Mimic a Trendy Lamp and make a DIY Lampshade

Change your home decor as often as you change your mind.

Isn’t that a lovely proposition?  Well, these hip lamps do just that. They have clear bases so you can fill them with whatever your heart desires as your mood – or the seasons – change.

Image and purchasing available here.

The Petersiks over at Young House Love have a similar lamp that they fill with all sorts of things.  I love the way they fill it with Christmas bulbs over the holidays. Look here to see how festive !  And how hip are these terrarium lamps?

Image found here.

The problem with these vases is that I can’t justify paying for one. The one at top retails for $99.99.  I can do a lot with $100.  That price point means that my love is a forbidden one.

So imagine my surprise when I stopped by the Deseret Industries (DI) in Tooele and found this beaut below for $1. Yes, I was in Tooele.  Yes, I went to the DI in Tooele. Don’t hate.

I almost missed it – hiding so quaintly behind the gaudy lamps up front.  But then I spotted it and – gasp! – not only is it fillable, but it’s a mason jar!  And this fillable lamp had a fantastic price point . . .

Oh Mason Jar, you had me at $1. (No kidding! $1!)

I sent the jar through the dishwasher to sparkle it up.  Then I dismantled another lamp for pieces to hold the shade.

Ah, the shade.  I’ve had several in the basement for a while as I try to visualize bedroom decor.  I really loved its green color but hadn’t used it for a couple of years because it no longer matched.  And although my new shades of my bedroom are also in greens, they don’t really mesh.

So I picked a fabric that worked with my inspiration print. ( You may recall my inspiration print for my dresser redo, here.)

First I prepared the fabric.  I measured the bottom of the shade (the widest part) and its height.  I cut the fabric, leaving several inches extra on each side of the fabric. Then I ironed the fabric to make sure that it would be presentable. (I also used starch to see if I could keep it the fabric as stiff and wrinkle free as possible.)

Second, I used a hot glue gun to secure the edge of the fabric to the shade starting on the crease of the shade.

Third, I hot glued the fabric all along the bottom of the shade.  I kept the fabric as tight as possible, using clothes pins along the way.

Next I glued the fabric to the top rim. I attached the fabric in two-inch increments to the rim, keeping the fabric as tight as possible.

Because the shade is narrower at the top, I created pleats to keep the fabric taut.  After the two inches were glued down to the top rim, I gathered the excess fabric at the top and glued it down to create pleats.

I did this all around the top until all the fabric was glued down.

I had used my pinking sheers to cut the edges so that the fabric wouldn’t fray.  To keep the final edge clean (where it met the crease of the shade), I folded the edge of the fabric over and glued it down so it looked merely like another pleat.

Finally, I had excess fabric in the inside of the shade.  I  I trimmed down the excess and glued down the inside flaps.


Now the fun part!  What shall I fill it with? I had been saving wine corks and asking everyone else I knew to save wine corks, too.  I knew there’d be a perfect project for them eventually.  Also, they were about $5 for 10 at the craft store.  What a racket!

For now I’ll sport the corks, but sooner than later I’ll want to change it up! Any suggestions?

Have you ever scored when you dropped in on a store in a totally different town?  Do you have a favorite thrift store find?



Filed under DIY

12 responses to “Mimic a Trendy Lamp and make a DIY Lampshade

  1. Mom

    Very apparent that you do NOT have IDLE HANDS whatsoever!! Cute idea! If you are asking for other suggestions how about filling it with buttons for a sewing room.

  2. Cid

    Personally I dig the mason jar way more than the others. How rad is that!!!! I wonder if you could put a fish in it???

    • Thanks! I think so, too. I’m not sure fish would work because there’s no air? But maybe they don’t need it because fish get air from the water via their gills?

  3. Mom

    Does the electric cord go through the jar? That could possibly fry the fish?

  4. Mom

    But putting a fish in it sure is thinking outside the box eh?

  5. Lori

    Ok, so I have decided that we need to go “thrifting”! I will not take no for an answer! Between you and my friend Sarah, and the finds you guys have made I am convinced I no longer need to shop at regular stores! Now, if only I were as crafty as you, then I’d really be set!

    • Let me tell you something. I have no business “thrifing.” I have no vision to see an item’s true potential. I think it was just Tooele was sending me a vibe. ;)

  6. i saw your comment on my diy lampshade attempt. on the second attempt posted here: http://downandoutchic.blogspot.com/2009/07/diy-fun-lampshade-attempt-2.html
    i figure out how to do it so that you don’t have to put pleats in. it’s much easier if you make a curved pattern! good luck and thanks for sharing your experience :)

  7. Completely lovely ! Well done, love your inspiration and your final finished lamp, be proud !


  8. Pingback: Oh Humility! Oh Shame! « DIYing to be Domestic

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