The Look for Less: Wordy Lampshade

The Look for Less: Wordy Lampshade

Kim Lucian
Mar 11, 2011

I spotted the "Well Defined Ensemble Lamp" on a recent trip to Anthropologie. The textural feel of the collage of words contrasts nicely against the recycled glass base for a sort of modern-vintage appeal (incidentally, I've decided if Emily Henderson were to perform a "style diagnostic" on my apartment that would be her prognosis).

Unfortunately, at $388 this piece is well out of reach for my limited budget. While I lack the skills to recreate its beautiful base, creating a similar lampshade is a simple afternoon project.

I decided to makeover the shade on an existing lamp in my apartment. The drum-shaped shade was one I purchased for $8 at Cost Plus. The relatively uniform shape of a drum shade is easiest to work with when you're wrapping something around it. The only other materials I purchased were a Webster's compact dictionary coming in at $6.50 and Elmer's white glue for $2.50.

The technique is decoupage 101. I started out by tearing the pages into large strips and deciding how I wanted them to be laid out. Next I diluted the glue with water at a roughly 1:1 ratio. Starting at the base of the shade I applied the glue directly to the surface of the lamp with a flat edged paintbrush and smoothed the paper in order to eliminate any bubbles. Once the paper was in place I brushed thin layers of glue over it until it became slightly transparent then removed any excess. I repeated the process, layering the next piece over the edge of the first while trying avoid overlapping too much in order keep shade from becoming opaque. Once I reached the top edge I trimmed off the excess length and folded the paper over the rim. I continued to layer the pieces this way until the shade was covered.

It took me about 2 hours to complete this project and it cost a total of $18 in materials if you include the lampshade. The lamp now sits on a corner of my desk in front of my bookshelves and I like the way it incorporates a literary element into the design.

Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.
moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt