let there be light.

a little while ago, i realized that every lamp shade in our house was basically plain white, with the exception of the little tiny one in our daughter's room [a thrifted baby winnie the pooh one]. a couple of months ago, i decided this was a missed opportunity for colorful creativeness and went crazy with some orange ribbon. remember the moulin rouge effect it resulted in?
that particular lamp shade received a new home when we moved things around for the christmas tree. i swapped the shade out with a floor lamp that had a rather boring plastic collar-type shade, and i like it much better where it is now- it adds a bit of a pop of color to a corner that desperately needed it:
[i also hot glued some twill tape around the edges so that i could remove the inner ribbon and it would give out actual light rather than the orange moulin rouge-ish 'mood lighting'!]

i was really excited when k was given a really cute girly lamp for christmas, that i thought would be perfect in her room- but i wasn't crazy about the shade. so i had to figure out an inexpensive and creative way to make a new one!
enter this sweet little blue eyelet lace one i got completely free! i decided it should be easy enough to pull of the blue fabric and start over.
presto! clean slate.
after like 2 hours [i kid you not] of googling for tutorials/ideas/inspiration, i decided on some sort of collaboration between this ruffled ribbon shade from bhg and the pink payton lamp from pottery barn baby.

baby girl lamp before:
baby girl lamp after!
i took the naked lamp shade and recovered it in some sweet green gingham cotton [reference some great instructions!] with spray adhesive, and tucked the edges down nice and tight with glue gun glue.
then i raided my little box of scrap ribbon, pulled out some random yo-yos and a crocheted flower [all orphans from other projects here and there], and made a little crocheted leaf to go with it. i put the ruffled ribbon around the top and bottom edges, and then topped it with some tiny regular ribbon.

top edge:
bottom edge:
and made all the flowers and stuff into a nice little bouquet on a bottom edge. and that's it! i love love love how much better it matches her room! [the k's on her wall are still a bit of a work in progress.]
if i had known how easy it was to recover the shade with fabric and spray glue, i wouldn't have a plain shade in the house!

another light that i desperately felt like needed some work was the light fixture in our office that turned violently bright after my hubby changed out the bulbs in it for the energy-saving type. it provided lots of light, but it literally hurt to look at it.

i found this amazing tutorial on design*sponge for a very anthropologie-esque for two cool pendand lamp shade effects- a ruffled felt shade [i've also seen this on pillows!] or a felt circle pendant lamp shade [similar to how i made one of my little winter trees] that i thought could somehow be done on the glass lamp shade 'cups' of our light fixture.

seeing as how we are renters, i wasn't too sure how kindly my hubby would take to me 'altering' our light fixture. so, my plan b started when i pulled out some white paper lanterns that i just happened to remember i had 3 of, to see if they were too big and/or could be finagled to fit over the lightbulbs! i found them for $2.50 each at michael's back in the summer [the same ones i got for k's room].
i took the glass 'cup' shades off, assembled the lanterns, and slid them up and over the light bulbs. they are just the right size that the wire armature of the lantern holds them in place on the bulbs! i LOVE how this turned worked.

not too bad for a $7.50 fix, right? and it's totally easy to disassemble the lanterns [they even store flat for re-use later!] and re-attatch the glass cups later! the room is still just as well-lit but it is softer and more pleasant to be in now- it totally changed the atmosphere!

i would definitely call this lamp shade success.

and now i really want to try making my own lamp to put a lamp shade on!


  1. The lamp shade you made for your little girl is marvelous! So pretty... it looks like something you'd pay a lot for in a store. :)


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