November 7, 2011

Burlap Lamp Shade & Mercury Glass Lamp....Divine!!!

     Today's project is a burlap lampshade with a little bonus DIY project....a mercury glass lamp.  We were inspired by some really great mercury glass lamps from Pottery Barn.  So, we decided to make our own.

Materials Needed:

- Burlap
- Glass Lamp Base
- Lamp Shade
- Spray Adhesive
- Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Like Paint
- Gold Metallic Paint (we used Folkart)
- Black Paint (we used Folkart Black)
- Fabric Glue (or hot glue gun)
- Vinegar & Water
- Clean Spray Bottle

To begin, we will start with our lamp base.  We went shopping to find an inexpensive used lamp.  We found one for $5 in a local thrift shop.  Yes, that is dust that you see on the lamp (they said I could have the dust for free).  We removed the harp as it was not needed with the shade we chose to use. 

So, after removing the dust, we added plain water to the spray bottle and spritzed the base of the lamp. 

Next, after allowing the water to run a bit, we lightly sprayed the Krylon Mirror Paint all over the base.  It is not necessary to get full coverage on the initial application.  The process gets completed in multiple stages in order to get the desired look (complete this process outside as the paint is strong.  Also, make sure to cover the cord so that it doesn't get covered in paint). 

Note:  The water keeps the paint from completely adhering to the lamp and begins to create the look of mercury glass.

Let the base dry for several hours or overnight.  Now, mix an equal amount of water and vinegar together and fill the spray bottle.  Additionally, put a portion of the mixture in a a bowl to be used later.  Once again, spritz the lamp base all over, but this time with the new mixture.  Wait about 20 seconds and then lightly spray the base with the Krylon again.  Afterwords, take a cottonball or "waded" papertowel and very lightly "dab" the mixture in the bowl in various spots of the lamp base.  This will remove some of the paint to help create the look of mercury glass.  Next, spray the base with the Krylon again very lightly.  Once again, you will want to let this dry for several hours or overnight. 

Once the lamp is dry, very carefully "dab" a bit of the of the metallic gold paint in select spots.  Then do the same with the black very lightly. The paint should not be thick.  The goal is for the added color to be there for layering, but be very light.  Now, lightly spray the base once again with the Krylon.  We were satisfied with our lamp at this point however, you can certainly modify, change, or add steps to this process until you are pleased with the result. 

While you wait for the lamp base to dry, move on to the burlap lampshade.  We purchase a drum shade for our lamp on sale for $7. 

We chose not to make a template for my shade.  However, if you prefer to do so, the instructions are below.  First, I measured the diamer of both the top of the shade, the bottom of the shade, and the height of the shade.  Our shade measured 42" top diameter, 47" bottom diameter, and 10.5" in height.  I then cut a piece of burlap 16" X 50" long.  Several extra inches in the height are needed if your shade diameters (top and bottom) are not the same.  Next, saturated the back side of the burlap with spray adhesive. 

Lay the bulap adhesive side up on the table.  Next, lay the shade (on its side) in the center of the burlap, shade seam side up.  Then, begin to roll the shade over the burlap slowly, smoothing the burlap from the center out to the edges as you go. 

After you have the shade completely covered, CAREFULLY trim the burlap at the seam until you they meet.  You can allow the burlap to overlap a small amount if you choose.  We chose to not overlap ours.  (if you are not careful, you can easily cut this too short).

Template Option:
If you want to make an exact shade template...To make a template for the lampshade, Lay the shade on its side on paper or directly on the burlap and roll it.  First start at the top of the shade (at the seam) and trace with a pencil on the paper (or pen on the burlap) until you have traced all the way around to the seam again.  Then, move the shade back to the starting point and repeat the process of tracing with the bottom of the shade.  Cut the template out and use it as a pattern to cut your burlap.

Next, you need to determine how you want to finish the top and bottom edges of your shade and choose one of the options below.  We chose Option 3. 


1.  Evenly trim the edges (top and bottom) leaving about a 1/2" of burlap.  Next, carefully fold the edges to the inside of the shade.  Carefully, "notch" or split the burlap at the points where necessary to work around the metal "rods" inside.


2.  Evenly trim the burlap along the edges (top and bottom).  This is best done by resting the scissors horizontally against the edge of the shade all the way around both the top and bottom.  This is easily done because the adhesive keeps the burlap from fraying allowing for a clean cut.


3.  Add a band around both the top and bottom edges of the shade.  First, complete the step seen in Option 2.  Then, 2 burlap strips 1.75" wide by the diameter length of both the top and bottom edges of the shade plus a 2" for safe measure (we cut our strips 1.75" X 44" & 1.75" X 49" ).  Next, apply spray adhesive to the back side of each strip.  Fold each strip twice to create a finished band approximately 5/8" wide.  Starting at the seam on the shade, apply the band around both the top and bottom edges of the shade using either hot glue or fabric glue.  Join the ends evenly at the shade seam trimming the excess.

Note:  If you prefer having a more uniform/stiffer band, you can use "tack strip" which is a flexible cardboard strip that provides that stifness.  We elected to use tack strip and have a "cleaner" band.

Once you have finished the edges of your shade, add it to your "mercury glass" lamp base and your lamp is complete.


Project Notes:

- We purchased our Krylon at Hobby Lobby.  Walmart is now carrying it as 
- Remember to not use your good scissors when using fabric adhesive.
- It is important for your lamp base to be glass.
- Your lampshade needs to be smooth and not pleated for this application to
- If you decide to use Tack Strip, we stock it at Details.

Don't forget to stop by Details, pick up your burlap, and get started.

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