Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lamp Re-Do

My favorite lamp had an accident. It wasn't his fault, but his shade just couldn't take the pressure (or the gravity) and it fell free from the frame. Poor shade.

Look how sad it looks:
Pitiful. The top frame is what secures the shade to the lamp itself, so without it attached to the shade, there is just no hope. Of course the sane person would just buy a new shade. They're cheap, right?

But not this girl. Mostly because I couldn't find one in the shape I liked, but also because I just love a crafting challenge! I was inspired by this post at Young House Love and decided to go for it and recover the lamp shade. I found a piece of the perfect brown fabric in the remnants basket at Jo Anne, and we were all set to get going...

So I started with the frame and reconnected it to the shade.

I simply used masking tape because I didn't have to worry about it being too strong. I was going to hot glue the fabric over it and that would hold it together just fine.
After several strips of tape around the top, the frame was securely re-attached. (I feel I should mention here that this lamp is purely decorative. I never actually use it because my bedroom has plenty of overhead light from my ceiling fan. Additionally, the fabric I chose is fairly dark, so this strategy may not be perfect if there was light actually shining through the shade. The tape may or may not create shadows, depending on your fabric choice)
After I secured the frame to the shade, I began attaching my fabric. I started by running a line of hot glue down the seam on the shade, and placed the fabric on it quickly and smoothly.
Once the fabric was attached at the seam, I pulled it taught all the way around and hot glued along the top edge first. My problem was that this shade was not perfectly tubular. It was slightly angled, so the fabric wouldn't lay tight and smooth. I had to slightly pucker/pleat the fabric along the way. As you can see, by the time I made it all the way around, the layers weren't lining up perfectly anymore. It's OK in this situation because there is no pattern, but if you are working with a pattern you'll want to be more careful.

After it was laid out all around, I secured the inside frame edges with another line of hot glue.
(I should preface here, that this project would have been MUCH easier if I would have had Handy Man help me hold the fabric in place. But I was too excited to get it done and didn't want to wait for him!)
After it was glued down I trimmed the excess around the edges. The fabric I used was not ideal, as it frayed a bit when you cut it. So I left a larger edge than normal, in case it starts to fray.
Again, since this is a decorative lamp, and not exactly a functional light source, the inside seams don't have to be perfect. But I'm sure I could have done a better job trimming it than this:
Ideally I would clean it up and/or add a finished strip along the inside of the shade, but I didn't want to take the time. It looks fine from a distance, and that's all that matters for a fake-on-the-dresser-just-because-it-looks-good lamp. Check it:
I think it works well! And it didn't take long at all. Those are the kinds of projects I can get behind!

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