Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quick Fix: fanlight cord

I don't know about you, but if you're like us, you might have a high ceiling fan with an itsy bitsy cord and haven't done anything beyond pulling up a chair every time you want to change a light or fan setting. Well, today was the day I remedied that, crafter style. And it couldn't have been more "instant gratification" or's just a crochet chain! 

This project is so quick, you can whip one (or two) up in under 5 minutes and change it out as many times as you'd like. The silver wire is so light that you can barely see the chain at all, so choose your beads wisely. I like mine, even though this was the beta version, but I really just grabbed the first beads I found in my craft closet because one of the twins runs to climb in the sink or on top of the oven as soon as I am out of sight. And lo and behold, he was about to turn the faucet on as I was coming down. (But hey, maybe I'll just keep them. They've got some spunk.)

If you are wondering if it's durable enough to pull on from that height, it is surprisingly durable with a 28 gauge for being so "airy" or delicate looking. The crocheted chain should not break. At least not for a good long while. You also need to make sure you secure the tail well enough around the original ball-chain the light came with. However, if you still have concerns, you can always up the gauge to the next size, and maybe that's a good idea for anyone starting this project, but be forewarned that it will be a little harder to chain stitch.

-10 yards or less of silver beading wire, 28 or 30 gauge.
-Crochet hook, size US I9 (5.50mm). 
-Decorative beads for the bottom of the chain. Amount, size, color depends on your taste. I find it handy to choose two different colors or styles to differentiate easily between the "light" and "fan" cords.

Click on "menu" to download the pattern via

String on your bead(s)onto your wire. About 3 inches from the end of the wire, create a loop by folding the wire and twisting it tight a couple of times (it should resemble a slip-knot). Begin chaining, sliding your bead(s) down by your hook and locking it into place with a chain stitch, and continue chaining your fanlight cord very uniformly (so it falls as straight as possible) until the desired length, when your hand can just reach up and pull on the bead to turn the light/fan on comfortably. Cut the wire, leaving a tail of 2-3 inches, secure a knot in the end of your crocheted wire chain and then secure that same end to the last, or second to last ball on the ceiling fanlight's original metal ball-cord. After wrapping your tail around the original cord several times, snip off the remaining tail. As for the tail by the bead(s), wrap it around the bead and cut the remains off. Straighten out the cord as best as you can, and test it out!

I've added this project to Ravelry, so add it to your queue or WIP if you are in the same situation as I was about that darn short ball-chain. The pattern can be downloaded from there as well. Let me know how it worked for you! This leaves a lot of room for your own embellishments and ideas. You can even create one for your shorter pull-string table lights. :)

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