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ceiling lamp tragedies

Can't afford a fancy glass schoolhouse lampshade? Decorate your own!

One of the first things I said I would do when we first moved in last year, was to get rid of all those ugly ceiling lamps. How many people have one of these? Come on, admit it! We all must have had at least one of these in some room at some point in our lives. Not only are they synonymous with terrible yellow lighting, they also like to double as homes to dead flies and dust bunnies. *shutter*

We had swapped out many of those ceiling lights already, but a few got backburnered until now. Why did we wait sooo long...? Because it's hard to find nice, affordable lamps that aren't stamped with the word IKEA on them. Lately, I was eyeing these schoolhouse lampshades with pretty shapes and colorful patterns. They're creeping back into popularity, apparently, but they've actually been around forever. When used properly, they look real "vintage modern" and nice.

We aren't ready to spend big bucks on those nice shades, as we have a million other priorities on house spendings. So instead, I went to the good ol' Home Depot, and picked up the plain stock shades that they carry. I bought a ceiling flush-mount fixture, a glass lampshade, and a can of red hot spray paint--it comes out to less than $20! With some painters tape and a little patience, I managed to pull off a pretty decent looking shade!

It's hard to take pictures of bright lamps, it turns out...

Shopping list:

If you want to make one too, use painter's tape to block out the areas you'd like to spray paint. Be sure to cover all the other parts with paper or a plastic bag, so the paint doesn't overspray all over. Glass paint might work too, but spray might give the most even effect. If you have to tape over an existing layer of paint in order to paint the next color, be very careful to not peel off the existing paint with the tape, as I did a few times trying to paint the black. Use very skinny strips of tape (cut them thin) for that; avoid taping right over the edges of the existing paint, tape further inside that area instead. Make sense?

It's really easy to replace a fixture. Usually they come with instructions and all the fixings. Just be sure to turn off the main power switch first!

So I think for now, the shade will fit us just great. I might decorate a few more for the hallways too. And hopefully take more thorough pictures next time. The only thing is, there's usually only smaller sizes (4" fitter opening and below) of shades and fixtures available at the store. I'd love it way bigger; but for now, it'll do until we're ready to upgrade.