Wednesday, February 11

DIY lamp

if the question is: are you tan? the answer is: YES! i hate to gloat, but i can't seem to stop myself! it must be all that sun.... my considerate nature is buried beneath my peeling skin. 
but now we're home (hurry up spring!) and new projects abound! today i've got detailed instructions to make your own black pipe lamp and shade.

but first a quick tropical shot. i love the color and the natural wear that the sea brings.

my first attempt. this is really a poor picture- it looks better in person. (and yes, i probably could have taken an extra minute to take a better picture, but it seemed more important to make a drink and read the new yorker. i'm having a difficult transition from vacation life)

i love the blend of heavy industrial base and frilly shade.

what you'll need: an old shade, some fabric and ribbon, make a lamp kit, 12" length of 1" black pipe (it's used for natural gas), flange for 1"pipe, and a connector to go from 1"to 3/4" (you'll also need some black paint and a bit of sandpaper). to assemble the base you'll need a screwdriver and hammer; for the shade you'll need a hot glue gun and a needle and thread.

these are some of the parts from the lamp kit. the white rubber thing needs to get hammered into the 3/4" part of the connector (you can try screwing it in with a wrench too- it was kind of hard both ways)

take the brass parts from the lamp kit and the black iron connector with the white rubber part and spray paint them black (really any kind of paint would be fine, i used chalkboard because i wanted a really flat finish and i already had some). you should probably give the brass fixtures a light sanding so the paint sticks better.... once this dries the making a lamp part is easy. screw the base to the pipe, thread the lamp cord through. then holding the base thread the cord through the white rubber (inside the connector). then screw the connector to the pipe. follow the instructions on the kit to attach the last parts (the ones that used to be brass) and you're done with the base!

i cut the shade a pulled it away in one piece so i could use it as a pattern for my new fabric.

the new fabric cut out. i made the new piece about 4 inches wider because i wanted the new shade to have a gathered look (they hide imperfections and give a more feminine impression) then i hot glue gunned ribbon to the top and bottom.

under this little strip of ribbon, the two edges of fabric were hot glue gunned together. i did the same thing on the other side of the fabric. (you never notice how visible the inside of a lamp shade is until there's some crappy thread hanging around)

i folded the ribbon around the metal frame and hand stitched it together. you may want to pin it in place to make sure the extra fabric is evenly spaced. (you also might curse less this way- but that's not a promise)

ta da! finished! again, not a great photo- but you get the idea.  happy lamp making!

1 comment:

Kate said...

huh? i think something just posted that i didn't mean to post just yet... which gets me to my point: this post blew me away, not only b/c you are seriously a creative genius and make me want to quit my job immediately and move in to your shop and absorb some of your genius juice, but also b/c you somehow managed to breakdown your entire process into steps you actually think someone like me could follow and included helpful pictures and managed to be funny too. GAWD! am i the luckiest girl in the world to claim you as my soulmate? (plutonic, my friends. don't get to excited!) anyhoo, i can't wait to come see these lamps in the flesh. (or should i say steal?)