Sunday, January 29, 2012

A new shade of things

Well, we had our real first causualty with Hudson last week.   Somehow he got a hold of one of our living room lamps and broke it. He is 16 months now and has been cruising around for quite a while, so I am not complaining and actually I am rather shocked that something hadn't broken sooner, he is after all my child!!! It was a beautiful blue/turquoise lamp that I loved. But it was just a lamp that I got at TJmax, nothing too special and really not a big deal. But to be honest, I was a little disappointed because it was a really CUTE  lamp and it was PERFECT in the room and I thought where will I ever find another lamp that is that perfect and that price?????

The reality is I probably wouldn't, so I had to take things into my own hands and here is what I came up with, with the help of my lovely mother!!! It is 100 times better than what I had before. :) :) :)  AND what a great life lesson! You can get all worked up and cry over a spilt lamp or you can go to the thrift store, find a sweet lamp, throw in some beautiful fabric that you have been dying to use and get creative.  Taking something broken and making something new, beautiful, and one of a kind. I love it!!

There are several DIY tutorials for how to cover a lamp shade but they weren't very descriptive or complete so here is our tutorial, complete with our lessons learned.

Tools -
   Spray adhesive, we used High strength 90 and this was probably too strong
   Craft brush and craft glue
   Fabric and a cool old lamp

STEP 1 - Make a template - This step is important and will help you in the end.
Trace your lamp shade on to a large sheet of paper, newspaper, butcher paper, or whatever you have. Place the lamp on one end of the paper on its side, starting with the seam, trace the outline of the lampshade as you roll it across the paper. Then decide how much fabric you want/need to fold over the top and bottom of the lampshade, anywhere between 1/4 in - 1 in. is probably right. Add this amount to the top and bottom of your template. ***The more exact you are here the better! You don't want to have to trim the fabric or have it uneven on the inside because you do see the inside of the lamp shade depending on where you are in a room. 

STEP 2 - Cutting - Cut out your template and then trace it onto your fabric. Cut your fabric.

STEP 3 - Set your self up for success :) - Use clothes pins to place your fabric on your lamp shade and see that everything aligns how you want it to. (You can also do this with your template before you cut your fabric to double check your measurements)

STEP 4 - Prep  - Spray glue is crazy, sticky, gooey stuff, so we protected our lamp with a plastic bag and probably should have protected the surrounding area a little better.  PRACTICE spraying the glue before you start on your shade, so you know how much pressure  to apply and how it sprays.

STEP 5 - Gluing  - We found it was easier to work with the shade on the lamp, and to go in small sections about 4 inches at a time.   Starting at the seam, we unpinned the first 4 inches of the fabric, one of us held the fabric out as the other sprayed.  Once the surface was evenly coated we smoothed the fabric down. and then re-pinned the tops and bottom to hold everything in place.  THEN we un-pinned the rest of the fabric and continued to work in about 4 inch sections.

STEP 6 - Finishing top and bottom - To avoid getting glue everywhere, we did not attempt to spray the glue the fabric to the top and bottom of the shade. Instead, once the face was dry (10-15 ms.) we used modpodge and a sponge brush to glue fabric to top and bottom, folding over appx 1/2" and working around the shade. This also let us have better control and make a nicer cleaner line on the inside of the shade.

Grab a book, sit back and relax by the light of your gorgeous new lamp shade!


cindy said...

Very beautiful lamp Em and Julie. You forget to mention that Hudson had help in breaking the lamp from your mother-in-law! I think this is a wonderful and attractive replacement. I think I will try making new shades for that red bedroom upstairs.

The Metcalfs said...

Aren't you crafty? : ) I like it!

eabetzler said...

Cindy - hahahah! Sorry about that, I think you probably had more of a role in cleaning up than in the breaking!

eabetzler said...

Thanks mandy! I will make you one...someday :)