Fear, Loathing, & DIY

Friday Mania: Lamp Shade Makeover

October 25, 2014 by Kirby | 0 comments


Today was one of those awful days where I had too much coffee in the morning then the whole day escaped me. I had goals: finish packing non essential things, mop the floors, clean the kitchen, stuff the rest of the issues of NANO Fiction, but instead I did most of those things half way if not at all, then got distracted thinking about stripping the paint off a little desk, painting a little side table, and re-doing two lamp shades.

You may think, Oh, well that is still productive! But it sort of wasn’t! Regardless, here’s what happened with the lamps: 

I forgot to take before pictures but you can trust that my two lamp shades were yellowed with age and pretty dull from dust. I decided while packing a bit of gardening supplies and spray paint that I would try to spray paint the oldest lamp shade. This didn’t work out. I ran out of spray paint. It looked blotchy and it smelled.

After it dried and while I was watching last night’s Scandal, I decided I couldn’t leave the shade as is. So I looked on Amazon for a new one. This step probably took about an hour but everything I found seemed too expensive, especially when I knew I shouldn’t spend money when in a general fit of mania. Then I put real clothes on and went to the fabric store to try to find some material to cover the shades instead.

After looking at Pinterest for ideas, I knew I didn’t want to do anything crazy to the shades. (View a bunch of shades with scary folds, flowers, burlap, and other dust collecting materials here.) Instead I would follow the instructions on this video.

At the fabric store, I bought a yard of a white cotton with bright white dots all over it and a yard of a neutral tan colored looking fabric which had a visible weave to it. I also purchased a can of Scotch® Super 77™ Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive. The whole purchase was roughly $20, which made me feel responsible for not ordering brand new shades from Amazon.

Per the video I made a template, but I wasn’t as exact and I did it on the floor and I used a regular pair of scissors. All of this worked out just fine. The fabric had some wrinkles in it so I made sure to give it a good iron and starching before I started.

IMG_0011 IMG_0014

Overall I think the first one turned out pretty well! The fabric had just the right thickness and I was amazed at how easy working with the spray glue was. The material stuck to the shade but the glue wasn’t so sticky that I couldn’t go back and smooth a few air bubbles out.

The second shade was a little more tricky. The shade was larger and was more difficult to maneuver to create a smooth fabric to shade fusion. I had to reset the fabric multiple times before getting it smooth enough. I believe the thickness of the material also made things more difficult as the white fabric was very thin and there was less forgiveness to the weave.



excuse the moving boxes and messy desk

Looks ok, right? Then I turned it on, and then the horror happened:


Not cute! I think this guy needs some darker fabric or a trip to the trash can. Or maybe darker fabric and this? I’m not sure, but since the whole house is in boxes and no one will be coming over any time soon, I have a bit of time to figure it out.

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