DIY: Zipping Up A Lamp Shade, Painting It With Colour!

Small Plastic Tie Strap Lamp Shade

I picked up a little glazed ceramic lamp base at the thrift store not too long ago, but had no idea what to do for a shade. Knew I wanted to DIY something, but not sure what.

And then I came across a tutorial by Courtney over at A Little Glass Box. A very cool idea that I hadn’t seen before.

First, I had to buy a cheapo shade, because I needed the frame to work with.

Home Trends Lamp Shade

And I knew from my DIY skeleton lamp shade that finding a thrifted shade to fit a small lamp was harder than you’d think. So I didn’t take the time to try and thrift one, but popped into Wal-Mart instead.

Even though the shade looks a little top heavy, I knew it wouldn’t be once it was taken apart.

And that’s because the bottom ring was only attached to the fabric, not the actual frame. I was going for a drum shape, so losing the bottom ring was exactly what needed to happen.

Can you see a drum evolving from this frame?

Frame of table lamp shade

No, not so much?

Next was cutting 1/4″ wire mesh to size for the new shade…

1/4" wire mesh

And attaching it to the frame with small plastic zip straps, to form the drum shape.

DIY Lamp Shade with Wire Mesh

And now the fun begins. Have you guessed how this shade is being created yet?

Here’s a peak…

Small Plastic Tie Strap Lamp Shade

That’s right. Staggered layers of zip straps will be used to fill in the mesh and create the shade! Crazy, I know.

You actually want to attach straps in every mesh square of the bottom row, and the very top row. It’s all the rows in between that are staggered.

Check out the layer of white!

White Zip Strap & Wire Mesh Lamp Shade

Looks kind of funky, don’t you think?

I really liked the layered colours of Courtney’s lamp in the tutorial, so I wanted to layer colours into my shade, too. But it meant spray painting zip straps!

So I figured out how many I would need in each colour, and counted them out. Yes, seriously, I did!

Zip Straps and Spray Paint

Did I mention, I bought a bag of 1000 small zip straps? And in total I used 575 of them, give or take a few!

I couldn’t figure out a fast and easy system to spray these puppies, so I just resorted to threading them – One. By. One. – 😐  onto fishing line, and then sprayed away, trying to cover both sides of the straps!

Tip:

Make sure you spray the straps ahead of time, because they definitely need to dry overnight, and the longer they dry, the better. Otherwise the paint will rub and flake off too much when you’re attaching the straps to the mesh.

Here’s the colour layering in action.

DIY Lamp Shade with Zip Straps

One thing to keep in mind is not to pull the straps too tight. The ones you see sticking out have deliberately been pulled tight to anchor the mesh to the frame, but they were only temporary until they could be replaced with the blue straps.

Are you feel’n it yet?

Here’s a look at the finished shade…

DIY Zip Strap Lamp Shade

I know it looks a little ‘Dr. Seuss’, but hang on… you haven’t seen it turned on yet!

I used a small 60w clear bulb…

DIY Zip Strap Lamp Shade

 

 

And was blown away by how different this little lamp looks when it’s on!

I love the shadows it casts…

And check out the reflection on the lamp base.

Doesn’t it remind you of a White Sea Anemone in an ocean of blue?

Here’s one more look back at the lamp and shade in its ‘Before’ state…

Martha Stewart Lamp Shade

And the ‘After’ of the total shade makeover!

What do you think of my little Crazy for Colour project? Would you zip up 575+ straps to make one of these shades, too?

Today I’m joining in the party fun, and linking my project up here…

I want to thank these awesome ladies for being such great hosts!

    

 

Such a fun project! And so many more to do 🙂 Why not pop on over and check out all the other projects, too? Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to do up your own crazy colour project… or maybe it’s just a crazy project. Seriously, zip straps turned into a lamp shade? Who knew???

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

All Photos by Sheila Zeller