Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Home Project of 2012

Hello friends,
Here is a simple, cheap way to dress up a schmugly pendant lampshade.
Sorry Ikea.
We do not have a light above our family room table and I had tried several awkward fixes, such as a floor lamp whose cord was always a trip hazard,
cute lamps on the table, same problem.
Temporary solution, two Ikea hanging pendants with super inexpensive shades.
Light issue solved, but schmugly issue not so much.

Although I have been slipping back and forth into the realm of contemporary in my decorating these shades were just...yuck.
But they did give us much needed light.
An actual hardwired light would involve an electrician. 
That is definitely not in the budget.

A half pack of shims that was laying around the garage gave me an idea. 
Unfinished wood contemporary shades with a rustic edge to the look.
I purchased two large packs of shims from Lowes and cranked up the glue gun.

First try, fail...
do not begin stacking one on top of the other. 
This would have led to an wonky gap when I placed the last shim or the possibility of having to cut a shim lengthwise.
Zero in the style department.
Oh and this is a quick as well as cheap project.
No pesky measurements.

Instead, evenly space the first row around what ever shade you may be using.
I just kind of eyeballed to be sure the shims would go completely around the shade with equal gaps between each shim.
My shade happens to be smaller at the bottom than the top.
Stagger the second row with the center of the second row of shims on top of the seam of the first row, then repeat with the top.
I simply layered each row to have an equal reveal at the bottom and 
still end up even with the top of the shade.

I hope the photos help you get the idea. 
There will be gaps at the widest part of your shade.
I planned to use burlap strapping with the cool little lines as a cover for the gapped section. 
I went to my local JoAnn's and they didn't have it!
Being too impatient to shop around I took some plain burlap I had at home and cut a strip to fit around each lamp.
I doubled the width of the area that had gaps and folded it in half.

You can see what I am talking about better in this photo.
(The sun actually came out for a day. Go sunshine!)
OK so I folded the strip and hot glued it around the top shims to cover the gaps.
Here you can see the parts of the Ikea pendant that hold the shade to the light.

My plan was to have the fringe as a design element but in my frenzy to finish
 I was not exact in my placement.
It looks OK...but I am going to come back and add something...???...
to cover the unfinished burlap edge.
Ruffle, maybe, grosgrain ribbon in chocolate brown, probably.
I had also considered staining but I kind of like the blond wood look.
How about you?

A vast improvement don't you think?
These have so many possibilities.
Spray paint, stenciled words, different fabric trim.
I am loving shims right now. 
I have a whole package left!
Now where did I put that glue gun?

I will post some better photos if the sun ever reappears
and I decide what trim to use.
Until then I am quite happy with this treatment.
Package and a half of shims: $3.87 for a package of 42.
Ikea Skirma shade: $5.00 each (already had)
For me the final cost was less than $6 because I had the pendants and shades already.
If you needed two shades you will still come in at just around $15.00.
I can't find the pendants on Ikea's website anymore but they were under $9.00 each.
I think you could find something similar at Target or Wallyworld.
I plan to make cord covers some day soon to finish the look.

Pretty quick fix for a nagging decorating problem and a non existent budget.

Just remember to begin, P.

I will be linking to

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trash talk said...

Groovy! I dig the blond look too!

Hopemore Studio said...

Pam, Robert has this lampshade too, he picked it out himself. He was reading over my shoulder when I had your blog up..he said "wow" but he still likes his...he is only sense of

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Pam,
You are forever coming up with cool ideas! Thanks so much for linking.

Pam said...

Very cute idea. Sort of looks like an apple basket turned upside down, but cooler!

Thespoena McLaughlin said...

Cute makeover on those lights. I like it!

Susie Q said...

I agree with Pam...and very cool!