Monday, February 14, 2011

rewiring and fixing a vintage lamp part 2

We left off with a working lamp last post (finally!). If you missed it, you can read all about it here.

So as mentioned previously, this lamp sat in its fair share of dirty, dusty corners, and it showed. So I got down to business cleaning it.

This was by far one of the most tedius parts with regards to revamping the lamp.



It's really tricky to clean those veined glass leaves and dainty glass petals and get into all the crevasses. I should probably do it once more, but I was just too excited to finally rearrange the petals so the flowers actually looked like flowers again. I don't think they've ever looked like proper flowers, even when I bought it.

Next, I needed a shade (another daunting task). I found an interesting website that describes how to choose the perfect lampshade for any lamp. I used these measurements as a starting point. I thought it would be smarter to be as flexible as I could since there aren't that many options to choose from out there. If a smaller shade looked better, I'd go with it no matter what the dimensions.

using the website's measurements, the shade's bottom diameter should be no less than 13" and no bigger than 17" (within 2" plus or minus the height of the lamp), and the shade's height should be no less than 9 1/2" and no bigger than 10 1/2" (within 1/2" plus or minus the height of the harp)

I decided to start at IKEA. I've always thought that they had the best selection of modern looking shades, but IKEA ended up being a total bust. They only had one shade in one size that could fit onto a lamp harp. All of their other shades had the uno fitting. I did attempt to try them on with the lamp, but since these shades need to be screwed on under the socket, it was really hard to tell if one shade was better for the lamp than any of the others I was trying. My lamp came with a really beautiful finial, so I decided I'd rather have that detail than not at all. But if you really have to have an IKEA shade, I found this DIY for adapting a harp fitting for an uno shade. The probem I see with this is exactly the one I encountered. It's a lot harder to gauge how well multiple shades are fitting on your lamp base at the store if you've already wired it. So I would suggest you think about the shade before you do anything regarding the lamp wiring.

I tried a few other stores, too, but most shades I found were not the right colour, not the right shape, too overwhelming, too small, or too expensive. I was getting tired of lugging the lamp around and driving from store to store, so I figured I might as well check out Walmart next. I knew that most of their shades were old fashioned looking, so I went there rather doubtfully.

I ended up going with their very simple and basic fabric lamp shade which set me back $15. It was the only one I'd found that was within my dimensions, and it was the only one that actually looked right.


At the same store, I decided I should do something about the string that was wrapping around the middle. I couldn't remove it since I think that's the main way the leaves and petals were staying on, and I definitely didn't want to use string again (hello, forever!), so I picked up a roll of ribbon that I purposely matched directly to the shade.

I used some hot glue to tack it on as I wrapped it around the middle and down the length of the stem. I tried to do the whole thing, but I couldn't go all the way to the bottom because of the flowers and the way they're attached down there. That part's only noticeable if you come in close and move the flowers over anyway.


I also should have bought a skinnier ribbon because the center pole isn't actually a pole. It starts out round at the top, but by the bottom, it turns into a weird trapezoid shape which made it really difficult to wrap ribbon flat around it. In order to fix that, I had to go around the whole thing twice and then around the bottom part three times. It's not as nice as I would have liked it, but it's so much better than it was before.

So there. I'm pretty happy with the results and I can't wait to find a place for it that isn't a dusty corner or a closet. I spent $35 bucks (I don't remember what the lamp itself originally cost me, and I'm really surprised I didn't leave the Value Village price tag on it. I have a habit of doing that) and I took about 15 years, but I finally started and finished what I, er, started. Don't ever say I don't follow through with anything.

{note} I'll admit that the shade is really plain in comparison to the base, but this post is about fixing the lamp so it functions as a lamp. Expect another craft about decorating the lampshade so it's a little more unique and personalized for the lamp base.

1 comment:

Mz.Elle said...

Its amazing the difference..

I've got 9million photos,paintings and posters to get framed and hung up here. One day,one day.