Monday, March 29, 2010

17 Inspiring to be Bright: Kitchen Pendant Update

You may recall, earlier this month I had mentioned a lighting update that we had going on in our cocina {a.k.a. kitchen}. And let me tell you, we couldn't be happier with the investment and transformation.  It truly made a HUGE difference in the space, especially the featured drum pendant I scored on Ebay:

A quick refresher of the before and after:

Pretty groovy right?  Such a difference.  But, not enough for me.  Nope, I always tend to want to take things a little further, and that I did folks.

You see, when I was pendant shopping, I wanted something with a little pizazz to add some additional drama to the kitchen space.  I love bright colors and interest, if done tastefully of course.  I was really struggling to find a patterned light pendant that was in my tight budget and that matched my kitchen color and decor scheme.  However, one kept showing up in my searches online, and I really hearted it, so much so I would dream of it over and over.... sorry Johnny Depp, my dreams now consist of lamps shades....

The colors were great, perfect for my space!  The pattern was fresh and modern and fantastic!  The size was great, and the option to cover the cord with stainless steel, totally made me drool, loads and loads of drool, putting my slobbery pooches to shame.  The price tag on one of these babies in the size, colors and options I wanted?  Around $470!  Not drooling anymore, just turned into the Sahara desert in my mouth.

Which is why I went plain for under $150.  I figured I was creative enough to figure something out....

Then, one day it clicked!  I had been wanting to try putting wall decals on my lampshades for awhile now, and this lonely and boring drum pendant was the perfect guinea pig!  So I found some on one of my fav shopping sites, Etsy:

The flowers were perfect because I could pick the color I wanted to order them in {I went with light brown}, and the size variety would add perfect interest to the shade design I had in mind.  For a total of $25 after shipping, I was big time sold!

And when they came in the mail so super shortly after I had ordered them, I didn't hesitate putting them in place!  Here is how it went down:

1.  I taped up the decals with blue painters tape, around the outside of the lampshade to determine a pattern worked to my liking:

2.  For some reason, I thought I was going to be putting these on the outside of the shade.  However, when I tried to adhere the first one, there was no way it was sticking to the shade fabric, so onto the obvious plan B, sticking them to the sleek and smooth shade inside, allowing the decal to show through.  So I held the decal to the inside to see what it would like like on the outside:

And it was better than if I would have put the decal on the outside, so I was a happy girl that my mistake happened!  I re-taped the decals to the inside of the shade in the same pattern I had originally picked out in step 1.

3.  I peeled the first backing off of the decal to stick it to the inside of the lampshade.  I then, very carefully, rubbed the decal down, making sure that it would stick to the inside of the shade without peeling away when I removed the next layer of backing:

I found that pulling the backing downwards slowly, allowed the petals to stick perfectly to the inside of the shade.  Once the backing was off, the outside of the drum pendant had a pretty flower shape shadowing through:

4.  I repeated the process for all of the decals and then used an exacto knife to carefully cut the petals that were over hanging on the top and bottom of the shade.  Once completed, the inside of the shade looked like so:

That's it!  I was done in about a half an hour with all of the flower decals.  Really easy.

And the outcome?  Well, it's better than I could have hoped for!!  I really heart how during the day the look is really subtle, it lightly shows through the shade when the light isn't on:

And when the light is on, it shows through even more, which is really cool:

Of course, the show stopper is when the sun starts to go down, and the light is on:

And when it's really dark out, it gets even better yet!

Yep, I am a happy girl, once again!  I always get a little nervous when I take a gamble on a new project, but having a little faith and just getting it done, more often than not turns out fantastic results!

So there you have it!  More inspiration turned into a cheaper DIY project!  Total cost was $172 for the light fixture, shipping and decals.  Saving a total of $298.  Now that's a number I can be happy about, and start dreaming about at night!

Again, the inspiration and the outcome in a super fantabulous side by side:

Close enough for me!!  In fact, I like mine more.  Because it has my hard work in it, and I was able to customize it exactly as I wanted it!

Oh oh oh!  And the VERY best part about ALL of this!  The vinyl wall decals that I used on the inside of the lamp shade, completely peel off damage free if I ever want to change the pattern out or go back to the basics of a plain linen shade.  So this awesome transformation doesn't even have to be permanent, but it can be if I want it to be!  IHeart that kind of flexibility! 

So seriously folks!  Didn't that "brighten" your day?  Knowing that finding inspiration and making it your own on less than half the dough, is possible in so many situations?  Wouldn't you like to see more inspiration turned reality?  I know I would, so it's your turn to send me the pics to share with the amazing readers of this blog!


  1. Wow, what a wonderful idea and transformation! I love it! It's sleek, chic and cute, and I love how you can peel those babies right off if you ever get tired of them. Awesome! :)

  2. Love that idea! I have some lamp shades from Target that have the design on the inside and they are so pretty. Your so clever! :)

  3. Wow, this is exactly what I was thinking about doing with some shades on our bedroom lamps! Thanks for "guinea pigging" it for me. :)

  4. This came out fantastically!!! I love the look of the drum shade. So chic and your decals look amazing!


  5. Thanks so much for stopping by Sherry! Such an honor! :)


  6. That is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  7. I have had my eye on the exact same pendant you so beautifully recreated. Do you by any chance know if the pendant light is still available on eBay, or do you remember who or what "shop" you purchased it from? Thanks much!

  8. Hi Erin!

    Here is the link to the pendant on eBay:


  9. Have bought identical pendants and now inspired to decal my own! Thank you!!

  10. I love the stencils on this!! It looks great. I found this on Pinterest and I have shared it on my blog feature Hmm... That's Pinteresting. Would love it if you could come by and check out the feature :)

  11. Curious to see how the decals have held up. I'm worried about the heat light bulbs tend to emit and whether it will cause the decal to peel off or weld on to the fabric. Any updates?

  12. Hi Liz!

    The inside of the shade was actually a vinyl/plastic material that the decal adhered to.

    I recently pulled the decals since I am moving the drum pendant to my studio and it no longer fit with my vision for the space to keep those decals. When I pulled the decals, they were just as they were the day I put them on, looked just like new and none were peeling or rolling or melted.


  13. so no risk of flammability of the decals with being that close to a heat source? I absolutely LOVE this idea as i've been trying (unsuccessfully!) to find a light with affordibilty AND character!!

  14. Just found your blog last week, I too Heart to organize! This is pretty much the light fixture I've been looking at recently. I'm getting ready to paint the bedroom. I'm going to do this to the 2 lamp shades to tie them together for a put together look.
    Thanks for the inpiration!

  15. I know I'm way late in doing this but after hating the shade I covered with lace for about a month I came across this post and totally rocked it! Now it's my favorite thing in my living room :) thank you so much!!!!


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