An outdated lamp can ruin the look of any room design. Certain styles instantly date the room and stick out. When a lamp is going to draw attention, shouldn’t those eyes see something stylish, attractive and modern? Master a few DIY tricks to revamp those old lamps, and add new style to your rooms.
Making the Shades
A new lampshade can make an old lamp look like a brand-new piece. Buying shades can get a little pricey, and you won’t have any control over the style. Luckily, it’s easy to make, recycle and revamp those old lamp shades.
That old globe up in the attic is actually a lampshade waiting to happen. Use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the globe, and insert the bulb here. Forget the globe and get a large tin can instead. Cut out a design using the jigsaw, or pinch in a design with a nail or drill. Spray paint the metal any color. When it dries, slide the can over the light bulb to enjoy a unique DIY lamp shade. A wire or wood basket can also double as a pretty lamp shade.
Don’t throw those old maps away! Use glue and scissors, and paste them directly onto that old lampshade instead. A fancy printed lampshade with a map on it costs big bucks at the designer store, but you can customize your own for just a few dollars’ worth of materials. Keep old books handy as well, and use the pages to cover that old lamp shade. If you don’t have paper products, wrap and glue twine around the shade to give it a beautiful, textured look.
If your existing lamp shade is in good shape and has a good form, you might not want to replace it. Revamp it instead. Change the color of the shade with hair dye, which is a very cheap and easy solution. Cover the shade with colorful ribbon in a simple pattern, or cover it completely with pretty fabric that matches the rest of the room decor.
KC’s extra tip: Don’t buy fabric! Use a pretty pillowcase instead to save money.
Changing the Base
If the base of the lamp is terrible, that fabulous DIY lamp shade is going to look a little out-of-place.
Changing the color of the base may be enough to make the lamp look like a brand-new room accent. You can easily spray paint a lamp base to change the color. Get creative and cover it with ribbon or lace first, then spray paint and remove the material to see a pretty pattern.
Love the base of your lamp? Shadeless designs are becoming more popular, and they look very modern. Use a soft white or a colored bulb with your shadeless lamp. Bright white and halogen bulbs will add far too much light, and they can be dangerous to look at for extended periods of time. Consider the antique character of an Edison bulb.
Wrap ribbon, twine, lace or fabric around the base of the lamp to give it a great new look, but don’t create any fire hazards. Leave the lamp on for 10 hours, or more, and use your hand to test the heat of the base and the shade. This will give you an idea of which fabric, if any, you can safely add to the new design.
If you know something about electricity and you can handle wires safely, consider changing the base of the lamp entirely. A large glass bottle, a fire safe flower pot, even a pretty metal tea kettle can become fantastic new lamp bases.
LIKE THE IDEA OF UNIQUE LIGHTING? TRY YOUR HAND AT MAKING THIS STEAMPUNK-INSPIRED LAMP.