Oct 17, 2008

recycle and pimp 2 - lamps and shades

when a friend of a friend was leaving the country for good, friends were allowed to go to her house and take/buy the things that she didn't want to take along to her new home. and that's the story of my lights.

jo was prepared to part with almost all of her stuff. the tall reading light was one of them. an ikea lersta in black (like the example below i took from ikea), a little scratched and dented otherwise in perfect working order... was waiting for me to bring home. and i did.

jo even threw in a couple of lampshades for me, for free.. though the lampshades were a little yellowish from use. (looks something like the example below only slightly smaller)

i went home with a couple more things and was quite satisfied with my loot. and now i was thinking of how to make my loot more delightful to look at.

to the very black reading light ... i give you color!

first, i scuffed it from head to toe...quite vigorously, then i sealed it and gave the shade and the base a red for base color, and painted the stand white because i wanted contrast. then i proceeded to transfer some whimsical patterns onto the shade and the base of the lamp. painted those in white as well (it could have been simply stenciled on)

tip : the little dots you see bordering the base and the shade... use a stylus or the back of your brush, dip in paint and proceed to stamp the dots on :) dots are really easy to do because you don't have to 'paint' them on and they are beautiful as borders.

end of story for the reading light :))))) and now, for the free lampshades...

at that time i actually didn't know what to do with them. i didn't want to spend too much effort doing them up. they were, for a fact, quite old. i sat and looked at them for quite a while before deciding on black... one of the simplest choice of colors (the other being white). i simply painted whatever that came out of my head... no designs, no templates, just whatever my hand wants to do... the only condition was to keep it simple.

and i must say that i'm quite pleased with the result :)))))

and because the paper used on the lampshades were textured, the effect of the zebra stripes were even more interesting. in places where the paint doesn't go on as well, and the result is a lighter shade of black, giving the stripes different tones.

sometimes just letting your instincts run lose can be a good thing :) and the great thing is, you don't have to be an artist to create something like this. anyone can do this ... you can even use a permanent marker if you didn't have paint and brush :)

Here are the patterns for the reading light. Just click on the image to go full screen and click 'file' > 'print' from your windows menu :)

reading light - shade pattern

reading light - base pattern

happy pimping! :)


  1. i like this pattern will sure try painting this on something one day :-)

  2. Hi Swooz :)
    thanks! sure... if you like you could mail a pic of your art to me so that i can post it here :)
    happy pimping :)


thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post :) it makes my day!!
Luthien :)