Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting crafty- chandelier shades

Distracting myself with the pleasures of home decorating for a moment...

I knew that I wanted chandeliers in the kitchen from the beginning- loved the elegance that they imparted to an otherwise utilitarian space. I was very happy with the ones we found- the sizing was right, the oil rubbed bronze fit in with everything and even the glass details picked up the glass cabinet knobs. That said, I was not thrilled with the way the bare candle bulbs looked...

Hence my latest craft project. Did you know they make chandelier shades that are especially for covering them in your own fabric? So exciting!
That said, it was WAY more labor intensive than I had anticipated. After employing a slightly different technique for each of the six shades, I still don't feel like I "have it down". The shades have a template that you peel off to reveal a sticky surface; I used the template to cut the fabric with a bit of overhang, but the trick/problem was making that overhang look good. The hot glue gun was imperative. At first I free-handed folding it over and securing it, but later tried the iron to crease the fold...

From a distance, they look good to me!

Up close, I see a million little flaws. There is no denying that these are handmade. Still, it's fun that we could choose our own fabric and ribbon and was still probably more cost-effective than buying each shade for $20 or more(!).... so maybe in a few years I can justify changing out the shades and work on perfecting my technique! In the meantime, I'm very happy with the way they turned out.

I do want to add another grosgrain ribbon around the top of each shade.... I just ran out of ribbon!


  1. They look great ! Even Martha had to start somewhere.... with each DIY you'll get better and better and then you'll be giving us "how-to-tips". Distracting and productive - it's all good.

  2. I think they look pretty darn good! And your kitchen, yikes! It's gorgeous.


  3. I think they look great Julia! I know what you mean about up-close and to you you can see the flaws. I made some once and it is trickier than I thought it was going to be. I too, saw the flaws, but I think the trim can hide a lot! They really soften the look of your kitchen and I like the effect. Good job!

  4. The shades look lovely. We are always more critical of our own work, but no one looks at every tiny detail like we do.Your kitchen is beautiful!

  5. Nice job. And, what a good idea. Craft projects, while time consuming, can be a lot of fun.

  6. Oh you are so clever. They look fantastic! A-M xx

  7. Hi Julia. Found you at The Gardener's Cottage. Your shades look great from here! Can I ask where you found such narrow models? The only adhesive shades I've seen are so much wider at the base, perfect triangles almost, and not nearly as graceful as these. I'd cover my own shades in a heartbeat if I could find the right ones! Thanks! And I'll definitely be back to have a better look around. I started to read your post about opening up on your blog--something I struggle with too--but don't have time right now to really absorb it. Like I said, I'll be back! (oh no. did you just read that with Arnie's voice in your head? jeez. he's my governor!)

  8. Oh my gosh, Julia. I didn't realize you were dealing with something so serious til I went back and really read your previous posts! I do hope everything went well and as planned on the 5th was it? Just two days ago? Well, you just never mind about the request in my previous comment and work on getting yourself rested and recovered. I'm sending you all my best wishes that you're back up to speed very soon.