April 22, 2011

#91-Come on Ryder Light My Fire

When Ryder was born, as a gift from one of my college friends, we received this beautiful lamp from Dwell Studios at Target.

I love it's clean lines and modern style.  It was the perfect fit to my little angel's room.  And then my little angel grew up into a little tornado, and one day I came into his room to find his lamp on the floor, and his adorable little foot kicked through the side. (The shade was made of a lightweight plastic.)  Thankfully he wasn't hurt, but the lamp was DOA.  I peeled off the broken shade and was left with this.

When life hands you lemons.... blah, blah, blah.  To save some cash I decided to make a lamp for Ryder's new room.  And to save even more cash I decided to use a material that I already had on hand, the cloth bag that his sheets came in.

It seemed like such a waste for this cheapthrifty DIYer to let that perfectly matching fabric just go to waste.  So I carefully cut the seams and was left with this:

Then I put the lamp back together, and measured the width around the circle, and the height.

In the original lamp, the supported circle part actually went down, and the stiff poly-styrene that the shade was made of was able to stand on it's own, with just the wire circle at the top to help it hold the shape.  My fabric wouldn't be able to stand on it's own though, so I flipped the supported circle upwards, and used the other circle on the bottom.  Once the fabric was cut, I ironed it smooth, and folded down one edge and ironed a nice clean seam.

I started with the plain circle, and glued one of the top edges of the fabric around it with my trusty glue gun.  By placing my glue line just 1/4" from the top of the fabric, I had just enough to wrap over the wire to make a nice clean seam.  There may or may not have been a bit of cursing from burning my fingers with hot glue, but let's be honest, it's a rare DIY project that doesn't involve at least one curse word.  (Which is why most DIY occurs at nap or bed time.)  Once I had it attached all the way around, I placed it on the lamp, and began glue the other edge to the top circle.

In order to pull it tight, I had to go back and glue the bottom circle to the lamp base.  My glue gun failed me here though and wasn't strong enough, so I pulled out the big guns- super glue.  Here's a close up of that edge wrapped around the top of the wire.

Surprisingly this project went pretty much as planned, and when I was done, I had this:

It's not perfect, but looks pretty darn good for a completely free lamp. Or as my Mom would say, it's "better than a kick in the pants."  I love how this fabric has a lot of white in it with all the coordinating colors so it will stand out from the blue walls in the room and the bright orange night stand it will be sitting on.  I can't wait to get it in the room and all set up!

Any one else ever make their own lamps?  Apparently Martha did a show on lamp making recently so it's all the rage, and online stores like The Lamp Shop that sell poly-styrene are going gang busters.  I'm not sure I have the imagination for it though, so I'd love to see what other, more creative people can do. 


  1. It's totally better than a kick in the pants! Nice work!

  2. It's totally better than a kick in the pants! Nice work!