Tuesday, January 5, 2010

lamp re-do

So here is an example of a project I did this fall. The lamps we had in our living room were given to me by my parents (Thanks Mom and Dad!) when I moved to Wisconsin. They were bean pot lamps, and were pretty neutral, but took up a lot of space on our side tables and were about 20 years old. I bought some new lamps on a whim when I saw them at a garage sale this summer ($1 apiece!), but they didn't come with shades. So they looked like this:

I figured I could pick up some simple ones at a thrift store, but it turns out thrift stores only have nasty mismatched lampshades with gold trimming. Who'd have thunk? So it occurred to me one day that maybe I could rip off the accordion style plastic around the bean pot lampshades and recover them. There are a lot of tutorials online that I found. Of course, it didn't end up to be quite as easy as all that, but I'm happy with the way they turned out.

First I had to get the accordion off. I would recommend using one of those exacto knifes. The biggest trouble I had was how to cover up the discoloration from the glue that was used to put the accordion on. It was kind of all over the place. And I really wanted to use white fabric to recover the shade so we got the most light, as we primarily use the lamps for light (we much prefer that to overhead light). So I tried spray paint, but it didn't really do the trick. I ended up using two layers of fabric, which mostly worked.

Anyway, then I made a template with butcher paper by holding a pencil by the seam of the lampshade and tracing with it as I rolled the lampshade around until I got back to the seam. I did this on the top and bottom. I'd recommend cutting a little past the lines, because it was not an exact fit.

I used broadcloth for the first layer and then some lovely fabric I got on sale at Joann's for the outer layer.

I cut out the fabric according to the template and then used spray fabric adhesive to shape it to the lampshade.

Then I folded the fabric over the edges. Clothespins were indispensable for this process.

I trimmed them with matching grosgrain ribbon using my hot glue gun (Thanks Rach!) around the top. I thought about yellow, but I thought it might be too Disney. And I figured if my $1 lamps bit the dust I could use the shades for some gold leaf thrift store lamps in the future. :0)

Here's the after!

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