Tuesday, 5 November 2013

concrete lamp shade....

 DIY...



In-between all my Halloween preparations over the last few weeks, I finally got around to doing this project: Making this concrete lampshade! Ever since I came across this tutorial from Ben Uyeda at Brit+co, I have wanted to try this...I even had a practice round in playing with concrete and cement when I made my concrete and cement planters earlier this summer...
Having finally done it, I now wonder why it took me so long...as this really isn't as tricky as it may sound...



I have always had a love for concrete: The way it looks: All those different shades of grey...(maybe even more than 50...he he), the rustic-ness of the finish, with bubbles and cracks...and I love the way that if feels: rough and cold to touch.
Where I grew up in Norway, we have a little bridge, paved in concrete, crossing the fjord to another island....and as a child I used to love running barefoot over the bridge on a hot summers day, just to feel the warmth of the concrete under my feet...and then there is the soft scent created by the first raindrops falling onto the hot concrete...indescribable and intoxicating!!
I love concrete!

So today I want to show you how I did it...


 You will need:

1large plastic soda bottle
1small plastic soda bottle
concrete mix
water
bowl
drill with 8ml & 2ml drill bit 
swag light kit
8ml threaded tube and nuts (I got mine from here)
empty soup tin (or similar)
wooden spoon (or similar)
scissors
Stanley knife
screws


The first thing you'll need to do is prepare the "mould" for making the shape of the lamp shade:




 This is where the two soda bottles come in...
Drill a 8ml hole in the bottle tops.(this is easier if they are still screwed on to the bottles).
Then cut the bottom of the larger soda bottle...
Fix the threaded tube into the bottle tops with the nuts... start with the larger one, attach the bottle then, reaching in to the bottle, attach the other bottle top and screw the small bottle in......you'll want there to be about an 1,5" distance in-between the two bottles...
Use the soup tin to hold the bottles upright in.
At the edge of the large bottle drill 3 small holes, to thread some screws into to stabilize the structure and ensure there is an even gap between the two bottles.

Now you are ready for the concrete:


                                                         
  The Brit+co tutorial said to use "quickcrete", which unfortunately is not available here in the UK. So first I tried using cement, but found that this was not a strong enough mix....so in the end I used multipurpose concrete mix from Wickes, which worked just fine, but must be left for at least 24 hours to cure...
Whatever concrete mix you can find, just follow the instructions on the pack with regards to mixing...
Spoon the mix into the gap between the two bottles...shake and tap the bottles as you go to ensure the mixture goes all the way down to the bottom...


Leave to cure!



 

Taking the concrete out of the bottle mould...



First: remove the screws.


Cut away the large plastic bottle..


Unscrew the bottle top, and remove.




Squeeze the small bottle until it comes way from the walls inside of the concrete, then twist to unscrew from the bottle top inside...



There you have it: your concrete shade...


Decorating...


 

You can of course leave your shade bare, but
I thought I'd add a bit of gold leaf to mine, as I love the contrast between the opulent gold and the rustic concrete...
I am no expert on gold-leafing, but I simply painted a thick layer of craft PVA glue onto the area I wanted to gold leaf....left it for 5-10 minutes until just slightly tacky, then carefully placed sheets of gold leaf on top of the glue...using a soft brush to very gently push the gold leaf onto the glued areas...Then use the separation sheets from your gold leaf book, lay them on top of the gold leaf then use your fingers to rub over to fix the gold leaf into the glue...
Note: If you have any gaps in your gilded areas, overlap with more gold leaf...leave any excess hanging off alone at this point...
Set aside to "cure" overnight..


The next day, use a soft brush to brush away any excess...

 

Finishing touch...

 


I sprayed the inside of the lamp shade with a metallic gold spray paint...
(here in the UK the Rust-oleum gold is the best of the lot), then used my palm sander with 40grit sand paper to smooth and even out the edge of my concrete shade...







Next up is the wiring of your concrete lamp:


You'll need something to suspend your lamp from...I used this shelf bracket from Ikea, and drilled some holes to thread the wire trough...
Use a swag light cord kit without a switch...I found one from cordsncables...
Take the plug off your cord, then simply thread through the concrete shade and the shelf bracket, before re-attaching the plug... I learned how to re-wire a plug here.

....and that's it....a designer look concrete lampshade for just over £20...



Cost breakdown:

threaded tube £4.50
Swag light cord kit £ 7
Concrete mix £6 (and with lots left over for other projects)
IKEA shelf bracket £3 
+
decoration



I love my new concrete lamp...It now illuminates the previously dark corner by my new gallery wall!

If you like the look of concrete, I hope you will give this a go...
I have also made some matching home accessories that I will show you in my next post..so please pop back later in the week to check it out!!

I love to hear your thoughts on my projects, and will of course answer any questions you might have asap...just leave a comment below!

xxx
June



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey June, I tried to do the lamp, but unfortunately I couldn't get the inner Bottle out. It doesn't unscrew from the bottle top inside. Thanks for your help.

june olsen said...

Hi! Sorry you couldn't get it to work...how about using some clay or play-dough around the inner bottle top, so that there is more room for maneuvering when you come to unscrewing the inner bottle? I remember finding this bit a bit of a struggle too....I hope you will try again and that next time is more successful! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will try it again, it's such a good idea!

Accountants London Lady said...

This is so distinctive and cool! Certainly a lot easier than trying to install something with actual concrete!

Nathan said...

Nice article.

june olsen said...

Thanks Accountants London Lady and Nathan! :)

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