chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Lamp

The director of my local library requested donations from local artisans for the library’s silent auction. Hmm, what could I make? I immediately went to my project board on Pinterest to see what I could find. It seemed like a book-related piece would be the most appropriate. As everyone knows, I love old books and I love the idea of upcycling. I also have experience with silent auctions and know that people are really out looking for a bargain. Many times valuable items go for a small fraction of their value. I wanted to create a quality piece that didn’t cost a lot to produce. I checked out my supply of stuff on my shelves and I think I found the perfect project.
While working on a budget, I still wanted to make sure that my project would be worthy of being amongst real artisan offerings so I decided to take it one step at a time and make my decision whether or not to proceed after each step. The first step was to paint the books. I saved money by using paint that was already on my shelves. I sanded the books and applied the paint in several layers including sponging and antiquing to give the books an interesting look. The first step worked out well so I moved on to using decoupage to apply the fancy text to the spines, adding more visual interest.

Pleased with the design of the books, it was time to move on to the real nuts and bolts of the project. A lamp isn’t much good without a light bulb that actually lights up. Tom is so generous with his time and talents. He always finds a way to help me accomplish my creative goals. Wanting to make this a true upcycle project, I used an old silver lamp that my daughter no longer wanted. It was the perfect shape and size. It did take some maneuvering on Tom’s part to drill through all three books so the silver tube could be inserted. The books got a little scuffed up and I debating about moving forward but once I calmed down, I decided that this just added to the shabby chic style of the books. A little extra paint here and there and I was back on track.

I found a little lampshade at one of my second hand shops and knew it would be the perfect size. And for $.75, the price couldn’t be beat. I painted it up using the same colors I used on the books so that it would coordinate. The trim on the lampshade was the most expensive part of the project. I found the perfect trim at Joann’s but it was a bit pricey. I took advantage of the long line at the register and pulled up a 40% off coupon on my phone. Score! I’m really pleased with how the project turned out and hope it does well at the auction. It’s one thing to give projects away but putting one up for sale is nerve wracking!
It was fun to put this project together on a budget. I’ll be curious to see how well it does at auction. If you want to make your own lamp, you can find a great tutorial here. I modified the material list a bit so that I could use what I had on the shelves to save a little money. Check out your shelves and see what’s hanging around for your next project!