A New Light[shade]

Bare lightbulbs bug me.  I don’t know exactly why but they do.  And our ‘hallway’ that you first enter as you walk into our house had one for ages.  We’ve been in our house for nearly 3 years and up until 2 weeks ago there was no shade on the light. But our hallway needed a sort out and it was time I pulled my finger out and did it!

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The before – things piled on top of things, Tigger pulling things out from the bottom, and hats hung on unused nails.

I have had the best of intentions and even bought a lampshade kit about 2 years ago so I could deal with it.  But it was one of those jobs that kept getting knocked further down the to-do list as other things became more important, mainly getting things ready for Tigger, and then Tigger-proofing! Anyway, as part of our Christmas present from my parents my very talented mam made us a set of curtains to close off our living room from the conservatory as it’s open plan and it was robbing all the heat from the house in the winter.  Having gifted them to us my mam then also gave me the remaining fabric and so I saw my chance -it was time to do the light shade, and it would even coordinate with the room!

I had bought 3 lampshade kits from Needcraft.co.uk as they seemed good value and included everything you needed, other than the fabric.  And with the wonderful Make and Meet happening I decided that I was taking it with me and was determined that by the end of the 2 hours, and despite the chatting, I would have a lampshade.

The fabric I chose was Bacall curtain fabric in Silver from Laura Ashley, and was conveniently in the sale last autumn.   My mam had warned me that it frayed a bit, and she was certainly right, but luckily I didn’t need such a long length, or need to faff with it too much so it didn’t cause too many issues.

Once I’d cut the fabric to size, I then laid it out and attached the backing film which provides the heat/fire protection.  It sounds simple but I imagine it’s what hanging wallpaper is like as you need to be slow and careful to ensure no wrinkles or creases.  The next step was wrapping the double sided tape around the rings which was actually quite a mesmerising task, and a relief from the backing sheet.

I should probably say at this point that doing a job that needs 2 hands and taking photos is tricky, so sorry for some of the pics and thanks to my friend Tracy for helping with some others (once she’d giggled at me!).

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Attaching the backing sheet

Having slowly and carefully (yes, it’s mostly requires you to be slow and careful!), attached the rings I had a lampshade, wooo!

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Lampshade made – just need to tuck in the edges.

With all the sticky edges covered, it was time to tuck in the edges around the rings on the inside of the shade.  And that was that. In my 2 hours at the make and meet I left with a lampshade. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of that bit didn’t I?!

And as lovely as it was, I wanted it to tie in with the room more.  And that is where my stash of tester pots came in.  While pregnant with Tigger in Summer 2014 I visited the original Annie Sloan Shop in Oxford which happens (luckily) to not be far from us, or the hospital I visited for Tigger check-ups.  I had bought two teal shades and it was these that I decided I would use to decorate the lightshade.  I knew her signature chalk paint could be used on fabric, and as the light doesn’t get alot of use I didn’t hesitate in using it.

I came up with a vague design in my head, dug out the masking tape and sat in-front of the TV I got sticking.  I then dug out one of my normal paintbrushes, e.g. acrylic brushes, not household decoration, and got going using the Florence shade first.  The paint is a good consistency for projects like this as it’s thin enough for you to build it up on the shade but not so thin that it runs everywhere.

 

Once the first coat was done I left it about an hour to dry, then gently peeled the tape off.  I would probably have left it longer if I wasn’t about to go to bed as I didn’t want to leave the masking tape on too long.  The paint was dry to the touch though and there was no problems in taking it off.

Now my plan had been to re-mask the next day and use the second shade, Provence, for some vertical stripes, but I actually quite liked it as it was and so did my husband. So I didn’t re-mask and instead hung it straight away so it wasn’t another job that needed finishing!

Due to where it’s hanging it’s tricky to get a decent photo from other angles, but I’m really pleased with how its turned out.  And I’ve organised the rest of the space too so it’s a far more welcoming and useful area with a shoe/changing bag rack and coat hooks. When it’s tidy, and with the light on, I’m so pleased with the mini transformation.

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Ta-Dah!! (If only it always looked like this!)

I really enjoyed making the shade, and would highly recommend the kits as they were easy to use and I think really effective.  I’ve made one for Tigger’s room too and used a diffuser on the bottom of the drum so the bare bulb wasn’t visible looking up from her cot and I love that effect too.

I’ve got another kit ready to go – I just need to find more fabric and a bare bulb to cover……

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