Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hanging Grapevine Lamp Tutorial

Hello everyone.  Truly hope you enjoyed the last big hurrah of summer better known as Labor Day.  We swam, we ate, we enjoyed the day with family.  Now, it's time for all things fall.  Bring it on!!

Last week we spent some time getting to know the new area we are living in a little better.  We checked out some of the stores and we found a really great little antique mall.  Of course, I had to go in and have a "look see."  And, of course, I found something that called my name and had to come home with me.  I wasn't really sure what it was and neither was the lady who helped us.  It was a huge basket with a beautiful design and very rustic.  When she took it off the wall, I noticed some stenciled letters that said Farmer's Burley on one side and Paducah, Kentucky, on the other.  Oh happy day!  It was a tobacco basket.  I had heard of them, but never seen an actual basket.  It is quite large, 39.5 x 39.5 inches and much heavier than it looks.  I did some research on them when we got home and found they were used to display rolls of tobacco leaves on auction floors.  They were made in the northeastern part of the country and Yadkin County was the "capital" of tobacco basket production.  Here is a link if you would like to read about how these beautiful baskets were made.  It is very fascinating how they were made.  www.journalnow.com/.../article_d08c29a7-35b3-5b75-9493-3c978f6d5.

 Here is my basket hanging on the wall.
When decorating, it seems that one thing always leads to another somehow.  There had been a small lamp sitting on the hutch previously.  The basket curves outward and now the lamp would not fit.  OH NO!  The lamp is vitally important to our dining area since there is no overhead light (don't ask me why).  There really, really needed to be a lamp on that side of the room.  Solution?  A hanging lamp.  If you haven't looked for hanging lamps, there aren't many available and not the look that I wanted.  Now, I had to make what I wanted so the hunt was on.

In the recesses of my brain, I knew that stores like Pier 1 and World Market had paper lanterns with separate sockets used to hold the light bulbs.  First stop, World Market.  Voila!  They had just what I wanted for only $12.00.
I love rustic, but a bare bulb was not in my plan.  I needed something for a "shade", but what?  I looked in several stores at baskets, but nothing was "it".  So, I headed to Michael's.  Surely there was something I could find in there.  I looked at baskets, even at a bird cage that was a possibility.  Then, I found a big grapevine ball that was "the look", but not big enough.  Rats.  Now what?  I was in the floral department, so I really started looking at all possibilities and then, ("cue magical music") I found exactly what I wanted.  Yes, there were stars and little birdies flying around.  No, not really, but there could have been I was that excited.  The "stuff" was called grapevine ribbon and was only $2.99 a roll.  It is 4 inches wide and wired on the top and bottom so it could be shaped.  Wahoo!  Two rolls were purchased and we headed home.  This is how it looks unrolled.
It is super tough to get a good picture, but it is open and rustic and just what I wanted.  And, wired.  Did I say wired?  It is shapable and that is the best part!  I already had some copper wire that comes on a spool like you find in the jewelry making section at Michael's and it was perfect for wiring the "rounds" of the shade together.  It's just a few dollars a roll, comes on a spool like thread, and comes in gold, copper, or silver.

First, I made the bottom round the diameter that I wanted so it would fit in the corner of the room.  The bottom round is 12 inches in diameter on my lamp.  You could make yours any diameter you want.  It will just take more "ribbon" if you make yours bigger.  I wired the ends of the first round together with the copper wire.
Remember, this is rustic so it doesn't have to be perfect.  Next, I made another round the same size as the bottom, wired the ends together and then wrapped the two rounds together using more copper wire, wrapping it around the bottom of one round and the top of the other.  If you look closely, you can see the wire.

Then, I made one more round and wrapped it to the second row in the same fashion using the copper wire.  My shade has 3 rounds total.

To hold the socket in place, I cut a piece of the grapevine ribbon long enough to go across the top of the shade and hang over just a bit on each side.  I wired it in place, then cut another piece and placed it perpendicular to the first piece and wired it in place.  The top looks like a plus sign.

I threaded the cord attached to the socket from the inside of the shade through the top and realized the socket would pull through.  To hold the socket in place, I wired the grapevine together to keep that from happening.

 It took me about an hour to put this together.  I added a frosted globe type bulb, hung the lamp and plugged it in.  The lamp weight practically nothing!
I was doing a happy dance.  It was exactly what I wanted.  Rustic, open, provides plenty of light to the corner of the room and it looks fantastic with the tobacco basket.  I don't know about you, but I really, really love when a plan comes together.   And the best part is the lamp cost less than $25.00 including the bulb.  
This grapevine ribbon is fantastic and could be used in a myriad of ways.  Now, it's time to start decorating for fall and I can see lots of uses for it.   Have you started decorating yet?

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Sometimes, it takes a little ingenuity to come up with a "look" that you want.   It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated, just may take a little creativity.  Always look at what you already have and perhaps it can be used in a whole new way.  donna