Doilies; I’ve never liked them… but when a friend recently gave me a bag full of these little lace layabouts, I was amazed at the intricate designs and the time and effort that must have gone into making them. The stitches were so fine and the thread so delicate I found myself feeling reticent to toss them out. Thankfully, I found this funky little doilies lampshade upcycling project that meant that I didn’t have to toss grandma’s lacy bits. Its really easy to make and requires only a few supplies!
What you need:
- 1 large bottle of white glue
- Beach ball
- Wire (I used an old coat hanger)
- Needle and thread
- Light socket with switch (get these from your hardware store for around $5)
- Light bulb
The first step is to inflate the beach ball. I used a smallish one as my first attempt, but there is no reason why you can’t think big. I have seen these made with large punch balloons and even giant exercise balloons. When making the larger lamps, consider using wallpaper glue to give your lampshade a little more rigidity.
Once you have the ball inflated, lay the first doilie on the top. Mix the white glue with a little water (I used a 20% water to 80% glue mix) and then paint the doilie with the glue mixture. I found that the added weight made the ball roll over, so I stabilized it in a salad bowl. Don’t worry about the glue getting stuck to the bowl or the ball-it washes off really easily!
Keep adding doilies around the top half of the ball. Ensure that the edges of the doilies overlap and stick together. Leave overnight to dry.
When the glue has dried completely, gently turn the ball over and repeat the process on the other side. Leave a gap over the valve so that you can deflate the ball. This gap should also be big enough to fit the light bulb in. Leave to dry overnight.
Once your doilie lamp is dry, deflate the beach ball and remove. I trimmed the hole so that it was nice and round with a scissors. Cut a length of wire from your coat hanger and bend it into a ring and feed it into the inside of the lampshade.
Sew the wire ring around the hole in your doilie lampshade so that it provides added support.
Fit the light bulb into the light fitting and then push the light bulb into the middle of your doilie lampshade. Secure in place with ribbon on two sides.
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