before and afterlightingproducts

before & after: ruler pendant lamp + gilded floral mirror

by Kate Pruitt

I really love old-school supplies, especially wooden rulers (I once used them en masse for a store display and had to collect several hundred . . . that’s how much I like them), so I was delighted to see this ruler lampshade project from Blair in my inbox the other day. After coveting a much more expensive version, Blair decided to take matters into her own hands and make this cool retro ruler lamp for over her desk, which I’m sure has far more appeal than the mass-produced version. Great job, Blair! — Kate

Time: 1.5 hours

Cost: $15

Basic Steps: I began by measuring the length of my lampshade and cutting/sanding the ends of my yardsticks so that they were a little longer than the shade. My shade was just below 9″ in length. Perfect — each yardstick (36″ = yard) made 4. To evenly space the rulers around the shade, I used masking tape to align the tops of the rulers with the top of the shade. Once the tops were in place, I used more masking tape to attach the bottoms of the rulers to the bottom of the shade. I went around the shade quite a few times making sure the spacing was as close to perfect as possible.

Finally, I removed the masking tape from the bottom of the shade one ruler at a time and lifted it while keeping the top of the ruler taped to the top of the shade. I added hot glue and then replaced the bottom of the ruler to the base of the shade maintaining my spacing. Hot-glue the remaining rulers . . . and you’re finished! I love the Ruling The Roost Lampshade from Roost Living, but couldn’t shell out $495 dollars for a lampshade. A little patience (while searching the flea market for my own vintage yardsticks) and a little flexibility (a standard empire shade vs. a more expensive drum shade), and I am even more in love with my own version! — Blair

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CLICK HERE to check out Miriam’s gilded floral mirror after the jump!

When I’m browsing flea markets and thrift shops, I have a hard enough time figuring out which items have potential, let alone which items can possibly be combined to create some cool new design. Anyone who has this vision is my hero. I plan to take a lesson from Miriam and her gilded floral-mirror project and try to use this foresight when I head to Brimfield next week. Great work, Miriam!

Time: 2 hours

Cost: $14

Basic Steps: First I cut up a dusty set of thrifted metal wall-hangings into individual flowers and leaves with some trusty wire cutters. Then I spray painted a plastic mirror (also thrifted) and all the separate flower pieces with some antique gold spray paint. To put it all together, I just glued the various metal flowers and leaves to the mirror, touched it all up with more spray paint and then painted a few leaves and flowers here and there with acrylic paint to give it some color.

My advice is to just keep your eye out for any wall-hanging or decorative object with interesting shape or detail. Almost anything can be disassembled and put together in a fresh new way. I’m constantly delighted by the unusual things people decorate and build with. — Miriam

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