DIY Lamp Décor: Reusing those Remnants

This post is brought to you by Chris Long.

Die-hard fans of DIY home decor know two things: It is extremely satisfying creating masterpieces using your own two hands and you will most certainly have leftover materials when you are finished. Fortunately, there is one more way to keep that home furniture elation alive: Make your own complementary accent pieces using your remnants! Whether you have leftover paint (or samples that didn’t quite make the cut) or surplus scraps of trim, cording or ribbon from pillows or window treatments, the possibilities of what you can make with them are endless. Projects like the Scrap Ribbon Lamp Shade  allow you to use up ribbon scraps and save money on supplies.  Give your end tables, coffee tables or computer desks the perfect look with these two home furniture finishing touches for lamps. Use leftover paint samples and pieces of trim or cording for these projects.

Project #1: Paint Samples and Stencils

When you are selecting your wall color, you can go through quite a few paint samples – some are single steps away from each other on the same swatch (the same color but one shade darker or lighter) and some are completely different (you couldn’t decide between dark gray or light blue for the walls but you are using both colors in the room).

No matter which color conundrum applies to you, you can reuse that paint by updating a table lamp like the one above.

  • Make sure the lamp is clean and dry – no dust, otherwise, the paint won’t adhere.
  • Apply a coat of paint to the lamp base using the complementary color.
  • Once that has thoroughly dried, use your main wall color to paint a decorative emblem or accent band using a craft paint brush and stencil that matches your room’s patterns.

*Tip: By using your wall color as the accent piece on the lamp, you can be sure the lamp stands out from the wall as a focal point rather than fading into the background.


Project #2: Stylish Shades

If you want to give your living room furniture a boost and find a home for those extra lengths of trim, cording or ribbon that you didn’t use, trim out a lamp shade!

  • Using the remnant of cord itself (as opposed to a fabric measuring tape), measure around the top and bottom of the shade and mark where to make the cuts so the ends meet as closely as possible (no overlap).
  • Cut your trim and apply a liquid seam sealant to the edges to prevent fraying.
  • Using a hot glue gun, apply a thin bead of glue to the shade. Wrap the cord around the shade as you glue and firmly press until the glue sets up.

*Tip: You can use binder clips as clamps, starting at one end as you glue to make sure the cord adheres to the shade.

What bright ideas do you have for updating lamps and shades with your leftover décor materials?

Chris Long is a contributor to Home Depot’s Home website and has been helping customers as a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area since 2000. Chris’ home decorating tips on furniture range from living room furniture planning to bedroom and bathroom advice.

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