Showing posts with label Lighting. Show all posts

Drum Shade Light Fixture - DIY

I've been stalled in the kid's bathroom by mirror trim that I know exists somewhere but is currently hiding from me.  I mean, I can find a trim solution easily by walking through Home Depot and Lowe's but I'm pretty determined to do this under 10 bucks so that's where I'm getting stuck.  Our local ReStore is all out of trim so no luck there and I know I saw something I could use at a store somewhere in the past month but I can't remember where it was.  This is where decorating on a slim budget gets fun...the patience part.  ;)  

So, while we're getting closer to a reveal post (and let me tell you, it is looking so good!), I'll let you in on a quick little update I put up last week.  Up being a very literal word for it.

Unlike most of the other brass, flush mount light fixtures in this house, the one in the kids' bathroom (there's another in the master bath) was not one to love.  It was not only boring and too small...

but the shade was bedecked with a grapevine and I'm pretty sure that look went in and quickly out of style back in 1983...just enough time for this home's owner to grab a couple before they were pulled from the shelves after the designer realized his/her beautiful grape-laden glass shade was in fact, not so beautiful.  Not a true story for fact but just a probably true one.  Also, if you love the grapes, it's ok.  To each his own.  Personally, I'd rather have my grapes in the form of wine or mixed into chicken salad.  ;)  

Whoop, there it is:

(Pardon a few bad photos to follow - it's really hard to photograph an interior light with an ancient iPhone with zero natural light and no fancy lighting equipment.  I think you'll get the jist though.)

No harm done though because the grapes came down easily and were replaced by a much better shade in under 10 minutes.

This little upgrade is fun not only because it's quick, but because it is super easy to do. You don't need any tools, just a few simple supplies.

10 Minute Ceiling Fan Upgrade

Upward and onward folks!  After we had the kitchen all spruced, both the surrounding living room and dining rooms really made it feel out of place.  It looked fantastic, they…well, not so much.  Things are changing though, starting with the living room.  I painted it a few weeks ago and started tweaking with decor and I’ll share all of the details soon but first, tilt your heads to the sky…ok, not really…just keep reading.

The ceiling fan in the living room of this little house is the saddest one in the whole place.  The metal parts are shiny gold and their days of gleam and glam are gone (lit and fig) as rust and rough spots have nestled right in.  We’re not going to replace the ceiling fan in a house we’re renting though so I made a couple of quick changes to it last week to make it way more appealing and it only took me about 10 minutes and five bucks.

Here’s the sad thing before:

You can’t really see the rust spots in the picture but you will be able to when we get a little closer later.  On top of those, the blades had some really awesome, gold, scrolly designs on them, typical of older fan blades and those glass shades…doozy’s.  The way they flared out at the ends really injected me with a dose of motivation to whip this thing into shape asap.

DIY Pendant Light from A Vase

Alrighty.  There are only two more things to write about in our “new” kitchen and then I’m done talking about it.  Promise!  I’m ready to move on to the next room too!  Today though?  Lighting.  Specifically, the ceiling fan and the new pendant over the sink.

Here’s a shot of the kitchen sink area with the header still up, hiding the simple, little light fixture behind:IMG_7312
Once we took that header down, even though I didn’t really mind the existing light, it wasn’t substantial enough to fill in that space.IMG_7348

So, we bought this pendant light kit* in antique brass and used a thrifted vase to make a new pendant.

Socket To ‘Em

Remember our new kitchen chandelier
Well, you might remember then, that I was having a hard time figuring out how to update the yellowed sockets.
I couldn’t find any socket covers that were wide enough to fit my sockets and custom covers were outrageously priced.  After all, all they are is a round piece of heat resistant plastic.  You’d think they’d be cheap. 

Well, I finally found a solution - paint!  I had toyed with painting them in the beginning but I knew that spray paint was out of the question as was latex and acrylic since, technically, they’re not heat safe.  But then I found this FolkArt enamel paint, meant for glass that you paint and then bake to ensure its permanence.
IMG_1826I found it at Walmart but you can grab it from Amazon, through my affiliate link, here.

I grabbed a small paint brush and gave each socket one coat during nap time one day last week and things are looking much less yellow.
And, after using the light multiple times since painting, they still look good.  The sockets get fairly hot so I was interested to see how the paint stood up after it was heated up a few times and it’s looking just like the day I painted.  Of course more time will tell and I’ll keep you updated, but I’m calling it a success for now.  I also like the paint route because I don’t have to deal with plastic covers adding bulkiness or yellowing again over time.  If the covers start to yellow again with the paint, I’ll just paint right over them again for a few pennies.


Any sockets at your place that need a paint job?  Grab the enamel!  They make lots of colors too so you can always add that pop of color in an unexpected place…and then you can use the rest of the paint to customize your favorite mug! 

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Here’s hoping your Monday is as easy-breezy as this little project was!  :)

Add Stripes to a Lampshade - DIY

You know when you really want to do something decor-wise but you think maybe it’s not a good idea because a few months down the road you might not like it anymore or the winds of change might blow away your old decor with new or future owners might scowl at your decision?  Happens to me a lot.  I always try to make decisions in our current home based on what I like but also what would be the most transitional from decor change to decor change and, because I know this isn’t our forever home, I don’t want to give permanent things a personal vibe…if that makes any sense.  Now I’m not talking about pillows or curtains.  Those things can be switched out on a whim with very little effort (but probably some cash).  I’m talking about things that you can’t change without a lot of effort like the color you paint your kitchen cabinets or the tile in your bathroom or a big ‘ole light fixture in your kitchen.

When I first envisioned this light project, I pictured a really colorful chandelier underneath a coordinating, fun geometric covered shade.  And then I talked myself down from that fun high because, in case I didn’t like that geometric fabric in a year or we put our house on the market, it would take a lot of work to replace all that color.  The lamp shade I made for the kitchen light can’t be removed unless a) you unwire the entire light from the ceiling, b) a hurricane throws our house fifty feet, or c) a hurricane known as ‘toddlers throwing toys in the kitchen and oops’ happens.

So, I decided to go all white with the light and shade and spice things up with some stripes at the top and bottom that I made with…

Lamp Shade from Scratch

I’m blogging with a fury today.  When I say that one reason I blog is because it’s therapeutical (word?  not a word?) for me, I mean I blog because it’s therapeutical for me...gathers my marbles, mends my wits, gets out the jitters…  We were involved in a big fender-bender last night, the kids and I.  A man driving a big pick-up truck with a trailer drifted into my lane while I was stopped at a red light, side swiped the entire side of the pick-up behind me, hit the back corner of our van, and majorly hit the car in front of him who hit the car in front of her, who hit the car in front of him.  It was awful and affected me all night last night…and I had the least amount of damage.  So, here I am, frantically pounding away at the keyboard, still thanking God for protecting all involved, and thinking happy thoughts about…

lamp shades.

Let me put aside all the scary thoughts about car accidents in lieu of telling you fine readers how you can make your own.

diy lamp shade
We made our own to adorn the new chandelier in the kitchen (above pic) and the one attached to Sebastian’s ceiling fan.
sebsroom2 (8)

Buying these new was way out of our budget; like $100+ out.  Plus, there’s no guarantee a shade made to the specific diameter and height you’re looking for even exists.  So, we do what we do and we make.  And so can you.  (FYI, some of the links to products I purchased/used below are affiliate links which means I’ll make a small commission if you click over and buy.  But don’t worry!  It doesn’t affect your price in the slightest!  Thanks for supporting me!)

Here’s what you’ll need:
Lamp Shade Rings
lamp shade rings
You can hunt down a lamp shade at a thrift store or other discount store just to take it apart for its rings and use those or you can buy bottom and top rings from The Lamp Shop like I did.  For the kitchen light, I needed the biggest they had to fit around the chandelier, 24 inches in diameter.  With shipping, I ended up paying around $20 just for the rings but I couldn’t find any local store that just sold rings like this.  When you go to order/search for rings, keep in mind the shape you’d like your shade to be.  You can have it taper at the top (bottom ring larger than the top) or you can keep the top and bottom the same, like I did.

Polystyrene Plastic Sheeting.  I searched for days for this sheeting.  I was so clueless on how thick it had to be and I wanted something semi-transparent so that it didn’t block too much light.  Finally, I settled on this polystyrene plastic. I thought it would be a little more transparent than it actually is but once I was finished making the shades with it and turned the lights on, it wasn’t bad by any means.  I’m really happy with the quality of it and how easily I could cut through it.

Again, it cost me a little over $20 for this roll but I’ll be able to get about 10+ shades out of it because it’s so large.  As I type I have four other shades in this house whose plastic linings are torn or yellowed so they’ll all be getting new plastic out of this roll.


Fabric.  If you want a shade that doesn’t inhibit light, you’ll want to cover it with a thin fabric.  Quilting fabrics are great for this because they’re thin and you can find solids and lots of patterns.  I went with a plain white broadcloth from JoAnn Fabrics for the kitchen shade.  I like it because it’s really thin and resembles linen.  You can sort of see the texture in the picture below.  The pattern you can see through the broadcloth is my ironing board, so you can see just how thin this fabric is.
(PS, to figure out length of fabric you’ll need for a drum shade where the top and bottom rings are the same size, multiply the diameter of your lamp rings by 3.14.  Make sure to buy a piece of fabric several inches longer and wider than your finished shade will be though.  You’ll cut it to size once it’s attached to your plastic.  A tapered shade is a little more difficult to make from scratch.  The best way to make one of those would be to find an old tapered shade somewhere, carefully remove the plastic, and trace it onto a new piece.  I’ll have a tutorial on reconstructing a tapered shade sometime in the future as some of mine are!)

Spray Glue
Thin Marker or Pencil
Hot Glue Gun and Sticks
An Extra Pair of Hands

Ok.  Once you have everything, you’ll need to cut your plastic to size (figure out the circumference using the above formula and add a half inch for overlap at the ends).  Lay it out in an area large enough that you can lay the entire piece flat.  (I locked myself in our room one day while Anthony was home so I didn’t have to play defense to keep the kids from walking all over it…bedroom workshop.)
Then, draw the shade out.  Assuming that one side of the plastic I purchased was straight, I lined up a quilting square and drew a straight line with a thin permanent marker along that side to the length I needed my shade to be.  I wanted my shade to be nine inches high (up and down) and it needed to be 78 inches long to cover my rings and overlap at the ends. IMG_0760If you don’t have a quilting square, you can cut a piece of paper to your desired height, line it up along the straight edge of your plastic, and mark along the opposite side.  If you’re using an old piece of existing plastic (the one you’re replacing the new plastic with) then obviously you’ll just have to trace.  :)

Next, cut out your shade plastic.
(Side note:  I made a lamp shade to cover our living room fan a couple of months ago and had some difficulty cutting the plastic.  It wasn’t this new plastic sheeting I had but the old shade plastic that I was just shortening.  Every time I cut, the plastic cracked at the tip of the scissors when it was closed completely.  I’m not sure if that plastic was just old and brittle or if it was my scissors or what.  So, this time around I didn’t close my scissors completely while I was cutting just to make sure that didn’t happen again.  Make sense?)
So now that your plastic is set, covering it with fabric is up next.
The first thing you’ll probably want to do is give it a good ironing to make sure that no wrinkles pop up on your finished shade…because good luck ironing them out if that happens.  ;)
After it’s nice and wrinkle-free, lay it out on a flat surface.  I’d recommend covering your flat surface with an old sheet or tablecloth first though just to make sure you don’t get glue everywhere. 
IMG_0855As you can see, my fabric was a tad bit longer than my table so I just made sure to get the majority on.

Next up, attached your fabric to the plastic with some spray glue.  I used Duro All-Purpose spray glue (I think I got this at Walmart awhile back).
IMG_0856This stuff can get everywhere so make sure not to spray it around anything important.  I went outside (at 10 ‘o clock at night) to the middle of the backyard, held up the plastic, and sprayed.)  Make sure you spray the outside of the shade and not the inside.  Let the glue dry for a minute or two for a better stick.
Then, lay your plastic on top of your fabric.  To make sure there aren’t any bubbles, it helps to start on one side and sort of roll the fabric on while running your hand down the plastic…if that makes sense.  IMG_0858
If you’re using a patterned fabric, make sure you lay the plastic on straight.  If you lay it on and it’s not straight though, don’t fret.  Just take it off and lay it on again.  It really helps with this step and the following to have someone helping.
Once you have your plastic positioned where you want it, run your hands along the top of it, pressing so that every inch sticks. 

Now, cut the extra fabric off.  At the ends, you’ll want to leave anywhere from a quarter to a half inch to be folded over onto the plastic.
A good way to figure out how much to leave on the sides is to fold the fabric over the ring while it’s sitting on the very edge of the plastic (see pictures towards the end of the post).  You’ll want to leave enough to completely cover the ring plus a few millimeters.
Make sure to cut a straight line.  It doesn’t matter too much if it’s slightly thicker in some areas.  You just don’t want any jagged edges you can get from cutting short snips.  I was a little too hasty in spots thinking it wouldn’t matter and you can see those spots on the inside of my shade.  Doh!
So, now it’s time to get out that glue gun.  Make sure you grab a bunch of extra sticks too so that you don’t have to halt progress to run for some.
Hot glue is great in that it dries really quick but sometimes that’s the downfall too.  And it’s messy.  If there were such a glue that was thinner, room-temp, and dried quick, I’d be all over it.  But, as far as I know, there isn’t, so hot glue it is.

First, glue both of your ends down.  Just place a very thin line of glue along the very edge of your plastic, fold the fabric over, and press it down.  The thinner your line of glue, the less bulky the ends will be.    IMG_0864
Next, grab both the top and bottom rings and place them directly over the ends and right at the very edge of the plastic.  They shouldn’t be sitting on top of the fabric at all.  Have someone hold them there for you.  (Make sure that if your top ring has a recessed washer ring and bars, that the recess is going into the shade vs. outside or on top of it.  I made that mistake with a recent shade and had to tear it apart and start over.)
It’s really important to take this next part slow.  You’ll need to work in very small sections to ensure that you have no buckling/warping of the plastic on your shade.  Run a line of glue along a couple of inches of one ring and quickly fold your fabric on top of and over the ring.  Hold until it dries (a few seconds).
Don’t glue the plastic (made that mistake too).  It makes for a cleaner finish if you just place glue on the ring because, as you fold the fabric over, you’ll push the glue into the crevice between the ring and plastic so it won’t be very noticeable in the end.

Glue a couple of inches on the top ring and then do the same couple of inches on the bottom ring.  Over and over and over.
Meanwhile, your helper should be rolling the rings along so that whatever part your gluing is closest to the table.  This will help make sure that the plastic is always touching the ring and protecting you from having a less than straight edge once you’re finished.
When you’re a few inches from the end, stop gluing.  Roll your shade up so that the seam is visible.  Run a thin line of glue along the end you started with and press the other end to it.
Last, finish gluing the rest of the shade where you left off in the same way that you glued before, little by little and with the part you’re gluing laying closest to the table.

I’ll go into more detail on the added stripes and how we attached this shade to the chandelier in another post but the washer at the top of this shade ring was a perfect fit over the threaded rod on the top of our chandelier so it just slipped right on.
Until that other post, ciao!  Thanks for letting me unload myself onto you through my fingers and a lengthy tutorial.  Now, if someone will actually make a lamp shade and let me know how it goes, it’ll get me to 100% real quick like.  :)

Hasta later.


DIY Globe Chandelier

You’ve probably heard of them.  They’ve acquired a name on the www that first makes you gasp and then realize, “Ha!  Who knew?!”  Few like them, most hate them.  What are they?  ‘Boob’ lights.  We are the not-so-proud owners of two…er, one.  We used to have two but this one in our entry way…
entry blog

got swapped for this:

Inspired by this globe chandelier from Shades of Light (designed by Young House Love) - photo (1)

…and this DIY chandelier that the incredibly creative Mandi from Vintage Revivals made, we whipped up one of our own for around $20.  Since you already know the ‘why’ (décor shouldn’t look like body parts yo), here’s the fairly simple ‘how’.

First up, the actual light.  I found this miniature chandelier at Goodwill last year ($5 holla) and have been hoarding it away ever since, just waiting for this project to get the green light.IMG_4271 (533x800)

The only thing I needed to make our globe chandi was the light kit on the inside.  If I didn’t have this light, I could also have purchased a pendant light from a Home Improvement store (like this one) that would work just as well.  If buying a second-hand chandelier and taking it apart intimidates you, don’t let it.  It’s so easy.  There’s no re-wiring or sawing or anything like that involved, in my experience anyway.  There’s just lots of unscrewing and un-piecing.  Starting with the top, I simply worked my around my entire thrifted chandi, unscrewing whatever could be unscrewed.


After a few minutes of doing that, I had the light kit separated.

Next, the hanging baskets I used to create the globe.  I used two of these from Lowe’s:

Here are a couple other baskets that I think would be fantastic for this project:  basketoptions
(Top: this one. Bottom: this one.)

All I had to do with the baskets is separate them from their chains (Lenten pun?), which was as simple as removing three clips.  I saved those clips to attach the two baskets like so:
If you wanted your baskets to be touching vs. having space between them like mine, you could use zip ties or smaller clips/hooks.  Just make sure you remember to paint them the same color as the rest of your chandi.  (Side note:  You might’ve noticed in the above pic that the lines on the basket don’t match up.  I didn’t realize this until after everything was painted.  If you’d like yours to line up, put a few baskets together in-store before you buy to find two that are constructed with similar spacing.) 

The last thing we had to do before painting was drill a hole in the bottom of one of the baskets, the one that would be on top, so that we could attach the light kit from the thrifted chandelier.
Anthony did this using a drill bit that was the same size as the threaded rod at the very top of the light kit.  You’ll see what I mean a little further down. 

So, paint.  With the baskets being a darker metal and the light kit a shiny gold, the whole shebang needed to be painted.  In prep for paint, I carefully taped off all electrical wiring and anything I didn’t want painted.  Then I spray painted everything with a couple of thin coats of primer.  (In my haste to get this painted that day, I forgot to take a picture of the primer I used so, an hour after these things were primed, I accidentally grabbed
the wrong primer and snapped the below shot.  I actually used Clean Metal Primer by Rustoleum.  Sorry!  I’m not sure if there’s really that much of a difference between the two primers though.)spaintchandi
(See where we had to drill the hole for the light kit?  Some baskets have an open bottom and some have a round plate over them, like the ones we bought.  The ones with an open bottom would require an extra large washer or even a piece of circular wood with a hole drilled into its center to accommodate a light kit.)

Once the primer was dry, I painted everything with several thin and even coats of Krylon spray paint in Catalina Mist (the rest of what I had leftover from painting these).
Next up, assembly.  Putting the chandelier together was a cinch.  All I had to do was attach the light kit to the top basket and then attach the bottom basket to the top with the clips.  Here’s a picture showing how the top basket is placed on the top of the light kit (the blue line representing the basket):
IMG_4344 (800x533)
The threaded rod goes up through the hole in the basket and then the top piece in my hand just screws right on to hold it together.  Last you attach your chain and ceiling cap (technical term?  I dunno…) and mount it to the ceiling like you would a regular light fixture.  I’m lacking a tutorial on Anthony’s electrical install but here’s one for ya

I thought there’d be a few more steps in there because I figured that after we removed the old light, we’d have to add popcorn texture to the ceiling and do a little ceiling paint touch-up but none of that was needed.  ‘Twas exciting to see the ceiling look like it had never been covered by a boob light…at least I thought so!  #lessworkphoto 3

Lights out:

And !surprise! - the super-cool pattern the light emits onto the ceiling and walls when on:IMG_4445

And that’s it!  A fairly simple and very effective way to get chest parts off your it a reduction.  ;) 


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P.S.  We’re still chugging our way through the entry way.  In case you missed it:
>> the hook system <<
>> the roman shade (made from a curtain panel + a mini-blind!) <<
>> the thrifted mirror <<

P.P.S.  It’s party time!  Linking our work-in-progress entry way up with East Coast Creative’s home décor rendezvous!  You really should go check out some of the incredible projects over there!