Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lamp Shade Takes on the World

So last week's post featured jewelry pendants I made from cartographic sources, maps and atlases, I've picked up on some of my junking rounds.  Since just a tiny bit was used, I had a whole lot of maps and atlas pages left over.  

I decoupaged the illustrations from a children's atlas onto this vintage Samsonite train case.  It now sits atop the commode in our powder room.  It holds extra hand towels, soaps, and other assorted restroom supplies. 

 (Yes, that is indeed a motorcycle license plate screwed onto the seat of our commode. This is the restroom that has the license plate ceiling.  In here it works.)

Anyway, back to maps.  I decided I was ready to try the decoupage application on something other than a suitcase.  Enter the lamp shade.  This is a lamp from in the family room.  It's a nice lamp.  I've got nothing against it.   It works, it's clean, but... well... let's face it, it's a little boring.  

I removed the shade, took it out back and dusted it thoroughly.  

Next, I gathered additional supplies: decoupage mix, paint brush, and the old atlas from the mid 1960s.  

I simply brushed on the Mod Podge.

Then attached a torn sections of the atlas pages and repeated the process over and over until the shade was completely covered.  I left about 1/2 inch at both the top and bottom of the shade which I then folded over to the inside to keep the edges looking neat.

After allowing the shade to dry completely, I placed it back on top of lamp.     

It's still the same old lamp, but the updated shade gives it a unique, worldly look perfect for a travel themed room.

All photographs taken by Paulette and Jose Rodriguez.


  1. I am trying to decoupage pages from a book onto a lamp shade. but when the lamp is turned on it is pretty bad looking you can see the print on the other side of page. I tried adding a blank page underneath and I tried painting the back side of pages white. Neither of those worked. What did you do so you see only the intended side of the pages when light is on. The pictures some people post of lamp turned on are pretty hideous.

    1. Donna, I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your lamp shade project. I'm wondering if perhaps the difficult you're having is due to book pages that were too thin. The map illustrations I used for my shade were from an old library atlas. Typically books bound for library use are printed on higher quality paper than what you find in a retail store book's trade binding.
      I'm also wondering if you'd get less print showing through with a lower watt light bulb. It may not make a whole lot of difference, but worth a try.


I welcome your comments. It may take a little time for your comment to post. Thanks in advance for your patience.