Friday, December 12, 2014

DIY Lamp Made From Stacked Books

Many of us have great old hardcover books lying around that we've either read and didn't like, or never got around to. There are wonderful decorative projects you can do with old books, and you can even grab some really cheap books from the thrift store for creative projects.

Creating a lamp from stacked books is beautiful symbolism, for it is often a lamp that keeps us company while reading. Imaginative lamps light up a room in a different way, providing a spark for further creative ideas.

stack of booksHere’s how to make an eclectic styled lamp by using stacked books:

You will need:

·         7 or 8 old hardcover books
·         lamp kit from a hardware supply store
·         lamp shade, old or new
·         spray paint
·         drill
·         ½ inch drill bit
·         ¼ inch screws
·         2 inch screws
·         screwdriver and box cutter

1.    With your choice of spray paint colors, paint the lamp kit and fittings.
2.    Arrange your chosen stack of books the way you want them to look.
3.    After stacking the books, place the lamp kit’s thread rod next to the stack because you will need to make sure that at the top you have one inch of clearance.
4.    With your ½ inch drill bit, drill a hole about halfway through the center of the bottom book.
5.    Now open the bottom book, about halfway through, and with your box cutter, cut a channel for the electrical cord. Make sure that the channel is wide enough for the cord.
6.    Your lamp kit should contain a washer and lug nut. Attach the threaded rod to the bottom book into the drilled hole.
7.    Close the book and then tighten the top lock nut.
8.    Now slide the electrical wire through the threaded rod, leaving about 2 inches of wire at the top of the rod. You will be attaching the lamp parts to this exposed wiring.
9.    Using approximately 4-6 screws, 1 ¼ inches, drill the bottom book together to secure it.
10.  Drill a hole into the center of each of the remaining books using the ½ inch drill bit. Then slide the books, one at a time onto the threaded rod, using 4 two inch screws to attach each book to the one underneath it.
11.  Open the cover of the top book and secure it to the stack with four 2 inch screws.

Now you can assemble the parts of the lamp kit and attach the shade. You now have a creative and personal lamp to sit table side in the living area or family room, or in the bedroom for your nighttime reading. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DIY Lampshade: Ombre hair Dye

Crazy hair colors are all the rage these days. It seems that many of us, no matter what age, are attempting to reclaim the days of our cool youth. Why not use it to add some pizzazz to your home as well. Lamp shades are the perfect DIY home accessories. They are simple to decorate and they are a perfect blank canvas for creative ideas. Using your leftover hair dye to create a bold and fun lampshade is a project that can spark your creative juices.

Here’s how it’s done:
Ombre Lamp Shade

1.    If you already have a lamp with a boring white shade, awesome. If not, they are cheap enough to purchase at your nearest superstore.

2.    Choose your hair dye color. Bright colors will work wonderfully for this project; but you can do an ombre type design with just about any shade.

3.    Gather your supplies. You will need a bucket or basin, plenty of newspaper to catch the mess, and some cloth rags.

4.    Fill the basin or bucket with a couple inches of warm water, then dip the lampshade into the water, rolling it in a circular motion to wet the entire shade.

5.    Scoop out a dollop of hair dye and add it to the water, preferably with a hair tinting brush. Make sure the dye product is well mixed, otherwise you will have to deal with lumps.

6.    You can test the color by dipping a piece of white fabric into the bucket before dying the lamp shade. The color can be adjusted by either adding more warm water to lighten it or more hair dye for a more intense color.

7.    Roll the bottom of your lampshade into the hair dye mixture. Allow the shade to soak up the dye for a few moments, then remove it and allow it to dry on the newspapers. Use the cloth rags to even it out or clean up any splatters.

Now, to achieve the ombre effect:

8.    Pour out some of the warm water and dye mixture, and then add more plain water until there are about 5 inches of liquid in the basin. Now roll your lampshade into the basin, which is now more deeply filled with water and dye, but lighter in hue.

9.    Remove the shade after thoroughly soaking in the dye mixture, and allow it to completely dry before placing it back onto the base of the lamp.

You will end up with a beautiful layered ombre dyed lamp shade. So if you’re a bit too mature for pink or blue hair, you can add the fun of wild colors to your home decor.