Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lamp Revamp


I spent a day Op Shop Hopping a couple of weeks ago and came home with some good buys.  One of which was this set of lamps for our bedside tables.  Actually they weren’t a set, they were from two different stores.   But in my imagination, once revamped, they would go together! 


The lamps cost me a tenner each.  You can’t buy a torch for that price in Australia!  The first thing I did was get rid of the ugly shade on the maroon lamp and replaced it with another charity shop buy.  I knew I was covering the lamp shades so didn’t worry about whether they had marks.  All lamps are tested and have a date sticker added before they are put out for sale in the shops so you don't have to worry about whether they work or not. 


To spray paint the bases was very easy and the paint took to the ceramic better than I’d hoped.  First thing to do is tape the bits you don’t want the spray paint to reach.  I used a bit of cling film and plastic bags to cover the cables too.  I put each base on a bucket so I could get right around it with the paint can.  If you get the first layer of spray paint right then you shouldn’t need a second.


Covering the lamp shades is not so easy.  Give them a wipe down first of all.  Make sure you choose your fabric wisely.   Anything too flimsy will be difficult to work with.  One shade I did was with denim and the other with a lined curtain fabric which doesn’t fray.

When measuring your fabric remember that you will need an arc shape for this kind of shade and not just a straight line of material so will need to buy more than you first assume.   Lay your shade out on the piece of fabric and roll it all the way around to mark the shape on your fabric.  I found it easy to use the existing seam as a marker to know when to stop rolling!  Mark the fabric a couple of centimeters wider than you need as the fabric will stretch slightly as you apply it to the shade.


So for this part of the project I used double sided tape, the flat kind, not puffy in any way.  I didn't want to use glue that would seep through the fabric.  The tape is awkward to work with as you cant make it an arc shape like you can the fabric.  So it’s easier to work with small pieces at a time.  Put the tape all around the bottom and the tops.  Only peel the back off when you’re ready to stick the fabric down.  You’ll need one piece of tape going length-ways down the shade which is where your seem will be.  Try to do this over the existing seem as once the light bulb is on you will be able to see through the fabric.   Start at the seem and add the fabric to the shade very slowly, watching out for creases and bubbling.  It’s not difficult but be patient.  Once you get all the way around and back to the seem you might need to trim the excess fabric.  Then fold over a centimeter, add a strip of tape and finish off without any fraying fabric showing. 

At this stage you should have a nicely finished off seem, but excess fabric at the top and bottom of the shade.  Trim these with scissors.  Be as neat as possible but remember you will be adding a trim that will cover the edges. 

And then the trim…  haberdashery’s these days have some amazing trims so you can let your imagination run wild!  Pom poms or fringing would be great.  I chose a simple navy cord trim with a flat back which made it easy to work with.  I used my trusty glue gun and worked my way around the shade very slowly.  Don’t use too much glue or you’ll have blobs of glue coming through the trim.  You need to work fast with a glue gun as the glue dries very quickly so do small sections at a time.

And there you go!  What a transformation!  All for about $30!



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