Ugly Lamps … Where are they now?

Another friendly reminder that the UGLY LAMP CONTEST is coming! I am still accepting submissions until Aug. 21st, so if you have an ugly lamp in your life, take a glamour shot of that sucker and send it to me!  Details here.

But before I assault your eyeballz with full on fug, lets do a few warm ups with some formerly ugly lamps.  These lamps used to suffer from awkwardness and general unattractiveness, but they are smokin’ hot now. I imagine them confidently strolling into their 10 year reunions all nonchalant while all the other lamps who were mean to them in high school jaws drop.

This lamp from Sonya used to be that hippie girl in school who went barefoot a lot and sewed her own clothes.

Gold, Black and White Striped Lamp Before


Gold, Black and White Striped Lamp

Now she’s a high powered fashion industry executive who moonlights as a back-up dancer for Madonna. (In my imaginary world lamps do these types of things, what?) See more at At Home with the Barkers.


Valerie’s lamp was a bit of late bloomer.

White and Aqua Bottle Lamp Before


White and Aqua Bottle Lamp

She didn’t develop her curves until much later.  (Rumor has it that she’s been … artificially enhanced). Is it true?? Get the scoop on Valerie’s blog at Home Made Modern.


And lastly, Tania’s lamp finally grew up and graduated from her ‘grunge phase.’

Thrifted Lamp Makeover


Thrifted Lamp Makeover After

Who knew she was such a natural beauty underneath all along?! I wonder if she’s single.

See more at Little Vintage Cottage.


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Scavenger Stunt

“Hey, don’t throw that away! I can use it for SOMETHING!”

Has your spouse ever uttered these words? Are YOU guilty of overusing this phrase? Don’t worry. Joan from Scavenger Chic and I are here today to help you find inspiration so you can finally spring into action!

Step one: grab that junky thing you’ve kept lying around for way too long. Step two: turn it into a lamp.


Shutter Lamp Before


Shutter Lamp After

Tada! How easy was that? Pretty easy, if you know your way around a jigsaw and a nail gun and a lamp kit.

Or, here’s another approach for those of us less inclined to fiddle with electricity.

Step one: grab that junky thing you’ve kept lying around for way too long. Step two: turn it into a lantern!

Shutter Lantern Before


Shutter Lantern

This is what Joan did with the leftover parts of the shutters after she had stripped them to create her lamp. Joan is ROCKIN it! Come to my house Joan and let’s tackle my piles of junky stuff next!

See the lantern how-to on her blog Scavenger Chic.

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All of the lights

I went to the gym for the first time in weeks a few days ago, and I am so incredibly, unbelievably sore today. I can’t even explain how sore I am. But I’ll try, so you can feel maximum amounts of sorry for me. I am so sore, I literally can’t walk down the stairs. I have to cling to the banister and ease one unsure foot down at a time. I can’t stand up or sit down without aggressively howling in pain. If I drop something on the floor, it’s dead to me. I have never been more sore in my entire life. Ever. Obviously working out is bad for you and don’t do it. That’s the moral of this story.

I’m so sore, my fingers can barely type, but I’ll push through for you.  #brave

Today we’re talking about lights, and how fun they are to makeover. Here is an especially fun one from Ronda at Batchelors Way.

Rustic Bedroom Lighting Before 1


Rustic Bedroom Lighting

A fabric-filled frame as a ceiling medallion?! So clever! She stripped the mini-shades and recovered them in chicken-wire for some rustic-chicness, then antiqued the fixture for even more rustic-chicness-goodness.


Beck figured she could find something to do with this light fixture when she spied it on sale for a mere $3. Three bucks? That’s crazy! The last thing I bought for three bucks was a burrito.

White Lighting Makeover Before

White Lighting Makeover |

She disassembled it, painted the brassy parts silver, painted the wooden parts white, and hung it in her kitchen. I tried that with my burrito, results were disastrous.

See it at work on her blog Beckwith’s Treasures.


And finally, here we have one of those outdated light fixtures that are prolific at the thrift-stores. Kelley liked the brass and scalloped shape, but not so much the etched flowers on the glass. She came up with a quick, colorful solution …

Aqua Mod-Podged Light Fixture Before


Aqua Mod-Podged Light Fixture Makeover |

fshe modddsFabric and mod-podge! She secured the fabric to the underside of the glass for easy cleaning, and the grand total was right around $15. Some people were worried about her using fabric so close to a light bulb, but aren’t most lampshades made of fabric anyway? She has had it hanging up for a year now and reports there have been no problems.

Soo many possibilities with this technique! See more from Kelley on her blog  E3ONE.

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A Tale of Two Pretties

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. Or something like that.

This is the tale of two thrift store lamps, plain, outdated, and cast aside. But not for long.

Friends Naomi and Sage from Plaster & Disaster bought the lamps and challenged each other to a lamp-off. Each would take one and make it over in her own style.

Two Lamps, Two Designs |
Two Lamps, Two Designs (Naomi) |

For Naomi, this meant high-gloss black contrasted with a glamorous gold-dipped look. I love how she filled the ridges in on the bottom with wood filler before applying the gold. It makes it look authentically ‘dipped’ and not just painted. Fabulous!


Two Lamps, Two Designs (Sage)|

Sage also opted to smooth out the ridges on her lamp by sanding the entire thing. It got a coat of turquoise paint, then she layered on thin coats of gold using a mix of paint and water, which she sprayed on with a squirt bottle. Very cool technique! It gives it a shimmery ceramic look.

What fun! I want to have a lamp-off. Who’s with me? You know what else I’ve always wanted to do? I’ll tell you. Find some completely hopeless items at the thrift-store and have a competition to see who can improve them the most.

I would choose a few participants and send them their ‘mystery’ item in the mail, then they would report back with their efforts and we would all vote and have a good laugh.  Oh man, the more I talk about it, the more I want to do it.  Would anyone be interested in that? Let me know. I think we should make it happen.

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