PINTEREST CHALLENGE: FAUX LEATHER DRUM SHADE CHANDELIER

This post was first featured on NewlyWife in August 2011. 

I’m exhausted. It’s been a whirlwind past few days as I’ve scrambled to finish a DIY project to join in with the Pinterest Challenge. For those unaware, it’s a blogging challenge to put our inspiration found on the addicting website. It was put out by Katie Bower of Bower Power, Sherry Petersik of Young House LoveEmily Henderson of Secrets from a Stylist and Design Star fame, and Lana of Make a House a Home.

It seems to me that the loved ones of us Pinterest addicts must have thought we were crazy, but hopefully they have now realized that we’re simply visionaries. Although, I admit that throughout this Pinterest Challenge project I was convinced that I was bonkers. As we were finishing the project, I kept telling Matt, “This actually looks good!” And I should say that while Matt doesn’t usually seem as excited as I am about the DIY projects from the get-go, his enthusiasm grows. He puts in a lot of time and energy into these projects, too, and usually motivates me to finish them — and finish them well.

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I should note that the creation of this particular drum shade, which is 24 inches in diameter, was not an easy task. The decorating of it, however, was super simple. So if you had more time than me, buy a large one online.

Start with an ugly chandelier. Anyone else have one of those? Carefully remove it — turn off the power at the breaker box — and dismantle the parts. Clean off any dust or stuff on the parts to be painted.

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Paint it! Tape up the sockets and the tops of the exposed wires. I put the ground wire in a plastic bag. Get your ORB (oil rubbed bronze) spray paint and spray on thin coats. To cover the brass, it took about three coats.

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Make a drum shade skeleton … if you happen to know a welder or can figure out a better way of doing it. Otherwise, save yourself and buy one online or call around for a store. For me, I found that pretty much no local store (30ish mile radius) sells them wider than 16 inches in diameter. This would have meant the shade was too close to the bulbs and would likely have been a fire hazard. I have read about making drum shades from quilting/embroidery hoops, but I couldn’t find any hoops big enough.

My father-in-law happens to weld and has equipment at his house. He graciously took the time to help me create a drum shade. Originally, we tried to make it from about 16 gauge steel wire, but it just wasn’t working.

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We then went to Home Depot and found a six inch wire mesh sheet for about $5. After cutting, shaping it with a tire and welding … it looked something  like this:

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Cover the drum shade skeleton. Using a white flat sheet that we weren’t using, we covered the wire portion, securing it with pins and then with hot glue.

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Trace, cut and paint your faux leather circles. With about a yard and a half of brown pleather fabric, I used the center of a roll of masking tape to trace out circles. (They are about three inches in diameter.)I ended up cutting 180-ish circles for my 24-inch wide, 12-inch tall shade. I then painted them with a craft store paint that was a silvery champagne color. To give it some texture, I painted about eight at a time and quickly folded them from the center (first fold in half, then in half again). Hold it for a few seconds and then let it unwrap and dry. It’s good to have some of the dark brown show through, but not a lot if you want a lighter look.

With a hot glue gun, adhere them to the drum shade in rows. For the first and last rows, glue them over the edge so you can trim them once you’re done. That way, none of the background fabric will show.

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close-up-of-faux-leather-circles

Wire up your drum shade. We used some thin wire and a washer to adhere the lampshade to the chandelier. Be careful that the washer is in the direct middle or the shade will be lopsided when you hang it. (You can kinda see the wires in the picture below.)

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Carefully reassemble and reinstall the light and admire your handiwork!

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May all your lamps be pretty and bright!