Saturday, April 9, 2011

Make a glowing collaged lampshade

Every room needs a lamp or two. Living in the Pacific Northwest means some dark days, and lamps give a warm, inviting glow without the glare of overhead lights. However, most lamps come with a plain white shade, and here is an easy way to personalize and decorate them.

Supplies you need are a plain, flat lampshade made of fabric or heavy paper backed with plastic as most inexpensive shades are. This one was $7 at Target. You need some scissors and paper to collage with. I like to buy cheap classic paperbacks at garage sales or Goodwill (this one is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen), tear the pages out and cut them into leaf shapes (cut several pages at a time). Any paper item will work including color or black and white copied images or scrapbook paper. Heavy paper like old postcards will work but won't glow through the paper. Pictures that are printed on both sides (such as pictures cut out of magazines) will work but know that what's on the back may show through when the lamp is turned on.

You also need a 1" or so paintbrush and Mod Podge, a waterbase sealer, glue and finish that you can buy at any craft store (use a 40% off coupon!). You can buy either a gloss finish which I prefer or a matte finish which is less shiny.

Start by shaking the closed container of Modge Podge to mix it up. Then dip your paintbrush in it and cover a 5-6" square area heavily with the Mod Podge. Start placing your cut paper onto the lampshade on the the wet area, covering the top of each paper item with Mod Podge using your paintbrush. You can choose to overlap the cut paper, scatter it so some of the plain lampshade shows through, or make a regular pattern. For this lampshade, I chose to place some leaves so they hang down slightly over the bottom edge. If you do this, paint some Mod Podge on the other side of the tip of the paper also to strengthen it. Continue this process until the entire lamp is covered. You can use your finger to smooth wrinkles or bubbles as you go, but most of them will flatten as it dries. The Mod Podge may look milky as you are applying it but will dry clear. After it dries, you can give the whole thing one more coat with Mod Podge to make sure everything is adhered.

Here is the finished product. The paper lampshade will look opaque when the lamp is turned off, but will magically transform into a glowing art piece when it is turned on.

Here is one I made by color copying the vintage travel postcards I bought at the estate sale last week and collaging them onto a lampshade.

Here's one I did a few years ago with actual Tarot cards which I love, but since the cards are a heavier weight paper, they don't glow. Next time, I would make color copies of the cards instead.

Here are a little pair of vintage lamps I bought at Goodwill a few weeks ago for $4 each that I absolutely love. Clear glass lamps are very chic right now and you can see them in expensive catalogs for $30 each, or knock-offs at Target for around $18. If you buy old lamps, make sure the plug looks safe. These have had their original cords and plugs replaced with newer ones (not by me, but I've heard it's not too hard).

Start collecting some paper images you love and get glowing!

To see a fresh etsy shop that features amazing paper collaged cards called Local Wisdom, please go here:

1 comment:

  1. Page, I love to read blogs, especially for the DIY's . Thanks for the great project.



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