Thursday, February 11, 2010

Learning by Doing

I've always been bothered by this lamp in my bedroom. It was a very cheap purchase that filled an immediate need when we moved in to our home. Well, during our snow blast 2010 I had just too much time on my hands and this lamp was really buggin' me. Too small, shade too white, base too ugly, bad proportion, etc. . .

Searching through my thrift store stash in the garage, I found this sad little number and it's sad little friend, Mr. Shade. The size was working for me so I decided to get to work. I'd never recovered a shade before but I always learn best by just jumping in trying.

I pulled some handmade paper from my paper stash. I had purchased the paper from 10,000 Villages years ago for around $2.00. I spent about 45 minutes doing the math to figure out how to cut the paper to fit the shade. I'm not a very sharp pencil when it comes to math so this almost did me in.

I cut 7 pieces of triangularly (is that a word?) shaped paper, glued them to the shade, and then trimmed it out with miniature bias tape. I found the bias tape in Great Nana's lace and trim box. Before I finished the trim, I decided that I needed to lengthen the shade. I added rectangular shaped paper with the raw edges exposed to the bottom. I folded the paper to look like a box pleat. It did the trick.

I painted the base of the lamp with some acrylic craft paint. I didn't use a brush. I used a baby wipe dipped in paint to avoid brush strokes. I used a caramel color and then a gray color over it to tie in with the artwork above the lamp.

The lamp cost around $3.00 at the thrift store, the shade was $0.50, and the paper for the shade was $2.00. So for $5.50 I have a new, larger lamp. It's not a perfect solution, but I enjoyed the process of learning by doing. I'm really proud of my math achievement!

I've linked this post to Twice Remembered's Make Your Monday. Check it out!


  1. You never cease to amaze me. You should link this up to DIY day - I think it's on Kimba's blog - Soft Place to Land.

  2. I really like what you did with that shade!! :)

  3. Great job!! I love the pleat... fantastic idea! :)


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