When I moved into the new house late last year I didn’t have any furniture. Literally none. Luckily for me my family came to the rescue and provided me with all the basics. One of those basics was a lamp. It’s a pretty decent looking lamp but came with an ugly-faded-pinkish-coloured shade. I should have just popped to the shop there and then and bought a new shade to replace it, but you know how these things go – you’re moving into a new place, everything’s crazy and all over the place, and before you know it the lamp has been on a table in the living room for months now and you’ve gotten used to it being there.
But then recently I rearranged all of the furniture in the living room which brought the lamp back to my attention. I really needed to change that shade. That’s when something popped into my mind, something I’d seen on Pinterest (yes, Pinterest again!) and I decided a DIY Map Lampshade was the way to go.
It was ridiculously simple and took me no longer than an hour to complete the whole task. It’s not by any means perfect and if I made another one I would take longer to work out the small details better, but this being the first time I’ve attempted anything like this I really love how it’s turned out.
All you need is a cheap white lampshade, an old map (I found an old ordnance survey map of Exeter in a charity shop), some PVA glue, and scissors and pencil etc.
Lay your map out.
Turn it over and roll the lampshade as you follow it with your pencil. Use the seam of the lampshade to know where to start and finish. Do this with the top and bottom.
Cut out the shape.
Roll the cut out map section around the shade to see how it fits, and hold it in place with clothes pegs once you’ve lined it up correctly. At this point it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit absolutely perfectly because you can always trim excess later (which is what I did) or if you have any small gaps around the top or bottom then you can add a bit of ribbon as a trim to hide them.
Then working in about 4-5 inch sections begin to glue the map down. Apply the glue to the shade and make sure to get a smooth even coating before laying down the map. Smooth the map with the palm of your hand to work out any large bubbles. Keep turning the lampshade and repeating this process until the entire map has been glued.
Using your thumb, go over the whole lampshade smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles from the glue. Really take your time with this part as I found it made a big difference to the final appearance of the lamp. My map came folded and had a lot of worn in creases that I couldn’t remove but because they are perfectly straight lines all running in the same direction, I don’t think it looks too bad.
The smaller details I mentioned earlier that I should have spent more time on were the joining edges of the map (I did not line them up perfectly and just glued one edge over the other, which looks fine in daylight but not wonderful when the lamp is switched on) and to also try to line those edges up with the seam of the lampshade. When the lamp is switched on this always leaves a dark line and the joining edges could be well hidden along it. Unfortunately I didn’t do either of those things so I’ve turned that section of the lamp to face the wall!