Monday, September 26, 2011

A Spider Story (A Revised Lamp and an Experimental Drum Shade)

A while back, I mentioned I have been working on making a drum shade. I have learned quite a bit about what NOT to do! But, I finally have a somewhat interesting first-time drum shade of sorts, and some information that might help the rest of you who want to revise or update your lighting. 

Above is the original lamp - a Goodwill purchase with a nice shape, but a dated finish. I'd bought it several weeks ago, and finally decided what to do with it last week. 

I masked it with tape and foil, but later decided the brass harp didn't look right, so I painted it all in Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze. I LOVE Rustoleum. Rust-o-le-YUMM! It covers so well and you can't beat the cost-to-value-added ratio!

I was going for a "Restoration Hardware meets funky cottage" sort of vibe. 

For the shade, I really wanted to play around with hardware cloth. I went to Lowe's and bought a roll in the 1/4" size, since  the smaller weave worked better for this project. I also bought a pair of tin snips to use in cutting the wire, and a spool of 26 gauge wire for joining purposes.

I had purchased some wooden embroidery hoops intending to use them in my experiment. I decided 10" diameter hoops worked with the base. I painted them to match the lamp.

The major differences in the vintage drum shades and the new ones is scale. The vintage ones tend to be both wider and taller in relationship to the lamp base than the new ones. I like the new dimensions better. The vintage shade that came with a similar lamp was 15" in diameter. To my eye, that's way too top-heavy.

The thing I struggled with the most was getting a sturdy enough hand-made twisted wire "spider" (Yes, in my research, I learned that is a real technical term for the lamp part that attaches the shade to the lamp.) 

I tried twisting multiple strands of wire to make it sturdier, but it was very difficult to get it perfectly centered. Gravity also caused the hand-made center of the "spider" to be higher than the rim of the shade. Not a good look.

I did not succeed in crafting a perfect drum shade before this post, but you get the general idea.  

Now, for the part I learned - not shown in the photos you see here: To make this whole process easier, begin with the right size "spider" from an old shade and a corresponding bottom ring. This will make quick work of it.

Once I "perfect" a shade, I'll do a proper tutorial. I do have a few ideas about other materials to incorporate and use in making drum shades. 

This shade is a taste-specific item, not for every environment. I put a decorative 25 watt candle-type bulb in this lamp. It would be best used in an entry way, a stair landing or some place that needs light but requires no task work. Since the shade is completely transparent, it casts very cool patterns on the wall and ceiling. 

Word for the Day: 

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Until next time, keep shining your light! 
Remember, you are made in HIS image.


Linking this week to:   (Mod Mix Monday)   (Metamorphosis Monday)    (Show Off Your Cottage  Monday)     (Primp Your Stuff Wednesday)   (Piece of Work Wednesday) (Feathered Nest Friday)    (Fridays on Remodelaholic)   (Frugal Friday)  ( Frugalicious Friday)  (Flaunt It Friday) (Saturday Nite Special)


Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Merci beaucoup, Revi! Your new lamp is wonderful! I had no idea you could buy that mesh at the hardware store. I am getting ready to invent a couple of lamp shades too! Thanks for posting this!

Ruth @ White Whimsy said...

Love the lamp shade. What a great idea.

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Oh, that has a great industrial look my dear. Great tips too. I love ORB. Great coverage, and it dries fast. Love the lamp, and your verse.

Revi said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping in, being so generous in your kind comments, and for bearing with me as I experiment and try new things.

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

Following back. I love this project!! I think it is awesome, and I wonder too about how to do a spide like the kind on a bought lamp shade. I would love for you to link your blog on my blog directory. Have a blessed day.

farmhouse-story said...

love how this turned out, revi! such a clever idea for a shade:)

Revi said...

Thanks, Lynn. Cleverness is really my being a cheapskate who wants something that doesn't exist sometimes! But, still, thanks and glad you stopped in.:)

Gypsy Heart said...

Hi Revi,
I just found your blog via Anita's and so glad I did! I lived in Amarillo 10 years and I have such fond memories of dear friends. I'm a single person also and I do believe we have quite a lot in common!

Your lamp is very creative ~ thanks for sharing with us. I am a new follower and look forward to getting to know you. I haven't been around much the past few days but hopefully, that will change. Stop by and say hi when you can ~


Revi said...

Hi Pat, thanks so much for dropping in! Any friend of Anita' know the rest. :) I do look forward to catching up and comparing notes with you. I went to Gypsy Heart, and your blog is beautiful. That apple pie recipe looked amazing! I think I gained a pound just reading the recipe.

Artsy VaVa said...

This lamp is so cool! I love it. Thanks for sharing it!

Revi said...

Hi Artsy VaVa - thanks for stopping by, and for your kind comment!

Unknown said...

I think this is super cool! I love the industrial look the shade give the lamp. Great redo! I'd love it if you'd stop by my blog and check out the giveaway I'm having for a Dremel Saw Max!

Ricki Treleaven said...

I. Love. THIS!!! Very industrial and modern. I am visiting from Mod Mix Monday.

Courtney said...

This came up so nice!! It's quite unique, I'd have it in my house! Great job!

Cassie Bustamante said...

LOVE it, revi!! that is sooooo cool! i want one! or two!

Kim said...

Revi- what a great lamp! Diggin' that it is transparent and so funky. You rock!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Absolutely love this!! It looks wonderful- would love for you to share this at Feathered Nest Friday sometime!

Revi said...

Just posted this at Chic on a Shoestring's Flaunt it Friday! Lovin' the link parties!

tendrplace said...

Love it. I have a 'thing' for giving old lights, lamps, hanging swag lights new life. I made one out of an old rusty fence thrown out by the neighbors if you want to look though I don't have a nice 'site' like everyone else. You gave me some ideas. My shade wouldn't hand straight either and I had thick wire but since I tied bows to mine I just tied the harp and wire across the top (like branches or grapevine) and tied a bow from it to the harp and it leveled it.
My lamp was an old brass plated one thrown out until I painted it ivory.
I never thought of using wood at the top and bottom. Great idea! :)

Michele @ {Primp} said...

that's so cool--love the transformation! Thanks for sharing.

Katie said...

I love this lamp!! That lamp shade is so much fun and the lamp itself is great. I have a lamp sitting in my garage that I have been waiting for just the right inspiration for... I think I found it! Thanks! Following now to get more great inspiration!