Holiday weekend greetings everyone! I apologize for the delay in posting this project, last week just slipped through my fingers, time wise. So, finally, here is the project I previewed last time, a new gorgeous drum shade! Created from hundreds of black and white ‘rosettes’ glued to the trusty Ikea Lobbo shade, can anyone guess what the material is? I’ll reveal after this photo…
So, any guesses? Did anyone think, plastic bags?! Yep, that’s right, I used plastic bags from my local grocery store to create this fun new drum shade. Some of you might remember my previous plastic bag light from my 30x30x3 project, and I used the same black and white bags for this new light. (In fact, given the success of this shade I’ve started collecting them in ernest, and I swear I get dirty looks in the checkout line from eco-friendly shoppers with their reusable bags in hand and I keep wanting to turn to them and explain that I have a project planned, and I’m normally eco-friendly at the supermarket too!) I’ve actually had this light in the back of my mind for a while now, or at least the idea of doing some sort of drum shade version of my plastic bag light, but it wasn’t until recently that I had the time to do any sort of experimentation.
Originally I was thinking of trying to do a light that looked more similar to my original pendant, with lots of small strips and pieces of plastic, like a shag carpet. But, after a few hours of frustration and way too many little pieces of plastic to count, I gave that idea up. So, I started brainstorming what other shapes or ideas I could create, and I eventually came up with this rosette scheme.
Essentially I cut the bags into long strips, rolled them loosely into rosette sort of shapes, and then glued them to the shade. I alternated between dabbing glue directly onto the bag rosettes, and smearing glue on the shade first and then pressing the rosette into place and honestly they both work equally well and equally poorly, if that makes sense. There’s really no good way to do it, but like with all of the paper projects, each rosette is very light weight so as long as there is some connection with the glue its not going to pull away and fall off without some strong help from someone with opposable thumbs. (Though I guess Basel could probably cause a good bit of damage with his teeth, if I gave him the opportunity…)
I really love how this shade turned out with the black and white color palette, but I’m also equally excited about the future possibilities, both in size and in color! I’ve already started collecting bags from all sorts of places and am brainstorming other options. For instance our local pet store has nice bags with a gray and yellow graphic that would look pretty, either alone or mixed in with the black and white. A friend saved a bunch of raspberry pink bags for me, as well as some lime green ones. Then there are Zabar’s bags (a famous local NYC deli) that are white and orange, plus ones from another big grocery store Fairway that are sometimes white with a big black and orange graphic (they sometimes use a blue and white graphic instead.) I also think a completely multi-colored light could be cool too.
One caveat is that the bags I had were of a slightly thicker and sturdier plastic than traditional supermarket bags. They are opaque, and almost slightly milky in texture, if that makes sense. I’m not saying that thinner plastic bags wouldn’t work, but I think the look would probably be somewhat different, less structured and more crumpled, if that makes sense. You could also try more crumpled looking rosettes if you intentionally wanted that look, but personally I liked seeing the swirly shapes that were created.
So I hope this project was worth the wait, and maybe helped give people a bit of inspiration! Personally this is my favorite sort of project, one that reminds us all that you can create really gorgeous design, without needing to spend money on fancy materials. Just buy a quart of milk!
Ciao, and happy President’s weekend to everyone in the USA! Allison
P.S. If it seems like I was a bit skimpy on the tutorial aspect of this post, well, I was. Unfortunately I’ve felt a bit burned recently, when someone else on Etsy started selling lamps just exactly like my artichoke book page lights. I know that the technique isn’t groundbreaking or anything, but its still a pretty unique item to sell and while I tried to think positively that being copied meant that I had officially ‘made it’ to be honest, it still bothers me. So while I still want to share my projects and how I made them with all of you wonderful, loyal readers, I guess I’m currently feeling a bit hesitant about giving away all of my secrets. (At least for projects I’m also selling on Etsy, like this one.) I hope you understand, and if you are hoping to make your own version of this project for your own purposes, and have any really pressing questions please don’t hesitate to email me at the3Rsblog@gmail.com. And of course, thank you all for being such a wonderful audience, always.