Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: Nut container DIY lampshade


Here's a familiar story: I just happened to be around when my neighbor was throwing out a lamp. Solid wood base. Old electrical cord but in perfect working order. How could I resist? Small issue... no shade. I took my time deciding what would work in the room - I wanted warm light. And I wanted to create something that would work in a vintage / boho-inspired space. Something a bit like this: 



I found the cross-stitch fabric at Michaels (about $2.99) and that's where I started. I like the color and consistency - it would clearly be able to stand up without the help of a stiffener. Then I kept my eyes peeled for something I could use to reinforce the column of fabric. I considered all sorts of cylindrical packaging, but my nut container was the perfect size.  So here's how it went: 


This kind of packaging is made of compressed paper. So I made a few holes in it with a nail (actually just pushed it through - no need for the hammer) and was then able to get the scissors into it.


This was tiring cutting - if I did it again I'd use a craft knife. Or a small saw. But it still went quite quickly and it was easy enough to clean the edges.


Now that I had the top and bottom reinforcements for my shade, I could start making it. Small note: the metal ring around the top of the container provides perfect stability for the bottom of the shade.


So here's everything I used:

1. Two cylinders cut from a nut container
2. Aida cloth cross-stitch fabric (Michaels)
3. Acrylic paint
4. Good glue
5. Embroidery floss



I gave the container pieces a very rough coat of paint to cover the dark blue - it was very obvious when I wrapped the fabric around it.


I used the packaging pieces to measure and cut the fabric to fit, then added some completely random cross stitch. And please, lets be clear: I don't do embroidery. But I wanted some bright detail on the shade and cross stitch works with the overall style of the room. So necessity made this foray into embroidery happen.


Then I glued the fabric to the base and waited patiently for it to dry. When I added the top piece, it was easy to achieve a straight line thanks to the stability of the base. Then I trimmed a few uneven pieces off the top.


Last step: I cut a small hole in the back for the on/off chain, and that's it. It works with the room, provides a warm glow and cost ... $4?