Family room lamp redos

January 19, 2010

covering lamp shadeWhat a FUN party! If you haven’t checked out the cleaning shindig yet, take a look below for some great tips. I love it!

Well, I’m in the midst of a family room mini-redo that started innocently enough – with a new rug. I found a gorg, lighter rug at TJ Maxx and couldn’t resist it. Once that was down in the room, it was all over – it seemed like everything was calling out to be refreshed.

I am a lover of warm, cozy spaces – which usually tends to lean in the darker tones. The family room had a dark rug and when it was replaced with a lighter one, I realized something…I could still have a warm space without it being quite so dark.

It’s been fun to lighten things up just a bit. And just in time for spring!! Uhhh…wait. Just in time for spring in two months! Yeah.

The first stage of the redo was to change out some lamps and lighten up the shades. This little lamp stood on our little corner table in the room:

I showed you how I cover lamps (and did this one) in this post. I love this little guy but it’s always been just a bit too short for what we need here. And the dark fabric cut down on the light. Maybe it’s because it’s dark at 5 p.m. lately, but the more light the better as far as I’m concerned!

I found this cute blue shade at Goodwill for $2 a while back for a lamp in my craft area, and it was perfect for the lamp I relocated to this spot:


You can deconstruct most lampshades – I took the trim off of this one easily. Sometimes you can even take the fabric off of the plastic shade to start fresh, but it’s not necessary.

This one is pretty straight forward – just a green, simple fabric and it was done!:


It fits this spot so much better, and because it’s taller and the shade is lighter, it lets off a ton more light!:


The next lamp is one that has had a few different shades because I haven’t found one I love. You can see the latest one in this pic:


The shade was just so stinkin’ wide at the bottom, it drove me batty!  And, yet again, it was so dark very little light was getting through.

Enter a shade from the office:

I love it’s (almost) drum shape! It was the perfect size! I was trying so hard not to spend much money but I did end up getting a new drum shade for this lamp too. Can’t have a naked lamp peeps! :) I’ll show you that soon too!

A few weeks ago I picked up extra of the linen-type fabric I used on the dining room chairs (just in case!). It was the perfect texture and color for what I wanted in our family room, and I had plenty to use for this project.

After I covered it, it still needed a little somethin’. I went to my trusty grosgrain ribbon I had on hand. I wrapped it around the top and bottom, and was reminded of an issue I’ve dealt with before:


Because the shade curves a bit, the ribbon kind of gaps. Which drives. me. batty. I tried and tried but it just wouldn’t lay flat. Argh!

Then…it hit me…I had some buttons left over from a project gone wrong (I’ll tell you more about that next week). I covered them with the linen fabric as well (they were the kind you just snap together – so easy and only about $2 for three! at Joann’s), then pulled the wire out used to thread them so they would lay flat:


I just hot glued those babies on! What would I do without my hot glue?! I don’t want to find out. A travesty for sure. Whew.

I had a skeleton key I wasn’t doing much with, so I hung it from the switch for some fun and a bit of color:


I think it’s SO cauuuute!:


And so much brighter now!

          019 Yessss!

This time, to cover the edge where the fabrics meet up, I just used the hot glue and an extra piece of fabric to make a little band:


You’ll notice that when the light’s on, you can see all the imperfections on the edges of the fabric (if it’s not cut straight). If you will be able to see the lamp from all sides be aware of that. It’s so totally annoying to finish it up, ooooh and ahhh over it, then turn it on and see annoying uneven fabric.  :)

But if it’s against the wall -- out of sight, out of mind!


Sorry for the craptastic pictures – the dark at 5 p.m. thing kind of cramps my picture taking style. ;) More on the family room soon, and another fantastic giveaway coming up this weekend!

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  1. I have a lamp that needs an update! Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Sarah, the lamps turned out great. I have a few lamps that need to revamped. Not sure what I'm doing to them yet. I agree with Sarah Robbins, wheres the rug picture?

  3. Very cute lampshade. I have a shade like the bell shaped one you showed, any suggestions for recovering that shape?

  4. Super super cute! Love the little covered buttons and the key just "makes" the piece!

  5. Great job, they're so cute! I love the buttons! I've been having some lamp shade problems myself. Have you ever recovered a square lamp shade? I have one I want to redo, but it's square and gets wider and wider towards the bottom. I'm not sure how to approach that.

  6. I love those "ah ha!" moments when the creatively just hits you. I love the buttons on the shade; it gives it that extra oomph factor.

    Are there any kinds of fabrics one should steer clear from when concealing a lamp shade? I have two table lamps that are in need of a serious makeover and I don't want to wrap them with something that might be flammable.

  7. Your lamps turned out very nice. I love them. I just finished redoing two of our lamps here as well. Check them out at my blog when you have time.

  8. hi! i always enjoy reading your blog and seeing all your creative ideas!

    i had a question, sort of related to decor...i just bought a wall clock today but i have one problem...the ticking is SO LOUD i can't even keep the battery in it...i was wondering if you know of any good ideas to muffle the ticking noise..i tried to tape towels to the back and put it on the wall, but that didn't work... :(

  9. Never mind about how to recover a square lamp shade. I did some googling and found this site that explains how. I thought I would share it for anyone who needs it. :)

  10. Sarah, I love it when you give ideas from thrift store finds. I am constantly amazed at how you can pull it all together. Thank you for inspiring me to step up my own home decor. :-)

  11. Your lamps look great! I have one I'm going to do soon too.
    Love the key!

  12. Oh how I love your decorating style and revamps and even your "craptastic" photos! ;)
    Do you ever get tired of people telling you how inspiring you are? I hope not! Thanks again!

  13. Love the buttons! I think that is a nice touch, even if it wasn't to cover that annoying gap. I'm doing lamps and lampshades recently myself. I just bought a couple of those self-adhesive ones at Joann's and my first online Hobby Lobby order. I found the lamps in my basement and they just need to be painted and dolled up a bit.

  14. I love the ribbon idea! That is totally what would make my lamps complete! Thank you - I can not wait to add the ribbon today.

  15. Love your new lampshade, it is so cute. Isn't it neat how when something is a problem and you come up with a great solution and it turns out even better than you planned. I think the buttons add
    such a nice touch and also the skelton key as well. Great ideas!!

  16. I love your very clever solutions! The lamps look great!

  17. Great job. I have a small one I am going to tackle with wallpaper to match what I have in the kitchen. Never have done it but I don't think it will be that hard. Thanks.

  18. I really like the addition of the ribbon and buttons. Very fun detail!

  19. Love your lampshades. They are always a problem. You did good, they look perfect. Hugs, Marty

  20. I must get on it...have three lamps sitting in my attic calling to be updated... :)

  21. I LOVE the buttons. If I hadn't read the post, I would not have known that it wasn't planned that way. So cute!

  22. Lovely - those buttons are great. Can't wait to see the full room!

  23. The shades look great!! I have a few basic shades I picked up at Goodwill...this project would be perfect for those!! Thanks for the great ideas.

  24. Love your lamp makeovers. :) I like the first one's simplicity a lot, and the buttons on the last one are too cute!!!

    I did a post about ribbon on a lampshade once. I ended up making "bubble pleats" with the ribbon and covering them with buttons. I don't want to post my link here on your post, but I'd be happy to email it you. :)

  25. Oh gosh! I love your ribbon and covered buttons! What a great idea! And you've inspired me to leave behind the tyranny of trying to find the perfect lampshade. From now on, I won't worry about getting one that's just perfect--I'll worry about the right size and shape, and tailor them to my own specifications. Yippee!

  26. Love those buttons! I was at my local Ross yesterday (do you have Ross? I think it's owned by TJMaxx and is very similar but even cheaper!) and they had a great selection of lampshades that I think were overstock from Martha Stewart's line at Kmart for 2.99 each! I was excited because I occasionally see good lamps at thrift stores but by the time you pay to replace the shade you may as well buy a new lamp from homegoods!

  27. Very cute idea for updating your lamp. We just bought a new couch yesterday (which works with our rug and curtains etc.) but I am already looking into ways to get new pillow for the room to give it an updates look. Now I am staring at my lamp wondering what I could do with that! Cute idea!

  28. Cute, cute, cute! I love lamps. All kinds. Your redos turned out perfectly! Can't wait to see the rest of the room.

  29. i dont have many lamps bc these things are expensive! and i am always afraid the style will die out but you have encouraged me... cos i can always just update it like you did so fabulously! great job!

  30. They are all pretty and bright Sarah! Lurve the skeleton key hanging as well. Great touch!

  31. They look great! I recently did the same thing with an old lamp and shade. It's amazing the impact for little money. Cant wait to see the finished room

  32. I love that skeleton key idea-- SO CUTE!

  33. Looks great!

    Tip for the grosgrain ribbon. If it's real grosgrain, as opposed to a craft type ribbon, you can "steam" a slight curve into one edge and remove the fullness so it lays better on the shade. It's hard to describe but you pin one end down to the ironing board and pull the length into a slight curve forcing one edge to take on a slight ripple. Hold the iron about 2-3" above the ribbon and give it a couple good bursts of steam and use your hand to gently pat out the fullness on the rippled edge. Work small sections at a time and when the whole length is done set the ribbon by using the iron in an up and down motion (not back and forth, it'll undo everything you just did) and DO NOT move the ribbon until completely cooled and dry. Sounds time consuming but it's really not. Just takes a bit of practice.

  34. Great lamp redos. I love the big key hanging from the lamp. That's so cute.

  35. Love these "shady" ideas ha ha. Those buttons are cute!

  36. Oh I do loves. Very nice. Those buttons just finish it right off.

  37. Yep, it's official, I'm in love with you. LOL! I LOVE that lamp makeover! I have to lamps in my family room that need a makeover. I hate to buy new ones. I love to decorate but am so not crafty. So...what is your address? I will mail you my lamps and pick them up when you are finished. Ok?

    Ok...I will try to do this myself. I guess I'm off to JoAnn Fabrics this weekend for linen and buttons. I'm telling you right now, I will be a mess! Oh, and I need pillow makeovers. Sigh... I need you. : )

  38. And the word is TWO not to lamps as I posted above. : )

  39. I have a weakness for lamps and pillows. Thanks for the great ideas.

  40. OMG that is such a great Idea!!!! love how the shade turned out!

    Would also LOVE your support on the ELLE DECOR window I did for the Big Window Challenge this year with Apartment Therapy. Check it out at http://www.bigwindowchallenge com. As we all know, AT doesn’t make it easy, but you can vote TWICE a day, once online and the other by texting “1” to 89800.

    Your support means the world to me!!


  41. Love seeing how you re-did the lamps, especially with the buttons. Way too cute!!

  42. I never thought buttons would look good on lamps, but they do!


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