Last Spring, while still envisioning what our new home would be like, I picked up a pair of these petite brass lamps at the local hospital auxiliary thrift store for $4 each. Now that I'm looking at the before photo, the brass is kind of growing on me. Too late now!
After removing the shades, taping off the electrical connections and the power cords, I spray painted the lamp bases in glossy white. I think I was going through a bit of a "spray paint fixes everything" phase, as you can see by my collection of soon to be sprayed items on my table.
The spray painting was easy enough aside from the blowing cottonwood outside getting stuck in the wet paint. The paint wrinkled in a few places, but, overall, I was pleased with the results. I took off the pleated beige fabric from the shades, which caused the plastic part of one of the shades to completely crackle apart. To my chagrin, I realized that the plastic was holding the metal rings of the shades together, so I was left with the bare bones of a shade to work with. At that point, the project became annoying to me and sat on the shelf for months. I toyed with the idea of just buying some cute drum barrel shades, but my thrifty instincts told me there must be a way to figure it out. Plastic mesh to the rescue...
A few sheets of plastic embroidery mesh later, and my little shade was back in business. I used the remaining original shade to serve as a template/mold for recreating the other shade, stitching the edges around the metal ring, and joining the pieces of mesh together.
My favourite DIY lampshade was this chunky crocheted shade, but after several attempts, I threw in the crochet hook and went in a different direction. The pattern was designed for a more subtly angled lampshade, and the holes between the stitches would have revealed my not-so-classy plastic mesh shade.
My next piece of inspiration was the yellow scalloped design shade here. I decided to use felt instead of regular fabric, since felt doesn't unravel. I used a roll of duct tape as a circle template, then traced and cut out a jillion circles. Actually, I think it was around 100 circles for each shade. My trusty glue gun helped me to affix the circles to the shades and I finished off the edges with a crocheted chain in matching grey yarn. It was kind of a consolation for not having a completely crocheted shade, but a piece of binding would have probably given in a cleaner, less "I made it myself" look.
I didn't realize how much the light would actually shine through the felt, which gives it a geometric effect very similar to the picture on the wall above the couch. It irks me a little bit that the circles aren't lined up quite perfectly but I'll pretend it doesn't.
The finished product! I had decided to keep the little brass owl away from my spray painting frenzy, but I cleaned it with the wrong thing and ruined the finish. Alas, he became a white owl in the end. I think I wanted to keep the brass look solely because I heard somebody make reference to a "lovely patina" on an aged brass something, I don't even remember what that was, and I kind of fell in love with the word patina. It has a nice ring to it, n'est-ce pas?