Sunday, July 15, 2012

illumina[tion] - nursery lamp

Our goal for the nursery is to create a room that feels like the outdoors, with a bicycle-theme thrown in on the side. Sky blue walls, grass green rug, sunshine yellow ceiling fan, red & white gingham curtains... and then bicycles! 

Unfortunately, that vision won't come to fruition for a little while, since a) there are still lots of boxes and miscellaneous furniture to move out, b) we have a week-long vacation coming up, and c) I'm still gathering all the fabrics and items to put in there! Which means that we are taking baby steps. I'm trying to do little projects here and there that will contribute to the impending theme, and then a little later in the summer my mom & aunt are going to come visit and help me make it all a reality!

The first of these small projects that we did was to frame the pregnancy announcement. It too was a bicycle-theme, so it felt appropriate to frame it for the nursery. Most likely it will hang in some sort of montage, since it is quite small!

This next project is something I had been putting off for a while, since I wasn't quite sure how to tackle it. I bought this cute tandem fabric a while back, and now I realize it's quite girly with the flowers in the basket, so good thing it's a girl! I ordered this from Spoonflower, and it's called "vintage traveler - dijon". I have found that Spoonflowers unique fabrics tend to run high on price, so I try to use it sparingly. I've recently ordered another fabric for the changing pad cover that I'm planning to make. Again, a small project with a fabric I couldn't resist.

But now back to the project at hand! My plan was to buy a simple lamp with white lampshade and somehow adhere the fabric to the lampshade. That's where I was stumped. Until this weekend when I discovered Mod Podge! I know I've heard of it in the past (I mean it's been around for over 40 years), and I've probably even used it in some art projects way back, but I'm excited to have become reacquainted with it again! I actually bought it for another project that is forthcoming, but for now I'm glad to know that it works with fabric too! Of course they make a specific Fabric Mod Podge, but I just went with what I had on hand.

Also, instead of purchasing a whole new lamp, I reused one that I already had, but just bought a lampshade for about $8 to make it a whole new lamp.

Here's the before:

And here we are with the new, white lampshade (better already):

To start, I laid the fabric out and rolled the shade across it to trace the outline that I would be working with. (Sorry, no photos of this step, but should be pretty self-explanatory.)

The next step was a hint that I learned online from a blog that's appropriately called Mod Podge Rocks! They say that before you do any of these type of projects with fabric, you should cover the fabric with Mod Podge and let it dry for a couple of hours. This will make the fabric like oil cloth, and it should cut like paper. So I figured it's worth a shot! They also recommend laying the fabric on a layer of wax paper to protect the surface below, and then apply with a paint brush.

I decided to hang it to dry, since it did seem to bunch up a little. I thought hanging it may take some of those wrinkles out. And it seemed to dry faster than the recommended time.

I decided to be brave and cut about a quarter of an inch within my line, so as to leave a white trim on the lampshade and create a more finished look. I knew that I had only used about half my fabric and if I had to start over I could. This is really why I took Mod Podge Rocks! advice, since I thought it would make the cutting crisper and easier because I wouldn't have the forgiveness of being able to wrap it over the edges.

Next, I cut, which was the most nerve-wracking part of the whole process. No turning back!

The pre-application of Mod Podge to the fabric was the most crucial step of the whole process! It prevented any fraying from the fabric, and not only that but I was also able to erase all the pencil marks that were still showing up. It was pretty incredible!

I also used clothespins to align the top of the fabric where I wanted, which allowed me to go back and cut any excess at the bottom that wasn't lining up quite right.

Then I applied the Mod Podge to the lampshade, in small increments in order to smooth out the fabric and prevent any wrinkles. I also applied it on top of the fabric as well. Even though it goes on white, it dries clear, and provides a protective finish to the shade. 

And the shade was done! Now it just needed to dry.

It is by no means perfect... with air bubbles, a little cat hair, and even a gap in fabric in the back, but overall I'm pleased with it! Here you have the finished product! 


The before & after....

All in all, this took about 2 hours (which included drying time)! Not too shabby!


  1. I love your pregnancy announcement! May I ask who designed it? My husband and I are looking to do something similar to announce our pregnancy to family and friends. If you don't mind sharing where you go the announcement design, that would be wonderful! You can email me at shellki (at) me (dot) com.

    Many thanks!

    1. I'm glad you like the announcement! My husband and I designed it ourselves when we couldn't find what we were looking for anywhere else! We have a tandem (and left our wedding on it), so it just seemed appropriate to use the bicycle theme.

  2. Wow! Your nursery lamp transformation is fabulous. You are multi-talented, my sweet daughter-in-law!