Upcycle Project – Floor Lamp

I’ve had the same plain floor lamp for as long as I can remember and while I love the actual lamp itself I’ve not really been liking the shade.  I bought the lamp from Ikea years ago (so long ago that they don’t sell it anymore!), it has a fold out hinge so you can move the light around without disturbing the stand which I find perfect for reading under in the evenings.  The shade that came with it was cream and seemed to pick up dirt and dust really quickly and forever looked a bit grubby which I really didn’t like so I decided that I would make it into something that I did like.  I have to issue an apology now because I don’t have any proper “before” pictures except for this one where you can see the lamp in the corner behind my chair…

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The first thing I did was to wash and dry the shade after removing it from the stand.  I scrubbed it off in the kitchen sink with dish soap and a scrubbing-brush which seemed to remove most of the dirt and dust.  I left it overnight to dry off.

The next morning I decided that I was going to either paint it with acrylic paint or attempt to dye it.  As I was running low on paints I figured I’d have a go at dying it.  I had some leftover semi permanent hair colours in yellow, orange and pink shades so watered them down a bit.  I then began applying the dye in bands around the shade with a paint brush.

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I started with the yellow then worked my way down to orange before finishing with the pink.  I left it to dry overnight again before rinsing off any residue in the sink.  The colours blended together a bit and they faded down once rinsed and dried off again but I was happy with the outcome.

I then decided to add a beaded fringe so raided my bead collection for suitable beads

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I decided to use small pony beads and finish the fringe off with small brass bells.  I measured the circumference of the shade at its widest end, marked 1 inch sections and marked with a small pencil mark then, working from the inside rim, used a needle and thread to puncture a hole where I wanted the fringe to be.  I added beads then a bell before passing the needle back through the beads and back through the hole I had made, then moved on to the next 1 inch mark before repeating.  I worked this way, all around the rim before tying off and completing.  Once finished I reattached the shade to the lamp.

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What do you think of my handiwork?  What other uses do you think hair dye has?

Room Divider

The downstairs of my home consists of a front door that opens onto a narrow hallway with a door that leads into the living area.  The living area consists of 2 rooms that have been knocked into one with a bit of an archway separating the 2 spaces with a kitchen right at the back that leads onto my garden.  I love the main space, it feels big and airy and light, and I love that even though it is one big space it still manages to hold the definition of 2 separate spaces so well.

Having the space set up as 2 separate rooms, the main “living room” area at the front of the house – where watching tv, sitting and relaxing, chatting with friends, reading takes place, and the “dining room” area towards the back, nearest the kitchen, made the most sense to me.  I liked the idea of having areas defined by their use and making the most of the archway between what was the partition wall at one point.  I started to think about creating a proper divide for the space, the idea that I could close off one part of the space if I wanted for privacy or if it got chilly in winter and I wanted the space to feel more cozy seemed really appealing.  At first I thought about using my Ikea Kallax Unit to divide the space and had seen some really neat ideas using units in this way on Google, however I was worried that it could make moving between areas awkward, that I would lose floor space in one of the areas and that it would look more clumsy than cozy.

I settled on the idea of using material to divide the space, something similar to curtains, not only would it be cozy in the winter, it would be tactile and a playful addition to the pompoms Id already added to the space.  I thought that more texture and print would fit together perfectly.  I found just what I was looking for one evening on Amazon…  I knew that I didn’t want anything to heavy as it would be a pain to hang, I also didnt want fabric that was too thick as I wanted them to be easy to clean, wash and dry.  I also didn’t want anything to plain or “traditional” as it wouldn’t fit my style.  What I wanted was something that was bright, patterned, fitted with the colours of the room, was a little bit hippy, easy to care for and even easier to hang and live with!  I love the mandala print of these hangings, and the colours too, they seemed perfect to me.  I was a bit unsure, once they had been delivered as the colours were not as bright as I had imagined or seen in the listing but decided to hang them and see what they looked like anyway…

I hung these with Command Hooks and some pegs for the short-term, though they have been hanging since July and I’ve not changed the hanging method yet, so that may not change!

I’m really happy with the space divider, using hangings to create the divide has worked out really well, they have added texture and colour as well as being a privacy screen when needed though I have not really used it to its full capacity –  the curtains mainly stay open but as it gets colder and the nights get darker that may change!  And despite my reservations on the colour difference when I recieved them, I’m liking them a lot, they are not overbaringly bright and garish and really go well with the rest of the room and the decor!