Thursday, January 17, 2013

DIY Jute Lampshade

Once upon a time, a little lonely lamp was feeling extra ugly and dated despite her functionality. Her sad little green shade had a hole and mystery smudge marks left by a sticky toddler. She longed to be beautiful like the lamps that her owner coveted in stores or magazines.

Seriously, though. We've got one homely little lamp in the living room. I don't know why I have never just broken down and bought a new pair of lamps. Goodness knows that we need them. Perhaps it's because I'm cheap or indecisive. Or both. Probably both.

Anyway. We are moving in a few months, so instead of breaking down and buying the lamps of my dreams, I prefer to wait and see what type of decor our new digs will inspire. Still, that little lonely lamp could use a face lift. I've often contemplated buying a new shade, but with the prices that some of them run, I might as well just wait until I buy new lamps! Then it hit me. I could recover the existing shade. I've never done that before, so it seemed a little daunting and complicated. I also realized that I might have a tough time with fabric choices. The curtains on that side of the room are bold, and the background is an off-white. A dingy shade is not exactly what I had in mind. I've also noticed the lack of natural fibers in this space, and then it clicked. A jute shade could very well be what this little-lamp-that-could needs.

Off to the store I went, and I wound up bringing home two spools of golden thread jute gardening twine. Now, I've never really owned anything jute before, but man does that stuff stink! Is it normal for it to have a WD40 scent? I checked the label to see if it had been treated with anything, but alas! No mention of it. Then I began to wonder if this would pose a problem with being flammable. Well, duh! It's string. I'm pretty sure there won't be a fire hazard, though, since we use a low-watt Eco bulb, and it doesn't really seem to get hot. We also don't use the lamp often. Just occasionally when we sit on that side of the room in the evening.

My apologies in advance for the terrible pictures. There just isn't much natural light in our living and dining rooms, and it's been cloudy/snowy for days.

This project turned out to be pretty easy for the most part. I just unscrewed my bulb, removed the shade, and began to wrap my twine around the shade. To secure the ends I used my hot glue gun. I put a little dab of glue at the top after every couple of wraps, too, just to make sure everything was secure.

When I ran out of string, I just glued my end at the top, and tucked any excess behind the rest of my twine. I made it 3/4 the way around the shade before I completely ran out of twine, and wanted to kick myself for not picking up that third roll at the store. I had contemplated whether or not I would need a third roll, and decided against it. Now it sits there on the shelf mocking me for the extra trip I will need to take to finish my lamp.

So humor me, take a trip to the land of make believe, and pretend that there isn't this gaping unfinished spot on part of my shade, neighbor.

Overall, I think that it looks much better than before. All of the holes and toddler battle scars are hidden, and it only set me back $6 for the twine. I do think, though, that the base could use a little freshening up. Perhaps a spray of white paint and some wax to antique it slightly would give it better contrast. What do you think? Is this a happily ever after or a curse?

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