Many living rooms across the world neglect one main issue: lighting. Most living rooms have an electrical outlet which is operated by a switch on another wall instead of lighting fixtures on the walls and ceilings. The most common way people solve this is by table lamps or floor lamps. The other main issue is how dull and ordinary buying such lamps can be on a budget.
If you, like our family, are less than thrilled at the limited selection available at major chain stores, you are in luck. This how-to shows how creative you can be with an old, out-grown pair of jeans (if even outgrown is the right term, lets just say they were 6 sizes too big after significant weight loss). If you are thinking, like I did, that decorating with denim either means expensive swatches of denim from the store or a country or southern feel, this isn’t one of those kinds of projects.
No, we prefer modern décor, geek décor, and Dr. Who décor, to be exact. And, surprisingly, this floor lamp project tied in nicely with our overstuffed denim couches (thank you sister-in-law for the gift) and the Van Gogh-esque exploding TARDIS lithograph on our wall. For final touches, we graced the lamp with deep red curtains, not the blue ones shown in the pictures taken in my step-sons room where there is better lighting. HAZZA!
You Will Need:
1 Father-son Lamp as pictured
1 pair of jeans in any color, we used black
1 roll underwear elastic
1 upholstery needle
1 spool matching mercerized polyester blend thread
Stitch Remover tool
How to Proceed:
1. Remove the light bulbs and the lamp shades via the screw caps.
2. Measure the shades from the hole to the rim plus ¼ to ½ an inch.
3. Cut from the cuff to the measurement of the “son” shade size. You will need two of these. (If the bottom cuff of the pants have been frayed or are otherwise destroyed, cut it off to the point that you have good, clean material and use that edge as the bottom references. Distress this edge by either washing the jeans several times or fluffing the cut edge with a brush or comb.)
4. Cut from the previous cut-off edge to the distance needed for the “father” or upper lampshade depth plus at least two to three inches. You will need to cut this from both legs of the jeans too. You will be left with a pair of jeans with the cuffs cut from the son and the upper calf of the jeans cut off for the father shade, leaving you with a pair of shorts. Of course, if your jeans are smaller than my size 22s, you may need more material or a bigger portion from the jeans.
5. For the son, or lower shade, quickly run a stitch around the cut edge and pull it just tight enough to slip the stitched hole around your hand and wrist. Tie a knot and slip this over the son shade until about an inch below the bottom part of the shade.
6. Next, run a stitch around the cut edge of the other cuff and tighten it to the point that you can slip it easily into the light base. Slip this over the first cuff on the shade for the tiered effect.
7. Gently insert the shade into the son lamp base and make sure the material clears the fixture. When it is right, no part of the material will touch the inner light fixture. (A word of caution, use lower wattage bulbs 20 watts or under. Using a higher watt bulb may cause the plastic to melt or crumble into shavings after some time. We learned this from experience)
8. Now for the father shade, you will need to gently remove the inner seam. This seam is not folded over, and it’s a single seam on the inner leg of the jeans. We need the outer, doubled over seam to create a finished seam on the lamp.
9. Once both inner seams have been carefully removed from the portion cut for the father shade, turn both inside out and match up the seams you just took out to create a circle of cloth as you see inside out and folded in half in the picture. Run a simple, even messy because it does not matter, seam up either cloth to join them into one giant circle of cloth. If your jeans were huge, like mine, there will be more than enough to go around the larger shade.
10. On the larger opening of the two, stretch and sew elastic to the edge to create a pull and gather. This will help make it easy to slip over the shade and then hold it tight on the top of the shade to keep it from coming off. It needs to be at least three inches away from the light bulb in the center, too.
11. Run a thread through the small of the two openings on this circle of denim and pull it just tight enough to create a gather on the bottom of the shade. The light base should easily slip into the hole so that we can screw the shade on.
12. Slip the finished denim over the shade by inserting the shade through the elastic-side sideways and gently easing the shade into position so that the bottom hole of the shade lines up with the bottom hole of the denim.
13. Once the denim and the shade are lined up and the gathering is where you want it, carefully set this on top of the lamp and screw it down with the shade screw.
14. Add light bulbs, plug-in and enjoy your ambient and directional lighting with flair.
The big thing we enjoy about covering the bare white lampshades with this inexpensive $10 lamp is that the light is no longer in our eyes. The upper shade now creates ambient light against the ceiling and the lower shade provides directional light where we need it without glare from the blindingly white shade. Don’t mind Tommy, our cat, he is simply wondering why we had to move his light from shining on his little blanket on my desk. He wants his lamp back.