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Friday, May 13, 2011

Fixing the Invisible Lamps

There is a lamp on each of our nightstands.  When I first bought these lamps they matched the rest of the room nicely, and they stood out from the green walls we had.

But that was another house.  When we fixed up our room in this place, we happened to paint the walls a color that just swallowed up these lamps.  They really just kind of disappear on the nightstands.  See?
So I've had it in my head for some time now to do something to change that.  We found this canvas that we loved at Home Goods, hung it on the wall, and I used it for color inspiration.  
Enter spray paint, a few sunny (or not rainy) hours, and the bases were done.  The shades presented more of a problem though.  I considered coffee filters, ruffles, fabric rosettes and finally decided on pleats. It went something like this.  

$6 for a yard of fabric (compared to plain white lamp shades I saw at Target at $12 each)

Cut fabric into strips about 2  inches wide (45 inches long because that was the width of the fabric I bought).  I just got lucky that it fit around the largest part of my shade.  I didn't do any measuring first, but if you needed a longer strip to wrap around your shade you could sew two together.  I was totally wishing for a rotary cutter about now!
Pin pleats into the strip.
Sew about 1/2 inch from the right.
For the top strip I sewed two lines, because I wanted to have a sort of "top pleat" as well.

After sewing I ironed each strip. 

Then they were attached with hot glue--starting with the bottom layer, and overlapping on the way up.

I started each strip in the same place, so that I could just turn that part of the shade to the wall.
Anyway, here's the finished lamps by our bed.  Thanks for looking! (so while the room isn't finished, at least we've made one more step!)

Sharing at
Simple Home Life
The Shabby Nest
House of Hepworths 
Nap Time Crafters
Small Fine Print
Be Different Act Normal 
The Girl Creative 
Keeping it Simple
Ask Anna 
Between Naps on the Porch 
Dittle Dattle 
Handy Man Crafty Woman
Organize and Decorate Everything
Eisy Morgan


  1. WOW! love your lamp revamp! Great job! I'd love if you'd link up to Sew Woodsy!

  2. That's cute! I just redid a lamp and it has a huge ugly yellow-ish (I think it was white in the 70s) shade on it. I'm thinking I want to revamp it instead of buying a new one. I hadn't considered pleats though!

    I saw your link on Delightful Order!

    Kristi @ A Nest in the Making

  3. Very pretty makeover! I love how you did the shades!

  4. So pretty! I'm a sucker for ruffles ;) I think I've managed to sneak them into every room in my house!


  5. Very cute! The blue really pops. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Following you now!

  6. Fantastic - love it. Found you at The Girl Creative and looking forward to linking up.

  7. What a great idea! And so easy. I would love it if you'd link this to my Weekend Warrior Party. Here's the link: http://www.askannamoseley.com/2011/05/weekend-warrior-link-party-4.html


  8. Very cute, Steph! I love the ruffles on the shade!

  9. nice! and looks simple enough (even for me!) to whip up pretty quickly...great idea! thanks for sharing!


  10. I love the ruffles! So cute!! -Juli

  11. It turned out really well. I'm a big fan of that blue!

  12. That's great, they really stand out now! Thanks so much for linking this up to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday link party!

  13. I love the color and the shade. Thanks for linking to the Home Decor and Organizing Link Party.

  14. Isn't that so fun!! I'd love for you to link up!


  15. I pinned this sweet little project a while back and finally got around to making it. Thanks for the great inspiration!

    My version of your awesome idea is here:


  16. Wow! Thats a pretty lamp makeover !!!Love it!!

  17. Nice bedding ;)

    You’re 3 steps ahead of me! You actually have nightstands, lamps, and accent pillows!

  18. Love this! Lampshades vanish next to my walls, too. Great tutorial.