I am so excited to share this project with you today. I have wanting to make a vintage style lace hanging lamp for my studio for a while now. I was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest. I knew I wanted to use a vintage lamp frame to make the new lamp but couldn’t find one in the size that would work in my attic studio. Since my side walls are low, a hanging lamp would have to be smallish to work just right. Luckily, this past weekend David and I were junking at one of our favorite St. Louis antique stores (Quintessential Antiques) and we spotted the perfect size of shade for my project. I tore right into it as soon as we got home!
The lamps in my inspiration photo didn’t seem to have side or bottom supports. The shade I picked up was a full frame. I really wanted a full frame so that if I decided to ever change-up the lamp shade, I could use it in some of the fun ways I have seen on Pinterest. (Check out all of these cool ideas for lampshade frames.)
The first step was removing the fabric and trim from the lamp shade. Since the material wasn’t anything worth salvaging, I used a craft knife to make quick work of the removal. My frame has a twill trim adhered directly to the upper and lower rings. The original fabric shade was stitched to the twill. The twill was adhered really, REALLY well so I decided to leave it. I liked the soft edge it gave to the metal. I had a lot of thread pieces to remove from where the fabric had been sewn on. Even though I was going to cover the frame, I wanted to remove as much of the thread pieces as possible.
For my light fixture, I decided to use the light and cord from the hanging paper lantern I was replacing in the studio.
I kept the corn/socket and the hanging clip that goes on the cord.
I did find that World Market sells this hardware on their website if you don’t have a paper lantern to harvest from. They have different plug in options and hardwired options. If your bulb will show through your lace, you might want to pick up an Edison style bulb also.
To use my frame with my light kit, I simply removed the bulb, placed the socket part through the bulb opening on the frame, and screwed the bulb in. The wide base of my bulb holds the frame in place. With the light kits linked above, they have a ring that screws into the socket that holds the frame in place instead of it resting on the bulb.
For my lamp’s cover, I decided to use some vintage cotton panels with handmade lace that I had. They were the perfect length. I didn’t have a single piece what was wide enough to go around the lamp so I sewed the pieces together to make one long panel.
I trimmed the width of the panel so that it fit around the lower ring on my frame. The frame is wider at the bottom than at the top so it needed to fit the lower ring. I didn’t want it too ruffled or loose so I made sure that with a seam allowance it would fit just right at the bottom. I sewed the two ends of the panel together so that I had a circular piece of fabric.
The top of the piece was now larger around than the top ring of the frame. To create a simple gather, I used a bit of white seam binding to weave through the lace like a running stitch. I placed a safety-pin on the end of the ribbon to make it easy to feed in and out of the lace.
I slipped the piece around the frame. I matched up the running stitch of seam binding with the top frame.
I pulled the seam binding tight until it was snug against the frame. I tied the seam binding off in a knot and trimmed the ends of the ribbon off. I distributed the gathered fabric evenly around the frame.
I slipped the ribbon off of the frame a small section at a time to add glue to keep it firmly in place in the future. I used Helmar 450QD. I love how it bonds just about any materials together, dries clearly and super fast, and wipes away easily if you make a glue oops.
After adhering with glue all around the top ring of the frame, my shade looked like this. I did not add glue to the fabric and lace around the lower ring. I wanted it free to hang (although mine is pretty tight so it isn’t really “free”.)
I liked the way the shade looked with just the fabric, lace, and seam binding but I decided to add a few touches to make it really “me”.
I made a cluster of vintage lace flowers, vintage jewelry salvage pieces, vintage ribbon, and gorgeous vintage velvet millinery leaves (purchased from my recent trip to the French General). The leaves still had their original tag on them from Germany. I loved that about them, so I left it attached and used it as part of the piece.
I adhered the embellishment cluster to the lamp using a long corsage pin. I wanted it removable if I decided to change the embellishments in the future.
Here she is, all finished and hanging in a corner of my studio. I love the way that the green ribbon ties into the wall color. I didn’t plan that, it was just the right special piece of ribbon. I love the way it was just meant to be on this project.
And there she is lit up. Isn’t it so lovely the way the fabric and lace glow with the light? I love that the leaves on the embellishment cluster become so sheer too. I truly love the way it turned out! It is such a perfect fit for my vintage shabby little space and really celebrates and uses the things I love. I truly smile every time I look at it.
PS- No supply list today… this is all vintage and from my stash! What can you create from what is in your crafty stash to make your space happier?