I’ve been working on re-doing my Master Bedroom, and by ‘re-doing’ I really mean, ‘finally getting around to it.’ I’ve been spending most of my efforts on the parts of the house people could see, leaving my bedroom not much different than the dorm room I slept in 15 years ago. Once I started getting some furniture in place there was this one spot that was bugging me. It was just begging for *something* to be hanging from the ceiling in that one spot, and once I got that in my head I couldn’t get it out. But we’re renting this house so I am not about to call in an electrician to fix up my wild hairs. I had to do it myself and I knew that a drum shade lamp was the perfect thing for the space.
Drum Shade Lamp Supplies:
- Floral Mesh
- Rolls of Bling
- 2 Macrame Hoops
- Lining Fabric
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Lamp Harp
- Lamp Socket
- Lamp Plug
Cut a piece of the floral mesh long enough to go all the way around one of the macrame hoops with a generous overlap. Fold the top piece under to create a neat edge. Wrap the top end of the floral mesh piece around the hoop until it meets itself and overlaps about an inch. Use a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew the floral mesh together all the way around the hoop. Repeat with the other macrame hoop on the other end of the floral mesh, leaving that center seam open. This will create the frame of your drum shade.
With the hoops in place, pin the center seam closed. It’s important to sew the hoops in place while the center seam is open so that you can line everything up evenly. The hoops are a much more reliable reference than anything else and once those are both installed you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a neat column. When you’re happy with how everything looks, sew that center seam closed.
Cut your bling rolls into even pieces and pin them on to the floral mesh. Arrange them evenly around the whole drum shade, creating whatever pattern you like. I love how mine turned out – very Midcentury with those lines jutting unevenly up and down. Sew all the way around the piece, taking care to sew in between the rhinestones and not on top.
Unless you want your bulb and apparatus showing through your drum shade, you’ll need a lining fabric. I roughly measured by lining the fabric up to the inside of the drum shade, sewed a center seam, then hemmed the top and bottom pieces until it fit neatly inside the shade. If you want to hide any rough edges, leave enough of a seam allowance that you can roll the raw edges in on themselves until they’re covered, then sew the edge of your roll down.
Now it’s time to do a little electrical work. It couldn’t be easier, you just need to follow the instructions on the packages. Before installing the lamp socket, thread the wire through the end of the lamp harp. This will be what the drum shade hangs from. Then you can thread the wire through the bottom of the lamp socket.
Cut four pieces of wire a few inches wider than the diameter of the macrame hoop. My hoop was 16″ wide, so I cut my wire pieces 20″ wide. Thread the wire through the underside of the hoop and then bend it back around on itself. Wrap the end of the wire around where it meets itself to make it extra strong. Repeat with the other side of the wire directly across the shade from that first point.
Screw a hook into your ceiling and use the cord to hang it in place. You could use a large piece of chain as is typical for these kind of lamps, but I just tied a knot in the cord and I was happy with it. Run the extra cord down to the plug as discretely as you can.
I haven’t even turned this drum shade lamp on yet and I can’t help but be in love with it. It is exactly what I needed for this spot in my bedroom, it brings a little glamour and elegance into my space, and I’m wild about the Mid-century influence. But what makes me love it the most is the cost. Chandeliers are ridiculously expensive and so are lamps. By making this myself I saved a FORTUNE.
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Tresa is a writer, craft designer, and award winning activist whose work has been featured in publications as diverse as Better Homes and Gardens and Bitch Magazine. Tresa makes videos guiding you through projects and life at youtube.com/reesedixon, and blogs daily at her creative living blog, ReeseDixon.com, where she sets out to prove that creativity is powerful enough to make your life what you want it to be.