Monday, October 17, 2011

don't-DIY: wallpaper covered lampshade

I really wish this idea had gone better. Smoother. Nicer. But it just didn't. And sometimes, that's what happens in the DIY world. You have this great idea and about halfway into it you think, "This is not working. Please stop." But you can't stop. You just keep doing it, determined to have it work out like it did in your mind.

This is one of those projects.

I'm sure you remember this lamp. The lamp from my how to fix a vintage lamp post.

Well, it was determined that the lampshade was quite dull and very boring.

I had two different ideas on how to fix it up.

One involved fabric flowers and ribbons; the other involved using my scroll-y vintage wallpaper.

I had really lusted after the flower idea. I really did. The problem was in finding the fabric. It had to be (in my mind) that perfect shade of pink. Pink like the flowers on the base. Any other shade would (and did) look wrong.

I had the wallpaper idea one day as I was cleaning scraps up and realized the yellow kinda worked with the stem and the pattern kinda made sense towards the whole flower scheme (climbing vines? lattice work? whatever). And since I had the wallpaper already in my possession and since I discovered it was the perfect width, I decided to go ahead with option two. Even though it was the less desirable option.

The first challenge was in making a pattern or template for the shade. Thank goodness I had the foresight to do this with some inexpensive craft paper instead of cutting up my roll of wallpaper a dozen times. I'm sure there's somewhere on the internet that can teach you the mathematics involved with doing this, but I greatly underestimated the difficulty of this first step and besides, math doesn't usually play fair with me.

Eventually (through pure frustration and annoyance at my whole craft room and table being taken up with this project for weeks), I ended up putting the lampshade back on the base and wrapping, taping, and cutting the craft paper while on the shade. Definitely not smart. Definitely don't do it.

Then I stewed for another week over how to attach the paper to the shade.

Eventually (and more through my sheer annoyance at not having a single ounce of table to take pictures or do other projects), I made the decision to go with hot glue and just frickin' do it already damned the consequences. At least with hot glue, I can pull it off later. I'm pretty sure I can pull it off later. I've picked it off other things before...

The resulting shade isn't... that bad, I guess. The photo makes the edge appear very crinkled and unruly, but it doesn't look like that in person. Or at least not until you're very close up. And it's very "oh. damn." if you happen to get a peak inside the shade. That's when you realize it's kind of a chop-shop job.

I'm going back to the flower concept even if it takes me 5 years to find fabric. It took me 10 years to fix the lamp in the first place. Five years will feel like a cake walk.


Torviewtoronto said...

this looks beautiful

Laeli said...

It's really unexpected. I like the flower idea too...keep searching, the right shade will turn up.

GALaxy said...

TorviewToronto: Thanks! But it's a little wonky! ;)

Lael: The flower idea just seems more right, you know? Good thing I'm patient! ;)