Frugal lampshade fail

I don’t jump into DIY projects easily because I don’t like to fail. Who does?! It takes me a long time to make a decision — especially about decor as that does NOT come naturally to me. Most of the time I find something I like and copy it (like the fall wreath here). I’m OK with being a good copycat. 🙂

Recently, I had a brilliant idea all on my own. We bought new lamps for our bedroom and I decided to do something fun to change the old lamps and use them somewhere else in the house. It was a low risk project as the lamps were $1 each at a yardsale last spring including the shades.

From Drop Box

They are basic glass lamps with a basic ivory shade — not really what we want anywhere in the house. (Please excuse the messy background in the pictures. I worked on this project while the kids did their math assignments!) But we need more lamps and I don’t want to spend money buying any more when I have perfectly good ones. That means it’s time to DIY!

I decided to cover the shades with ribbon and spray paint the base. I picked up a couple of rolls of coral satin ribbon at Walmart for $2 a piece and decided to tackle the project while Kenny was out of town at a wedding.

From Drop Box

First, I dusted the shade really well with a dry cloth.

From Drop Box

Then I pulled the ribbon off the top and bottom.

From Drop Box
From Drop Box

I started wrapping the shade and it wasn’t looking spectacular like it did in my head. I quickly realized that I needed to overlap a lot at the top and only a little at the bottom since the top of the shade has a smaller diameter. One potential fail avoided! It wasn’t hard at all once I got going. I used a dot of hot glue to get me started and then another dot about every four times I wrapped around.

From Drop Box

Biggest fail? I RAN OUT OF RIBBON after covering only one third of one shade!

From Drop Box

Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving how it’s turning out. But,

1. I can’t buy more ribbon until Kenny gets home because I can’t fit all the kids in a Subaru Outback to go to Walmart

2. By the time I buy four more rolls of ribbon to finish covering the ONE SHADE, the shade re-do will cost $12!! Granted, it’s custom. But still. I could buy a new shade for less.

Oh well. Sometimes you have to fail, I guess. I’d rather fail occasionally than never try at all. Right? Tell me I’m right!

I’ll post pics of the finished lampshade after Kenny gets home and I have a chance to get to the store for more ribbon (assuming I can find more of the same color!!). And, of course, I must decide what to do with the base.

From Drop Box

I covered it in a Walmart bag in the above photo with the shade just to see what it would look like grey. Kenny thinks it looks like a Halloween lamp. That’s not what I’m going for!! Now I’m thinking ivory would look really nice with the coral. What do you think? I’m not sure I’ve got the guts to spray paint a glass lamp!!

**update: I stopped by a different Walmart last night to get more ribbon and they only had 2 rolls. The first Walmart only had 2 rolls, too! At least I live in the middle of three Super Walmarts! LOL

4 thoughts on “Frugal lampshade fail

  1. (who did the rabbit ears behind the lampshade?? LOL!!)
    I was at Lowe’s today and I looked at lampshades. The cheapest ones were $9. So, even if you spend $12 for ribbon for each lampshade, that’s not much more than buying them brand new, especially if you really like having them custom like that!

    Will spray paint stick to glass? would you have to do a spray primer first? I don’t know. Can you find out info online about spray-painting glass?

    It’s hard to tell in a picture, but the grey looks good to me…. what’s your 2nd color choice if not grey?

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