Time again for one of my discarded and forgotten items that was ready for a city dump, or not, maybe someone else would have purchased my latest item. As always the goal here is being cheap and not spending a lot, so this lamp was perfect for $1.
It was pretty on it’s own but I was inspired that day to do something that reminded me of my trip to Central America years ago with my husband before we had children, which was to Belize. I had to go back into old albums to pull up photos from that trip; here are a few which includes one of my husband in the water with his camera taking underwater shots.
I love the colors of Central America and all their handmade and embroidered flowers that are everywhere. They are so beautiful. I tend to buy everyone souvenirs when I am out traveling and forgot to pick up items for myself; I count photos and memories as my souvenirs I guess. I also pick up a stone or a tiny shell or something to take back home and drop in my giant acrylic fish tank. All my stones and most of the shells in that tank are from places I have walked and traveled to. While my fish are swimming around there are all kinds of little mementoes below them from different countries and beautiful places my husband and I have visited, useless to most people, but worth more than gold to me. Since I don’t have a lot of souvenirs from Central America I was able to find a little Guatemalan worry doll from a road trip we took to Prescott Arizona for my daughter’s birthday. I thought it would be perfect to design something around.
Remember the goal with this project is to keep the cost down and to upcycle something, which keeps the planet happy. I actually recycled two items with this project when I came across some old bags from beans and flour that we had bought a few weeks ago. I needed something to cover the lampshade and this fabric was just what I was looking for. So don’t throw away cloth food or seed sacks, you never know when you will need them to create something with.
First I painted the base of the lamp with white chalk paint.
After painting the base I used some twine to wrap around the top and bottom.
Then I glued the fabric onto the lampshade.
I had to glue (tacky and decoupage glue) the fabric to the lampshade in pieces, which was fine because I was going to also add colors of yarn on the tops and bottoms later.
Adding the yarn not only adds color but it covers up the fabric to give it a prettier edge.
I pulled out my supply of pom poms, which include store bought, handmade and vintage styles in all colors and sizes. These vintage orange pom poms were perfect for the bottom of the lampshade.
I am always about color, I love it, so I decided to make some miniature tassels to hang from the lampshade. Tassels like pom poms are pretty easy to make. Just use some cardboard or cardstock to cut a square from, then wrap yarn around it. Pull a piece of separate yarn through the top and tie off, and then cut the ends at the bottom.
Remove from cardstock and tie off at top (should look like a little head afterwards) and trim up the bottoms.
I used a variety of yarns and embroidery thread to create my string of tassels.
Then I just attached the string across the lamp by gluing the top and bottom to the side of the lampshade.
I decided to have my husband make a little table for my lamp to sit on as well. Two cinder blocks just sitting out in our yard and some old pallets were all that we needed.
I told my husband what I wanted and he built the top while I painted the cinder blocks white.
Once the top of the table was done we had an end table that can be used in small spaces that doesn’t take a lot of time or money to make, plus it has added storage between the blocks for books or whatever. Using cinder blocks is not an original idea with me; it comes from growing up poor. We weren’t always poor but sometimes when families first start out, furniture can be pricey. My family would get creative and build bookshelves using cinder blocks stacked with wooden boards that they stained. It looked very modern and very rustic all at the same time and it kept everything organized. Now I see cinder blocks being used for everything, which is a great way to build something yourself.
This $1 day project was one of my quickest remakes; it did not take up a lot of time at all.
Now I have a little lamp that reminds me of my adventures in Belize…guess I don’t really need to buy souvenirs after all. Happy hunting for those upcycled projects out there everyone.
Coming in May:
This is what I picked up for my Mother’s day dollar day remake, an old tray. I can’t wait to do something pretty with this. I found some items at an estate sale, which ranged in prices from .10 cents to $2, to help inspire me this time. It will be all about flowers, I plan on having a Mother’s Day brunch in the garden by the pool. I think it will be so pretty and peaceful. Can’t wait to get started.