Friday, August 12, 2011

Felt Lampshade DIY

I bought this beautiful wrought iron lamp from a coworker several weeks ago because I loved the design of the base. At $10 it was a steal, and after reading this blog post from BossyColorBlog (If you see a table lamp you like, BUY IT), I didn't really hesitate. In fact, I think it only took me less than 2 minutes to reply to her email once it hit my inbox. 

Though the base was beautiful, the lamp shade was um....underwhelming. First of all, I prefer barrel shades to conical ones. Second, it was crudely painted and you could see the paint streaks when the light was on. Makeover time!

Young House Love posted a call-to-action asking their readers to complete a project they had found online (and specifically had pinned on Pinterest). Not too long ago, I had found these great lamp DIYs on Design Sponge that covered a lamp shade with circles of felt to create a very cool textured pattern.

A reader's successful attempt

I also found this lamp shade originally sold at Anthropologie that I loved even more (the colors in particular).

So with these two in mind, I went shopping to see what I could find. I searched Target and the interwebs for a barrel lampshade with the proper frame attachment (it's the kind that doesn't sit below the light bulb, but rather above it). I couldn't find ANYTHING that was plain and cheap enough with the right frame and barrel shape.

When we were out apartment hunting, I saw a sign for a yard sale and on a whim asked Boyfriend to stop. Wouldn't you believe it, they had the perfect lampshade for $1? What are the chances?? Okay, it wasn't completely perfect, but for $1 you can't really care too much. The shade was a bit too long, so all I did was trim it and glue the lower ring back on with some hot glue.

The ring was slightly too large for the trimmed edge, so I simply put a thick bead of hot glue around the edge and let it dry to add thickness. 

On to the decorating! I originally wanted to use ribbon and make the Anthropologie version, but I failed to find the right kind. So instead I went for a mashup between the felt and the ribbon. I bought felt in three different gray colors and used a jar as a stencil to create circles. Then I cut them out. Lots and lots of cutting. Hours actually. I even splurged for some really sharp fabric scissors to make it easier on my sore hands. So much cutting.....

I ended up needing about five times this amount of circles
And then came the gluing. Let's just say that I SEVERELY underestimated the amount of time it would take to glue hundreds of little felt circles onto a lamp shade.

This probably took 1-2 hours. I lost track.
Many episodes of The Office were watched.

Over the course of the week, my lampshade slowly took shape. There was much TV watching (Battlestar Galactica, Camelot, The Office, random comedians). With the circle-cutting and gluing together, this project probably took me over 10 hours to complete.

BUT without further ado:

Here it is in a room! (I'm still working on that painting. Don't look)

Project budget breakdown: 
Lamp base: $10
Shade: $1
Felt: $15 (I bought 3 yards total and used about 1.5)
Glue and gun: already owned
TOTAL: $26, score!

There you have it! I love how it turned out and I think it compliments the base very nicely. However, I will most certainly NOT be doing this again. I think my OCD made this project take WAY longer than it should. Thank goodness the lamp base is one-of-a-kind!