Poor Brian is so busy with graduate school work that we haven’t tackled any big projects this month, but I guess it’s okay because that frees me up for some little projects, like the mirror and clock. And yeah, this lampshade.
I decided it was high time the bare bulb in the hallway got a shade, or least a little treatment to soften the glow. As always, I turned to pinterest for inspiration and came up with the following.
Then, while I was in New Jersey a few weekends ago, I got started on lamp number three. Except, I knew I wanted a smaller version and I didn’t want to glue the sticks to an already-existing lamp shade. First, I went to Home Depot, where I asked to buy about thirty paint stirs but was told they didn’t sell them and I could take as many as I want. Then, when I got to my parents’ house, I gathered my supplies for step one: wood stirs, embroidery circles, stain, rag, gloves, and lots of newspaper. I didn’t use the sponge brush shown (my sister, the artsy fartsy one in the family, casually suggested that I use a rag instead, without using the word idiot) and the glue gun is for step two.
I mixed together two wood stains that I already had on hand (from projects that I did YEARS ago) to get the color that I had in mind. I also stained the big embroidery circle you see in this picture ($1.69 at Michaels) and a little embroidery circle not shown ($1.29 at Michaels). I applied stain using the rag, while wearing latex gloves. This took longer than it needed to because I was watching a movie ($1 at Redbox). I decided against a second coat of stain because I didn’t want it to be too dark and I like that each paint stir stick had a slightly different grain.
The supplies came home to Maryland with me, where it sat in the basement for two weeks while I was crazy busy at work. And then I started the mirror project which monopolized my time. But THEN, I used the can’t-believe-I-ever-lived-without-it miter saw to trim my paints stirs.
And that’s when I started step two and whipped out the hot glue gun, glue sticks, and binder clips. I glued four paint stirs to the small circle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock and binder clipped them.
To be honest, I was a bit nervous that the angle wasn’t going to be perfect the whole way around (and thus, I would end up with a lopsided, completely homemade-looking lamp shade). That’s why you can see the miter angle measuring tool. But I ended up not using it because Brian explained that the “pull” from each four sticks on the embroidery circle would be equal, so I let gravity do her thing. I glued the four sticks onto the large circle and binder clipped them into place. The rest of the project was really easy, because I fit exactly three paint sticks between each two that were already glued (no measuring needed, just eye-balled it). At one point, my bare pinky toe touched the hot glue gun and I sort of shrieked and explained to Brian that I burned my foot. Instead of making fun of me, he made a Michael Scott joke and went back to work.
That brings us to step three. I purchased three scrapbook sheets of vellum ($.069 each from Michaels) to soften the light (credit is due completely to my sister because I was going to leave the shade see-through and she said no, you need to buy vellum). Step three was the hardest for me. It involved laying the paper inside of my lampshade and tracing with pencil on top and bottom, and cutting and hot gluing the vellum to the wood. I also made sure that each vellum seam hid behind a paint stir. Here I am halfway done.
Then I hot glued ribbon over the vellum seams (top, bottom, and on three paint sticks). And finally, it was ready to hang. Except, I decided that it was time to replace the light pull in the hallway. I had read that the pull mechanism breaks and needs to be replaced every few years anyway and I decided why not now? So I bought one of these for $4 at Home Depot:
And I taped inside and over the pull. Then put newspaper down in the basement and opened up some windows while I sprayed primer (twice).
And then I sprayed paint (twice).
And then I got distracted by the clock project. But finally, Brian shut the electricity, replaced the light fixture, and we hung the lamp shade from two C hooks. And voila. A lampshade for less than $10 and two hours of my time, completed just in time for the Pinterest fall challenge.