Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lamp Redo

Today I'm going to share a project I did last fall.  I almost always forget to take before or during pictures when I get into a project, but for once with this project, I remembered!

Last summer and fall were full of not only home improvement projects, but trying to decorate a large house on a dime.  I had been looking for matching bedside lamps for our guest room to replace the mis-matched and undersized lamps I had put there as placeholders.  I didn't really want to spend much money, though, especially on a room that is rarely seen.  One day as I was walking through Salvation Army, I came upon two of these babies, for just $1.99 each.  Sold!
Even though they were outdated and not my style in their current form, I already had an idea brewing.  One, spray paint the base of the lamp.  For sure.  Two, was there any way of turning the long, ugly shade into more of a modern drum shade? I know I could have bought a new drum shade at Target, but at $20 a pop, I wasn't ready to spend that kind of money on our guest room...and that didn't even include lamps.  A month or so before this project I had picked up some fabric at Joann's (I have no idea on the name or cost), which would work great for this project and tie in the colors I'd decided to use in this room.

Unfortunately, this is the part where I forgot to take pictures of the process of transforming the shades, but basically it went something like this:
  1. Measure 11 inches from the top of the shade and use a utility knife to score through the shade all the way around.
  2. Tear the metal band off of the former bottom edge of the shade (now cut off) and hot glue it to the new bottom edge of the shade.
  3. Cut fabric to size for the shade.  Since the shade wasn't perfectly cylindrical, I used some craft paper to first make a pattern, which I then copied onto the fabric.  I knew the width of the fabric would be really close to the amount I'd need to go all of the way around the lamp, but because of the pattern, I was able to save a lot of fabric from the trash can that I know would have ended up there had I guessed.
  4. I hot glued one edge of the fabric to the lamp to make sure it didn't move, then used Elmer's spray adhesive to secure the fabric all of the way around the shade.  To close off with a nice seam, I turned under the fabric before gluing.
At this point, I had this shorter drum shade.
To finish off the edges, I bought some wide bias tape and hot glued it around the top and bottom of the shade.  After spray painting the base with Rustoleum paint I had on hand, I was left with two newer looking lamps.
Sure, it involved more time than buying shades at Target would have required, but I like the colors and pattern of the fabric on the shades, not to mention that every time I look at these lamps, I get that happy I-did-that-myself feeling.  Total cost? $4 for both lamps and shades, $6 for fabric, $0 for spray paint (we had it), $2 for bias tape.  That makes it $6 for each lamp!  Not bad, not bad.

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