There it is – The second of the two traditional ceiling light fixtures transformed!
Jogging your memory for you:
Lovely if you like traditional. Not so much if you don’t.
One day, perusing through Pinterest as I tend to do far, far too often, I came across a blogger who made her rental unit more her style by changing the ceiling fixture. She did a beautiful job, I watched the video, start to finish. It was veeeerrrryyy long. She made the shade from cardstock – clamped and glued, covered it with wall paper- clamped and glued, put in decorative brad clips on the seams like cute little buttons. She made the diffuser (that thing that covers the bulbs so that when you look up you don’t burn your eyeballs ) from a strong plastic sheet of something that she painstakingly taped the edges of and slowly cut so it wouldn’t chip and shard into splinters and then she still covered the plastic with linen fabric and Mod Podge. All this would probably take quite a few hours. And then it hit me. I am SO not that girl. She has patience I could only hope to one day (when I’m dead, probably) attain.
So being the shifty short-cutter type that I am, I began to devise my plan on how to get the look, for less work, less money and less patience!
Here’s how I pulled it off.
Old lamp shade. Can you tell it’s mint green? Why did I ever buy a mint green shade? MUST have been on sale. Again, nice if you have pastel colours in your home. I don’t.
Let your imagination go here. You could do any pattern you like. Stripes are easy. I eyeballed them but if you care more than me, you can measure. Big polka dots would be awesome too. You could just go with a solid colour or divide it horizontally in two and paint two colours, or like my patient fellow blogger you could cover it with wallpaper or a map or fabric. Whatever you have on hand!. It’s pretty limitless.
Spray or brush on the paint of choice. I bought this cool little device to help keep that paint from sticking to my fingers. Works like a charm on any brand of aerosol paint. Around $6.00. I won’t include that price in my total cost, since I will use it every single time I spray absolutely anything. I’m sure it would work out to pennies a project.
Dont forget the bottom rim that you’ll be looking up at – although you probably never will actually look at it.
For the diffuser, trace the bottom of your shade on some inexpensive core board. Score the edge first go round, then cut through. Be sure to use a cutting board or something under the core board so you don’t wreck the table (such a cautionary tale I could tell…).
Remove the old light fixture cover, leaving the guts and bulbs in tact. Attach the lamp shade. In my case, I used the old fixture’s existing screw-in middle post (bonus!) slipping it through the centre hole of the lamp shade frame and tightened the bolt as high as it would go.
Unfortunately for me, my hallway and livingroom still have popcorn ceiling – the only places left in the house. Even with protective eyewear, I still managed to get some in my eye. Be careful, people. It hurts.
Insert the core board diffuser. See how your eyeballs are protected? Nice. And a pretty stripey pattern when the light’s on.
Now, Patient Blogger said to leave space for air to circulate so it won’t overheat, but if you look at the old light fixture, it was tight to the ceiling, so I’m not sure that’s necessary. As it turned out, I had space between shade and ceiling because the lightbulbs wouldn’t let the wire frame any closer.
But here’s what I found, dang it all. I need to do two coats to have a more solid finish when you turn on the light. A little too transparent for my liking…but that’s an easy fix.
The total cost of the project, you ask?
Lampshade, left over paint, tape : free – from my stash
Core Board: $4.00
The time invested, you ask?
If you don’t count the time waiting for the paint to dry, maybe an hour and a half actual “labour” – (if you call sitting in the sun painting, labour) taping, painting and installing.
Now all my light fixtures are un-traditional…like me!