Transforming an Every Day Lamp Shade

When I was researching stencils to complete my daughter’s bedroom wall (seen here), I came across a couple of articles online about using small stencils for ordinary lamp shades from the DIY blog Two Girls Being Crafty. I thought this was a perfect idea for my great room’s lamp, since the shade is white and kinda blends in with the stairwell behind leading to the lower level.

I figured I could completely transform the lamp shade by adding a damask wall stencil and some tasseled trim. First stop, Hancock Fabrics to find the trim.

My great room is mostly red, with a couple of accents of olive green, black and tan so I decided to work off that color scheme to complete my transformation.

First thing was to clean the lamp shade with a damp cloth to get rid of all dust or debris. Then I got all of my supplies in place: fabric paint from Michaels ($1.39 for the small bottle of gold and $2.39 for the large bottle of green on sale), blue painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place, stencil brushes that I had in my paint closet and the damask wall stencil from Michaels for $10.

To prepare, I taped the small damask wall stencil in place with blue painter’s tape. There was a seam on the back of the lamp shade so I used that as my guide for spacing the stenciling evenly. I then mixed the fabric paints, two parts gold and one part olive green. As seen below, I only had an Elmo paper plate to use as my mixing palette. Oh well, whatever works!

I applied the mixed paint with a stencil sponge that I had purchased in the past from Michaels art supply store. I slowly peeled up the stencil to make sure the paint covered all of the areas evenly.

I painted the back of the shade first directly up the seam, followed by the front and sides to space the stencil evenly. The paint dried quite quickly and wasn’t applied too heavily so I was able to tape down the next stencil immediately.

Isn’t she purdy? This project isn’t even close to complete yet and I’m totally in love already.

Next step, the trim along the top of the lamp shade. I found this rope cord from Hancock Fabric for $2.39 a yard. I used my hot glue gun to wrap it around the top of the shade.

I then glued on the gold tassel trim to the bottom of the lamp shade. I purchased this from Hancock Fabric as well. It was originally $11.99 a yard, but I got it on sale for 50% off. I purchased two yards for the bottom of the lamp shade.

The last piece to complete the lamp shade was a deep red large tassel from Hancock Fabric that I got on sale for $4.19.

Again, here’s the before and after transformation.

So total costs for this project: $14 for the paint and stencil from Michaels and about $20 from Hancock Fabric for the two trims and tassel. So less than $35 for the entire project. Yeah, I kinda think that I could have bought a new lamp shade for $35, but at least I can say it’s an Erin original :) And it kept me busy on a Saturday night.

Photos on my end table were taken by J’Lynn Photography in St. Louis. She’s amazing! Check out her website at

Revamped Desk for Kids Play Room

My daughter is a budding artist so I really thought she’d love a space to create and color of her own. While I was at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago, I found a great desk for $30 that was in pretty good shape. When I called my hubby to see if he could pick it up, he mentioned that his mother had an old desk in the basement from when he was a kiddo that we could have… for free!

I nervously passed on the desk from Goodwill to see if I could turn my mother-in-law’s trash into treasure. Luckily, when I saw the desk in the back of her basement covered in toys and books, it was worth the wait! While it had some scratches and dents, overall it was a steal.

So here’s the before… and after! Here’s how I completed the transformation:

painted kids desk and chair

The first thing I did after getting the old desk home was give it a complete cleaning. The bottom was covered in cobwebs and the drawers were a little dirty. I washed everything with some light soap and water. Then I sanded the entire desk down.

The top had a large ball of puddy stuck to the top which I had to use the power sander to fix. For the drawers and crevices, I just used some light grade sandpaper. Once I was finished giving the desk a light sanding, I wiped down the table again to make sure it was clear of any leftover dust and grime.

To prime the table, I used Zinsser cover stain with the brown label. I used a roller to cover the large areas of the desk, a brush to get into the crevices and the spray paint version to cover the drawers with a smooth finish. I decided to prime the desk with two coats since I knew it would get a lot of wear and tear, sanding the desk lightly between each coat.

Once it was fully cured, I sanded the desk down once more and wiped off all debris. Now, this desk is going in a play room for now, but eventually I hope on having this playroom turn into a nursery and move this desk into my daughter’s bedroom. So, in order to do this, I had to make sure the color scheme would fit in both rooms.

For the actual top coat, I decided to use Rustoleum white semi gloss spray paint on the base of the desk. For the drawers, I used an offsetting color of spray paint, Sweet Cream by Krylon. I wanted the drawers to pop a little bit off the rest of the desk, and I thought the Sweet Cream color would go perfectly with my daughter’s bedroom set once it’s moved.

To finish the project off, I coated the desk in Minwax polyurethane spray paint in semi gloss. This will really protect my paint job and give it some durability.

Total cost of this project: $23 for the can of Zinsser cover stain paint (with plenty of leftover for future projects!), $7 for two cans of Rustoleum white spray paint, $7 for Minwax polyurethane and $12 for rollers and paint trays. The rest of the supplies I already had in my paint closet, mostly just drop clothes and sandpaper. So, the total was $49 (yeah, remember I got the desk for free!). LOVE IT.

For the desk accessories, I found the pencil holder and organizer from WalMart for $10. I wrapped a green and brown striped ribbon around the pencil holder to bring out the colors of the room. I filled the accessories with my daughter’s favorite art supplies.

I will probably line the drawers in the future with some cool scrapbook paper and of course I need a chair, but until then it’s perfect!

painted kids desk and chair

kids desk makeover