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Four ways with lampshades


The budget may not stretch to a new lounge suite or fresh carpet, but you can give your home a fresh new look - for not much cash - by being creative with lighting. Anya Brighouse gets creative with spots, stripes, paints and fabric samples.

4 ways to decorate and change your light shades

Well spotted
I love having spots around my home! This is a basic, white rice paper shade (any size will do) painted with house paint. You only need one coat of paint, but be careful not to put too much paint on your brush. Too much paint might run, or soak the paper and break it. It's also a good idea to dilute the paint a little bit. Don't hurry - just take your time. I used Resene Mexican Wave spots.

Fabric fantastic
When covering shades with fabric you need to starch the material first. Allow two to three centimetres extra when you cut out the shape of the shade. Glue the fabric on with a good fabric spray adhesive, then use a craft PVA glue to stick the fabric down around the inside of the shade. This can be messy! Leave to dry overnight, then glue a piece of ribbon over the glued edge (just inside the lip of the shade) to hide the ragged edge.

Deep blue yonder
After renovating our home I wanted a very large shade for the lounge but the budget wouldn't stretch to having one made and covered - so I improvised. I discovered a can of Resene Optimist - exactly the shade I wanted and painted a cheap shade. Next time I will be more cautious with my use of paint. I put too much on and it loosened some of the glue on the shade. But I managed to reglue the seam and pin it to keep the shape. It is my favourite shade in the house and I love sitting in the lounge, just looking at the colour it brings into the room.

Dr Seuss stripes
My kids have nicknamed this the Dr Seuss lamp because they think it looks as though it came from one of his books. I used painter's masking tape to block off stripes around the lampshade and then gave it four coats of spray paint. I love using this because it dries so quickly and the colours are lovely and intense - in this case it was the basic matt red, available from any hardware store. A word of warning though, be careful not to soak the fabric as you spray - it will bleed a bit into the rest of the lamp. Also, make sure the tape is well stuck down before you start spraying.

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