Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Doily Lamp Shade


In our house, we don’t have over head lights in the bedrooms unless we’ve put them there. In the bedrooms, the light switches are connected to one of the outlets.  But with the baby’s room, I want a hanging light to save on space. Because frankly, her room is the smallest room in the house and it could use all the space saving it could get. My original idea was for a pretty little cream and crystal chandelier like the one below. But these days, I don’t have the money to spend on something like this. So the next option.. DIY!


Image from Luxoz.com

I’ve seen them all over Pinterest and Google. My original idea was to just to get a large paper lantern and glue some pretty paper flowers to it or to make a twine lampshade. But thanks to chatting with one of my friend’s at work, the idea to use doilies popped back into my head. And what do you know, we just happen to have some for $1.00. Lucky for me I found some white ones!

So armed with 10 doilies, Elmer’s all purpose glue, a paper bowl, some waxed paper, a punching balloon, and a roll of packing tape, a sponge brush, I went to town!

I loved using the punching balloon. I was able to get the size I wanted for the lampshade that would fit perfectly in the baby’s room without it loosing the round shape unlike normal balloons. And being that it’s made for punching, it was thicker than your normal balloon and wouldn’t pop. Lucky for me, it came as a twin pack, so if for whatever reason it did pop, I had a back up. And to make sure that it was completely round, I put a couple pieces of masking tape over the spout to keep it from popping out.

I used a watered down glue mixture because that’s what I had on hand and the idea for this whole thing was to keep it cheap without having to get expensive glues and such. I mixed the glue and water in batches, being that my doilies were on a thicker side, they soaked up quite a bit of glue. Dropped a doily in the bowl full of my glue mixture and worked it until it was covered in glue and placed it on the balloon, with each new doily added over lapping the last.

The roll of packing tape helped hold the balloon up until I added more doilies. Then the balloon would be heavy on one side and I’d have to constantly readjust it. So I’d layer more doilies on and readjust the balloon.



This is about the point I realized I had a slight problem. I didn’t have enough doilies (I originally picked up 8 thinking it was going to be enough) and I ran out of glue. Sigh.. don’t we all just love miscalculations? So what’s a girl to do when you can’t continue until you get more doilies? String it up so it keeps it’s form! I grabbed my curved sewing needle and some super strong thread and threaded the edges of the doilies to keep them close to the balloon until I got more doilies and glue.


Fast forward 24 hours (give or take a few), an additional 2 doilies and a huge bottle of glue later, the lampshade is now drying! I’m going to give the lampshade another good 24 hours of dry time before letting the air out of the balloon and attaching it to the cord kit.

So what did I learn from all this?

~ Thicker doilies require less water added to the glue. The first few doilies kept sliding off the balloon or the edges wouldn’t stay overlapped because there was too much water in the mix. Again with my curved sewing needle and thread, I’d carefully sew the edges that overlapped down with a knot.

~ A foam sponge brush makes applying the doilies a bit cleaner than using your hands. But I enjoyed getting messy anyway!

~ Patience, patience, patience is key!

Over all I’m thrilled with how it’s turned out so far. To make sure it’s doubly secure after it’s dried, I might take my needle and thread and just knot a few of the edges on the newer doilies to the original set so it’s all secure and won’t fall apart on me. I can’t wait until it’s completely dried and installed in the baby’s room.

All lit and ready to hang. I’ll post a picture once it’s hanging and hopefully with a finished bedroom!







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