DIY Lamp Upgrade

20170107_195630While browsing through random items in a thrift store today, I saw the prettiest little polygons on a lamp base. Without a moment’s delay, I decided to buy it and to my great happiness it costed only 50 rupees. The excitement, however, was short lived. I picked the lamp up and its shade came off, revealing a completely destroyed plastic structure underneath that had a Chelsea emblem. A similar logo was printed on one of the polygons too, which made me realize they were actually the sides of a football. But there was a silver lining to this disappointment–even if it was a football inspired lamp, it still had those polygons and as long as the world doesn’t run out of spray paint, I know that anything can be transformed.

This dark blue football shaped lamp, that must’ve been a young Chelsea fan’s treasure once, got a makeover and is currently lit up in my dorm.


Here is the thing I saw.


Here is what it actually was.

The picture is actually pretty flattering.

The bulb didn’t work, the holder was broken and there was no plug with the wire. I removed the cap, bulb and the holder, and cleaned the base with a damp cloth.


Three coats of spray paint later, I had this.


(With old wires, it’s a good idea to test them, so that you don’t find that the current isn’t getting through after you’ve assembled the whole thing together. You can try to link the bulb directly and check if it lights up, but a better way to do it is by using a tester. It is a screwdriver with a tiny light that lights up if the wires are intact.)

Replaced old parts with new ones.


To make a new lampshade, I used a thick drawing sheet and some fabric from a old shirt. It is a fun way to reuse clothes that you don’t wear anymore and still love.

For a cylindrical lampshade, you can simply roll the paper and call it a day. But for conical shades, you have to cut a curved piece out of your fabric and paper, and then roll it into a cone. To get the curve right, I placed the lampshade on the drawing sheet and marked the points corresponding to the upper and lower ends. I started rolling the lamp and marked the whole curve as you can see below.


I made some slits in the upper part of the fabric, folded them in and glued them there. You can make another curved cutout of either fabric or paper, and paste it over these glued fabric strips for a cleaner finish.

I wrapped this cutout around the original lampshade and it fit perfectly. Then I stapled one end of the cutout to the lampshade to hold the it in place, and rolled and glued the rest.

I stapled the other end all the way from top to the bottom, and then covered the pins with the fabric and glued it in place.

DIY Lamp Upgrade

Added the all-new lampshade to the base and all done!

You can find the post on this Goldleaf painting here.


That trellis on the pillow in the background is a DIY too. I’d try to make a post about it as soon as my final exams finish.


If you want more ideas on making light fixtures, don’t forget to check out this DIY paper chandelier post.

Till next time!


6 thoughts on “DIY Lamp Upgrade

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