DIY : LAMP SHADES
Jumping up & down from the fabulous response to our last DIY blogpost about Luggage, we sat down again to think about more interesting ideas. It’s been raining in our city for the past week – the official monsoons are here. As we browsed for some interesting rain snippets to share with our facebook readers, I spotted this :
UMBRELLA BY MY CONSTANT CREATION : Spotted on Beautiful Habitat
And I fell in love. How simple and stunning ! Honestly, living in a city where rain lasts barely 10 days in the whole year, our umbrellas would be better off being lampshades. Tried in vain to find some kind of a tutorial but I could only find lots of DIY lovers asking the same.
But this image definitely got us thinking. Taking daily-use objects & converting them into something different that is still useful ! Anyways, so long story short – Today we decided to bring you some ideas for recycling your mundane household objects into gorgeous lamp shades. Here’s the 14 cool projects we encountered in our search.
RECYCLING WIRES INTO HALO’S
Wrap some colorful wires in concentric circles around bulbs to create bright Halo’s for your living room. Mix up different colors, maybe even in the scheme of your room for a coordinated look. If you’re doing multiple bulbs, then make sure the height vary for a better display. A Beautiful Mess gives you a detailed tutorial here.
RECYCLING PLASTIC SPOONS
Whenever I find plastic spoons at party buffet tables, I always wonder how people eat without breaking them. With my hands, the spoon usually wins in its tug-of-war with food. So here is a much (much) better use for those spoons ! The best part about this tutorial by The Chive is how you cannot even guess the raw material once the lamp is ready and lit. Looks showroom worthy !
If you’re my mother or someone with similar tastes, you might have a vintage parasol umbrella lying in your house that you no longer have any use of (attending the Races?). If you’re in luck and DIY mood, you can fix up the parasol as a ceiling light for your home. I reckon it will look absolutely gorgeous and no one would even guess it was an umbrella. You can find out more about this in the tutorial by MyChicLife.
RECYCLING BEER BOTTLES
And if are my father or someone with similar tastes, you probably have a carton of beer bottles lying around ! This DIY project made sense to me not only because I was recycling something, but also because it became the perfect gift & accessory for the bar. Mounting the bottles on a wooden slab gives them the support and if you want to make a special one, you can try procuring bottles from different places with unique names. The tutorial for this can be found at Instructables.
RECYCLING YARNS & THREADS
This is the only kind of lampshade that I had actually made earlier. Wrapping threads and wool around big, fat balloons using lots of glue, our crafts teacher at school would show us the magic when she popped the balloon & voila – we had a lampshade ! Well only once you added the bulb ofcourse, but still. I’d recommend trying this with different balloon shapes but only once you’re clear about the basic rules. Made By Girl has a great tutorial for this.
Smiling as I type this heading – yes, our dear Earth definitely needs a massive recycling effort. But I guess we’ll take it one point at a time. So remember those sweet Globes that sat at your table all through school ? Supposedly making your geography stronger, but only helping you make a wish-list of places to travel. Anyways, now you can slice the globe across the equator and make some really cool lamps for your workdesk or studio. Natalie at Natalme shows you how in her tutorial.
RECYCLING OLD BOOKS
I hope this one doesn’t get kids to start butchering their existing books in hopes of ending their torture. But seriously, it’s a pretty neat idea and I haven’t ever seen this kind of a lampshade. It’s perfect for areas where you cannot hang anything from the ceiling and want a dim-lit ambience – the shadows of the pages will look so artistic. Instructables has a detailed tutorial which takes you through each step of this.
RECYCLING BOOK PAGES
Another interesting one for your old, withered books. Create an interesting lampshade using your favorite yellowed pages from the books. Very important to use a low wattage bulb for this one as you wouldn’t want the heat to burn your lampshade in a day (from past experience of burnt paper lining of a crafted lamp). The creative brains at Design Sponge executed this one over an Ikea lamp, so you can try revamping your old lampshade too.
RECYCLING FABRIC STRIPS
Fabric and excesses fill up a huge cupboard of mine (graduated in Textile Design) so this is definitely an easily available material in my house. If that’s not your case, consider raiding your tailor’s workshop – you’ll find enough fabric strips to make 30 of these ! Mix and match lots of fabrics – go for a neutrals scheme if the room has a vintage or elegant appeal, brighter colors for a boho-chic room. This particular lamp above was spotted by Aarean at the Queen Bee Market in San Diego and she posted it on her blog, Color Issue.
Well, ofcourse the jars of buttons and buttons were sitting alongside the fabrics in my cupboard. I’ve seen some quirky button paintings in college, but never a lamp shade. What I like most is how it brings the odds & ends together with such harmony. You can use the most random sizes and colors, just stitch through them and create rows without much planning. Jen from the TeaForTwoDiary made this lamp, but I guess they have not yet gotten around to putting the tutorial together.
RECYCLING PING PONG BALLS
Okay, maybe this one is not something lying around in the house. But it’s so cheap & easy to buy, you’d want to buy a 100 of them just for this lampshade ! Love how the colors gel so well and again, looks ready to be sold in a store. Found this image on PoppyTalk, sadly no detailed photo tutorial available because it was from Marie Claire. But they’ve snagged a neat written step-by-step you can check out to help make this lampshade.
Cans are always lying around the house, and here’s an easy way to upcycle them. Just a few holes here and there can get you some exciting light reflections. What I like about this DIY is the versatility – you can come up with as many different designs and lamp shades as you want. Maybe even a whole row of them for your balcony or terrace, using different can sizes. Punch through according to the amount of lighting you require in the area. Home Dzine shows you exactly how with their tutorial.
Lots of needles & stitching talk has been done already, but if you wish to ignore that hassle then this one if the DIY for you. Criss-cross lots of ribbons across the lamp frame and you’ll end up with your own patterned lamp. You can choose the colors carefully here, depending on how you want to coordinate it with the room. MidWest Living has done a fantastic tutorial for this lampshade, alongside other no-sew ribbon projects.
RECYCLING OLD PHOTOS
One for the personal memories. A perfect DIY for gifting to your mates who are settling into their new homes, it can’t get more unique than photographs of their happy moments. Put together a collage of photographs for the lamp shade, though I would strongly advise you to stick to grayscale and sepia images as it would give a more cohesive look and also make the lamp more refined. Too many colored pictures might make the whole thing too haphazard. Marie Darby has guest-posted a tutorial about this at Ashley Ann Photography.
So that sums up our favorite ideas for recycling objects in our daily existence into some exquisite lamp shades. We’re hoping you would find a worthy DIY project from here for that slightly unfinished corner of the house that could probably do with a cool lamp shade. Hope it inspires you to bring erm, more light into your lives ?