Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lampshade Mobile Tutorial

I love a whimsical mobile, and making them from scratch not only allows space for customization based on room themes and colors, but also can be very cost effective!
A while back, I made a butterfly mobile in purple's and grey's using the skeleton of a lamp shade. And recently, I've been at it again, making my friend Ale the closest thing she can get to having a "chandelier" in her little boy's room. Without any further adieu, here's how it's done:

Old lamp shade (You can find them really cheap at garage sales, thrift shops, and antique malls. I've never paid more than $1-3 for any of mine. Just make sure there is an actual metal frame to work with. Sometimes you'll find the material is actually holding the bars together, and that's okay because we're going to wrap the metal in this tutorial.)
Hot glue gun
1/2-1 yard of material to your liking
Scrapbook paper
Glue stick
Fishing line
Beads (optional)
Decoration for outside of frame (optional)
It's demolition time. Destroy the shade material however you please; strip it down to the metal. 
This particular frame had solid connections, but the shade I used to do the little boy mobile I featured didn't. In that case, I  secured the frame back together with masking tape. 
Rip or cut your material into 1 inch wide strips (if the strips are too wide, it will be more difficult to smoothly wrap the material around the metal frame). 
Wrap and hot glue, wrap and hot glue. Keep it tight. 
Keep going until the entire lamp shade frame is covered to your liking. 
Next, pick out your favorite scrap book paper (Hobby Lobby sales the books of it for 50% off every other week).
Decide what shape you'd like hanging from your mobile (in this case, a butterfly), find a silhouette picture of it on the internet, print it off, cut it out, and use it as your template for tracing. (If you're one of those fancy people, you can just use your  Cricut to complete this tedious part.)
Trace as many butterflies as your little heart desires (actually, however many you'd like hanging from the mobile x2) on the backside of the scrap book paper.
Cut them all out. (I used 2 different sizes, and a few different colors.)
Cut several pieces of fishing line, varying in lengths.
Coat the back side of two butterflies with your glue stick (I like the purple colored kind because it's pretty and so I can tell I did a good job.).
Put a dot of hot glue in the center of one butterfly
Position the fishing line down the center of one glue covered butterfly, then cover with the other prepared butterfly. Now you have a double sided pretty butterfly on a string! Repeat this step all the way down the fishing line, spacing the butterflies out in various places.
For the beaded fishing lines, I used the tiny jewelry making crimping beads and a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the decorative beads in place. 
Tie the decorated fishing line onto the material covered lamp shade in various places around the top.  
And for those of you that like clutter as much as I do, you can add a little extra cuteness by gluing/sewing/tying on some cloth flowers or in the boy version's case, some manly metal accents. 
Suspend this beauty from the ceiling or put it on any kind of lamp base (with the light bulb to be safe), and it's ready to entertain some wondering baby eyes!! 

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