Monday, July 4, 2016

Forget paying top dollar for lamps and lampshades!

Nothing adds ambiance to a room like lighting.  Absolutely nothing.  Well placed lamps will make a room.  I have multiple lamps in every room.  A dark unadorned corner will become a cozy glowing oasis with the simple addition of a nice lamp.  However, really nice lamps are really expensive.  Especially now that the lighting industry has seen fit to charge separately for the shades.

A really nice decorative shade can run you $50 and more.  Add to that the price of a nice lamp and you're looking at well over $100 investment.  That's too much.  So how can you achieve the same look for a small fraction of the cost?  Make your own.

The beauty about making your own is twofold.  (1) It saves you tons of money and (2) you can customize it to fit your decor.

I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and of course curbs/alleys.  If the lamp doesn't work or you question the safety of the wiring...take it to your local electrical shop.  They'll check it out for safety and function and they will even rewire it if you don't know how.  Rewiring a lamp is not difficult.  You can buy the kit from any hardware store and even from stores like Walmart, Michaels and Home Depot.  Follow the enclosed instructions or watch a video on YouTube and you're ready to go.  

The most important thing to remember when shopping for lamps and shades to redo is simplicity.  Until you feel you are really really good at this, skip the pleated shades and the ornate lamps.  Go simple.  Once you've done a couple of lamps and feel really confident...then jump to the more lavish designs.  Of course, if you aren't going to redo the lamp....then pick whatever makes you smile.

To adhere your covering of choice, you can use hot glue, spray glue (like you might use in scrapbooking) or even good old Elmer's glue.  I have even stapled fabric to the shade and then glued ribbon around the edges so the staples wouldn't show.  It will take you a little practice to get it flat and smooth since you're working with a circle design in most cases, but it won't take you long.  Of course, if you are opting for spray paint, you are in for a quick and super easy job!

There are tons of options for you in this project.  You can use fabric (my personal favorite because it adds texture as well as visual interest).  You can spray paint, stencil, use can even hot glue twine, rope or ribbon on it.  How about using newspaper, pages from magazine, sheet music, maps or even print off some black and white photo's to glue to the shade!  If you are at all artistic, you can even draw your designs on the shade using a sharpie.  I promise the options are boundless!

Another interesting thing to do is paint or cover the inside of your shade.  Then when the lamps on it will produce a wonderful glow and effect.  Completely unique.  No one else will ever find another just like it.

Below are several pictures to jumpstart your creative juices!  

This shade has fabric covering the inside

Look how gorgeous this shade is after the interior was spray painted a wonderful gold!

I love the solid color on the outside and a punch of fun design on the inside!

This lamp and shade has been spray painted.  I love that they painted the inside of the shade the same gold they used as accent on the base.

Here's another lamp/lampshade that was completely spray painted.  Love it!

Look at this elegant lamp!  They spraypainted the shade, glued silver beading on the base and the end result is stunning!

How about spray painting the base and then just adding a few items of interest to the edge of a plain white shade?


I love this sisal covered shade.  Visit the site noted on the bottom right of this picture to see even more great ideas!

Like frilly?  How easy is this idea?  

If you are good at pleating, this fabric covered shade would be such a fun design!

Wallpaper or even contact paper is a great thing to use to cover your shades.  
Note:  Sometimes the glued backing will let loose after time due to the heat of the bulb.  
I recommend either stapling the edges or adding a line of hot glue to give it more strength.

More wallpaper!

Here's another easy fabric idea.  Instead of gluing the fabric to the shade, just make a cute cover for it that can be switched out as your design mood changes.

Magic Marker shades are super cute!  I like that they painted the lamp base!

How about a stenciled shade?  Cannot get easier than this!

Music lover?

The Silver Boxes site had this great idea!

Old newspapers or magazines look great!

Now that you have a few ideas....go find some lamps and give them new life!
As always, enjoy your space!