My Much Needed Lampshade Make Over

The Reza Floor Lamp I ordered from has been in my dollhouse for a while now, and I've always disliked the shade.  Why it’s named after my favorite person from Shahs of Sunset, I don’t know, but the shade is a cube with an unfinished wooden base, which just doesn't work for me or my project.  Seriously, when have you seen a lamp in real life with an unfinished wooden base?  Argh.  So, while I wait to buy square wooden blocks from the craft store for the exterior of the building (more on that in the future), I finally got around to making a new one.  

Before, bleh.  This is a stock photo so you can't see the wooden base.

First, I took off the yucky lampshade.  The only thing I needed to salvage was the tiny brass screw cylinder thingy (I'm sure it has a technical name but that’s the best I got).  Without it, I would have difficulty installing my newly updated shade and replacing the bulb in the future.  The shade was remarkably easy to break apart with my hands and a flat-nose plier, but now I had to decide what my new one was going to look like.  Originally I was thinking about making it torchiere-style (yup, I don’t know what the screw thingy’s called but a “torchiere’s” no problem); however, I looked through my miscellaneous supplies and found the removable base of an insulin needle that would be perfect for a cylindrical shade.  Now for the explanation.  I have a close friend whose grandparent has diabetes.  I had never seen an insulin needle before, and when I was helping her out one day, I noticed that the orange parts that cap the needle and base might be useful materials for future projects.  So, like the thrifty pack rat that I am, I asked her to save me some, and it finally paid off.  That's a winded explanation; I just thought it needed a little clarification on why I have random medical supplies lying around.  

Anyway...I wanted to match the cylindrical shape of the plastic cap.  I could have just used the orange plastic as-is, but it would look a little too retro mod for my project, so I bought a sheet of pearl vellum (which also happened to be 50% off at Hobby Lobby, bam!).  

50% off $0.59 = a happy me

I cut the base of the cap to use as the base of my shade and poked a hole in the middle to place the screw part.  The plastic was very soft, and all I needed to use was a needle tool.  Also, the cap already had a hole indented in the center so I didn't even have to measure (not that I would have anyway). 

The next step was to insert the screw portion and cut a small, rectangular strip of the vellum and glue it around the base.  I left the base orange to see what it would look like all lit up, and the results were just what I was looking for.

The Sharpie's only used to hold the glued paper together because I couldn't find a clip.  
So much for my resolution to stay organized.

What was once a weird, blockhead floor lamp is now a weird, cylindrical floor lamp.   

 Off / On

Note: If you don't have insulin needle parts hanging around, look for plastic pieces from household products.  Hair styling sprayers have great little caps.  Or just cut a round piece of mat board and paint it.  You can do anything with mat board.   


  1. you clever girl! Great idea and result! Butteh... didn't see the not finished wooden base in the 'before'-picture that I was curious about (definately strange an unfinished wooden base...) ; had you changed that before taking that photograph?

    1. Thank you! I got antsy and didn't take a photo of the lamp before. The one I posted is just a stock photo and they conveniently hide the base when marketing.

  2. Hello Maria,
    Terrific work. It looks very lovely and very realsitic.

  3. Hi!!! Thank you for visiting my blog!! Happy to see yours...will also browse around!!!! :) Many greetings from athens!

  4. Great tutorial, Maria and a nice result!
    Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog :D!
    Hugs, Ilona


Post a Comment

Popular Posts