A tutorial on how to create a DIY farmhouse beam chandelier for your kitchen or dining room.
This light fixture is something I had the privilege of making for my sister-in-law. She had the vision of this custom chandelier, and I was the lucky one that got to create it. This DIY farmhouse wood beam chandelier turned out amazing, and I want to share the process with you so you can create your own custom chandelier for your dining room.
Also, welcome to this months At Home DIY challenge! Every month for the whole year, I am participating in a different challenge, and this month it’s a “Home Improvement Challenge”. After sharing my tutorial there is a link to 30+ other DIY home bloggers projects, so be sure to check those out!
Now back to how to create a wood beam light fixture.
What’s the cost to build a beam chandelier?
Like always, I want to share the cost of the project so you can have an idea of what it will cost you.
For this exact farmhouse chandelier, the cost will be around $120 to DIY the light fixture yourself.
The one thing not factored into the cost is the beam. I am not sure what a beam would cost because I used a scrap 8″x8″ my brother had at his house, I would guess the cost of a beam would be about $30 (this could be high or low).
You may also need to factor in the cost of some tools, like a metal brake to bend the metal. For you to make your own metal bender plus some needed tools, it will cost about $25. So your total cost will be closer to $150.
Now let me share the supplies and tools I used.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, click here to read my full disclosure policy.
DIY Farmhouse Wood Beam Chandelier
SIDE NOTE: There is electrical involved in this project, so please make sure you turn OFF the power to the lightbox. Plus I am not
Also, the inspiration for this project came from a bunch of wood beam chandeliers on Etsy.
Step 1: Marking your ceiling for placement
To mark your ceiling placement, you need to determine where you want the center of your beam. This placement will most likely be centered over a table or island.
Once you decide on the center, find that same center on the ceiling. This center point will be the center for your ceiling support too.
Now you need to determine where the trusts (studs) are in the ceiling and which way they are running. You need to attach the ceiling support to at least two trusts in four places to hold the weight of the beam.
SIDE NOTE: Your trusts should be 24″ apart.
After you find the two trusts by your center point mark them. You want to make sure you are finding the center of each trust, most stud finders find the end of the trust and most trusts are 1-1/2″ in size. So the center is 3/4″ from an end.
Now you need to mark the middle of the trusts for where the end of the wood ceiling support will sit. This will be the distance from one wall to your first marked beam center plus 3″ (half of the size of the wood support).
You’re now ready to move to the next step.
Step 2: Cutting the beam to size
Like I started before the beam I am using is
So we cut down two sides of the beam to make it 6″. But this was a little more difficult
To remove the extra 2″, we used a 2″ spade bit and chizel.
TIP: It would have been easier to use an Oscillating Dremel but we could not find my dad’s tool anywhere, so we used something else.
Once one side was cut to the 6″, the other side could be cut on the table saw. This second cut is the 2″x6″ board for the ceiling support. We cut this board to 27″.
SIDE NOTE: We knew that our center ceiling point was exactly centered between two rafters (studs). These rafters should be 24″ apart, so we added 3″ to this measurement to give us
The beam will be heavy. To lighten it slightly and to give it a place to put wires, we hollowed out some of the
After the beam and ceiling board was cut to size, I then sanded the wood with #220 sandpaper using an orbital sander.
TIP: To give the cut sides a weathered look, I did take a hammer to them. See my tutorial on how to make a new wood board look old to give you an idea of what I mean.
After the wood is smooth, I stained the wood using a mixer of half Jacobean and
Step 3: Create the metal bracket for the beam
Now that the wood is all ready, its time to create the metal bracket that wraps around the beam. I tried to find something online that I could buy but couldn’t find the style I wanted. So I created my own custom beam bracket.
To do this you will need a way to bend metal. You can use a vise (heavy duty clamp) or a metal brake. I decided to make a metal brake that I could use for other projects, like creating shelf brackets.
You can find the DIY tutorial on how to make a metal brake here.
Once you have a way to bend metal, you’re ready to create the bracket for the beam. In hopes to make this process easier, I have created a how-to video on bending the brackets.
The process for this bracket is that there are two bends in the 1-1/2″ flat steel bar to make one bracket.
SIDE NOTE: Wipe the metal clean with a cloth before bending to help remove the black stuff.
THE FIRST BEND:
The end of the brackets will have a hole to attach the chain to the bracket so the first bend needs to be 1″ + the width of the beam. So if your beam is exactly 6″x6″ (be sure to measure), you will make a line 7″ from the metal edge, this is your bend mark.
Then place the metal bar inside the metal brake, make sure the top plate of the brake is at the marked line. Tighten the wing nut bolts, check to make sure the metal bar is square to the brake, (will give you a straight bend), then fully tighten the bolts using a wrench.
After bend the metal until it’s at a 90-degree angle. Remove the metal bar from the brake.
THE SECOND BEND:
The second bend is where the beam will sit. And the easiest way to mark this bend is by using the beam. Place the flat metal bar (there will be one bend) on a flat surface. Then place one end of the beam onto the metal bar so that it is snug against the first bend.
TIP: Remember what side of the beam you are using for each bracket. Use a different end for each bracket that way the bracket fits perfectly for both sides, labeling helps!
Mark the metal bar where the beam ends. This line is where your second bend will be.
Place the metal bar onto the brake so that the last bend is facing up and aline the bar to the top plate of the brake on the marked line. Tighten the bolts, check to make sure the metal bar is square in the brake, then fully tighten the wing nut bolts with a wrench.
Bend the metal bar until it’s at a 90-degree angle then remove from the brake.
CUT THE METAL:
After the second bend, you need to cut the metal to finish the bracket. The easiest way to complete this is to place the metal
Remove the metal from the beam then measure the distance from the marked line to the shorter end of the metal. This mark should be right around 1″.
Once you have the distance, mark the other side of the metal bracket to this distance. This will be from the marked line to the new distance (about
TIP: Make sure these distances are the same on both sides of the bracket.
The new marked line will be where you cut the metal. Use the metal brake or clamps to clamp the metal bar in place. Then using a hacksaw (or another type of saw that cuts metal), start cutting the metal at the line.
SIDE NOTE: If you are using a hacksaw it can take 5 minutes to cut through the metal.
After the cut is made, use a metal file to file the edges so they are not sharp.
And now you have the bracket. Complete the last three steps again to create the second bracket.
DRILL THROUGH THE METAL:
The brackets now need a way to attach to the metal chain and the beam. To do this you will need to drill four 5/16″ holes into each bracket. Two of these holes will be for the chain and the other two for the beam.
Let’s talk about the chain ones first. These 5/16″ holes need to be at the end of the metal, 3/8″ to be exact. Mark each end of the bracket so it’s 1/2″ from the end and centered in the middle of the metal (3/4″ from the side).
These marked spots will be where you drill a 5/16″ hole (2 per bracket but four
TIP: Use a shop-vac to collect the metal shavings.
Next is drilling the holes to attach the bracket to the beam. You will want this hole centered on the beam, remember our beam is 6″ so centered will be 3″. To make it easy, measure 3″ from the bend to the end of the bracket. Place a mark in the center of the metal (3/4″ from
Again clamp the bracket so it does not move, then drill a 5/16″ hole using the 5/16″ metal drill bit.
TIP: Use the metal file to smooth the drill spots.
Complete this step for each side of the brackets.
PAINT THE METAL:
Now that the brackets are created, its time to paint all the metal that is not already black. This will be the two brackets, six quick links, four 1-1/2″ screws, four 5/16″ washers, four 4″ screws, four 1/4″ washers, and two eye bolts.
TIP: If you labeled the brackets, place tape over the label only on the inside where the beam will sit, everything else needs to be painted.
Place these items on a paintable surface, like an old sheet or drop cloth.
TIP: Use an egg carton to place the bolts and washers to spray paint.
Then spray paint the pieces according to the directions on the can. Remember lighter coats are better when applying spray paint.
TIP: It helps using a spray grip accessory tool so you do not get paint on your fingers.
Apply at least two coats on each side, more if needed. Then let everything dry for 24 hours.
Step 4: Attach the brackets to the wood beam
TIP: Remember how you made each bracket to fit one side. Place the correct bracket on that side.
Adjust the bracket so it is 2-1/2″ away from the end of the beam. Then mark where the 5/16″ holes are on the beam.
SIDE NOTE: I completed this step before staining the beam.
Remove the bracket and pre-drill a 1/8″ hole on each marked spot.
Replace the bracket onto the beam, align the holes and make sure the bracket is 2-1/2″ away from the end of the beam. Then using the 5/16″x1-1/2″ screw, with a 5/16″ washer, attach the bracket onto the beam.
TIP: If the bolt has black paint worn off during attaching, spray some black paint into a plastic cup. Then use a Q-tip to repaint the bolt.
Attach the other three 5/16’x1-1/2″ screws the same way.
STEP 5: Secure the wood ceiling support
Now its time to attach the 2″x6″ wood ceiling support.
Remember in step one you determined the location of where the center of your beam will be plus the center of the trusts. You are now going to prep the 2″x6″ wood ceiling support to attach to these marked locations.
SIDE NOTE: Remember our center point was exactly centered between two trusts, so adjust these steps to fit your space.
On the front of the wood ceiling support, mark each corner of the board 1-1/2″ from each side, there will be four marks. These four marks will be where the wood is attached to the ceiling.
Then mark two more spots on the board, 3-1/2″ from each end to the center of the board (3″). These marks are where the eye bolts will be placed to hold the metal chain.
After drill a 1/4″ hole through the wood at each of these marks using a 1/4″ wood drill bit.
Once all the holes are drilled, flip the board over and on the two 3-1/2″ center holes. Drill a 1/2″ deep hole using the 3/4″ spade bit. This is so that a 1/4″ washer can
Then insert the eye bolt through this same hole but through the front of the board. On the back of the board, place the unpainted 1/4″ washer and nut from the eye bolt. Tighten the nut until the eye bolt is flush with the board.
Complete this step for the other eye bolt. After both eye bolts are installed you can now secure the wood ceiling support to the ceiling.
TIP: This next part is a two person job!
SIDE NOTE: You will need all four 4″ screws plus four 1/4″ painted washers, a drill with the correct hex attachment to secure the screws, plus a 1/8″ drill bit.
Place the wood ceiling support onto the ceiling, align the sides of the board on the marked lines. But also have the pre-drilled holes aligned for the center of the trusts.
Take one of the screws and push it through each of the pre-drilled holes. Make sure you apply pressure so that it indents into the drywall.
TIP: Make sure you do not move the board!
Remove the board and drill a 1/8″ hole in each indented spot. Make sure each drill is hitting the trust by checking the bit for wood shavings. If you are not getting wood shavings, adjust the location of the wood support until you are on a trust.
After place the support back onto the ceiling in the same spot. To do this, place a 4″ screw with washer through the wood and into the pre-drilled ceiling hole. Tighten this screw into the trust about half way. Then attach another 4″ screw and washer the same way to make sure you’re still aligned.
TIP: Only place two screws then check to make sure the board is level, adjust if needed.
Finish installing all the screws and washers, making sure the screws are completely tight to the wood. You are now ready to assemble the lights onto the beam.
STEP 6: Attach the hanging lights to the beam
To position the lights, place the beam somewhere were you can do test the light placement, a ladder works great for this! Then start wrapping the pendant lights around the beam.
SIDE NOTE: We placed the end ones first then spaced all the others equally between.
Adjust the placement and height of the lights until you are happy.
TIP: Have every other light hang from a different side of the beam.
Then take the black staples and nail the end of each lights wire to the top of the beam. Once they are all nailed, start nailing the end of the wires into the hollowed out part of the beam.
TIP: Use the black staples to keep the wire inside the hollowed out part of the beam.
SIDE NOTE: Because I am not an electrician, I am not sharing how to wire the light, sorry!
STEP 7: Hanging the beam with metal chain
Now your beam is ready to be attached to the ceiling using chain. Take the 1/8″ quick links and attach them to the metal brackets ends. Then raise the beam to the height you want. Lucky for us the top of the ladder was the perfect height.
Then attach one end of the metal chain to one quick link. After
Next string the chain to the opposite quick link and attach.
TIP: All the chain lengths should be the same length, so you can count the chain links to give you the same length.
Again use the pliers to unlink the chain link. Do this same process for the other side of the beam, adjust any of the links if needed to make the beam level.
STEP 8: Wiring the light fixture
This is the last step! Take the cloth wire and weave it up through the chain and into the canopy.
TIP: Make sure to leave extra wire at each end so you can secure the wire into place with the black staples but also have extra if you ever need to adjust anything.
Then wire the light into the light box and secure the canopy into place.
And that’s how-to make your own custom DIY farmhouse beam chandelier. I think this wooden light fixture fits the space perfectly. I just wish I had the space for my own beam light fixture!
Now be sure to look through the other projects from 30+ other DIY bloggers as part of this month’s challenge, there could be the perfect tutorial there for your next transformation.