A little light upcycling…

Occasionally on this blog, I like to put Herbalism and Life Coaching to one side and write about some of my other projects.  Today’s blog is all about a bit of upcycling I decided to do on some lighting.

Last week I took on the rather large task of painting a bluey purpley hallway in Hawaiian Sand.  To any average person, it is lemony yellow… but anyway.  It went from this…

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to this…

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Anyway… you can just see in the top right of the picture, the old lampshades.  It had tassles on it… and was made of wicker and dark brown braid.  It was old, it was knackered and it was far too dark for my light, bright colour scheme.  So I embarked on a face lift.

Ably assisted by my husband (that is, he scrambled up and took the lampshades down) I started to get rid of the old lampshades.  The glue which had stuck the wicker and braid to the metal frame had long since dried, so it did not take very long for the lampshades to be nude and look like this.

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I then drew a template of the four sides and the four bottom sections of the lantern shape.  I decided to use greaseproof paper as the pattern pieces.  Then I needed to decide what fabric to cover the frame in.  I had a rifle through my material horde and decided on a yellow gingham I had lying about in there.  It is sunny, it is cheerful and it was free because it was in my stash already!  What is there not to like!  I carefully cut out the fabric pieces with a generous seam allowance, and then sewed the bottom lantern section, on to the lantern side.  After pressing the seams, I had the fun job of pinning the material to the frame in order to make sure everything fit.

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After a good deal of bad language and a half dozen attempts, I managed to get the fabric shape fitted onto the frame.  It rapidly became apparent that I was going to require some extra bits and pieces to cover the lantern frame at the bottom, because my seam allowances on the bottom were not quite as generous as they needed to be.  Cue a quick trip up to town and to my favourite “We have got everything you need” shop, where a quick trip around their haberdashery section yielded some lace and some thin white tape.  In total, £3.25.  For two lampshades.  Okay, not free like I was aiming for, but I’ll take it.  Particularly as our research yesterday evening yielded the cheapest lampshade replacement to be an Ikea rice paper one for £2.50.  So, for two, along with a longer car journey, it would have been at LEAST £5.  It’s a saving!!

The rest of this afternoon I have been hemming and basting and hemming some more… and here it is.  The finished article.

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This is the first time I have attempted to put fabric around an existing frame, and I have to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I have also learned a lot.  And a side benefit is that it has kept me away from the ironing.  What is not to like?


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