If you’ve ever rented an apartment, you have likely encountered it. The thing that, throughout my years as an apartment renter in New York City has become the bane of my entire existence*. I’m not talking about cockroaches or noisy roommates (although, those things can be pretty bad, too). I’m talking about the Rental-Apartment-Standard-Light-Fixture-of-DOOM. You know it when you see it: an outdated glass shade balanced precariously beneath two partially exposed bulbs, probably filled with dead insects, dust, and god-knows-what. Not only is the Rental-Apartment-Standard-Light-Fixture-of-DOOM objectively hideous, insult is added to abject injury with the fact that nobody seems to sell replacement parts for it. It has seemingly materialized from thin air into low-rent apartments for the sole purpose of driving people totally insane.
If you know anything about electrical rewiring, this problem is an easy fix (just pop in a new fixture)—but who knows anything about electrical rewiring these days, aside from electricians and wizards? If electrical skill isn’t your thing and the finances to hire an electrician are non-existent, you might get the feeling that you are stuck with the RASLFD for life. This, dear reader, is not the case! Luckily, the talented blogger Courtney Kennedy (of Always Rooney) has crafted up an easy, affordable, and delightfully attractive shade that can be fit around the RASLFD. This new shade, made from ribbon and an embroidery hoop, makes the previously intolerable light fixture completely tolerable and —dare I say it— actually kind of beautiful! For Courtney’s complete tutorial and more photos of the finished project, continue after the jump! —Max
*I am prone to exaggeration, in case you couldn’t tell.
- Embroidery Hoop
- 3-inch decorative floral ribbon (Courtney used The Robert Stanley Collection ribbon)
- Hot glue gun
- Colorful & white embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
Start by loosening your embroidery hoop and only use one of the circles, save the other circle for another project. Hot glue the ribbon in place around hoop. When you glue it around the full circle, take your embroidery floss and needle, thread the beginning and end together in an X formation. Make sure you cut off the excess ribbon. Now connect the first row of ribbon with the next by threading your needle and floss through both rows. Repeat your X formation when you get around the hoop. Repeat this process until you reach the length you like. I made four rows of 3 inch ribbon. Tie on white embroidery floss strings around hoop about 5 inches long to attach to ceiling with small nails or push pins.
Embroidery Hoop – $1
Ribbon – $6.40 (a 40% off coupon was used)
Embroidery Floss – 60¢