let there be bright yellow light

Since we stopped and smelled the roses yesterday–or, in your case, imagined smelling them–today we can get back to the mayhem of Labor Day projects.  Oh, yes, there is more where that came from.  Today’s project features the living room.

Nice texture, nice shape, nice size.  The attributes of a ripe piece of fruit?  No, the attributes of my drum lampshade.  One small problem: somehow it got water-stained.  Ew.  Actually, make that two small problems: somehow it got water-stained (ew) and over time I grew bored with it (yawn).

Enter a handmade solution.  Using off-white fabric from Hobby Lobby, yellow acrylic paint from a project almost two years ago, and a stencil that proved itself to be a horrific pain in the neck, Shelli and I spun gold.  First:

This stencil promised to create almost exactly the pattern I had in mind and had thus far failed to find pre-printed for my purchasing convenience.  I don’t mind making what I can’t find; this solution seemed just right.  Not to mention I could re-use the pattern on other projects–or so I thought when I splurged on this pesky $17 piece of flimsy plastic.

It has a small triangle punch-out at each corner, presumably to aid the artist in lining up her repeats.  No such thing, my friends.  The bleepity thing is internally inconsistent.  It does not line up.  I did my best lining up a shape from the middle of the pattern with the corresponding shape on the previously-painted section, but even then things did not quite jibe.  With great effort and some harsh words, I got a more-or-less match-up, but I don’t recommend a pattern like this–especially for its intended purpose: faux-wallpapering!  Do notsign me up for that.

My rage subsided enough for me to finish stenciling the whole length of the fabric.  (Before measuring my shade I’d never have guessed it has an almost five-foot circumference!)  The paint caused some serious wrinkling so, even though I had ironed the fabric before painting and really did not want to re-iron it, I did it anyway.  I knew I would regret it if I skipped that step.

While my glue gun got piping hot, I ripped the trim pieces off the destination shade:

Once I managed to pry up the ends, slow but steady upward tugging peeled the strips right off.  Then I spent a stupid amount of effort lining up a recurring shape in the patterned fabric with the top edge of the shade, then gluing it in place bit by bit.  The effort was stupid for two reasons.  One reason is that the shade is slightly wider on bottom than on top, so before the halfway point my planned alignment was majorly out of whack.  Phoo.  The other reason is that I was using way too much glue.

I realized it after finally looking carefully at a Young House Love tutorialI had previously skimmed in joyous optimism.  They didn’t glue every cotton-pickin’ inch of their fabric as I was attempting to do.  They simply secured one end from top to bottom, then pulled the fabric tight all the way around and secured the other end where it met the first.  Buh-der.  (In case you haven’t put it together yet, this is the project I referenced last Tuesday as having become unexpectedly frustrating!)

Shelli was the cool, collected partner in this misadventure, repeatedly offering encouragement about how it still looked cute….  And really, I think she’s right; I was just mentally unprepared to work this hard for a little perk-up in the room.  After we wrapped the shade snug as a bug, I snipped flaps into the overhang along the bottom edge.  One at a time, Shelli dabbed under the flaps with glue, then I hurriedly smoothed them down before the glue set.  (We were using high-temp glue, though, so in truth I was probably hurrying more than necessary.  I just wanted to be finished!)

Eventually we werefinished.

Uh, well, sort of.

Like I said, by the time we attached the fabric (forget nicely tailoring its edges) I was ready to distance myself a bit from this project.  Further aggravating me was the fact that the fabric I did fold under (the flaps) makes a dark shadow when the light shines through.  Botheration.  But I think I’ll remedy that with some sort of wide ribbon that I glue half-in/half-out.  At least that’s my plan at the moment.

So, yeah; I got super-grumpy about this spot of light.  But in the end I do like it very much.  I can’t look at yellow and be mad.  Not from a distance, anyway.

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  1. I absolutely LOVVVVE this lamp!! I think the ribbon trim would be a good solution to the shadow around the edges. I have some stencils and have been itching to do something with them but haven't found anything yet… now I think I may have to try this out on those two thrift store lamps I found. 🙂

  2. holy wowzers!this is so awesome!!you rock!


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