Vintage Map Lampshade | Pretty Handy Girl
Do you want to update a plain vanilla lamp shade? Do you have a vacation you want to remember? You can do both with this vintage map lampshade!

The process to create a Vintage Map Lampshade is easy, especially if your lamp shade is close to a perfect cylinder. But, what do you do when you have a cone shaped shade? The instructions are a little more complicated, but I can show you how.

Pull up a seat and I’ll show you how to create a cool decorated lampshade. (Keep in mind you don’t have to use maps. You could use wallpaper, fabric, a poster, or anything you want!) Let’s do this.

Vintage Map Lampshade | Pretty Handy Girl

During a trip to my local thrift store, I discovered an old atlas and knew I could use it for oodles of projects. As I walked out of the store a flood of ideas came to me. One of them was to make a Vintage Map Lampshade.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

To add a vintage glaze you will also need:

 

Instructions:

Start by selecting the maps or paper you want to use. Carefully cut them out along the spine using a fresh x-acto blade — don’t let your blade get dull. (I use a new one for each project. Your cuts are much cleaner when working with a fresh blade.)

Set your pages aside for now.

To make a template for your shade, roll out a large piece of craft paper. Lay your lampshade on the craft paper. Start at the vertical seam on the shade (to give you a visual of where to start and stop) and set your pencil along the bottom edge of the lampshade.

Gently roll the shade on the paper and mark along the bottom edge of the shade.

When you reach the end, reverse your shade and draw along the top edge. At the end, add an inch or two for overlap. Cut along the outlines to create your lampshade template.

Tape the template onto your lamp shade using the low tack tape. Make sure it fits snugly.

Trim any excess from the edge of your template. Should you choose, trim excess to allow room for the grosgrain ribbon.

Make sure your template fits perfectly before you proceed.

Lay out your craft paper template on top of the map pages. Make any adjustments to the page layout.

Tape your map pages together using clear packing tape on the inside only.

Trace the template on top of the map pages.

Cut out the shape along the pencil line.

Wrap the lampshade with your cut out map pages.  Clip the edges with clothes pins.

Working in small 8″ sections, brush rubber cement onto the map and the lamp shade. Wait a minute or two for the glues to dry. Then press them together. This is the best way to get maximum adhesion when using regular rubber cement. It creates a stronger bond than just one coat applied and joined while it is still wet. Alternatively you could use spray adhesive (especially if you are using fabric.)

Continue by gluing another section until you reach the end. To finish the seams on the outside, brush some rubber cement under the seams where your maps overlap. Press and hold them down until the glue dries.

Add a Vintage Aged Glaze:

Time to give your maps a vintage aged look! Pour 2 parts mod podge into an empty cup. Add about 1 part cocoa paint. Mix them together. Test some of the glaze on a scrap piece of paper. If you like the glaze color, start brushing it onto the lamp shade. Be careful not to use too much of the glaze or the paper will start to wrinkle. (If it does, no worries, some of the wrinkles will come out when it dries. Any remaining wrinkles make it look old.)

Let the glaze dry.

Cut two strips of grosgrain ribbon the circumference of your lamp shade plus an inch for overlap.

Hot glue the ribbon onto the top and bottom edges of your lamp shade. (Please, please, protect your fingers, read my hot glue gun safety post before working with hot glue!)

Put your lampshade on your favorite lamp.

Admire your unique lamp shade that brings back fond memories of a special trip.

If you make one of these, what map would be on your’s? Your home state? The place you were born? Where your family’s heritage resides? Or something completely different? I would love to hear your ideas.

Did you like this tutorial? Want to learn how to revamp another lamp shade with paint chips!

The result are a beautiful ombré lamp that is fun and colorful.

 

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

You like the beach right? Who doesn’t?! Come December I long for the feeling of burying my toes in the warm sand. Bring back those memories by having a Beach-Themed Desktop Succulent Garden nearby. The idea for this garden came as I sat looking at all the shells I’ve collected that were hidden away in the attic. I chose a big conch shell that had few holes and decided it would make a great little planter.

Material:

  • Succulents
  • Conch shell
  • Smaller shells, beach glass or colored glass filler
  • Play sand
  • Potting soil
  • Plant tray

Optional: Hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, felt pads

Instructions: Read more

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Who’s too busy to spend more than 5 minutes creating a new wreath for Fall? {Raising my hand high!} Well, I’m about to give you the Easiest Fall Wreath tutorial…EVER!

Do you have one of these store bought wreaths? Pretty, but maybe a little lacking in color. Or maybe you’re just sick of looking at the same store bought wreath going on ohhhh six years now?

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial

Quick! Go grab these five things:

Easy Fall Wreath Tutorial Read more

Book Page Rose Wreath

Are you drawn to the amber color of aging book pages? Do you love the scrolling detail on an ornate ceiling medallion? Do you like roses? Yes, yes, and yes?! Well, this post has your name written all over it!

I must say, I really enjoyed photographing this tutorial. The dimensions and shadows in the rose and medallion lend themselves so nicely to photography.

Before we start, I need to give credit where credit is due. I saw a beautiful  paper rose bouquet on 100 Layer Cake the other day, and knew I wanted to make one giant one. The bouquet was created by Valerie Lloyd for a wedding.  So beautiful and unique!

I had not taken down our Christmas decorations on the mantle (I know, slacker that I am.) But, this project propelled my desire to create a Valentine’s Day themed mantle.

Material:

  • Old book
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Ceiling medallion
  • Small piece of cardboard
  • Ribbon
Difficulty: Easy
Step 1. Start by tearing a dozen pages out of an old book. (Check Goodwill and thrift stores. You’re bound to find some for this project.)

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 2. Cut out petal shapes from the book pages. Make some slightly larger and some smaller for the insides of the rose.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 3. Curl the top edges of the petal back.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 4. Fold the petal in half lengthwise. The curled edges will be on the outside of the fold.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 5. Roll several of the smaller petals into a tube shape for the center of the rose.

Book Page Rose Wreath

You should have a decent pile of petals collected before proceeding.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 6. Cut a long piece of ribbon to feed through the center of the medallion. It is important to add the ribbon now before you build out your rose and cover the hole.

Plug in your glue gun and let it warm up.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 7. Cut a piece of cardboard large enough to cover the center of the medallion. Run a line of hot glue around the center hole on the back of the medallion. Place the cardboard over the hole.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 8. Squeeze a large dollop of glue into the center of the cardboard (on the front side of the medallion.) Press one of the small petal tubes into the center of the glue. Hold it until the glue hardens and sets.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Squeeze more glue around the base of the first petal. Wrap a few more of the small petal tubes around the first one.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Experiment with folding the base of each petal or leave them open (your choice.) Variety will make your rose look more “real.”

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 9.  Continue working around the rose from the center out until you have a very full paper rose.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Step 10. Let the hot glue cool. Fluff the rose and add any petals where you think your rose might need more.

Book Page Rose Wreath

Tie a bow at the top of the ribbon and hang your beautiful wreath!

Book Page Rose Wreath

Stand back and admire your new romantic book page wreath.

Book Page Rose Wreath

What did I tell you? This rose is so beautiful and fun to photograph.

Book Page Rose Wreath

I’d love to hear from you if you make your own! Very rewarding and a relatively easy project.

Book Page Rose Wreath

I hope you are having a fabulous week!

Book Page Rose Wreath

Pin for later!

 Book Page Rose Wreath

 

According to my facebook and twitter friends, I am not the only one who gets burned EVERYTIME I use a hot glue gun. For this reason, I typically will hand sew, nail, or E-6000 something before I will use a hot glue gun. But, every once in a while, there is just no substitute for hot glue. For example, when working with faux flowers and moss, nothing beats hot glue.

So, this week I decided to put an end to hot glue gun burns!  I googled “Hot Glue Gun Safety” last week and learned a few tips about using a glue gun. If you are like me, you may do a head slap and feel pretty stupid after reading this post. If you are already the intelligent being who never gets burned when using hot glue, well then you can close your browser and I now bequeath you with a “genius” award. Now scram! For the rest of us, keep reading.

Dedication: I dedicate this blog post to my dear friend Sarah VMK! She and I were discussing all the burns I tend to get while using a glue gun and she remarked, “You really need to do a post about this.” So, here it is Sarah!

Remember to use EXTREME caution:

The most important thing to know about using a hot glue gun is that it is dangerous! Never mind that you can buy one for $5 or less and some of them look like they were made by the same company that makes McDonald’s happy meal toys.

Or that most of them do not come with instruction manuals. Treat this little “gun” like a power tool and use extreme caution when using it. Don’t let those dual temp glue guns fool you. “Low” temperature is still hot enough to burn you. Listen up y’all so we can say goodbye to glue gun burns FOREVER!

photo courtesy of HelloHayley

Proper tools:


When you get ready to use a hot glue gun, be sure you have these things close at hand.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

  • Heat resistant mat – a foil wrapped piece of cardboard, silicone mat or a cookie sheet will work fine
  • Needle-nosed pliers or tweezers for holding small objects
  • Popsicle sticks for pressing the glue down – Keep the popsicle stick in your hand so you won’t be tempted to use your finger
  • Bowl of ice water
  • Clean dry washcloth
  • Hot glue gun with dual temp (use it on low setting)
  • Extra glue sticks

There are also finger caps sold to protect your fingers if you are really concerned about safety.

Long vs. short power cord:


The power cord on my glue gun is not very long. It barely reaches to the nearest outlet. Don’t allow your cord to dangle in mid-air for someone to snag or trip on. Get an extension cord so that it can lay flat on the floor while you are working. This will also give you more reach while working with the glue gun.

If the cord does get snagged and your glue gun starts to fall over, resist all the temptations to grab it. Just let it fall (and hopefully it won’t land on you or anyone else.)

 

Your glue gun at rest:

Ideally, you want to rest your glue gun upright on a flat heat resistance surface. I use mine on this foil wrapped piece of cardboard. But, inevitably the gun falls over sideways. I used to instinctively try to stop it from falling. But, that is a burn hazard waiting to happen.

Now I just lay the glue gun on its side making sure that the hot tip is not touching anything. No more tipping glue gun.

 

Working with your hot glue gun:

Gather all your craft pieces together and make sure that they are within reach so you don’t have to lean over your glue gun to retrieve anything. Make sure all distractions, children, pets, etc. are out of your way. Remember, this is a dangerous tool!

Think about your project before you start. Are you going to put glue on the object or press the object into glue. What is the best procedure that keeps your fingers the furthest from the hot glue.

Squeeze hot glue onto the object you want to glue. For decorative moss balls, I decided it was best to drizzle hot glue onto a piece of moss.

Roll your ball or light bulb onto the moss. (That’s right, I mossed a light bulb! Hey, I had to find something to do with these bulbs leftover from the hollywood light fixture.) Be very careful to keep hands away from the moss.

Use a popsicle stick to press the moss to the ball (or lightbulb.)

As the bare spots get smaller, you may decide to add hot glue to the ball (err, light bulb.)

Lightly set the moss into the glue, then use a popsicle stick to press it firmly into the glue.

 

As long as you face the bulb base away from the viewer, no one would ever guess that it was actually a light bulb!

When working with smaller objects, DO NOT hold them with your fingers. It is best to put glue on the larger object and press the smaller ones into the glue. Pick up your small object with needle-nosed pliers or tweezers.

Place it, then use your popsicle stick to firmly press the small object into the glue.

If you absolutely have to put glue on a smaller object. Do not use your fingers or hands! Use the tweezers or pliers to hold it while you add the glue.

Okay – and I know – sometimes there is no substitute for using your fingers. If you decide to take the risk of putting your fingers in mortal danger, let the glue cool for a few seconds, then you can gently reposition the object as long as there is NO glue near your flesh.

 

If you do get burned:

Even the most careful preparation and concentration will not protect you from an occasional accident. So, think like the Boy Scouts, be prepared.

Keep a bowl of ice water nearby. If you burn your finger tips, dunk them in the ice water as soon as possible. Keep a washcloth at hand in case you burn your arm, leg or something that can’t be dunked in the bowl. Then you can wet the washcloth and apply it to the burn. It is crucial to cool down a burn as soon as possible to reduce the damage.

 

After your project:

Unplug your hot glue gun as soon as you are done with your project. Pick the cord up off the floor so no one can accidentally tug on it. Let your gun cool COMPLETELY before storing it away.

Inspect your glue gun periodically for signs of splits or breaks or signs of wear and tear. As soon as you discover any problems, discontinue using the hot glue gun and discard it. Remember, they are cheap and can be easily replaced! Your fingers will thank you.