Hello lovlies!

This week’s project is not only fun & lovely, it’s a joint venture between my mother and me!

We took a fairly boring, run of the mill thrift shop lamp and fixed it (and it’s sad, sad, shade) up into something lovely!

Here’s where we started:

Snugbug | Upcycle a lamp

And here’s the finished lamp & shade…

Snugbug | Upcycle a lamp

Isn’t it  lovely?

Here’s how we did it:

Lamp Base

The lamp base was Patty’s mom’s first chalk paint project!

  1. One medium coat Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White – once this coat was done, there was still a bit of brass showing through.
  2. An hour of dry time.
  3. Second medium coat of paint (same color) – after this coat the coverage was fairly complete
  4. One coat clear wax, followed by 30 minutes or so of dry time.
  5. Next, we mixed together Annie Sloan clear and dark wax – about 3 parts clear wax to one part dark wax. Then we used a cloth to rub the darker mixture into the surface. Since we were massaging it in, we didn’t follow up with a buffing like we normally do.
  6. Next was a treatment with sandpaper to remove some of the paint and wax and let the brass show through.
  7. Final coat of the clear and dark wax mixture – just rub in until it stopped feeling super tacky and had the right look.

Lamp Shade

For this project we used a vintage drum shade, covered in vellum. This particular shade has the vertical wire brackets (new shades normally don’t have those.) We left the original shade as-in and just made a slipcover for it.

Even though this looks like a drum shade (same circumference on the top as the bottom) it’s NOT… and we have one ill-fitting shade cover to prove it! Since it’s really a cone shape (more narrow at the top) I made a template of the shade to use as a pattern piece. Just lay the shade on its side on a piece of wrapping paper (I keep kraft paper in the house for pattern making) Starting at the seam, use a pencil to trace the bottom edge with a pencil while rolling the shade. Stop when you get back to the seam, then re-line the seam and shade up at the beginning and trace along the top in the same way. Use a ruler to connect the lines at the beginning and end. Cut and pin to your fabric.

Here’s what mine looked like:

Snugbug | Upcycle a lamp

You can see that I left a bit of fabric along each edge. If you want to cover your shade tightly, you’ll need to leave at least 1/4 – 1/2″ for seam allowances and to wrap around the top and bottom of the shade. I wanted my shade cover to look a bit relaxed, so I left a bit more.

Next I serged along each edge to give it a finished look. If you don’t have a serger, turn and stitch. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could use Wonder Tape (an adhesive fabric tape) or hot glue to turn and hold the edges.

Since I serged the edges, I wanted that to show, so I wrapped my shade and pinned in place and stitched with a zig-zag stitch over the serged line. If I wanted to hide the edges, then it would have been careful holding and pinning, then stitching right sides together to close up the seam along the short ends.

Tip – I used clothespins to hold the shade in place while I was fussing. I stacked up a couple canisters to set the shade on top of it so the bottom edge hung free.

Once I got it where I wanted it, I just stitched some vintage crocheted trim along the bottom edge. I added it to the inside – I wanted it to ‘peek’ out and not be too obvious – plus I like the look of the zig zag stitches I used on the outside of the shade! I also didn’t quite make the edges match to add to the ‘homemade-tailored’ look.

Snugbug | Upcycle a lamp

Snugbug | Upcycle a lamp



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