DIY Button Pendant Light {#LowesCreator Idea}

DIY Button Pendant Light | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Button Pendant Light |Pretty Handy Girl

While I was house touring on Tybee Island and having  fun antique and salvage shopping in Savannah, I spied some bare lamp shade frame hanging lights. They immediately inspired me to design a DIY Button Pendant Light for over my bedside table in our master bedroom. Part of the desire was born out of the necessity to have more space on my bedside because the table actually doubles as my makeup vanity.

DIY Button Pendant Light | Pretty Handy Girl

Making a Button Pendant Light is an easy DIY project, but you’ll need some patience while threading the buttons. I’ll also show you how to wire a lamp socket and lamp plug! Ready to get started?

Materials:

DIY Button Pendant Light |Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Instructions: [Read more...]

5 Minute Update for Your Ceiling Fan

5 Minute Ceiling Fan upgrade | Pretty Handy Girl

5 Minute Ceiling Fan Update | Pretty Handy Girl

When I was updating my son’s bedroom, I gave the ceiling fan a 5 minute update! You can easily change the look of a ceiling fan by quickly swapped out the light shades. I removed the scalloped edged glass shades and replaced them with square ones for a more “gender neutral” look.

5 Minute Ceiling Fan upgrade | Pretty Handy Girl

New glass shades cost anywhere from $3 – $10 each at Lowe’s or other home improvement stores. The shade size is pretty much universal, but make sure you are buying the smaller shades versus larger ones that are sold for pendant lights. To be sure, bring one of the old shades with you or measure the diameter of the mouth on the existing shades.

Here’s the quick 5 minute how to swap out your ceiling fan light shades: [Read more...]

Painted Lampshade and a Quick Guest Room Makeover {Lowe’s Creator}

GuestBed

Painted Lampshade & a Quick Guest Room Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

My mom was coming to visit his month. Since she’s a repeat guest, I wanted to give the guest room a little mini makeover for her. With the addition of some new pillows, curtains and a painted lampshade I gave it a new look in an afternoon.

Here’s the before:

GuestBed

And the after: [Read more...]

10 Minute Song Lyrics Lamp Makeover

habitat_lamps

unlit_song_lyric_lamp

Are y’all sick of all my ugly construction type tutorials yet? After all the framing and drywall dust I’ve been breathing, I just wanted to put down my hammer and flex my creativity a little. The perfect project presented itself in the form of these two lamps I picked up at the Habitat ReStore for $15.

habitat_lamps

They had a white matte finish, perfect for writing on. The few scuffs were buffed off with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. (Anyone else addicted to those miracle sponges?)

clean_lamp_mr_clean_magic_eraser

Then I got down to the long and tedious work {snort laughing.} Okay, not really work, this is almost the easiest tutorial EVER!) [Read more...]

Lamp Shade Makeover – DIY Talent Positively Splendid

I am amazed that we’ve had great weather for the entire two weeks of the DIY Talent Parade! Are you enjoying the parade so far?! Well, get ready to have your socks knocked off today. Our talented guest is an amazing multi-tasking mother of four. She cooks, she sews, she crafts and she makes everything she touches beautiful! Amy is beautiful inside and out which makes it no surprise that she has the talent to turn ordinary objects into gorgeous creations. Like this t-shirt turned bolero.

Wait, I think I see her coming this way…ummm…is she dancing? Why yes, she is! My goodness is there anything this girl can’t do?! Turn your heads this way and welcome the very lovely and very talented Amy from Positively Splendid. [Read more...]

Nope, It’s Not a Pier 1 Lantern

close_up_lantern

Thanks to my Facebook fan, Heather H., for the ultimate compliment on this lantern. She asked if I got it at Pier 1! Nope Heather, I got it at the Habitat ReStore and it found its way into my hands in this condition:

After a Women Build meeting at the Habitat ReStore a month ago, I spied that dusty relic. An old discarded hanging light fixture. I grabbed it and promptly paid $5 for it. Then I got to chatting with the clerk at the ReStore and absentmindedly walked out without my lantern. By the time I remembered, the ReStore had already closed. It was sad… it was tragic… I didn’t know when I’d be reunited with my light fixture because the ReStore is about 25 minutes away from my home. But, there is a happy ending to my story, my mother-in-law (who gives a good name to all MILs out there) offered to swing by the ReStore the following day to pick up my lantern for me. Hugs to her for reuniting us. But, I had to laugh at the look of skepticism she gave me as she handed over the dusty light. She couldn’t see its true potential, but I could.

How about you? Would you have passed this light fixture by? Or would you have seen the potential?

Well, next time you see a light fixture like that, grab it and I’ll show you how to transform it.

Materials:

  • Old lantern style light fixture
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Two screwdrivers (at least one needs to be flat head)
  • Damp rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Kilz spray primer
  • Rustoleum Lagoon spray paint
  • Rub n’ Buff Gold Color
  • Paper towels
Difficulty: Easy
Step 1. Disassemble the lantern by unscrewing all the parts.

Step 2. Use wire cutters to cut the wire to the light housings.

Step 3. Pull the light sockets, bulbs and lighting out of the lantern.

Step 4. Remove the finial from the bottom of the lighting and set it aside with the lantern. Discard or keep the lighting parts for some other project.

Step 5. If there is a chain attached to the lantern, insert the two screwdrivers into the link attaching it to the lantern. Rotate the two screwdrivers in opposite directions as shown to pry the chain link apart.

Step 6. Pry up the tabs on the lantern that are holding the glass in place. Remove the glass panels and set them aside.

These are the parts that I kept for the lantern:

Step 7. Wipe all the parts with the damp rag to remove any dust and debris. Then scuff the lantern parts with sandpaper and wipe off any remaining dust.

Step 8. Set the lantern and parts outside on the drop cloth.  Spray them with Kilz primer, flip the pieces over and spray again.

Step 9. When the primer has dried, inspect the lantern for any paint drips that need to be sanded smooth.

Step 10. Spray paint the lantern and parts with Rustoleum Lagoon. Flip everything after the first coat is dry and spray a second coat of paint.

Step 11. After the lantern has dried thoroughly, reassemble the lantern.

Screw the finial onto the inside of the lantern where the lighting used to attach.

Step 11. Wipe a small amount of rub n’ buff on a dry paper towel. Rub it on the cross bars of the lantern.

Step 12. Clean the lantern glass with windex and a clean rag. Then insert the glass panels back into the lantern.

Admire your new aqua beauty!

The hardest part of this project was trying to decide where to display my lantern. I could see it in every room of our home!

But, ultimately I gave it a place of prominence on our mantle. And included an old picture inside it.

Have you seen these old light fixtures? Could you ever guess that they could be turned into beautiful decorating gems?
Have a great weekend y’all. I hope you make a trip to your local Habitat ReStore and search for your own lantern.

I hope you’ll join Heather and some other friends on Facebook so you can see what I’m up to next!

Sharing with Tater Tots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party

 

Show Stopping Beaded Chandelier Makeover – Guest Post by Modern Parsonage

Modern_parsonage_final_chandy

 

Welcome to our second Wednesday in 2012! Today I have a special guest for you: Bri from The Modern Parsonage is here to show you how she created that truly fabulous chandelier you see up there. But, before we get to the tutorial, let me tell you a little about this handy gal (and her partner in DIY crime!) Bri and her husband moved into a home that was previously a Pastor’s family home. They dove head first into the process of renovating the home to be more modern and fitting for the hip couple of professors that they are.

The Modern Parsonage showcases the renovation process, from idea to finished product, tossing in snapshots of design inspiration and everyday life.You can follow them as they transform their home one room (floor to ceiling) at a time. Check out their Staircase renovation, bathroom update, and installing flooring projects.

Okay, take it away Bri!

Let me begin by saying that I started this project thinking I needed a ton of prep work, money, and time to transform a boring, brass light fixture into a show-stopping (if I do say so myself) chandelier. O ye of little faith, I say to my former self. This is a beginner’s project and requires so little skill that I would go so far as to call it a fool-proof way to jazz up even the most tired light or lamp for significantly less than the cost of a new fixture. (Read: under $75)

Start with a cheap chandelier. I found one on my local Craigslist for $25, but I would recommend scouring your hand-me-down shop of choice since these brass fixtures are often the standard for apartments or new builds.

Next, I did some research online and adopted a few misconstrued beliefs that I will now dispel. First, it is perfectly fine to spray paint the plastic-protected electrical cord that runs up the chain. I was not aware of that and wasted quite a bit of time figuring out creative ways to protect the cord while spraying the chain. Second, either fully remove the plastic “candles” or spray paint them the same color as the fixture. I did not know that these were removable and you can still see the tape lines from where I thought I had to cover parts of the plastic. Learn from my mistakes, people.

After you have chosen a diamond-in-the-rough light, acquire the necessary resources. You will need:

  • A drop cloth
  • A place to hang your light (I hung mine in the basement, but you can just as easily use a tree if the weather is nice)
  • Two cans of the spray paint of your choice (it is always better to have extra on hand because spray paint has tricky drying times and you don’t want to run out in the middle of the project). I used matte white and it was just the cheap Ace Hardware brand.
  • A ventilator or mask. Always necessary when messing about with spray paint.
  • 220 grit Sandpaper
  • Deglosser. (This is only if you want to be super thorough. I wiped my chandelier down with just soap and water and the paint adhesion was still great.)
  • Beading of your choice. I used roughly 750 beads and got them at Michael’s, but it all depends on your taste.
  • White string (I got DandyLine brand and it is super strong).

For the optional chain cover:

  • Fabric of your choice (double the length of chain you want to cover and 7 inches wide).
  • Fabric glue
  • Iron-on Velcro
  • Thread
  • Also, an iron, that’s pretty important.

Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks. Get it? Because it’s a brass light? Anyway, lightly run your sandpaper over the fixture. Do not press too hard or the metal will scratch. The goal here is to rough up the surface so that the paint can form a strong bond. Next, give it a good once over with a damp cloth (soap and water will do, deglosser if you’re thorough) to remove any dust, grease, or grime. Let the light dry completely.

Don your mask. You will look beautiful, I promise, but more importantly, your lungs will thank you. Find a good spot to hang your light and start spraying.

As you can see, I tried to bundle up the electrical cord in the plastic bag, but that caused a lot of problems, including bare spots of brass. I also taped off the tops of the “candles” instead of just removing them and covering the exposed wire. So yeah, just don’t repeat my follies.

Spray painting is best in short, quick bursts. Long, sweeping motions are not your friend. It will take many, many thin coats so don’t be surprised if you have to use the entirety of two cans.

Once you have your desired level of coverage, let the light dry overnight. When the paint is fully cured, the real fun starts – beadwork. This part takes creativity and is really up to you. I did a lot of window-shopping for fancy-pants lights and finally decided I wanted a chandelier adorned with clear beads and small silver accents, embellished with teardrop crystals for extra pizzazz. I would say this is the longest part of the process; it took me about four hours to get all the beads strung and hung on the light.

With the hard part done, re-install or switch out your fixture (remember, black wire connects to black wire and white to white!).

At this point, if you’re happy with your light as is, you’re done! If you’re like me and have an awful chain and unpainted electrical cord, you may want to consider DIYing a chain cover. Much cheaper, totally easy, and no sewing machine required.

Begin with your fabric swatch and fold over about a 1/4 inch on each side, ironing the edges.

Apply a small line of fabric glue inside the seams to create a permanent hem. When the glue dries (15 minutes to a half hour), sew a running stitch on both long seams. I know this sounds complicated, but trust me, if I can do it, so can you. Pass the needle in and out of the fabric down the edges, knotting each end. (It allows you to scrunch the fabric, which is important.) Gently pull the knotted ends and push the fabric together to your desired length.

Once the scrunching is done, grab your iron-on Velcro and press it on. Run the iron over the whole cord cover to ensure a strong bond. Now all you have to do is wrap it around your chandelier chain, making sure the seam is on the least visible side, and admire!

Isn’t that chandelier beautiful?! I know people would pay a lot of money to bring that chic lady home. Thank you so much Bri from the Modern Parsonage for letting us into her home for the tutorial.

Would you like to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Read my open invitation here.

Vintage Map Lampshade

cut_out_map_shade_shape

Have you been on a unique vacation lately that you want to remember? Do you want to update a plain vanilla lamp shade? Guess what, you can do both with this vintage map lamp shade!

Recently I revamped a shade by hot gluing paint chips to the shade. The result was a beautiful ombre lamp that was fun and colorful.

The process to create it was easy, especially because the shade was a perfect cylinder. But, what do you do when you have a cone shape shade? The instructions are a little more complex, but it really isn’t difficult. Come pull up a seat and I’ll show you how I created a warm vintage map lampshade that reminds me of our getaway to Scotland.


Materials:

  • Lampshade
  • Maps, wrapping paper, or decorative paper
  • Craft paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • X-acto knife
  • Masking or artists tape (low tack tape)
  • Clear packing tape
  • 2 clothespins
  • Rubber cement
  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • Hot glue gun

 

To add a vintage glaze you will also need:

  • Paint brush
  • Mod podge
  • Cocoa or dark yellow acrylic paint
  • Metallic antique gold paint (optional)
  • Cup to stir paint in
  • Stirring stick or palette knife

On my last trip to Goodwill, I discovered an old atlas and just knew that I could use it for oodles of projects. As I walked out of the store a flood of ideas came to me (which means you will be seeing this photo more on my blog.)

 

Start by selecting the pages you want to use. Carefully cut them out along the spine using a fresh x-acto blade — don’t let your blade get dull. (FYI, I end up using a new one for each project. Your cuts are much cleaner when working with a fresh blade.)

 

Set your pages aside for now.

 

To make a template for your shade, roll out a large piece of craft paper. Lay your lampshade on the craft paper. Start at the vertical seam on the shade (so you know where to stop) and set your pencil along the bottom edge of the lampshade.

 

Gently roll the shade on the paper and mark along the bottom edge of the shade.

When you reach the end, reverse your shade and draw along the top edge. At the end, add an inch or two for overlap. Cut along the outlines to create your lampshade template.

Tape the template onto your lamp shade using the low tack tape. Make sure it fits snugly. You may want to trim some excess from the edge of your template. I took about 1/4″  off so my map wouldn’t bump at the trim on the lampshade. Plus, I plan to cover the edges with the grosgrain ribbon.

 

Make sure your template fits perfectly “like a glove” lest you be throwing a temper tantrum later when you realize it doesn’t fit and have ruined your precious map pages. Just sayin’.

 

Lay out your craft paper template on top of the map pages. Make any adjustments to the pages.

 

Tape your map pages together with clear packing tape on the inside only.

 

Trace the template on top of the map pages.

 

Cut out the shape traced onto your map pages.

 

Line up your map pages with the lamp shade and clip the edges with clothes pins.

 

Working in small 8″ sections, brush rubber cement onto the map and the lamp shade. Wait a minute or two for the glues to dry. Then press them together. This is the best way to get maximum adhesion when using regular rubber cement. It creates a stronger bond than just one coat applied and joined while it is still wet.

 

Continue by gluing another section until you reach the end. To finish the seams on the outside, brush some rubber cement under the seams where your maps meet. Press and hold them down until the glue dries. You can try gluing both sides and letting them dry, but in my experience it wasn’t worth the risk of bending the seams and the pages want to lay together anyway.

 

Time to give your maps a vintage aged look! Pour some mod podge into an empty cup. Add some of the cocoa colored paint and the aged gold. Mix it up. Test some on a scrap piece of paper. If you like the glaze color, start brushing it onto the lamp shade. Be careful not to use too much of the glaze or the paper will start to wrinkle. (If it does, no worries, some will come out when it dries. The remaining wrinkles make it look old.)

 

Let the glaze dry.

Cut two strips of grosgrain ribbon the circumference of your lamp shade plus a few inches for overlap.

Hot glue the ribbon onto the top and bottom edges of your lamp shade. (Please, please, protect your fingers, read my hot glue gun safety post before working with hot glue!)

 

Put your lampshade on your favorite lamp.

 

And admire your unique lamp shade that brings back fond memories. ;-)

If you make one of these, what map would be on yours? Your home state? The place you were born? Where your family’s heritage resides? Or something completely different? I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

Sharing this tutorial with:

Tip Junkie handmade projects Home Stories A to Z – Tips and Tutorials

 

Paint Chip Lamp Shade

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Are you as nutso about paint chip projects as I am? I’m semi-worried that I might get arrested next time I’m pulling samples at my local paint department. Is there a law against taking too many?* Okay, so let’s just say that I have collected many samples over the years while contemplating room colors (which is true!)

*Paint chips may be free, but please use consideration when taking paint chips. Try not to take more than 2-3 of each color and definitely don’t take the last of a color. It might be a good idea to ask permission from the paint store employee if you need to take more than a dozen.

But, what do you do with all those left over paint chips once you have decided on your color? It seems a shame to throw them away, doesn’t it.

Why not use them to make a lamp shade?

I actually saw this lamp shade on JossandMain.com last week and thought, “Ooo Ooo Oooo! This gives me an idea of what to make with all those paint chips!”

Materials:


  • Lamp shade (best if it isn’t tapered)
  • Paint chips
  • Clear packing tape
  • White paper tape (low stick)
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting surface
  • Metal ruler
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Tutorial:

Start by laying out your paint chips side-by-side and organize them any way you like.

To judge how many strips you need, rest the seam of your lamp shade on the end of the paint chips and roll it until you reach the seam again. If you still have paint chips under your shade, then you have enough! I had one small gap leftover, so I added two of the same colored chips together so the small strip wouldn’t be as noticeable.

Butt the paint chip strips tightly together. Put paper tape on top of the chips to hold them together.

Gently turn them over and tape the seams with clear packing tape.

Once all the strips have been taped together, trim off the excess tape.

Measure the height of your lampshade and trim your paint chips to the same height.

Test fit your paint chip roll.

Use your hot glue gun to run a line of glue on the seam of your lamp shade. Glue the end of the paint chips to the shade.

Run a line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the lampshade and roll the paint chips around the shade. Secure the end by hot gluing it to the shade.

And that is it! A super easy and very colorful home decor project.

I think it is beautiful whether the light is off…

…or on.

When choosing the paint swatches you wish to use, try pulling colors from a painting or use colors that are compliments to your wall color.

What?! You still want more paint chip home décor ideas?! How about a whole round up of them? Go ahead and scoot your index finger on over to Parentables for 11 Paint Chip Projects to see 9 more amazing paint chip projects:

I guarantee, you’ll never pass through the paint department without grabbing a few paint chips again!

CFLs, LEDs and Incandescents Oh My! – A review of light bulbs

bulbs_in_circle_comparison


Last week when I finally  said adios to the Hollywood style strip light, I was eager to put in some energy efficient light bulbs.

While purchasing the light fixture I also checked out the light bulb display. I found myself being drawn to the bulb comparison display at Home Depot. I looked at the different lights and their color effect in the “display room”. Confident with my new knowledge, I walked out with several Soft light CFLs in my bag. But, when I got home and installed them I was NOT happy! They were harsh, bluish and just made the bathroom feel cold and clinical. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. Those displays are so deceiving! They don’t REALLY show you what the bulbs will look like in your home. And don’t even get me started on the paint chip displays! Let’s just say you should NEVER EVER make a final decision on paint at the store!

One of my facebook fans mentioned that she really liked Ottlite bulbs, and that they were just like daylight. I promptly contacted the company and they shipped me out several bulbs to try.

It was at this point that I decided an unscientific test was in order. I started out systematically using just four bulbs, but then I bought a $30 (gulp!) LED lightbulb at the grocery store. And soon, all scientific conditions were thrown to the wind. So, I hope none of you yell at me for my lack of consistency. The test was more for myself , but I figured there might be a few inquiring minds.

One  more note on the unscientific-ness of my experiment. All the photographs were taken using the fluorescent setting on my camera (to try to give the best view of the CFLs. Which will explain why the incandescent bulbs look extra yellow. I kept the exact same shutter speed and aperture in each setting. Only the bulbs changed in each photo. These were the various bulbs I used in my test:

I hope you find this comparison as helpful as I did!

First up was an outdoor setting. This light fixture lights up our side door entrance. I was using the regular CFL in the fixture, but it was so cold in appearance and looked odd with the warm yellow light the lanterns by our front door emit.

I really liked the Philips Ambient LED in this fixture and was about to choose that one, but then read that it wasn’t recommended for outdoor or damp locations. Boo. Ultimately I decided on the the incandescent 60 watt bulb. In the meantime I will be on the lookout for a outdoor approved LED lightbulb.

The living room table lamp was the most forgiving light situation. The white shade and medium green walls made most of the light bulbs look good. But, ultimately I decided I liked the Sylvania CFL light bulb best in this fixture.

Our foyer is small, dark and has bright yellow walls. This is also the light we leave on all night to protect sleepwalkers who might otherwise tumble down the stairs. All the bulbs looked pretty good in this location except the Ottlite. It was too harsh, bright and cold feeling.

Ultimately I decided I liked the Philps LED light bulb here. This bulb was by far my favorite light bulb. But, with a hefty price tag of $30, I can’t be buying more than one or two of them!


Our master bedroom was the only location that I liked the Ottlite. The lamp shades have a beige color. This tones down the harsh white of the Ottlite. Plus, it was the only bulb that didn’t make my wall color look sickly brownish gray.

Finally, the room that started this whole pursuit of scientific knowledge: The kids’ bathroom, which has many requirements. The bulbs can’t be too dim that guests can’t see themselves in the mirror. And yet the room can’t be too bright to blind anyone who turns the light on in the wee hours of the night. The light couldn’t be too cold or bluish in cast. Basically I had a lot of requirements for this light fixture.

I also had our friend, Greg, model for me to show the lighting on skin tones.


I felt like Goldilocks in this room (too bright, too dark, too blue!)

1. The incandescents were not very eco-friendly.

2. The soft white CFLS were okay, but still a little harsh and bluish cast.

3. Regular CFL bulbs, these were pretty bad. They were darker and I really didn’t like the light color.

4. The Ottlite was way too bright and harsh for the blue and white bathroom. So, I finally figured out the perfect bulb formula.

That’s right, I’m a bulb mixer. We found that two soft white CFLs and one incandescent light bulb was the magic formula. The two soft white CFLs gives enough light and energy savings without being too clinical. But, the incandescent works to soften the bluish cast.

So although I can’t tell you that I found the PERFECT light bulb. And I still can’t embrace the CFLs, I work with them to try to go easy on my energy bill and lesson my carbon footprint. I mix bulbs in our multi-light (non-dimming) fixtures. I do have to warn you though, if you use CFLs in a closed fixture (like the one shown below with the dome removed.) They will not last as long as they are supposed to.

I also noticed a big difference between the “soft white” CFL bulbs I bought. The Sylvania ones were not nearly as warm as the Ecosmart ones, proving that all CFLs are not created equal.

I did find that I liked different bulbs in different locations. And ultimately I made a decision that allowed me to be eco-conscious but also be happy with our lighting.

But, I really hope that the Philips Ambient LED bulbs will come down in price. They use the least amount of energy, don’t get hot, and give off a light that is very close to an incandescent. So for those of us that still love incandescents, there is hope!

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was NOT paid by any companies to review the above mentioned light bulbs. Ottlite did send me bulbs for free, but I was not swayed to write a positive review. This post is my honest and unswayed opinion.