Living Room Decorating
5 Ways to Make Your
Lighting Shine on a Budget
Frugal Interior Lighting Choices
I have three lamps in my living room, which are in desperate need of new shades. I have been very discouraged by the prices even at Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Any suggestions?
With all the do-it-yourself resources available, there is no reason to buy expensive decorator lamp shades. Go to a garage sale and purchase an old one that you can take home and cover with wallpaper, fabric, ribbons, etc.
You can even purchase a plain, inexpensive one and embellish it with beaded trims, etc. Not creative? Go to one of the home decorating sites and do a search on lamp shades. You will get dozens of ideas!
I'm delighted to be able to help with your lamp shade replacement project as I just finished doing one myself! I had an old white linen tablecloth that was too permanently stained to use on the table. I stripped off the old lamp shade covering and then made a pattern of one of the six sections of the shade "skeleton."
Using this pattern, I then played with the placement and finally cut out six panels, leaving a hefty one to two inch selvage on all sides. Because the tablecloth was rectangular, I cut out three panels each of two different weaving patterns and alternated these "patterns" on the lamp shade. Using a glue gun, I centered and stretched each panel as I attached them to the wire frame. I glued the top and bottom "hems" around the frame, and then trimmed each "seam" as closely as possible. To finish off each vertical seam, I hot-glued a piece of attractive woven ribbon over it, and then I did the same around the top and bottom of the frame. My only money investment was the cost of the ribbon and I now have a lamp shade with the look of brocade.
You will find many ideas of how to "redecorate" lamp shades on either hgtv.com or diynet.com. They have terrific instructions on how to recover with fabric, decoupage, paint, etc. Happy Hunting!
Try going to garage sales, flea markets, and Goodwill. These are great places to look for shades. Recently, I was at a garage sale and found the perfect sized lamp shade for my bedroom lamp. The lamp was a hideous rattlesnake and cowboy boot, but the shade was just the size I needed. I paid a quarter for the whole lamp. I took the lamp home and discarded everything but the shade. Then I cut some of the sunflowers out of left over fabric that I used to make my curtains. With a solution of three parts glue to one part water (or you can use a decoupage matte), I attached each cutout and glazed over them with the mixture. You have to be sure to coat all the edges well or they'll start rolling up after it starts to dry. I put three coats on just in case, letting each layer dry before applying the next one. It's an easy way to get a customized lamp shade for a fraction of the price!
Casey in Houston, TX
I covered two bedside lamp shades with textured "hand-made" paper I got from the stationery store. First, make a pattern out of newspaper so you know it's going to fit. Then cut out slightly larger than the pattern, so you can trim it down if necessary. White glue worked fine to hold the edges together. These fit right over the old shades, like a slipcover.
If lamp shades are in fairly good shape, they can "look" new again. Glue on beads, lace, fringe, silk flowers, etc. Look around the house and let your imagination go wild! Paint over dirty spots with a design. Or cut out designs (flowers, butterflies, etc.) from a piece of fabric and glue them randomly on the shade to cover bad spots. Please remember that the shade can get warm, so be mindful of this when choosing what you use. You don't want something that will burn, melt or drip!
I was absolutely astonished when I was shopping at Lowe's recently. Like you, I usually choke when I see the price on a shade that I like. While my hubby was waiting for his paint to be mixed, I wandered over to the lamp shade turntables. I found several that I liked and checked the prices. Some were on clearance and were actually affordable. I replaced two shades for my 24" living room lamps for $3.27 each and I found another shade for a lamp in one of my bedrooms for $1.47. Those are prices that even my meager budget can afford. Check it out.
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