Flower Lampshade {Thrifty Decorating}

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I mentioned last week that none of the rooms in my house are 100% finished. I am trying to remedy that. My living room is almost completely decorated. I just need to put together some vignettes on my tables, and put actual pictures in the frames hanging on the wall. (Don’t laugh. Empty frames are all the rage right now anyway, right?)

I’ve had a lamp on my side table for months that I bought at a yard sale last year for $5. I spray painted it, but it’s been needing a lampshade facelift for ages. I am happy to say that I finally got it finished. Woot woot!

This is what it looked like before:
diy-lampshade-makeoverAnd now, after a few coats of spray paint and what seemed like a gazillion flowers, here she is now:
diy-project-lampshadeQuite an improvement, wouldn’t you say? (How did I not notice that pillow form stuck behind the couch when I snapped this photo? Sheesh.) Although I do have to admit that when I see it on the black table, I’m kinda thinking I might like it white. But I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

If any of you want to make a similar lampshade, I’m going to share a few tips with you. I’m not going to do a full tutorial for the singed flowers, because there’s already dozens out there and I don’t wanna re-invent the wheel. Basically you cut decreasing sizes of circles, singe the edges, and sew them together with a bead.
But when you are making them in mass amounts like you need for this lampshade, there are a few things you need to do differently to save yourself some time.

Before you decide to take this on, you might wanna know that my lampshade has about 200 flowers on it. All five layers. That’s 1,000 circles that you have to cut out and singe. So yes, it’s gonna take awhile. But on the plus side, you can sit and watch tv while doing it. 🙂

Flower Lampshade Tips

-Decide the size you want your flower, and cut 5 paper circles in decreasing size. Put each circle in a ziplock bag. When you cut your fabric, cut one size at a time, and put all the circles in the bag with the pattern. Singe one bag at a time and put them all back in the back when you are done. If you don’t keep the circles separated, you will have a ginormous mess of slippery fabric taking over your life. Trust me.

-Cutting multiple circles at once saves a bucketload of time! I discovered that the organza fabric rips just great, so I used that to my advantage. Just take one of your circles and lay it on the edge of your fabric. Use your scissors to make a snip in the edge of the fabric slightly wider than your circle.
diy project-flower lampshade
-Now pull the fabric apart at the snip and rip a strip of fabric. Fold it over and over on itself, making sure you make the folds spaced far enough apart to fit the circle. When you are all done, you can cut out a bunch of circles all at once.
diy project-flower lampshade-When you get done, check the edges of the circles to make sure they all got cut. Sometimes you will end up with edges that are still folded and need to be snipped apart. No biggie. When you have the folded edges snipped, your stack  will lay nice and flat like the photo below. Stuff them into your ziplock bag.
diy project-flower lampshade-Some people use a lighter to singe the edge of their circles. I always use a candle, I think it is much easier. With this amount of flowers, your hand would totally cramp up holding a lighter. No good!

-I was originally going to glue my flowers on in straight rows, but that left little gaps in the corners where the dirty shade showed through. So if you want straight rows, you need to cover your lampshade with fabric first. I decided to just overlap my flowers to hide the gaps. This method does use more flowers though. So choose the option that you like the best, and just start hot gluing them on.
diy project-flower lampshadeAnd because I just can’t resist a good before and after shot, here ya go:
lamp before and afterI know some of you will ask how much fabric you need for this project. I’m not exactly sure how much because I started with a bunch of  scrap fabric, but ended up buying two more yards. So maybe three yards?

Linking up with the following:
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  1. Hi,
    I thought of doing a fabric lamp shape a while back but you have really done a beautiful job…..Lynn

  2. Wanessa Carolina says:

    Hi Kara, what a beautiful lamp! Love it!



  3. soo cute! love your lamp! that was so creative!

  4. Kimberly R. says:

    I have always loved your blog, but this lamp put that love over the top!!!! Absolutely so cute … and love the blue flowers with the black base.

  5. It was time consuming, but thankfully I love it! And I’m afraid I have to agree that it would look better white. Dang.

  6. Shantalle says:

    Wow! That’s alot of work, great job!

  7. Maureen says:

    I love the transformation of this lamp! Thanks for explaining about the singed flowers because I didn’t know how to make em! Thanks also for the clear explanation of how to cut the circles and store them so they don’t take over your room – LOL! Really nice job and very straightforward tutorial!

  8. Virginia says:

    It’s gorgeous, looks extremely time consuming and yes I would paint the lamp white. The black on the black doesn’t do it much justice.

  9. such a beautiful fun accent! love it!

  10. Love! I would paint the base white though. I think it would look classy on the black table.

  11. I love your new lamp! Very pretty. The color is beautiful. I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com.

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