside of strip ‘A’, and strip ‘C’ has to fit inside of both ‘A’ and ‘B’.  To make this possible we need to account for the thickness of the metal (1/16″).  On strip ‘B’, instead of marking the ends at 1/2″ – mark them larger by 1/16″ intervals.  ‘B’ should be at 9/16″ and ‘C’ at 5/8″ from the end of the piece.

Step Two: Make your Holes

You’re going to drill a hole at every single one of your marks.  All marks use the 1/8″ drill bit with the exception of that center mark in strip A.  Since this indicates the hole for the electrical cord, Use a bit large enough to accommodate for that cord, in my case this was a 3/8″ bit.

Step Three: Make your Initial Rivets to Connect the Circles

The riveting tool is super easy to use – if this is your first time you might want to try it out on some scrap metal first.

Carefully bend each strip of metal into a circle.  At this stage, try your hardest to make the circle nice and even. Bring the two ends of each piece together and rivet through the pre-drilled holes.

Step Four: Make More Marks

Fit circle ‘C’ inside of circle ‘B’.  Then fit them both inside circle ‘A’.  Play with the sphere and move it around until you get the look you want.  You should have two points of circle ‘B’ overlapping with two points on circle ‘A’.  Mark these spots with a permanent marker on both circles.  You should have two points of circle ‘C’ that match up with two points on circle ‘B’.  Mark these spots.

Remove the rings from their configuration.  You should now have two marker spots on ring ‘A’, four spots marked on ring ‘B’, and two spots on ring ‘C’.  Drill a hold with the 1/8″ bit through these marks.

 5. Perfect Circle

Use a rolling pin to roll out each circle.  This will help to make sure your fixture stays spherical instead of ending up oblong.

6. Assemble

Place each ring back into the configuration from step 4 and attach the circles together with rivets.


 7. Bask in your Awesomeness

8. Add the light making device!

Thread your electrical components through the 3/8″ hole on ring ‘A’

9. Paint!

I use Rustoleum Universal with paint and primer in one – It has the best coverage and doesn’t cramp your fingers!

10. Hang up your creation!

If you’re not familiar with how to strip wire, or do the electrical work, enlist someone who is familiar to help.
GOOD JOB! Enjoy your new orb light!

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