Decorating your own lamp is not only more fun than buying a pre-decorated one, it is less expensive. This is also the best way to get a lamp that will perfectly fit into your home's decor There are many inexpensive, relatively easy ways to decorate a standard lamp.
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Découpage is a craft technique where layers of photos and cutouts are applied to something using multiple coats of lacquer or varnish. You can use anything to découpage, from favourite pictures to ads and graphics cut out from old magazines. This is a way to get very creative when decorating your lamps.
You can buy découpage varnish from craft and hobby supply stores. You will also need a foam or découpage brush to apply the varnish. Make sure you lay down a sheet or many layers of old newspaper before decoupaging so that you don't ruin any of your furniture.
If you're applying découpage to a lampshade, keep in mind that your patterns will affect how much light will shine through the shade.
Fringe is a classic lamp decoration, and it is easy to find in fabric, craft, hobby and discount stores. Make sure you buy the type of fringe that comes in strips. It is a good idea to measure the circumferences of the top and bottom of your lampshade, and buy pieces of fringe two inches longer than these measurements.
A hot glue gun is the easiest and most efficient way of attaching fringe to a lampshade, but you should be careful not to get the glue on your hands. Also, do not use too much hot glue or else it will show once it is dry.
You can create looks ranging from shabby chic to romantic by decorating your lamp with lace fabric. Use clear-drying tacky glue if you want to decorate your lamp with lace—hot glue will show through, and super glue won't hold the lace to the lampshade.
If you want a shabby chic look, take a white, ivory, rose pink or sage green lampshade and cover the top and bottom edges with white or ivory lace. For a romantic and sensual look, completely cover a black lampshade with black or red lace, or cover a red, white or hot pink lampshade with black lace.
Felt is an inexpensive way to decorate a lamp, and it is also safe to use on lamp shades that are heat-proof. No matter what colour you want to decorate your lamp with, you can likely find felt in that shade. Use a hot glue gun rather than tacky glue to decorate a lamp with felt—it is less messy that way.
Felt typically comes in 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheets, and you can get a few sheets of felt for a dollar at hobby and craft supply stores. Some stores also carry pre-cut felt pieces, which are a bit more costly than felt sheets.
If you want a glamorous or over-the-top look for your lamp, consider decorating it with rhinestones. In this case it is best to use tacky glue rather than super glue or a hot glue gun, because not only does tacky glue dry clear, it will keep the rhinestones from flaking off the lampshade.
The bigger the rhinestones, the easier your lamp will be to decorate, but if you want to make an intricate design, it is best to use smaller rhinestones. Rhinestones range in size from 1mm to 14.5mm.
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