Friday, September 2, 2011

The Lights of my Life

I sometimes have expensive taste. True Story. So when I found this shade from anthropologie I knew I would have to choose between it and the electricity bill. 

And while I love this lampshade, it would have been completely useless if I had no light to see the silhouettes in the first place. So I let it go.

Then something beautiful happened. Someone gave me these 70's touch lamps with an accordian shade. You'll have to take my word that there were two :-)

I know, right?! (I hope you can see where this is going.) And while they were rockin' the accordian shade, I knew they had a much more beautiful life ahead of them. A life that somewhat resembled another lamp that I had once seen...

  • First things first, I took off those shades and pulled out a can of white spray paint and rocked those lamps' little brass world. I did not take a picture, but I'm sure you can picture the aftermath :-)

  • Then I moved forward to the shade. (At this point you could just start with a new cheap white shade, but why waste this one?!) I ripped off the trim on the top and bottom and removed the accordian part from the outside of the shade. I was left with a plastic carcass. I used spray adhesive to glue some plain white muslin to the shade and trimmed the top and bottom. (Sorry I didn't take pictures of these steps!)

  • At this point I had to figure out how to recreate those beautiful painted frames and I am NOT a freehander, so I went to the best place I knew... google... and found a frame clipart that I liked. I blew it up, printed it, and taped it to the inside of the lampshade. Using the light to make a shadow, I traced the frame where I wanted it using a thin sharpie.

  • I then painted in the lines with black acrylic paint and a small brush. (While this seems like tedious work, it is WELL worth it in the end)
  • Then came the hard part.... what did I want in the frame? I could just google silhouette and find a cool picture of two faces that turn into a vase when you stare at it long enough OR a picture of an old witch who turns into a beautiful young woman. But then a lightbulb came on (hehe) and I realized....

I have two girls who are the absolute lights of my life.

"Boog" who is every bit of 3 1/2.

and "Bear" who is a little over 2.

Why wouldn't I put these two beautiful girls in a lampshade!?

  • To get their silhouettes, I took a profile picture of each of the girls. It doesn't have to be perfect, just enough to get the detail of their profile.

  • At this point, if you are familiar with any photo editing software, you could use that to make a silhouette OR you could just skip that step and move on :-)

  • You need some stencil paper. I purchased mine at the craft section at WalMart for really cheap.

  • Place the stencil paper on top of your picture (you may need to print it out first :-) and trace around the outside using a thin line sharpie. You should be left with something that looks like this...

  • Use a small razor blade to cut out your silhouette. You can use this stencil for multiple things now, which is cool.

  • In order to get the silhouette only when the light is on, you have to attach the silhouette to the inside of the lampshade. To do this, just cut a piece of white fabric about the size of your frame and use your stencil and same black acrylic paint to paint your silhouette onto the fabric. I just lightly tapped my brush around the edge first and then filled in.

  • Once that dried, I sprayed it with spray glue and glued it to the inside of the lampshade centered on the frame. I hot glued some plain black ribbon to the top and bottom of the shade, but you could add any kind of trim.

And this is what I came up with. Two framed silhouettes of the two most beautiful little girls in the whole world. And they will always be 3 and 2 when I turn on the light :-)



Much better don't ya think? If you are really patient and persistent, you could do multiple frames around the lampshade with different silhouettes in them, but I had all I needed in these two frames :-) If you do try multiple frames, please send me a picture... I would love to see how it turned out!

Happy lampshade-painting!


Linking up to:  The Girl Creative, Skip to My Lou, CraftOManiac, Sew Chatty,  Sarahnidipities, and Between Naps on the Porch-Metamorphosis Mondays, The Idea Room, Pinkapotamus

This project was featured!



  1. Oh my goodness! Are you kidding me? These are gorgeous!!!!!

  2. Hi! I'm Nicole from Romanian Princess. I saw your blog on a link up and decided I better add you! Please return the favor and follow me back at:!

    XoXo Nicole Mariana

  3. Too stinkin' cute. LOVE it. I think it looks better than the Anthropologie lampshade!

  4. Wow! This is so cool! I love the idea of a surprise every time you turn on the lamp. Would be a great conversation starter while hosting. Please feel free to add your project to my link up party!


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