DIY colorful table lamp

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DIY Lamp Makeover - Colorful Lamp

I haven’t done a DIY blog post in a while, so I thought I’d participate in a new challenge with my creative Instagram friends. This time, the challenge was to transform a thrifted piece into something for your home, and then show how we would style it in our home. So I set off to my local Indianapolis area Goodwill store to see what I could find.

Mismatched Lamp and Shade

So when I browsed the aisles of Goodwill, I spotted this bright green lampshade with fairly modern lines. I liked it but wasn’t sure if the green color would match my home. And I knew that my office could use a table lamp for my side table, so next I sought a lampshade to match. Next, I spotted this ivory lampshade which appeared to be the right size, but had amber-colored beads on it. It was brand new, and still in the shrink wrap, so for $3.99 each, Since I thought that was a good deal, I snapped it up and headed to the checkout.

Green lamp base - subject of my colorful DIY lamp project
My $3.99 Goodwill find. It had a great shape so I knew it would work as my colorful table lamp in my home office.
My thrifted lamp shade in ivory with beaded trim
My thrifted lamp shade in ivory with beaded trim. Not my style, so I planned to refurbish it with a little colorful trim or style.

A Little Spray Paint Will Do the Trick

I knew that I wanted to change the color of my lamp, even though I did like the current color. But because I’m trying to keep my budget low for this project, I decided to look in my stash of spray paint to see if I liked any of the colors in there before buying any new spray paint. After looking, I found this can of pale green spray paint called Satin Pistachio and knew it was the perfect hue for my colorful table lamp. It was also a matte spray paint, which I liked better than the shade of shiny green that the lamp currently had. And best of all, it was FREE.

Krylon Satin Pistachio was the perfect color to transform this colorful table lamp.

The New Lamp Base Color Complete

After taping off the lamp cord and base so that it wouldn’t ruin the components, I took the lamp outside on a sunny day and sprayed a little more than one coat of paint on the lamp. I really liked how this spray paint performed. Normally, I have issues with running and drips. However, like it says on the can — it really doesn’t drip or run. I was very happy with the result. It’s a very subtle difference but good!

Spray painted lamp in Krylon Satin Pistachio
I’m loving the color and finish of this lamp now that it has been spray painted a pistachio green.

Moving on to the Lampshade…

Next, I turned my attention to the lampshade. After removing the plastic wrap, it appeared to be in good shape. I was really looking for a drum lampshade, but this bell lampshade was all I could find. Therefore, it would have to work. I didn’t care for the amber bead trim, even though I knew this was adding expense to the lamp, so I removed the beads with a pair of scissors.

cutting off the beaded trim of my lampshade
I removed the beaded trim from this lampshade fairly easily. They just didn’t vibe with the colorful table lamp style I envisioned.

Painting the Lampshade

Now what I discovered about painting lampshades, is that 1) you can indeed paint them, and 2) it’s actually best to use an acrylic or chalk paint rather than spray paint. I knew that I wanted a brighter white look for this lampshade than the creamy ivory color that it currently had. Thus, I had to paint it. So I took it down to my basement and quickly painted it with a few coats of a bright white paint. Rather than buy it new, I just used some door and trim paint that I already had from a previous project. It went on smoothly and easily, and dried in a few hours.

white lampshade with green painted lamp base
Here is what the lamp and shade looked like with their new colors. I could have stopped here but wanted to add a bit more color.

Adding Trim to my Colorful Table Lamp

My home office has a multi-colored area rug, and I wanted to bring more of those colors into the lamp. At first, I thought about using some fabric floral appliques I had found on clearance from JoAnn Fabric. However, I didn’t think it looked quite right when I lined them up to the shade. Then I remembered I had purchased some colorful, rainbow yarn a while back. I wondered how I could embellish the lamp with that?

Braiding the Yarn for a Colorful Trim

Next, I divided the colors of the yarn and created several long strands of them to braid. Taking about six strands of multiple colors, I then began to braid them together. It was just like braiding hair, only with fewer tangles and no brushing. 🙂 I liked how all of the colors blended well together. Before long, I had enough of a braid to wrap all the way around the top and bottom of my lampshade for trim. I knotted off the ends on each side and was ready for attaching them to my lampshade.

colorful braided yarn trim for lampshade
The braided yarn was a simple step. The yarn looks so small here, but it was actually fairly thick when I was done braiding it.

Hot Gluing the Trim

I got out my trusty hot glue gun to finish the job, cutting and knotting off the braid after I’d measured all the way around the base of the lampshade. I had just enough, with a little more to spare. It only took a few minutes to add the knotted rainbow trim to the edge of the lampshade with hot glue.

DIY colorful table lamp - with yarn embellished lamp shade
And here is how the lampshade looked immediately after I hot glued the braided yarn trim. I just love the colors of the yarn together.

The Final Reveal of My DIY Colorful Table Lamp

And here is how my new, colorful table lamp looks in my home office. I am happy with the final result. It was a fairly simple process to tape and spray paint the base. Really, I could have trimmed the lamp out with ribbon or pom poms, tassels or any other item I found around my house. I like the clean look of the braided yarn. What do you think? Since it’s Fall here, I have paired my lamp with a colorful art print that says “Thankful” and a previous DIY from last Fall, my pumpkin yarn. It was one of my previous pumpkin transformation blog posts. To sum it up, you can easily create something new with something old or secondhand. Sometimes it just takes some creativity and ingenuity. This entire project was under $10, so I’m pretty happy with the result.

Seeing this colorful table lamp, along with my rug and decor makes me happy. I love how simple it was and how it turned out.

My other talented DIY Friends:

Check out what thrift-store or secondhand items my Instagram friends transformed on their blogs. Click the links below to discover their treasures and how they changed them (click the links or photos below to see each transformation):


Dayna at A Vintage Flare Farmhouse: Thrifted Decor
The House House: Trash to Treasure Console Table
Cloches and Lavender: Ironstone Thrifted Finds
Laura with Harper Home Designs: Vintage Pottery Vases
Jessica Simmons: Thrifted Fall Mantel
Emily at Le.Cultivateur: Vintage Dresser Beautified
Tara at Stilettos and Shiplap: Vintage French Mirror

trash to treasure console table
Trash to Treasure Console Table
French mirror
Vintage Pottery Vases
Thrifted Fall Mantel
Thrifted Fall Mantel
Thrifted Decor
Thrifted Ironstone
Vintage dresser
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Susan Young

Susan Young

Susan is a Midwest mom of two and lover of all things colorful in the home. She works with homeowners to find their unique style and color palette while keeping their budgets and lifestyles in mind. Follow her on social media, where she shares her latest colorful projects and inspirations.

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