August 18, 2014

Rubber Band Lamp Makeover!

By Amy

Sometimes I really suck at making decisions.  Especially when they are as crucial as this one: find perfect, inexpensive, cool/interesting, glorious matching lamps for my bedroom.

Sheesh, talk about pressure.

We'd been mismatched for a while.  Now, there can be a time and a place for non-matching lamps...but the time had passed for this odd couple.  My husband protested, "But we have two lamps that both work fine!"  However, I think he knows by now that the aesthetics of my home are very important to me.  (I'm borderline obsessed.)  But, since I realize that I can't just go blow a bunch of money in the name of aesthetics, I always try to be frugal and DIY/modify what I can find second hand, or look for an awesome sale.

So.  I gently let him know that the time had come, and after 4 years of mismatched lamps, I was indeed going to find a set.

What a horrible pic, but here are the mis-matched lamps.
I searched thrift stores for a while (that's where I go first, it's always fun to fancy up peice of crap) but it soon became apparent that I would not find a matching set.  So, I decided that I needed to just bite the bullet and go spend some money.  I was determined to not pay over twenty for each lamp, so that helped narrow down a bunch of choices.  

I went ALLL over the place.  I looked all over my own town, tried stores in another town, and on a trip to see my sisters in Utah, I went to IKEA hoping for a miracle.  I looked online.  I was driven like a mad woman, consumed by the search for glorious lamps.  I even told my toddler that this was a "Treasure Hunt! Yay!" trying to ease his annoyance at the constant going in and out of stores on the quest.  I taught him to yell, "LAMPS!" whenever he spotted one...which he still does to this day, ha!

I took about a million pics like this on my phone, so I could go home and remember the options at each store:

I was really digging the industrial feel of the architect lamps, but Patrick vetoed them.   Didn't like how they look like an office lamp instead of a bedroom lamp.  I still would have loved two handsome bronze-colored ones, but I pick my battles. :)

My shopping buddy!
I saw so many cool options that were WAY out of the price range.

I really loved the shape of this one!  Such sultry curves!  But the price was less attractive.  :(
It was sometimes hard to visualize what would look good in the space, so I took a couple pairs of lamps home, just to return them later.  One particular pair of teal shades made me physically ill once I got them in my bedroom.  And, another super inexpensive pair were so short, once I got them home and next to the bed, they looked like toy lamps.  Ha.  Oh boy.  

The toy lamps!  Haha!

I planned on covering these shades with fabric...but I just didn't want to deal with it.  Sewing isn't my thing.  I'd rather spray paint!  So, back to the store they went.
At one point of my decision-making struggle, I even called my sister (who lives four hours away) and angrily demanded, "WHY AREN'T YOU HERE IN MY HOUR OF NEED!?"  (She has very good design taste.)  Sorry, Sherie, that was a little ridiculous, I now realize.  But she did talk me through my options for about 20 minutes in Fred Meyer's parking lot.

In every store, I would try different shades with different bases, stand back, try several different combos, then go back to the first combo, etc.  Once, when I was making some sort of frustrated sigh of despair, Hayden said, "Momma, it's ok! Do you need a Fuzzy?"  (That's the name of his beloved blanket, which he probably loves more than me.  Ha.)  I'd also bribe him with Starbursts to keep him happy going from store to store...not my best parenting moment.

Hahaha, oh my gosh, I can't believe I got a pic that documents my pathetic parenting...he is actually trying to bite through the wrapper to get to the Starburst!
After spending WAY too much of my time and life on this not-life-or-death-decision, I finally found the perfect combo in Target.  I face-timed with the hubs to make sure he approved, or at least could deal with it, and brought the beauties home!  Best part?  I actually did end up staying under twenty a piece!  Wahoooo!

They were boring, but I like bare bones, cause it gives me a chance to spiff them up.  :)  

So, here's the process and the end result!  (This is no detailed tutorial, cause I only do fast, easy crafts. No complicated steps for me!)  

I started with plain black bases with plain white shades.  

I wanted to add something fun and geometric, and we already have circles going on with the hanging lanterns, so I wanted to contrast the round shapes by using straight lines.  I already knew I wanted to spray paint them gold to repeat the bedroom's accent color.  Luckily, I had gold left over from the letters above our wedding pics, so I stuck some rubber bands on each base for an easy way to add some lines and rearranged them till I was happy with the design of the front sides of each lamp.

Here's after the gold spray!  (Patrick was kind to give in to the gold...he isn't a big fan.  I love it in small doses; every room needs some bling!)  I wanted to make the lines interesting, so I used wide and thin rubber bands, but the thin ones didn't work as well...the paint kinda seeped under them.  I ended up touching up some of the lines later with a trusty Sharpie.  Maybe I shoulda just Sharpied in the first place...ah well, ya live and ya learn! :)

And, here's a glamour shot of the finished product:

What a pair!  Soulmates, I tell you!

Remember the DIY Love Song Pillow tutorial?
I am at peace.  *happy sigh*  And, hallelujah, no more hunting, buying, and returning lamps!  The quest is complete!

Except, now I see that we could really do with a different living room lamp...  :)   

How about you, friends?  Do you like the final product?  And, have you ever been obsessive with a home decor quest?  (Please tell me I'm not alone!)

PS. I'm linking up this post to the "Do Tell Thursday Link Party!"  Check it out!  There are tons of crafty projects to oogle.. :)


  1. I think you made a great choice in the end. You are right, gold is good as long as it's used right. I'm not too crazy with lamps- more with wall decor and curtains. It's kind of insane that I spend so much time worrying about it all when I know I'll just want to change it again next year... haha!

    1. hahaha, I know what you mean about making's so fun, though! :) Yes, I am a sucker for wall decor too. Thanks for the comment! :)

  2. Very cool, Amy! Love the rubberband idea! Now you can go on with the rest of your life. ;)

  3. haha, seriously! Life goes on to bigger priorities, like a brand new infant. :)

  4. oh man. we sound a lot alike. I do the same thing and have to find the best thing, for the best price, etc. Sometimes its borderline obsessive but once I find what I like.. I'll stick with it forever! love the lamps you chose and their cute makeover! great job!! :)


Share your questions, comments, and compliments...we like 'em all! :) Don't be shy: we want to hear from YOU! Plus, you can let this lady know her story was heard--I promise your comment means a lot to her!

Thanks, friends! :)