If gaudy, over-the-top and sparkly aren’t your style, you may not want to read (or look) further. If the repurposing of vintage jewelry would be deeply upsetting to you, please click away.
Otherwise, let’s take a look at the prettiest, sparkliest lampshade that I’ve ever seen!
The quest for dramatically embellished lampshades began when I spotted this amazing vintage pottery lamp at an antique store in Texas last January. I was antiquing with my sister and it took me two seconds to snap this cutie up. Then six months later I found a similar lamp on Etsy and ordered it for my husband’s bedside table. They’re a cute coordinating pair.
In my mind, I imaged the lamps paired with lovely faux flower adorned shades—something similar to this Anthropology shade that I’d been in love with for the better part of a decade:
Although I still loved that Anthro shade, it wasn’t exactly the right size or color combo for my room (and they also stopped selling it many years ago). What I really imagined was a lamp shade bedecked with handmade wool felt flowers and possibly some botanic-themed embroidery.
I pulled out my collection of vintage flower brooches last week for an Instagram post I was working on and the idea hit me—why not use the brooches for my lampshade?
I had already found the perfect shade for $1.00 at a local thrift shop and I figured it would be a fun experiment if nothing else. When I bought the shade, it was very dirty and had some stains, so I gave it a quick clean before painting on two layers of DecoArt’s Chalky Finish Acrylic Paint in “Primitive” (I watered the paint down and allowed it to dry overnight in between coats.
It took me a while to figure out how to attach the brooches to the lampshade. This is NOT a tutorial, but I did take some photos of the process just to serve as inspiration for anyone wanting to create something similar.
To begin, I used a piece of wool felt as a base, cutting it to fit one panel of the lampshade at a time. I wanted the shade to look as if it had been unevenly “dipped” into the sparkly brooches so I cut my felt accordingly—just a thin, imperfect border on the bottom of each panel.
Next, I gave each felt panel more texture by layering it with bits of floral lace and sequin-embroidered scrap pieces. It was lucky for me that I have lots of scraps and crafty things to work with. Being a hoarder does come in handy sometimes.
After the felt had a base layer of lace on top, I carefully arranged brooches and jewelry pieces until I was happy with how it looked. It was not a very technical process. I simply played around with the pieces until the color combinations and sparkle factor met my expectations. The last step was to hot glue each jewelry piece in place and then glue the entire panel to the lampshade.
I only had enough vintage jewelry for one lamp shade (I wasn’t willing to use most of the pins from my collection—some pieces were just too special to hot glue to a lampshade) so I’ll have to figure out something else for Sam’s side of the bed.
Well, there you have it: my over-the-top floral brooch embellished lampshade. What do you think, gaudy or gorgeous?!
Note: I did remove the pin and earring backings from most of the jewelry pieces with a pair of pliers before glueing them down. If this upsets you, just know that I mostly destroyed pins that were already broken or deformed. I also destroyed many pairs of vintage clip-on earrings. They look prettier on my lampshade and no one wears clip-ons anyways, so you’ll have to forgive me.