To fix a lamp shade, make it fancy


I found this lamp in the trash during student move out days this year. When I found it, the paper shade was plain white with several tears that the previous owner had tried to repair with clear packing tape. The problem with taping tears in a paper lamp shade is that when you turn on the light, all those little bits of tape really stand out.

To make the lamp shade more presentable, I cut off the bottom 10 or so inches, where most of the tears and previous repairs have been made. Originally, I was going to sew an entirely new lamp shade, but then I remembered that I’ve had a partial roll of handmade paper sitting in one of my closets for the past, I don’t know, decade or so. It’s red on one side and purple on the other. I cut out a strip of this paper, then sewed it to the bottom of the lamp shade with the red side facing out. Despite the purple lining, it looks red even when the lamp is turned on.

I dealt with miscellaneous tears higher up on the lamp shade by printing out some bird silhouettes I found on the internet and tracing them onto red tissue paper. I used spray glue on the back, stuck them over small tears in the shade and — voila! — a lamp that has seen better days is now a one-of-a-kind, artsy/Etsyish feature for my office.

(Ignore that tangle of cords on the floor. I have another Etsyish plan for dealing with those, but it’s a few steps further down the line.)

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