Maybe Matilda: Happy Lamp Makeover

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Lamp Makeover

I normally don't really get into home decor projects too much--I love seeing what other people make, but I just haven't ventured there myself, up until this recent move when I decided I was tired of living in a place that didn't look at all like me. So hopefully you don't mind the little break from my normal sewing and crochet projects while I decorate my place. And if you do mind . . . well, sorry. I don't really know what to tell you.

The two posts I've made so far about my home decor endeavors were about my door decor and my trunk makeover . . . so if you put those two together you get the colors I wanted to use in my main room: red and yellow! Which are a huge, much-needed change from the rainbow of beige tones I used to live in.

My mom (a super cool interior designer and owner of Amenities and Bungalow Boutique, two fun design and handmade craft shops in Heber, UT) gave me this lamp, which she had sort-of-accidentally ordered for her store but really didn't like:

Hmmm. I can definitely understand why she didn't think it worthy of a spot in her stores! I don't know if this photo accurately captures its ugly duckling-ness, but it was a very awkward-looking gray matte color with a clunky lampshade (the same one pictured in the after pictures below). It was just really boring and kind of weird-looking. It was such a sad lamp. If it were a person, it would be grumpy all the time. And gangly and lurpy, with a gigantic head.

She gave it to me (she's so generous, giving me her ugly accidental purchases) with the comment that she thought it could look nice if it got painted.

And yellow was a huge improvement! I just covered the base with newspaper to protect it, and covered up that grouchy gray color with a few coats of a bright sunny yellow spray paint. (and, in case you were wondering, yes, that is the only pillow I have for my couch right now, which is why it keeps working its way into every living room picture that I take. And you know it's time to get moving on sewing pillows for your couch when even your husband says, "Are we really only going to have one pillow on the sofa? Can you please make some more?")

But I wanted the living room to be yellow and red, and so far the only red was on the front door (which doesn't contribute much to an indoor color scheme), as well as some red on the opposite side of the room from what you can see here (it just so happens to be the red project that I mentioned almost killing me last week . . . I'll show you real soon! I conquered it! Take that, you horrible project!), so I thought this half of the room needed a little red, too. Not to mention that the lamp still looked a little bland to me. It was getting less grumpy, but it still seemed slightly depressed.

So I made some felt flowers, modeled after these ones from I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar, and hot glued a little cluster of them onto the shade.

Much better! I think those flowers give the lamp just what it needs to stand out, not to mention pulling in a little of the red from the other side of the room. And doesn't it just look happy now? It makes me smile whenever I see it (and considering the size of our apartment [not very big], I see it an awful lot). A nice happy lamp makeover!

I'll be posting this lamp makeover at some of these link-ups . . . and I'm excited to show you my red project. You know how people always start a project post with, "This was so fast! So easy! Anyone can do it! It'll take you 20 minutes!" I'm not going to lie to you, folks . . . I hated this project. It was not fast. Nor was it easy. It took closer to 20 hours than 20 minutes, and when I say there were blood, sweat, and tears involved, I really do mean all three in a very literal way. But hopefully you'll pat my head and tell me I did a good job anyway so I can start leaning more towards the love end of the love/hate relationship I'm having with this project. Stay tuned.


  1. I love the lamp makeover! For not venturing out, you do a great job! Love the work!

  2. Oooh, I love the flowers! You made the ugly duckling a beautiful swan! ;0)

  3. LOVE the yellow and the flowers!!! I used the same tutorial last week to make a corsage for my sis in law for her bridal shower! I would never have thought to add them to a lamp, but I'm so going to make some to do this - it is so cute!!

  4. I can't believe you didn't mention your husband taking time out of his busy schedule to wire that ugly bugly.

  5. I love the lamp!!! I need to do some colorizing of my house I too live in a rainbow of beige. *sigh*

  6. Be careful, Rachel, your Mother will want the lamp back! Such an inspired makeover. I can see why it makes you happy.

  7. Aw, what a pretty yellow lamp! It is so bright & cheery, absolutely perfect! Great job Rachel!

    Ps--you should totally do home decor projects, you really are one talented mama. :)

  8. It came out beautifully! I love the little bit of red - so cute!

  9. Wow...just luv your make over...great style, colours & patient with you flowers...I have just blogged a project that took about 6 attempts....rrrrrr Then yaaaa.
    well done
    cheers Nic

  10. Actually Rachel, I do mind you taking a break to decorate your place. Being on "partial bed rest"---whatever the heck that means---has forced me to spend far too long trapped inside my house.

    And I've realized that my place is UGLY. Just down right ugly. I pretty much hate everything. But there is nothing I can do about it because besides being poor I'm stuck on the couch or the chair, oh wait...we don't have chairs...honestly why haven't I ever noticed how PWT my place is before now?

    I'll try not to be too jealous as you keep making your place so cute.

  11. very cute rachel! and i like your new header :) my blog is in need of a new look..ive just been a little lazy and very good at igoring my off center title, hehe.

  12. Oooooo, I like the yellow!! I wish my mom had a sweet store...but she works in a all I get are crazy stories instead of crazy lamps.

  13. It looks fantastic! and those flowers are the PERFECT touch!

  14. so so cute my friend! :o) I love the flowers! And I love the yellow and red together I am guessing that room is going to be beyond cute! :o)

  15. I love the yellow. And I love seeing how you are decorating your new living room! I can't wait to see the room completely finished! I also love your yellow pillow. And the trunk... :)


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