Christmas lights for a chandelier

West Palm Beach, FL(Zone 10b)

howdy!

We just got a new dining room set, pub style, 54" square. Black legs, light marble top.

Our current light fixture...sucks!

I got the idea yesterday that I could take some old square nesting baskets (set of three), paint or stain them black, put some Christmas lights on them, and make a chandelier of sorts, with the largest basket inverted on top, then the medium basket (inverted), then the smallest basket inverted. I (may) have to put a 'regular' light inside the basket, but I have some questions:

Last time I spray painted a basket, even though I put protective cover on it, the paint chipped away. Should I start out by staining the baskets, letting them 'cure' a while, then spray paint them? Would that hold the color in case they get chipped?

Does anyone know of christmas light strands that have BLACK cords? It'd look kind of cheesy to have black baskets and white cords laced all around them. If only white or green cords, what are your thoughts to cover them? Leather cording, or black electrical tape? They'd need the flexibility to be laced around the baskets.

....and hanging the baskets from each other would be another challenge......

ugh! thanks in advance.

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