Some basic ideas on how to make homemade lamps and lampshades. Ways to decorate the shades by using stencils, buttons, ribbons, beads or rubber-stamps.
Many ordinary or unusual objects can be made into homemade lamps. Hobby and craft stores sell the basic kits, which include the cord, stem, and socket. Visit flea markets, garages sales and thrift stores to find objects you can use to create these unique lamps. Glass and brass vases work very well, but you could also use ceramic figurines, toys, or teapots.
First, choose your object, in this case use a doll or toy. Take a flat, thin block of stained wood with smooth, rounded edges and drill a hole through the middle (or the side) that is large enough to run the electric cord through, and thread the stem with the cord so that it will be on the top. Then glue felt on the bottom of the wood. (which will keep the lamp from scratching your furniture.) Place your object on the top part of the wood and secure with appropriate type of glue. Then place a copper tube over the lamp stem and affix it to the bottom of the base with a nut or metal washer ring. Use manufacturer's instructions to thread the wire of the cord into the socket. Place a bulb in the socket, place the lamp shade to the bulb, plug in and voila! you have a unique homemade lamp.
Another alternative would be to create your own ceramic lamps using molds. Begin by taking a ceramics class and make a pretty hurricane lamp, then wire according to the instructions. Paint or place decals on the lamp for decorations.
If you choose to use vases you do not need to make a wooden base. Just drill a hole in through the bottom of the vase so that you can thread the cord through. Glass vases need extra care to avoid breaking the ceramic or glass.
There are kits for lamp shades you can find in the hobby stores that have a sticky adhesive on the surface so that you can place whatever kind of material on it that you choose. Another great idea is saving the frames from old, torn or worn shades and covering them with what ever kind of fabric you would like.
To make a ribbon shade, wrap and wind strands of ribbon (directly from the roll) from the top to the bottom of the shade, overlapping until you have covered the whole frame, then tuck the end in the inside of the shade and hot glue it into place.
Another interesting idea is to take a light metal type of material such as screening and cut, the top more narrow and the bottom more wide then place the sides together with staples or glue and paper fasteners. Place a pretty satin ribbon or bric brac over the top and bottom to hide the jagged edges. Then sew unusual buttons or beads to the screen. in clusters. You can dress up any shade with beads or buttons.
Using plain white shades, paint swirls, polka-dots, squares, or other geometric shapes onto the surface. Or use stencils to create interesting patterns onto the shade. Do you know how to cross-stitch or embroider?
Consider texturizing your shade with a rag or a sponge and paint. Use two complementary colors for added interest. Then choose one or two rubber-stamps and stamp the pattern you want onto the shade.
So keep your eyes open for objects that you think might make an interesting lamp. Give them as gifts or sell them on e-bay or in craft fairs, or flea markets. But most of all, enjoy yourself.
How to waterproof fabric: leather shoes, clothing, and more
Waterproofing leather is one of the easiest ways to extend its life. Learn what products are out there and how you can protect your favorite leathers.
Water and leather do not mix. Leather that has been dampened or exposed to excessive amounts of moisture, loses its natural oils, leaving you with stained, dry, stiff material. Waterproofing involves applying a surface coat to leather that will help to preserve its quality, workmanship and value. When you waterproof something, you're providing a barrier that water cannot penetrate.
KNOW YOUR LEATHER
There are several different types of leather which are used in making many different products. It is of utmost importance to know which type of leather you're dealing with. Harsh silicone sprays and waxes, for example, cannot be used on thin, delicate split leathers. Likewise, you would receive inadequate waterproofing protection from a nubuck leather coating if you applied it to a work or hiking boot. HOW MUCH PROTECTION DO YOU NEED?
How much protection you want to apply to your leather is up to you. Items that will be used outdoors frequently in damp or wet conditions should be treated with maximum protection. Boots and shoes worn during cold winter months, most often benefit from heavy oils, waxes and dressings. Dress gloves, nubuck shoes, and suede coats that are only exposed to a minimal amount of moisture need not be treated in the same way. COLOR CHANGES
Before waterproofing anything, it's always best to perform a "spot check" Many leather cleaners and protectors can change the color or texture of leather. Find a small patch of leather and treat the spot, allowing it to soak in overnight. If you're satisfied with the result, go ahead and treat the rest of the product. NOTE ABOUT DELICATE LEATHERS
Split leathers, such as suede and nubuck, should never be treated traditional oils, waxes or silicone sprays. Heavy duty oils and waxes change the color and texture of delicate leathers. When shopping for an appropriate waterproofing product for these leathers, look for one that specifically states it can treat nubuck and suede. DRESSINGS, OILS AND WAXES
Heavy duty dressings and waterproofing oils and waxes are sold as brush-on or rub-on products. They are usually oil based and combine tanning agents (to help extend the life of your leather) with waterproofing agents (that bond to the material). This type of waterproofing works well on products containing mixed ingredients (nylon and leather), heavy work and hiking boots, baseball and softball mitts, and other outdoor leathers. Many heavy oils, such as mink oil, also condition leather, leaving your product soft and supple. SPRAYS
Sprays are a bit more convenient than dressings and take significantly less time to apply. Silicone sprays repel water and give material a slippery feel. Oil based silicone spray is perfect for boots, shoes, jackets, mittens and other garments. Water based silicone spray can be used on more delicate leathers, like suede and nubuck, car seats, office furniture, briefcases and thin garments. Because silicone does change the texture of the leather, you may not appreciate the slippery quality on your favorite baseball glove. Acrylic copolymer sprays are best used on split or nappy leathers. This type of spray covers leather well, but remains flexible and still allows the material to breathe. This is a good covering for nubuck and suede. HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED TO TREAT LEATHER?
No matter what type of treatment you use, you will need to reapply it from time to time. All forms of waterproofing rub off eventually, leaving your leather unprotected. Outdoor leathers should be treated four times per year. Most other items need only be treated twice a year.
APPLYING WAXES, OILS AND DRESSINGS
Waxes, oils and dressings are sold as a fairly solid material. They can be applied with a soft cotton rag or shoe brush. To reap the benefits of this type of product, follow these guidelines:
1. Remove all excess dirt and debris from the leather you want to coat. Pay careful attention to seams and stitching. Leather can be brushed or scrubbed. 2. Using a clean cloth or brush, apply a generous amount of product on all areas of the leather. Be sure to thoroughly coat seams.
3. Using a brush or cloth, work product into the leather as evenly as possible.
4. Using a clean rag, wipe off excess oil, wax or dressing from the leather. 5. Allow to stand overnight. SPRAYS 1. Clean leather you will be treating with a soft cloth. 2. Hold can 6 inches away from leather and spray an even coat over material. 3. Allow leather to dry completely. 4. Repeat, as necessary.
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