Friday , 25 April 2014

A Modern Take on the Doily – $850 Lamp for less than $50

A Modern Take on the Doily
$850 Lamp for less than $50? Yes Please!

 

Hello Pretty people! We are so excited to share a project we did this past weekend. A few months ago, I came across a ceiling lamp, I absolutely loved. It was $850, and I just couldn’t justify the spend, being it was simply made of doilies. I can’t claim the quality of the lamp we DIYed is the same of the more expensive one, but I can say, we are pretty darn happy with the results!
If you want to make your own doily pendant, keep reading fellow DIYers, it’s a rewarding and messy project!

To get started, you are going to need a few things to make this project successful. Here is a list to get you started:

  • corn starch
  • balloon (we used a 40” blown up until completely round, as pictured)
  • upholstery thread (but any thread will do)
  • twine
  • drop cloth
  • school glue
  • cheap paintbrush
  • petroleum jelly
  • lamp kit
  • 24+ doilies
  • stiff stuff

We sewed the doilies around the balloon with the upholstery thread, very carefully. We simply sewed edge of one doily, to the edge of the next, with some random overlapping. Our puppy Rocket, was very curious about what we were up to, don’t mind him.

Make sure to create a space to place your bulb socket. We used some twine, and coiled it inside of a circle we cut out to create a custom fit. The image below is after we coated everything with the solution, but we wanted you to see how we prepped the space.

Once you have sewn about ¾ of your balloon, stop and do the last ¼ separately. You will join the two parts together, after you have saturated them together in the solution.
Lay down your tarp and hang your balloon from some twine above the tarp. We placed a large pipe across our kitchen, placing each end on the counter. We have seen people do similar projects using a curtain rod and chairs – it’s up to you. We do suggest however, making sure you have a large tarp laying under your hanging balloon.

Rub the balloon down with the petroleum jelly. This feels totally weird, and wrong. It kinda made us giggle.
Mix 5 oz of the school glue with 4 tbsp of the corn starch and ¼ cup of warm water together until it’s not lumpy. I got this recipe from ruffeled.com, from a string lantern they created, and it worked great!
After your solution is smooth, take a cheap paintbrush, and coat the inside of the doily clothes you just created. Try not to use more than ½ of the solution. This is the point where it’s going to get messy, very very messy.
After you have painted the inside of both the doily sheets you have sewn together, place them both on the balloon and line them up to where they connect. Sew the two sheets of doily together. Now, you are probably all dirty from the jelly and the solution, but now you are going to get realllllllly dirty. Use your fingers to cover the whole entire exterior of the doilies with the solution. Yep. Dirty.
When you are complete, let your doilies dry for about 24 hours, the pop the balloon!

When you are complete, let your doilies dry for about 24 hours, the pop the balloon!

It should look something like the image above! Use a clear coat to cover the inside and outside of your brand spanking new doily globe! Pretty neat!? Once the clear coat is dry, give it a few hours, you can connect your lamp kit, and hanging it where you like. We decided to cover the cord with twine, to give it a neutral color story, but you can do what you like! Perhaps paint it a variety of colors? Hot pink? Black? So many colors would look great with your new pendant!

It should look something like the image above! Use a clear coat to cover the inside and outside of your brand spanking new doily globe! Pretty neat!? Once the clear coat is dry, give it a few hours, you can connect your lamp kit, and hanging it where you like. We decided to cover the cord with twine, to give it a neutral color story, but you can do what you like! Perhaps paint it a variety of colors? Hot pink? Black? So many colors would look great with your new pendant!

I am Lana. He is Joey. We are both from the South. We run a blog, Joey and Lana Make a House a Home and it’s the story of how two people who know nothing about home owning make a house a home.blog ad1

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68 comments

  1. I LOVE it! Really creative idea.

  2. I totally love the lamp but I must tell you that my yorkie is named Rocket also …and looks like yours! At least what is showing.

  3. How cool is this!?! Wonder where I could put it!

  4. Very cool! My sister-in-law and I used to do a similar process to make giant easter eggs…brings back memories!

  5. Very generous of you to share this technique.
    Thank you.
    I look forward to getting down & dirty…

  6. Love, love LOVE this!!! Bookmarked:)

  7. WOW! I love this! I have so many doilies from my grandmother that I am not sure what to do with. I think this is perfect!

    Brianne
    Petalpetal and VintageChildModern

  8. Wow!! Great project! Love it!

  9. This is fanTAStic! Thanks so much for posting it! I’ve only been on the Handmadeology team for a little while, but I have to say well done. Your posts are always genuinely useful, and the team members all seem to do great quality pieces too. Nice work guys. :)

  10. Quick question – you listed “Stiff Stuff” but it’s not in the solution. You also mention adding a clear coat at the end. What clear coat is that? is it the “Stiff Stuff”. Also, is there another name for it, so I can see if there’s anything like than in Aus?

  11. What an amazing idea! Great to light up the night for a wedding…

  12. This is a great idea, now you gave me tons of new ideas to do using baloons as a base. Thank you so much for this.

  13. Gorgeous, look, gorgeous design idea, and it will not be washable? If not it’s a problem after a couple of months or so I guess?

  14. LOVELOVELOVE! Definitely will be trying this out m’self!
    ps. love your little doggy! he looks just like mine! silky terrier?

  15. awesome lamps and articles here – these are very fine pieces of lighting thankx :) cheers

  16. I’ve seen this done without having to sew the doilies together first. Just overlap the doilies as you glue them onto the balloon; this looks particularly cool if the doilies are all different sizes. It’s less work, and in my opinion, looks cooler!

  17. thats pretty cool but. wouldn’t the doily’s catching on fire because of heat cause a problem…

  18. I was very surprised how professional this looked, I would not be surprised to know that Meijer and Lutz used the same technique!
    Very nice article, or at least it was until you used the phrase
    “neutral color story”
    Then it all went woefully dreadful.

  19. When do you use the stiff stuff?

  20. Where can I purchase lace doilies? I’ve tried Walmart and no luck.

    • A great place to look for doilies is antique shops. They usually have tons of them, especially once you see a few they tend to jump out at you. Also they are usually quite inexpensive.
      Good luck. I am an antique freak, so see lots of stuff to use in projects.

    • ebay. etsy. madeit.com.au
      op shops / thrift shops
      $2 shops have them sometimes too.

  21. It doesn’t need to be this involved. You can get doilies from the 2nd hand store or garage sales. Also, you can use soft tulle and stick on glitter or fake gems to ‘spice’ it up. What I do is brush the glue only on the side that is going to touch the balloon, then I secure the doily. DON’T add the doilies on the bottom until the doilies on the top are COMPLETELY DRY! then you can tip the balloon over and apply the lower doilies. That way, they don’t get that ‘drag’ that you see in the photo. When you pop the balloon, very, very gently remove it from the doilies. If you follow this method, the ‘ball will be perfect without any drags!

  22. very creative idea.Love it!

  23. What role does the petroleum jelly play? I’ve heard of this kind of craft before but not with petroleum jelly and i’m curious!

  24. This look so messy but way worth it. I bet this lamp makes really cool shadow patterns, I can’t wait to try it!

  25. Very cool, thanks for the tutorial : )

  26. I like creative work and idea. Its a good Idea and will try also.

  27. great idea! please do not paint electrical cords tho.

  28. It’s beautiful. Very imaginative!

  29. Carolyn Timmerman

    Thank you for explaining this design. I, too, wondered what purpose the petroleum jelly serves, please? Thank you for your time. I am now a new subscriber!

  30. Thanks for sharing. Something to consider as a bridal shower gift (besides the lingerie)!

  31. What a gorgeous and simple home improvement idea!!! Thank you for sharing this!

  32. LOVE this lamp shade!!! Thank you for sharing!

  33. Great idea! Love the idea of finding something you love, and then doing it yourself! I may try a smaller version as a lampshade…

  34. I must say I’m not a fan of doilies. They are too old fashioned with my taste but there is such an elegance to this. I love how it can go in a modern room and add lightness and flow into a “boring” space.

  35. OMG! I love it! But $850? That’s crazy! &50 seems more like it.

  36. This is gorgeous. I have been trying to think of ways of making my wedding displays vintage style.. I think I will do this but with the top open a bit or closed depeding on if i can find artificial candles that use batteries. And make them with smaller balloons and table centres. I cant wait to try this at home. Im so excited :)
    And my soon to be husband and I are building a new home and I have an office and photography studio upstairs.. I think I will make this for my feature light in my office for when clients come for appointments..
    Im super excited about this :)
    Thank you so much :)

  37. Oh and stiff stuff is in a bottled called stiffen stuff.. I think you should be able to get it or something similar from most arts and crafts stores in Australia. Im going to be looking around for it when i get home in 4 weeks. I would have a look at lincraft or spotlight. Those sorts of stores :)

  38. Sorry for the many replies.. the petrolium jelly is so the glue doesnt stick to the balloon whilst it is drying. Otherwise you will end up with bits of balloon on the inside of your work or when the balloon pops and its stuck to the glue your whole project will be pulled inwards and colapse.
    I hope this helped :)

  39. Could you use normal craft glue or sugar starch?

  40. How cool is this??? I have a great idea…you could dangle Christmas mini lights inside for a really nice effect instead of the lamp kit. I use mini lights for everything when I decorate, but one tip that you might want to remember, try to buy LED mini lights because they last longer. You can get mini lights in a craft store any time, not just during Christmas!

  41. I have 2 words for the Messy factor in this project: Rubber Gloves and perhaps 2 more: Plastic Apron :) Looks cool though. :)

  42. I’m in awe! This is beautiful! It’s great seeing things you love which are too expensive and finding ways to do them yourself for much less. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Catherine Hauter

    This is nothing short of brilliant!Making one tonight for my daughters India/Morocco Bedroom. Thank you!

  44. LOVE the design .. Thank you for your articles on Etsy, as I was thinking of selling my homemade animals, sugarscrubs on there. I will look for other places to sell them.

  45. Beautiful! I love it!

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