You might as well find out that this post was supposed to happen a long time ago. We knew we wanted lamps in the master bedroom and we had them purchased back in September and figured we’d bust them out straightaway. Easy find, easy post, right? Well, not exactly.
At my birthday garage sale we came across these two glass carboys. The lady practically gave them to us. The one with the lamp light in it was $.50. She said we could have the one without the light for free if we bought the other one. Sold.
The nice thing about them was that they had holes cut out in the back to allow a cord to come out. Nifty – especially since I didn’t have the foggiest idea on how to cut a hole out of these jugs anyway. Thank goodness for Google though, with it’s 1,550,000 results for “how to cut a hole in glass bottle”, I’m sure someone has it figured out.
Anyway, we were excited to put these in the room, but as we progressed with the project, we started to worry that the scale would be off and they wouldn’t quite look right. So, we took off to the local goodwill thrift store and purchased these pink stunners:
Not ideal by any means, but we didn’t know how picky we could afford to be. Garage sale season is pretty much over here, and the odds of finding a matching set of lamps secondhand was a little dicey.
These put us back $20, and Whitney grabbed some of that Krylon looking glass mirror spray paint to help transform the lamps into something much cooler, thanks to inspiration found on Pinterest like these:
(Credit Pottary Barn, found on iVillage)
However, once we got them home and set them next to the bed we decided that the shape of the lamps was boring, not to mention they probably were also a little big for the scale of the room. Back to the drawing board and back to the thrift store, this time finding these:
Finally! We whisked our new found beauties home, happy to have snagged them for just $6 and Whitney got to work ignoring the label of the Krylon looking glass paint in favor of tutorials online that anything you spray with the stuff will magically turn into looking glass.
I’m not sure at what moment Whitney’s excitement fizzled as she spayed on the first coat, but I could tell that the anticipation of awesomeness had turned into utter and complete depression.
The mirror paint had turned out to be not much better than a silver/chrome paint (which would have cost a lot less to have purchased). As we sat and talked about what to do, Whitney decided to call over a trusted girl friend for a consult. Do we just roll with the silver lamps, paint them another color, or buy something else?
The decision that came out of Whitney’s chat was that the scale of the original glass lamps could be forgiven if they were cool enough, and they were. So with Whitney smiling once again, I was informed that it was back to plan A, again.
Plan A had a problem however – the second lamp had no light in it. I was put to work trying to figure out how to overcome that obstacle, and turns out it wasn’t that difficult.
I first dismantled a light we had toted with us through the years. It worked, but part of the stand was broken so it doesn’t stand up on it’s own. I’d pestered Whitney to throw it away a million times, but she always said you never know what you can upcycle. She wasn’t supposed to be right about this one though.
Since I’m not an electrician, I kept all the of the pieces of the lamp in the order that I dismantled it so I could get it back together. Once I unscrewed the cable wires from the light unit itself, the cord easily came out.
I then found a washer from my tool box that was large enough not to be pulled up the neck of the jug and with a large enough center to allow the lighting nipple to go through it.
Then I simply rebuilt the light fixture with the cord coming down the neck of the carboy with the light on top. Whitney painted the cord gold to help it not be quite an eyesore in the glass. And yes, it does work!
Now on to the good stuff. We knew we wanted to make our own lamp shades. It’s all the rage right now with tons of blogs showing “how to’s” on drum shades. We wanted to do one too, but wanted to start from scratch. Entirely.
So we started with these babies picked up at a yard sale. I thought I got a bargain at $.50, and I’m positive the seller thought 1) “I would have given that piece of junk away for free” and 2) “That guy must be messed up to have purchased this.” What can I say, it was a win-win.
First I dismantled the pink and white kitty, revealing two 18” craft hoops to add to the other set I found. Where I had removed the screws for the outer hoops I rejoined with wood joiners.
Whitney had picked burlap as the fabric to cover the shades. Clearly, it wasn’t thick enough on it’s own so we added on some iron-on interfacing that helped to stiffen it up. We used 6 feet of burlap in a strip 12” wide as well as a 10” wide piece of interfacing long enough to surround the shade, leaving an inch of burlap beyond each piece of interfacing after it was ironed on.
Then, using a glue gun we rolled the hoops over the stiffened fabric. We actually put a second layer of burlap on the shade to help hide the white interfacing that could be seen through the small holes.
We then folded that extra 1” of burlap over the hoop and glued it on the inside to finish it off.
While much stiffer than without the interfacing, the shades still didn’t have that tight look. To help solve that, I cut pieces of bamboo skewer and glued them (with the nastiest glue gun you’ve ever seen) on the inside of the shade, so that the ends of the sticks gently push against the top and bottom craft hoop keeping it taunt.
Can you tell which one has the skewer supports?
The wire pieces to help hold the shade to the lamp had to be homemade as well. We bent some hangers into three-pronged shape, keeping a loop in the center for the lamp screw and gluing the arms in place.
If you skip all the miscellaneous lamp purchases, this project turned out to be really inexpensive. For basically the price of some burlap, interfacing and some craft hoops, we created our own drum shades.
Tomorrow we’ll be debuting the master bedroom in it’s entirety, complete with before and after shots for your viewing pleasure. You’ll finally see the headboard, duvet cover, pillows, nightstands and lampshades altogether. And I’ll be glad to have my master room back.
Update: We revealed the master bedroom and chatted it up about all the costs involved here. Check it out.
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