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Revamping/fixing a Rice Paper Lantern lampshade

We sit out side a lot, well between floods and blazing sunshine that is, and over the years our pergola has become just like another room.  We have even put in a sink and shelving and have a set of crockery, a jug, tea and coffee and all that sort of stuff so we don't have to go back upstairs if we want a cuppa... Basically we are lazy!

We have a table there as well with a light hanging quite low over it that I put one of those really cheap paper ball like light shades over quite some time ago. I was looking at it last night thinking I really should replace that -its getting a bit grotty. The spiders like getting into it as all the bugs go for it at night. The wire is a little rusty, leaving little orange marks on the white paper - and theres a few holes from when I glued bats to it for Halloween...

I decided that instead of replacing it - I would tizzy it up a bit until the universe presents me with a cheap (or even better - free) replacement... 

Here's what I did...

First I got it down from over the table and gave it a bit of a brush down with a hand hand held soft brush.

Then I got out my paints and started painting some big purple flowers all over it with watered down acrylic paints,

Then I filled some of the holes with small flowers (the runs are part of the charm of the hand made product!!!)

added orange (to match the rust) for the flower centres,

And filled in the background with green,

And Voila - One tizzied up much better looking lampshade! It looks quite nice at night with the yellowy light inside it!

One of the problems that I came across was that you can't paint large areas of these lampshades at one time with too much paint or watery paint. They just disintegrate.You need to paint with as little paint as possible - sort of a dry brushing technique. I like the water colour effect and think if I do this again, I will paint smaller areas at a time as when large areas got too wet, the shade simply ripped as you can see in the photo. It was a very old shade in the first place that had had a hard like, but they are very thin paper and are under pressure from the coil design and from the wire that holds it all together.

Could be quite a good activty for older kids to have a go at - or even a personalised frugal present from you to a child! (but use a new one maybe..?)

I found this website with some lovely painted shades on it that you could use for inspiration or have a look at this one for even more ideas!

Score card:
Green-ness: Fixing rather than than throwing it out - very greeny!
Frugal-ness: Didn't cost a thing so free is definatly frugal!
Time cost: About 1/2 an hour
Skill level: As easy or as complicated as you want to make it!
Fun -ness: Heaps!!!


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