Thirty-Sixth Thing: Actin’ Kinda Shady

Following on from the upcycled box in a previous post, I took on another covering job, this time to renew the lamp shade of a table lamp that had seen better days. There is something very satisfying about taken something broken and fixing it, although it seems to happen less and less these days, when buying something new is often cheaper and easier than organising a repair. I had experience of this recently, paying for the repair of my beloved (blue and sparkly) Dualit toaster. When I bought it, the seller boasted that it would be the last toaster I ever needed, because every part was replaceable, but this didn’t recognise how hard it would be to find someone with the skills to do the fixing (and what they can therefore charge for their time) nor how cheap a replacement would be (if only I was willing to accept that a toaster didn’t have to be blue). I did consider undertaking the mending myself as a project for this blog, but I’ve learnt from experience that I should stay well clear where electrical wiring is concerned. I still don’t understand electricity: magic is the only explanation that I buy into.

I recall that at school, when you wanted to show that your electric circuit was working, you attached a little tiny lamp. I always dreamed of having these connected up in all the rooms of my dolls house, and perhaps if I had paid more attention in physics lessons, I’d have been able to do this myself, but my mind was on interior decor more than DIY so alas, it was never to be… Maybe one day. In the meantime, I have a real house to play with and with home ownership comes responsibility, especially to fix stuff when it breaks.

In the case of this lamp shade, the task was pretty straightforward with some thin cotton fabric, PVA glue and double-sided tape. The fabric that I picked reveals my current passion for blue and yellow together (and possibly for playing ‘dots‘ on my phone – though I only play it when I’m on public transport and very bored, only once did I play it late into the night and then see dots before my eyes when I tried to get to sleep). The pattern also made it easy to cut the fabric in straight lines: bonus. The tape was used to attach the top and bottom edges where it folded over the wire frame, and slightly watered down PVA glue was then painted all over to stick the fabric to the existing shade (which had a rip, rather than a hole, so was ok to leave beneath).

Tools / special requirements: As mentioned above.

Time taken: 1 hour, plus drying time

Things learned: The first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in an article by Thornton Kay of Salvo in 1994. Before then, we just called it ‘make do and mend‘.

Satisfaction (1-10): 8

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