Monday, February 2, 2015


Seriously, you would think that a 2 year lamp makeover would just be fabulous, but it's really just kinda cute.  However, I learned some very important lessons with this lamp, that will make any future lamp makeovers much easier.
It didn't start out cute.  It was just a sad and kind of nasty lamp with a stained shade that was left in one of our rental properties.  Of course, I had to rescue it and was so sure I could make it look better because, hey! it was a free lamp.  Okay...not free because the renters skipped out on 2 months rent.  Maybe I should have called this the $750 dollar two year lamp makeover, but then no one would be reading this.
First mistake....I thought it was wood.  I didn't really look at it that hard but upon close inspection, it's some kind of resin composite made to look like wood.  So...spray paint seemed to be in order.
I primed the lamp and all the parts.
I spray painted them silver because I like silver.
Second mistake, I thought it would be easy to pick up a replacement shade.  No.  Now days, most of the replacement shades for small lamps are the kind that go over the bulb and sit on the lamp base. I needed one for a harp. sat for about half a year and I kept moving it to the back of the projects list.
One day, as I was getting something off of a shelf in my old craft room, it literally fell on my head.  Hmmmm.  Maybe it wants attention.  OK.  I decided to paint the shade with craft paint.  This seemed like a brilliant and inexpensive idea.  Wrong.  Mistake number three.  It had some kind of spongy lining on the back and it absorbed the paint in an uneven and swear-inducing kind of way.
It looked horrible when lit.  The lining had to go.  Easy right?  No.  It was a pain the butt.  Now you may ask what kind of special tools are required to perform this kind of light surgery.  Let me just demystify that for you right now...
Two kinds of scissors, (one being the highly technical fingernail scissors), an exacto knife and the all important tupperware orange peeler.  Just start one little hole separating that liner from the cover and you'll immediately find a use for the rest of the tools pictured, I promise.
So I got the liner off, and was pleasantly surprised to find that my grey craft paint made the outer fabric kind of look like screen.  Cool, right? 
Wrong...because when it was lit, it looked like this.....
Every bit of glue from removing the trim, every spot where the paint was uneven was illuminated just for your viewing pleasure.  The thin fabric gave it that blinding bare bulb prison lighting effect.  ARGHHHHHHHH!
I said some swears and put the whole thing back up on the shelf for another day month year.
Six months ago, I was in the fabric section of a store and came across a pretty piece of fabric and some cute black trim.

The fabric was all shiny and elegant looking and I couldn't decide between the trims, so I bought both.....and then put them away for another several months because I was still saying swear words in my mind when I thought about that lamp, which is no way to begin a project for the third time. dear friend Judy came from Arizona for 12 days this month and she finished this project up for me....
Isn't she awesome??!!  She made a pattern for the shade from tissue paper and glued it on with Alene's Turbo Tacky Glue and used the same for the trim.
Finally, after two years, this little lamp was done.  I love my friend Judy and I don't know what I would do without her.  She helped me with several projects while I was here.  I'll be sharing them with you soon, but in the meantime, let's just enjoy this lamp....
I can't decide where to put it.   It lives in Jacob's room.
It's easy to move around because it's small.....
See that little picture on the top up there?  You may remember that I made it for my bedroom in the other house.
Framed Clay Medallion
It's kind of a fun clay medallion that I made and framed and then promptly lost in the move only to be found last month when I was frantically searching for something else.  Playing with clay is as much fun now as it was when I was a kid!  You can see how I made it by clicking the link at the bottom of the picture.
And the little silver sign in the center...
That's Jacob's night time prayer.  He says his regular prayers first, and then he likes to read this, just for extra insurance, because you never know what's lurking around in the dark!  At least now he can turn on a cute little bedside light if he hears a bump in the night!
Thank you Judy for getting that long overdue project finished for me!  You're the best! (But I'm still going to post about how you broke my new sewing machine. LOL!)

Linking up:

The Dedicated House


  1. Hey, you finished it - what a year or two between start and finish? I have many, many unfinished projects, some so old that I have no idea what they were supposed to be. Most chocolate boxes that I'm going to turn into SOMETHING one day but I keep them mostly because they still smell of chocolate. Every one needs a friend like Judy (even if they do break your sewing machine ...)

  2. Your lamp looks adorable and yes, Judy is the best! What a great friend! She has so many lovely talents and I bet she fixed your machine after she "broke" it, too!

  3. Sweet! It may have taken forever (and there are so many projects that seem to go that way aren't there?), but it looks fantastic now.

    Nice job!

  4. Yay for Judy! She is Wonder Woman :) Your lamp looks very pretty, my friend, even if it took two years to complete. I'm pretty sure I have projects stuffed into my craft room closet from 3 years ago.....

    Happy Monday!

  5. Can Judy come to my house? Love that lamp which would have gotten thrown out after the first oops if I had it.

  6. Well, after all that work with two different people working on it, the lamp is surely worth $750! At least it finally looks quite elegant. Judy should do house calls. I have a million-bejillion projects to finish.

  7. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has half done projects hanging around for years. In the end your lamp turned out beautifully. How nice of Judy to finish it for you.

  8. We should start a club... sounds like we all have some unfinished projects hidden away. But we all don't have a Judy! She is awesome! Your lamp is so cute. Now, tell us how relieved you are that your sewing machine is broke. LOL! No pressure...

  9. Can I borrow Judy? ;-) The lamp looks wonderful! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  10. Some projects are a real drag. Glad it's now finished and looking beautiful!

  11. Danni, the lamp turned out great ! Actually very elegant :-) {I would have thrown it out the first time things went wrong .. but well, yours *were $750 worth* !}

  12. Nice to have talented friends. And something to mark off your list is always good. Enjoy

  13. I tensed up at Step #1 "Properly dismantle lamp parts before spray painting". No wonder it took 2 years, it was done to perfection which I have begun to expect from you.
    I have about 4 lamps in every room in my house, plus about 4 extras that lie in waiting. Occasionally I have them do-si-do around the house. Last time was last month and I think I nailed it, to the point where I'm going to declare them permanently placed..... ahahahahaha, we'll see.

  14. Oh my gosh Danni, thanks for the laugh this morning! I feel your pain and frustration. Been there...done the multiple t-shirts. LOL Sounds like "the little lamp that could". In the end it turned out beautifully and you must be so happy it won't haunt you anymore.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  15. It must have been meant to be because it ended up so cute...and in the perfect place to scare the goblins away as needed. I've had similar 2 year projects, but just can't seem to put my experience into words quite so eloquently or hysterically as you do, Danni. Thanks for the laughs

  16. You replaced Damien? What?!?!?!

    The lamp turned out the end :). Love that you shared the good, the bad and the ugly with us. You brightened my morning with this fun post.

  17. I painted a paper lamp shade once and the same thing happened, it looked ghastly when the light was turned on, all uneven with brush strokes, so I know where you're coming from. Thank goodness for Judy, both of you have really turned the lamp around.
    I threw that painted shade away !

  18. Danni, this was too funny. I'm not sure I'd have your patience when it comes to a swear-inducing, two year, $750 lamp but it looks great.

  19. I pulled fabric off of shades a year ago and swore I would never ever do that again. The glue they use is not of this earth.

  20. I think Judy should come visit us all...she's handy to have around! Painted fabric shades...ugh. They are such a downer after you turn on the light! I'm sure Jacob will have something to say about your hard work. Love his extra prayer. He's the cutest.

  21. Do you think I could borrow your friend Judy for a week or two??? What a great makeover.

  22. Amei conhecer o seu blog, já fiquei por aqui!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!


    Beijos Marie.

  23. I think next time Judy should spend 6 days with you - and then come up to Montreal for 6 days !!!
    Love your little lamp makeover - I have a lamp makeover I'm working on ( but I think I should just buy a new one - mine doesn't look half as good as yours ! )
    Love Jacobs prayer lol !
    And 750 for TWO months rent?
    You'd have to double that ( at the very least ) to pay 1 month's rent here !!! )

  24. Okay, totally cracking up at all your misfortune. Sorry, but it's always funnier when it happens to someone else! Your lamp turned out great in the end. Yay Judy!!


  25. Ok I'm feeling like quite a dodo...did I forget that you had starting posting again????? Sorry I've been missing. I'm sure you were really depressed and feeling ignored. I'm sure any bad thing that has happened to you has been my fault...

  26. WTG Dani and Judy! I always have a problem with shades and this may be the answer.