Monday, March 30, 2009

#1.....let there be light

Back in January I saw this custom light fixture by Jim Misner on Design Sponge and decided to try to create my own version for my friend Robin's nursery.I found a similar drum style light on cb2 for $50, and got to work. Pictured below is my finished light for Baby Marin's nursery.




Here is how I made it:

Using one of Robin's nursery fabrics, I placed a fabric scrap on my scanner and enlarged the print. I printed out the enlargement on cardstock and made cut outs of the leaf branch and bird that you see on the light. Next I traced the cutouts onto the fabric drum shade very lightly with a pencil, creating a paint by number for myself. Starting with the branches, I used artist acrylic paint to color in my design. I wanted to thin out the actrylic paint so that it would not appear too thick on the shade, and to make it somewhat translucent to allow light to pass through the design. I used Liquitex Matte Medium to thin the pink acrylic paint. My ratio of paint to medium was dime size paint to quarter size medium. Sometimes I opt to thin my acrylic paints with water, however when painting on fabric (as in the case of this cotton drum shade) it is not a good idea to thin the paint with water, as when you paint it will bleed outside the lines of your design and wreck your fabric (or in this case shade). Medium will appropriately thin your paint, giving a nice translucent paint mixture that will not bleed outside your pencil marks.
I painted all of the leaf branches on and chose a darker pink for the birds, which I layered over the branches once that paint had dried. I did not worry too much about the fact that you can still faintly see my original pencil lines on the shade if you are really up close. It hangs from the ceiling and you can not see the pencil from the ground. (Again, trace very lightly with pencil when transferring your design)
Once the paint dried it was ready to hang. This particular light came with a plug-in cord that we simply converted to hardwire by removing the plug, and wiring directly into an exsiting ceiling electrical box in the room. The only part we had to buy was a ceiling cover plate (about $1 at home improvement store) to cover the electrical box. Additionally, I made a pink polkadot scrunchie for the lamp cord, which was slipped on from the plug end before hanging.
This project was completed for less than $70 including lampshade and hanging lamp parts, paint, paint medium and cover plate. It took about 3 hours to stencil and paint the shade and about 30 minutes to hang it. This was a stress-free project, with a great finished result, which in my book is a success!
If you would like to see more pics of this lighting project check out my flickr photostream here.

1 comment:

gkim said...

hi, i love all your creative projects. do you know the name of the "green-colored" paint in this room? i'd like to use something similar (or the same) for my office.