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DIY Pendant Lamp (also: I Have a Target Problem) 

Some of my favorite DIY projects are easy, cheap, and appall my husband.

Several months ago, I was in Target buying dog food. I repeated to myself, “I am only here for dog food. I will not look at throw pillows. I will not look at throw pillows.” Well, in order to get to the dog food aisle, I had to go through home goods (that is a lie). I granted myself permission to take a tiny peek at the home goods clearance section, just in case. It is so fortunate that I checked, because there were two lamps that were PERFECT for the comforter and accent tables I bought the last time I was in Target buying ONLY LAUNDRY DETERGENT AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.

I brought the lamps home, and they were indeed perfect with the comforter and accent tables.

Shortly after welcoming the lamp pair to their new home, my husband knocked one of them off while trying to hit the snooze button for the 100th time (I’m not judging, I do it too). The spider fitter on the inside of the shade was busted, but the lamp itself was still intact so I left it alone. A couple months later, one of our dogs (Violet Banana) chewed through the cord of the second lamp.

Well, now I was down one lamp shade, and one lamp base. I combined the functional base and shade, and moved it to the guest room (meaning of course I would need to get new bedding since the lamp didn’t match, but I’ll save that for another day). I found two luscious gold lamps at Hobby Lobby for 40% off later that week, but I couldn’t bring myself to toss the fitter-less shade just yet.

After hanging on to it for weeks, I wondered if I could somehow rig it as a drum/pendant style lamp for one of the hanging lights in our kitchen. I wasn’t quite ready to tackle any actual electrical work, which ruled out the fixture above our breakfast table. I was at an unnamed hardware store buying some other things anyway, so I walked through the lighting aisles looking for a replacement spider fitter. I figured I could unscrew the existing light fixture, slide the shade with new fitter on, and then reattach everything. The associate working just stared at me like I’d lost my mind when I asked him if they carried anything like that; he said he’d never heard them called that before, but I am 96% sure that’s what they’re called.

Anyway, after I described it, he said I’d probably have to go to a specialty lighting store to find something like that. I asked if they had any thin rigid metal pieces that I could use to make something. And at that point, he for sure thought I was crazy. I decided I could probably find something online. Before I started poking around on the internet, I rummaged through Chris’ stuff in our garage, and all of my craft stuff. The last place I looked was in the kitchen, where I found a drawer full of metal kabob skewers.

I placed one across the middle of the lampshade and it just happened to be the exact length I needed. Before I placed any of the rest, I put it over the existing fixture. I put the 2nd skewer perpendicular to the 1st, and then put the 3rd and 4th parallel to the 1st and 2nd, but on opposite sides of the existing fixture in order to secure it.

No glue, no hardware, no electrical work.

I love the way it turned out, and I love the little splash of pattern it adds to the kitchen area. I do often wonder what the hardware store associate would say if I told him I used 4 kabob skewers in lieu of a spider fitter. ­čÖé

To get the look:

Ring-tip metal kabob skewers

Ikat lamp shade
You could also just wait for a dog and/or husband to break an existing lamp, which is a strategy that works great at our house!

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Bee’s Room

If I’m being honest, one of the reasons I was so excited about having a baby girl was designing a baby girl nursery (also in my top five list of reasons were baby headbands and ruffly baby clothes). Her room was truly a labor of love, and is my favorite room in our house.

We moved into our new house in June/July 2015. Her due date wasn’t until the end of September, but I knew I wouldn’t make it that far, so we didn’t bother painting. In a perfect world, I would have torn up the carpet and replaced it with hardwood floors, and the walls would have been painted a warm gray; those may both still happen in the future, but it wasn’t realistic to try to do either before she arrived.

The first purchase I settled on was the fabric for her bedding. I didn’t originally know what her bedding was going to look like, but I liked the pinks and grays in the floral fabric, and the subtlety of the gold polka dots in the other fabric. I ended up making a ruffled crib skirt using┬áthis┬átutorial, and a crib sheet using ┬áthis┬átutorial.

I had planned to be thrifty and just reuse our dark brown crib that we had from when E was a baby, but that crib just didn’t do the ruffles justice. I asked Chris if he thought it was ridiculous to buy a new crib, and he said it was less ridiculous to buy another crib than to listen to me talk about buying a new crib for months on end. So, I found one on Amazon for around $100, sold our old one for $50, and called it a win!

I bought extra fabric to use in other areas of her room, so after the bedding was finished I used the leftover floral fabric to whip up a changing pad cover, a pillow case, and a little dress for this felt cat from Makenzie’s Playhouse on Etsy.┬á

The leftover polka dot fabric was used to make basket liners. I bought 6 yellow baskets at a yard sale, spray painted them pink, and then made liners for them using a tutorial similar to this one.

The next two things to land in her room were the lamps on either side. Those lamps have traveled between several rooms in our various houses. They used to be paper lantern lamps, but one had an accident with a ceiling fan during one of our moves, and the other one had an unfortunate bath in Scentsy wax. Oops. Thanks to two rolls of wax paper that I scored for 67 cents each, my sewing machine, and an iron, I was able to save the two lamps. I cut out circles of wax paper, ironed two wax paper circles together, and then stitched the ironed circles into chains long enough to cover the light bulbs. There was a metal ring at the top of each lamp, so I left enough thread at the end of each chain to tie it on to the metal ring.It took forever to finish both lamps, but for $1.34, I won’t complain too much.

Another repurposed item was the shelf/bench next to the rocking chair. It was originally a storage ottoman, but one of our dogs put a hole in the top. I removed the lid, turned the ottoman on its side, and lined the inside with the same polka dot fabric that I used for her crib bedding. I would take a close up, but you don’t want to see the hot glue job I did!!

Once the bigger things had been tackled, I started all of the little crafty projects.
I found mismatched letters for a few dollars at Hobby Lobby, wrapped them with yarn in various shades of gray (not 50) that I already had, and made small felt flowers to glue on as accents.

I rounded up about a dozen frames that we’ve had for several years and spray painted them gray so they would fit together. The “wall art” on the wall above her crib is still a work in progress – right now it is a mishmash of scrapbook paper, fabric, a few prints that I designed (including this fun unicorn),

and some baby pictures of her.
For her surplus of scrumptious baby headbands, I disassembled a wall hanging I’ve had for probably 10 years. I replaced the picture with a fabric wrapped board, attached two rows of ribbon to the board, glued the board back in to the frame, and then glued pink craft clothes pins along both ribbons.

For months I scoured the internet for the perfect paper lanterns to make a poofy lantern display hanging somewhere from her ceiling, but I ended up making most of those too. The solid pink and the pink polka dot lanterns were a few dollars each at Target. The flowery poofs were all made with tissue paper and florist wire. The large white and gold poof was made using this┬átutorial, but with tissue paper instead of fabric. It took me at least 1000 years and a ton of glue sticks, which is why there is only one of those. ­čÖé The others were a very simple tissue paper Pom Pom poof.

Chris was my official nursery handy man. My first plan was to go curb shopping for a dresser to repurpose into a changing table/baby dresser, but Chris was worried about lead paint and other issues that come with redesigning old furniture. Instead, I found a picture of a dresser that I liked and he designed and built a dresser based on that. One day, I’ll make him write a post about his ┬áDIY dresser. I also wanted rain gutter book shelves, but Chris was afraid we’d have a maniac baby that would pull the gutters down and cut herself on an edge. Now that we’ve met our maniac baby, he’s probably right! Anyway, he styled shelves out of wood to mimic the look of rain gutters so that we’d both be happy and maniac baby would stay safe. Finally, he built a ledge shelf for me to display her yarn letters.

Here’s a list of where I found some of the goods in her nursery. If you have questions about something specific, feel free to ask!

  • Curtains – Dollar General
  • Chair –┬á$60ish from Amazon
  • Crib –┬á$144 on Amazon
  • Crib bumper –┬á$22 on Amazon
  • Changing pad –┬á$23 from Amazon
  • Floral throw pillow & gold unicorn lamp -Pillowfort by Target
  • Polka dot bins – Hobby Lobby
  • Gray/Pink/orange felt Pom poms – American Felt Company
  • Pink dresser drawer knobs – Hobby Lobby
  • Rug – Marshalls

One day, all the rooms in our house will be finished. Just in time for me to start tearing up all the carpet upstairs!! ­čÖé