Friday, July 17, 2009

Contemporary Shell Lamp

I thought I would start with this lamp, it's one of the first things I made and also wrote instructions for. Also, the kitchen is 1940's and I love the era, but I mostly do contemporary rooms now. No worrying about what does not belong in the scene because "They didn't make those in 19......".

This lamp is non-electric but it is easily made into an electric one. I use Cir-Kit Concepts lamp kits,

The things needed are: an auto light bulb, this one is a signal bulb, polymer clay, a toothpick, cupcake liners, a small gold bead to act at the finial on the top of the lamp and some card stock for the shade, and a flat gold bead that looks like a washer. And whatever you want to put inside the lamp, I used tiny shells.
Please read through the instructions, I usually leave something out in the items needed because I'm usually making things from what I have on hand.
Carefully cut the metal end off the bulb. I used a small triangular file for this. Please wear safety glasses for this. Sand the cut edge of the bulb after the metal part is off.
Use polymer clay for the top and bottom. I used brown to simulate wood, but you could use any color to coordinate with your room. Shape the clay to fit your bulb. I pushed the bottom of the bulb into clay so the bulb would sit right. I also made a small round bead to go the the top of the top. Make a hole through the bead to accommodate a toothpick. Bake your three clay pieces according to package directions.
While the clay is baking make the shade. Using the pattern, cut the shade shape from card stock. Glue together, for this I used Elmers, it's paper to paper and you can't beat Elmer's for this. Cut from card stock the round center for the shade. Make a hole in the center of this circle to fit the toothpick. Glue this circle inside of the shade. Let dry.
After the clay pieces are done baking and cooled you can begin to assemble the base. Glue the glass bulb to the base, making sure the bulb is straight all around. Ahhh, glue. What can I say, we all have our favorites. For this I would use something that is not flexable when dry, such as a tacky glue. For this I used Beacon's 527 glue, I bought mine from Wal-Mart. Fill the bulb with tiny shells. Glue on the top, Beacon's 527. Glue the flat gold bead, (you can make this from polymer clay and paint it gold) and then the round polymer bead you made onto the top. Let dry. Paint the toothpick a gold/brass color.
To finish the shade I used a cupcake liner because it looks like the pleated shades we have now. If you have a mini-pleater you could use it with the fabric of your choice. Make a cut between a pleat and cut out the bottom of the cupcake liner. Carefully fold along the pleats to compress them. I usually don't have to cut any excess liner off. All the liner is used to go around the cardstock shape you glued together earlier. Once you have compressed the cupcake liner, glue it to the cardstock shape, Elmer's. Over lap a couple of pleats.
Slide the finished shade onto the toothpick. Glue this assembly into the polymer clay bead on the top of your lamp. Let dry. Move the shade so that the bottom of the shade is above the top of the polymer bead. Glue the shade to the toothpick and let dry. Carefully nip off the toothpick just below the top of the shade. Glue a gold bead, round or oval, to the top of the toothpick.

I am knew to this, and the lamp shade pattern may not print out the size you need. From what I understand you can copy it into one of your programs and adjust the size. If anyone can help me with this problem, please feel free to offer suggestions. I am going to be putting patterns on the blog and need to have them the right size for you to use.

How did I do? Kris