This post brought to you by Krazy Glue. All opinions are 100% mine.
This is one of those projects that opens the doors to so many other projects for me. Its what I like to call a gateway DIY project… do you ever have those? The kind that blows your mind and suddenly you are thinking about things in a completely new and different way. The seemingly difficult and not so easy to accomplish is now suddenly at your fingertips? This was that project, for me. I was inspired by this gorgeous project here but I needed something much larger and taller, in general. The space I need to fill is extremely large (as you can see above) and wouldn’t stand for something less than 30 inches or more in total. With only fairly bright lighting from above in this space, I thought a bit of ambient lighting that also serves the purpose of doubling as a stylish accessory is precisely what this area needed.
All you will need to make this beautiful beast:
- -A lighting Kit with Shade attachment that works for your lamp shade (mine used a harp)
- OR – an old lamp with similar shade attachment
- Lamp Shade or like this
- Light Bulb
- Mat Board
- Krazy Glue - Krazy strong, Krazy fast
- Exacto Knife
- Wood Filler
- Spray Paint
- Sandpaper or a sanding block in a few different grits (80, 120, 300)
Print your shapes from the template (found at this link here) on an 11x17 sheet of paper (or you can tile standard printer paper to an 11x17 inch size if you can’t print in that size) and after you cut one of each shape, use those as your template to cut 3 more of each shape. You will need a total of 4 of each shape you see below
Cut each piece out using your Exacto Knife and be very cautious, these bad boys are extremely sharp. You should cut away from yourself at all times, your blade can skip and jump if you hit a bump in the road so to speak so take precaution and keep your limbs intact.
Once your pieces are cut, trim away and jagged edges or sand any areas that are a bit rough so that when you are ready to glue you have as perfect of a joint as possible. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Take your time here and perfect your pieces. It will pay off so very much. I got a bit lazy and haphazard for this step and had to get a bit overzealous with the glue and filler later on. This is not the path of least resistance and it would serve you well to go slow and fix things before you start to form your base.
Once you have nice and even pieces with perfectly smooth edges you will run a line of Krazy Glue along one of your edges and start joining them together. The large shape sits at the top with the long portion pointing upward, while the shorter pieces sit at the bottom and the wide part of them forms the actual base your base will stand on.
The gel formula keeps this stuff precisely where you put it with no drips or running, which means I can essentially create these masterpieces in minutes rather than spending all of my time holding things together and waiting... hoping my glue doesn't drip or smear while it sets. Ain't nobody got time for that, am I right?
For the sections where I wasn't so careful with the cutting (there were quite a few - notice those wavy lines above) I placed a piece of tape on the inside with the intention of leaving it there to serve as a support mechanism for my glue and my filler later on. I ran my glue line as I had been previously, but by adding this tape in a few key spots I was actually able to use the glue to bond and fill in some of the gaps which was extremely helpful in this cute situation I created for myself with my hack job of a cutting process. By giving things something behind it to grab onto, it was essentially going to act as the drywall to my joint compound or the tape to my texture.. if you know what I mean! This will be important in the next few steps when you fill with wood filler as well, otherwise you will be filling, and filling, and filling and it will essentially be going nowhere except out the other side of your gap. But you won't have this problem because you will heed my advice and do an amazing job on your cutting and your glue will only be needed for joining your pieces and your filler will only be necessary to smooth your seams!
I tried to gently trim up an obvious overhanging edges using my exacto knife and give myself as much of a decent canvas here as possible, but I will be honest when I say that the next time I make one of these I will be MUCH more stringent about flawless cutting and therefore my gluing and painting will be impeccable because it makes a very big difference on the backend.
**If you are repurposing a lamp for this project, you will need to leave a side open at the top of your lamp in order to place the old lamp inside. If you are using a lamp making kit like the one I link to above, you don't need to worry about this and can proceed without doing this. If you are doing some other fancy thing... you might have to think this part through a bit. It won't harm anything to cut away a section and reglue it if need be.
But... if for any reason you do get into a bind, there isn't much a little (or a lot) of glue, wood filler and sanding can't fix. Fill your cracks and gaps with glue after you have some tape placed behind and once it's dry run a bit of filler over the top to smooth any seams and let things set up for a few hours. Once everything is nice and dry, sand with a sanding block. The grit for your sanding block will depend in large part on the condition of your cuts and how well they match up. If you have some rather large mistakes to fix, you will want to use a medium grit block and something around an 80 grit would be ideal. This will remove a decent amount of material without requiring a lot of pressure (if you have overhanging sections for instance).
Once your lamp is sanded and relatively smooth looking, go ahead and give it a good spray of your favorite spray paint. This is going to look best with some level of gloss finish so that it appears like ceramic. Keep each coat light and do several with a fine grit and light sanding in between. While your paint dries, continue on below...
For this project I happened to have an existing lamp lying around that I thought I would put to good use. It was a better alternative to letting it take up space in my garage, but quite honestly the lamp kit would have been just fine, if not a better alternative on it's own... just sayin' in heinsight. I used the harp from my lamp kit since my lamp shades required this type of attachment and my lamp just happened to have the cute little prongs needed for this cute little harp so the stars aligned for once.
Once I had a couple of good coats of my spray paint applied I inserted the lamp and sealed the open edge. I let it set up and gave the lamp base a light sanding with a fine grit sanding block. This helps get rid of those bumps that happen when you spray on paper (or wood) and the pores open up a bit. I gave it another good coat of spray paint (and a coat of sealer just to be extra sure this baby was good to go... ). and I plugged her in after I added her shade and she was breath taking. Ok, a little extreme. You guys, this was the second lamp I actually made because the Bird spilled water on my first lamp before it was sealed and I had to redo it! Eek. Now it's safe and sound.
If you need to account for your cord, carefully drill a hold in a back panel for the cord to escape. Mine was fine without this, but if you need to do this step, you absolutely can. You can also cut a small rectangle out of the bottom so the cord can sit without disrupting the way your lamp stands.