Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Reveal // Cork Fabric Lampshade

In yesterday's post, I gave you a little background into my new obsession with cork as a textile. While I had certainly taken notice of cork as a wall covering, I had sort of filed that into the "paper" category and not really considered that cork could also be called a fabric.

As these things often go, what really sealed the deal was the research I did into a DIY born of necessity- I simply wanted something that was simply out of my budget and so I was determined to find a way to make it.

The thing is, I was struggling with these lamps, purchased originally with brown shades. They were one of the first things we bought when we moved into Holtwood House, well before I had a real design plan for the space. They felt right for the first couple of months, but then they suddenly didn't. I tried to remedy the situation by painting the shades black and for a time, this temporarily satisfied my discontent. But in the grand scheme of things, I felt like the colors in the lamp were dictating how I approached decorating the room, which was starting to lead to other bad purchases. With all the dark colors and our original flagstone fireplace, the room felt heavy and completely at odds with the rest of our house.

I immediately considered new lamps, but in the end I decided that spraying the lamps white would help me find the neutral in this space. Let me just preface my paint job by saying that these were not expensive heirloom ceramic lamps and though I waffled on whether or not to paint over the colorful glaze, I pulled a play out of any good designer's book and decided that if they were not working for me, then they had to go.

But that's when it all started.  I got the idea for cork shades to pair with my freshly painted white lamps and couldn't shake it. Trouble is, as beautiful as they are, they are also priced out of my budget range - and I needed two.

Searches for 'rolled cork' eventually lead me beyond expensive manufacturers to a little Etsy shop hailing right out of the land where cork is made. I paid US$70 for two Meters of cork fabric, well enough for my 18" drum shades and then some.  When it arrived, I could not believe how much it felt like buttery leather, very much a fabric and not like paper.

There are a lot of lampshade tutorials out there, so I won't go into how I set out to make them here. I referred to this one with great success.  However, I was worried that the cork would fall apart the minute I began to cut out my forms, but it was surprisingly easy to work with. 

After painting the lamp bases white (Krylon Fusion only for glazed ceramic lamps), I was finally able to add the shades. I also pulled two lucite finials from elsewhere in the house to polish these off.

The lighter, brighter lamps with cork shades make such an impact in the room and with the exception of the cork fabric I ordered, this was a project was really based on working with what I already had on hand. 



Anonymous said...

Your lamp makeover looks wonderful :) And I must say thank you for opening my eyes to a new textile! Who would have thought cork could double as a fabric?

Raiana Schwenker said...

ooh I love the look of that! Totally awesome you figured out a way to do it yourself a bit cheaper

Rai Atelier-shop

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

OMG!!!! I love it!! You did such an amazing job! I love the look of cork, its kind of earthy and soulful. Great addition.

celine [starbies and sangrias] said...

fantastico. bravo.

Trissta said...

Looks awesome!

Much Love,

Leah said...

wow! love what you've done here. the cork is really beautiful!

Ryann Swan {Shades of Chic} said...

what a great DIY! super inspirational. thank you for sharing!

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