Friday, December 6, 2013

Bedroom Makeover: A New Lamp

I decided a while back that my little 10" lamp on my nightstand just isn't cutting it anymore. I like to read in bed and need a taller lamp. So I've been looking. And I've found lamps that I like, but I wanted something tall, glass, and different looking. That's hard to find in price I could afford. Then I on pinterest (shock!) I saw a DIY lamp tutorial.


The tutorial made it seem so easy. (And it was.) I could totally do that. (And I did.)

So I went to a couple of thrift stores and then ended up finding just about everything at DI. Yay! I did have to go to Lowes to get a harp (the loopy thing that holds the shade--not a musical instrument) and a cap to hold the shade in place.

Here's what I started with:

Glass candle holder with a cool crackle effect on the bottom: $3
Old Lamp base to be cannibalized: $3 (major plus that I realized when I got home--it's actually a three way lamp--something that I forgot to check for at the store.)
Lamp Shade: $1
Harp: $4.25
Knob for the top: Clearanced to $0.80. Normally $3.98.

Lamp cost: $13. Yay!!

Close up of the glass. I wish the awesome crackle look went all the way to the top, but I can't complain too much since it's the shape and height I was looking for. And it was $3.

Because the original lamp's wiring came out through the bottom of the bulb holder thingy (techincal term), and I couldn't and didn't want to have my wiring come out the bottom of the glass, I had to "drill" a hole in the side of the plastic covering for the switch & bulb.

I don't have a drill. This lead to a clever and probably dangerous solution. I took a screwdriver and heated it up with an open flame and sort of melted and screwed a hole into the plastic. I wouldn't recommend this way. My hands cramped up and it took a long time to get it done. But it worked and the wiring went through.

 As far as wiring the actual lamp. I made it a little harder than it needed to be because I didn't label which wire went to which tab. I didn't realize till later that it matters. Turns out it does in a big way. So after watching multiple videos on youtube, I figured it out. I'd recommend doing research and watching videos before you get started.

Next, was to figure out how to mount the bulb/switch to the candle holder. I tried several variations, including the picture below--which was too wobbly.

After some trial and error, I ended up using the metal discs that were decoration in the old lamp as the base for the new one. They were almost exactly the diameter of the top of the candle holder. YES! Using the washers and screw/rod thingy, I tightened everything together and hot glued the metal disc to the candle holder. So far it's holding up. And the nice thing about hot glue is that with a bit of effort, I can take off the lamp fixture to put some pretty filler in the candle holder.

If the hot glue ends up not holding, I can always use e6000 glue.

I added the harp, shade and top knob and voila! I have a lamp!

I wanted to do something fun with the lamp shade. I like the color and, considering it's a thrift store find, it's actually in excellent condition. But it was needing something else.

I thought about drawing/painting french script document images. Those look so cool--but it doesn't exactly go with the coastal, peaceful vibe I'm going for. And then I thought that I should do something that means something to me. I saw an image of a custom lampshade that had song lyrics, and that inspired me to draw sheet music for one of my favorite hymns on it, but when I started tracing it with pencil, I didn't love it.

I saw a picture of a ruffled lamp shade that was cute, but I was worried that it would be too much because my bedspread is a lot of ruffles. But I couldn't think of anything else and then when looking at my fabric, I realized that the muslin I bought was the same color as the lamp shade, so I went for it. And this would be good practice for ruffling since I made this before the duvet.

I took measurements of the top and bottom of the lamp shade and then doubled it because of the ruffle. I cut several 5" strips of muslin and then sewed the stips together as need be. The top needed two 20" strips and the bottom needed three 20" strips, plus a little extra. Then I began ironing and sewing. I sewed the stips so they were folded like bias tape (a folded hem and then folded in half). I sewed the stips along the hems and then along the center fold so both sides were sewed.

Then I ran a basting stich (Mom! I know what a basting stitch is! ha!) down the middle of the strips. I began gathering. It was rather frustrating because I kept breaking the threads and having to sew new ones and tie them off and so on. But eventually I ended up with a decent looking ruffle.

All I did to attach them was hot glue them to the edges of the lamp shade.

I really like it. It turned out much better than I thought it would! And the last picture is a sneak peak at my nightstand makeover. :)


I've been using the lamp for several months and I LOVE it.

Next up: Ruffles!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.