Monday, May 24, 2010

Re-vamp into a Blue Lamp


I got these lamps forever ago, as in over a year ago, and have just been sitting on them waiting for just the right idea. Sometimes inspiration comes in the most unlikely places.


As in, Parents magazine, at Easter time. This is typically the magazine that I read to try to be a good parent, not for crafty inspiration, but sometimes you get a bit of both. For some reason, I looked at that string-wrapped-looking egg and thought not of eggs but, "I must do that to those lamps!"


I will admit that my first attempt at these babies turned out to be a big fail, because in my excitement over finally having a direction to go with this project, I neglected to first dull the glossy surface of the lamps before painting them. Don't do this. A few days later you will end up with a very sad situation on your hands.


The second time around, I dulled the surface of the lamps with a fine sandpaper, covered the sockets and cords with plastic bags and tape, and then spray painted them with a white primer.


When the primer was completely dry, I got some raffia, wet it slightly and wrung it out well because I wanted it to lay completely flat against the surface of the lamp, and started wrapping. I wanted a crisscrossing kind of look, so I alternated between wrapping it just around the middle, and wrapping it around the top and then under the bottom of the lamp. When I got to the end of the raffia, I carefully tucked it under one of the first strands that was pulled tightly so that the whole thing wouldn't unravel.


I then pulled out my trusty Mediterranean spray paint (by Valspar), and got to work. I got down level with the lamp (meaning on the ground, but if you could elevate your lamp it will make this part easier), because I wanted to spray straight onto the raffia, as opposed to spraying from a top angle where the paint might run down underneath the raffia a bit.

I did 2 light coats, mostly because I was still nervous about the paint running. But it turns out that this was just enough.

When the paint was dry, I carefully peeled off the raffia strands, and held my breath. Luckily, dulling the surface this time worked! No little maroon spots were glaring up at me, just a fun blue and white pattern.


I love the texture that this approach provided! I followed up with a satin polyurethane for protection.


What do you think? Aren't they fun?


I don't have a lampshade "before" picture, but it was a basic shade that was yellowed with age and had a few stains. I covered it with some white burlap, which more than covered the stains, still gave me the light glow that I was looking for, and added just a bit more texture to the mix.


I'm pretty pleased with the results. This is my first venture into anything to do with lamps, so now going to start looking at the other lamps around my house and to see how I can change them to give that space a little boost.



Unknown May 24, 2010 at 6:27 AM  

Erin, I think they are so fun... and I just redid a room in my house and need a aqua lamp.. I am so glad you showed a boo-boo no one ever does this and then I feel stupid... I love it..I will check your store to see if it's in budget.. but maybe I am up for the challenge LOL LOVE IT>

Amy May 24, 2010 at 6:28 AM  

Love the color & design!!

The Summer Kitchen Girls May 24, 2010 at 6:33 AM  

What a fab idea! Really - we've seen spray painted lamps before, but these are very hip & fresh - nice job!!

Patti @ Pandoras Box May 24, 2010 at 6:41 AM  

I LOVE these...very clever...and I enjoyed seeing your mistake because I always "jump" right into projects without thinking them thru, so I always have tons of "mistakes"!!

stop over for a chance at a CSN LANTERN Giveaway!

Jen May 24, 2010 at 6:55 AM  

Such a cute result! You could try doing this with rubber bands instead of raffia - it might be quicker and easier.

Jessica May 24, 2010 at 7:07 AM  

Erin, I love the color and the texture on the shade. These would look nice in my bedroom.

Tiffany May 24, 2010 at 7:45 AM  

Fantastic idea! They turned out beautiful! Love the color and the shade! Great job!

Jane@Little House of Projects May 24, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

These are great!

Sarah AKA The Thriftress May 24, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

Totally fun! I really need to find a lamp to paint. I love customizing things to go perfectly with the decor!

Anne May 24, 2010 at 8:42 AM  

WOW!!! What a fantastic repurposing...and the blue is so retro!

kim west May 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

How come whenever I click on a picture from a linky party it brings me here! I can't keep up with all of your cuteness! Love the lamps (and love the empty frames which is what I was just looking at before I clicked on the lamp~)

Geezees Custom Canvas Art May 24, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

what a great idea, the lamp looks fantastic!!

Heather May 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

Awesome idea, it looks great! I must be weird though, I think the "boo boo" red flecked first try looks really cool too.

Ann @ makethebestofthings May 24, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

Love this lamp redo and I was with you thru disappointment and triumpth all the way! Clever girl, this is definitely going on my list of fun projects.

Sarah May 24, 2010 at 11:43 AM  

turned out very cute! love the colors!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! May 24, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

Nice project. I would love it if you would link this up in Modern Craftswoman Monday. Very well done. Rory

Unknown May 24, 2010 at 1:22 PM  

Looks awesome! Great job!

Kari Sweeten May 24, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

K, this is so cool!! I'll be sending them your way!

Katie P May 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

I am IN LOVE with these lamps! The idea is so simple! Seriously, in awe!

Katie P

Mandy @ mintnclandycreate May 24, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

These are great! Very creative idea.
I posted a lamp today too!

Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple May 24, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

What a great technique, I love it!! So fun!

Anonymous May 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

What an impressive makeover! Luv that you found this inspiration from Easter eggs. Conversation pieces for sure!

Simply Jessabells May 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM  

Love it. I too would have forgotten that you can't paint on gloss paint. Oh Well, it came out great the second time around!

Pam May 24, 2010 at 4:27 PM  

This technique is so cool! I'm sure I can find something to apply this on. How fun; thanks!

NoDebtMomma May 24, 2010 at 5:27 PM  

Wow! Great idea!


Morgan//Nuts and Bows May 24, 2010 at 5:41 PM  

LOVE this so so much!!


Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} May 24, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

Wow. These turned out AMaZing! And thanks for the tutorial - I would have made those exact mistakes! :)

Lorie May 24, 2010 at 10:10 PM  

They are SO fun! I love the color and the design!

Suzanne May 24, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

I love these so much! Love the color. Love the shape. Love the shade. Love the whimsical quality. Just fabulous!

Lelan @ Good Gravy! May 24, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

Oh my gosh, what a fantastic idea!! Thanks for sharing; love the lamp!

Joy May 25, 2010 at 2:11 AM  

They turned out great!

Amber May 25, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

These look great! To bad I don't have any lamps to redo. I'll have to see what else I could use this texture on.

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise May 25, 2010 at 8:27 AM  

I LOVE these. This color and versions of it is my very favorite. Your stuff is super amazing.

Sarah @ Hennessey House May 25, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

oh my gosh i am in LOVE! and thank you for posting your "oops" moment, i really would love to try this and you've helped me skip out on my own "oops".


Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming May 25, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

Fabulous transformation! The raffia is so clever and creative. Love the blue - gorgeous! Thanks so much for joining The Sunday Showcase Party! I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Kelly L. May 25, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Neat - you have me thinking about all those ugly yard sale lamps that I've seen and the possibilities!

Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds May 25, 2010 at 2:26 PM  

What a great idea, I love these!

Unknown May 26, 2010 at 12:10 AM  

These turned out awesome. Love everything about them!

jayayceeblog May 26, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

Very clever ... I love that your inspiration came from Easter eggs!

sharon May 26, 2010 at 8:45 AM  


Amy @ Positively Splendid May 26, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

Absolutely lovely!

AUDRA May 26, 2010 at 10:18 AM  

Seeing great projects like this makes me what to raid the goodwill!

Love it, now I just need to find he perfect lamp for this!

I would love if you could link this project up to my Socialize with me Monday til Sunday Link Party.

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! May 26, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

Thanks for linking and helping to make this the most successful Modern Craftswoman Monday so far! Rory

Stephanie@cre8tive May 26, 2010 at 7:27 PM  

Wow those are great! So creative you are.

Jenny Bolech May 26, 2010 at 8:00 PM  

Wow Erin! I really love how these turned out! I think I might have to try this one out myself - it looks simple enough that I won't muss it up too badly, and it's got the look I'm going for in my crafting room! Thanks for the tutorial - I'm definitely putting this in my to do file!

Atticmag May 27, 2010 at 6:15 AM  

Super technique and amazing result. It's also fascinating to see how creative everyone is in transforming these pieces. Loved this post. Jane F

Mad in Crafts May 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

Lamps are fun! Just wait till you start taking them apart... all kinds of inspiration hits then!

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans May 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

I love it.... love it love love it! Awesome job! : )

Nikki@KreativeKnack May 28, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

These are great! Such a cool idea...good job!

KimMalk May 28, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

Cute, fresh, and funky! And thanks for sharing your "oops" with us as a word of caution.

Leslie May 28, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

Love the lamps! Great idea!

Self Sagacity May 28, 2010 at 3:28 PM  

clever design. it's a little mind trick-er.

Amanda May 28, 2010 at 10:52 PM  

So very cute! Found you on New Friend Friday!

carlotta cisternas May 29, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

these lamps are awesome! love love love them.

Funky Junk Interiors May 29, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

What a trendy fun spin on painting! I just love the outcome! And the blue... POP! Gorgeous!

Thanks for linking up to SNS!
FJ Donna

Katie May 31, 2010 at 12:29 AM  

I really love this and would never have gotten that inspired from those eggs. Great idea!!

Tara @ Tara Being Tara June 1, 2010 at 8:30 PM  

I LOVE these! I'm definitely putting this in the "things to make" folder and keeping my eyes open for some great lamps!

Biteofpunkinpie June 4, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

WOW! That is awesome... for those of us who would want to do this project and try to 'use what we have'... do you think rubberbands would work in place of the rafia?

Tara June 4, 2010 at 3:41 PM  

Thanks Erin! I love all your submissions for the Magazine! WOW! I marked this blog as a favorite to come back to for magazine ideas. Thanks so much!

Tara June 15, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

Nice. I kinda liked the one where the red shows through. I thought you did it on purpose for a minute there!

Covering old lampshades is awesome. Check out the bright vintage floral one we did:
Lamp Shade Day at

Boston Mamas June 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM  

Wow, what a fun and chic idea! LOVE! -Christine

Steph @ somewhatsimple June 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

I am featuring this idea on tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration!

Lacy July 13, 2010 at 10:32 AM  

Great idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

Karie July 13, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Great idea. Love the lamps. Your blog is great. I follow it all the time and I get so much inspiration. Thanks for sharing.
karie @ karieschiccreations

Cassie Bustamante July 13, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

that is soooooo cool! i LOVE it!

KatrinkaJane July 14, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

Looks like we have a similar obsession (mine is Bahama Sea by Krylon). :) Great technique! ((fellow CSI crafter))

Restorative Living August 17, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

Wow! I'm a follower now!

shutterhappyhope August 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

That's awesome!

Annieofbluegables August 17, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

What an awesome inspiration!!!

Cara August 17, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

Wow! Love the way your lamps turned out....the color, the texture, the technique...everything! I just bought some new lamps for the bedroom. Love the shape, but I'm undecided about their current color. Maybe spray paint is in their future!

Sharon@thisthriftyhouse August 19, 2010 at 12:51 AM  

I LOVE these! What a great idea!!! They turned out FABULOUS!!!

Susie Chadwick July 19, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

Inspiration is everywhere! linked to you here:

Dear Lillie August 25, 2011 at 11:12 PM  

Great job!!!!

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