Are you as nutso about paint chip projects as I am? I’m semi-worried that I might get arrested next time I’m pulling samples at my local paint department. Is there a law against taking too many?* Okay, so let’s just say that I have collected many samples over the years while contemplating room colors (which is true!)

*Paint chips may be free, but please use consideration when taking paint chips. Try not to take more than 2-3 of each color and definitely don’t take the last of a color. It might be a good idea to ask permission from the paint store employee if you need to take more than a dozen.

But, what do you do with all those left over paint chips once you have decided on your color? It seems a shame to throw them away, doesn’t it.

Why not use them to make a lamp shade?

I actually saw this lamp shade on JossandMain.com last week and thought, “Ooo Ooo Oooo! This gives me an idea of what to make with all those paint chips!”

Materials:


  • Lamp shade (best if it isn’t tapered)
  • Paint chips
  • Clear packing tape
  • White paper tape (low stick)
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting surface
  • Metal ruler
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Tutorial:

Start by laying out your paint chips side-by-side and organize them any way you like.

To judge how many strips you need, rest the seam of your lamp shade on the end of the paint chips and roll it until you reach the seam again. If you still have paint chips under your shade, then you have enough! I had one small gap leftover, so I added two of the same colored chips together so the small strip wouldn’t be as noticeable.

Butt the paint chip strips tightly together. Put paper tape on top of the chips to hold them together.

Gently turn them over and tape the seams with clear packing tape.

Once all the strips have been taped together, trim off the excess tape.

Measure the height of your lampshade and trim your paint chips to the same height.

Test fit your paint chip roll.

Use your hot glue gun to run a line of glue on the seam of your lamp shade. Glue the end of the paint chips to the shade.

Run a line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the lampshade and roll the paint chips around the shade. Secure the end by hot gluing it to the shade.

And that is it! A super easy and very colorful home decor project.

I think it is beautiful whether the light is off…

…or on.

When choosing the paint swatches you wish to use, try pulling colors from a painting or use colors that are compliments to your wall color.

What?! You still want more paint chip home décor ideas?! How about a whole round up of them? Go ahead and scoot your index finger on over to Parentables for 11 Paint Chip Projects to see 9 more amazing paint chip projects:

I guarantee, you’ll never pass through the paint department without grabbing a few paint chips again!


Last week when I finally  said adios to the Hollywood style strip light, I was eager to put in some energy efficient light bulbs.

While purchasing the light fixture I also checked out the light bulb display. I found myself being drawn to the bulb comparison display at Home Depot. I looked at the different lights and their color effect in the “display room”. Confident with my new knowledge, I walked out with several Soft light CFLs in my bag. But, when I got home and installed them I was NOT happy! They were harsh, bluish and just made the bathroom feel cold and clinical. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. Those displays are so deceiving! They don’t REALLY show you what the bulbs will look like in your home. And don’t even get me started on the paint chip displays! Let’s just say you should NEVER EVER make a final decision on paint at the store!

One of my facebook fans mentioned that she really liked Ottlite bulbs, and that they were just like daylight. I promptly contacted the company and they shipped me out several bulbs to try.

It was at this point that I decided an unscientific test was in order. I started out systematically using just four bulbs, but then I bought a $30 (gulp!) LED lightbulb at the grocery store. And soon, all scientific conditions were thrown to the wind. So, I hope none of you yell at me for my lack of consistency. The test was more for myself , but I figured there might be a few inquiring minds.

One  more note on the unscientific-ness of my experiment. All the photographs were taken using the fluorescent setting on my camera (to try to give the best view of the CFLs. Which will explain why the incandescent bulbs look extra yellow. I kept the exact same shutter speed and aperture in each setting. Only the bulbs changed in each photo. These were the various bulbs I used in my test:

I hope you find this comparison as helpful as I did!

First up was an outdoor setting. This light fixture lights up our side door entrance. I was using the regular CFL in the fixture, but it was so cold in appearance and looked odd with the warm yellow light the lanterns by our front door emit.

I really liked the Philips Ambient LED in this fixture and was about to choose that one, but then read that it wasn’t recommended for outdoor or damp locations. Boo. Ultimately I decided on the the incandescent 60 watt bulb. In the meantime I will be on the lookout for a outdoor approved LED lightbulb.

The living room table lamp was the most forgiving light situation. The white shade and medium green walls made most of the light bulbs look good. But, ultimately I decided I liked the Sylvania CFL light bulb best in this fixture.

Our foyer is small, dark and has bright yellow walls. This is also the light we leave on all night to protect sleepwalkers who might otherwise tumble down the stairs. All the bulbs looked pretty good in this location except the Ottlite. It was too harsh, bright and cold feeling.

Ultimately I decided I liked the Philps LED light bulb here. This bulb was by far my favorite light bulb. But, with a hefty price tag of $30, I can’t be buying more than one or two of them!


Our master bedroom was the only location that I liked the Ottlite. The lamp shades have a beige color. This tones down the harsh white of the Ottlite. Plus, it was the only bulb that didn’t make my wall color look sickly brownish gray.

Finally, the room that started this whole pursuit of scientific knowledge: The kids’ bathroom, which has many requirements. The bulbs can’t be too dim that guests can’t see themselves in the mirror. And yet the room can’t be too bright to blind anyone who turns the light on in the wee hours of the night. The light couldn’t be too cold or bluish in cast. Basically I had a lot of requirements for this light fixture.

I also had our friend, Greg, model for me to show the lighting on skin tones.


I felt like Goldilocks in this room (too bright, too dark, too blue!)

1. The incandescents were not very eco-friendly.

2. The soft white CFLS were okay, but still a little harsh and bluish cast.

3. Regular CFL bulbs, these were pretty bad. They were darker and I really didn’t like the light color.

4. The Ottlite was way too bright and harsh for the blue and white bathroom. So, I finally figured out the perfect bulb formula.

That’s right, I’m a bulb mixer. We found that two soft white CFLs and one incandescent light bulb was the magic formula. The two soft white CFLs gives enough light and energy savings without being too clinical. But, the incandescent works to soften the bluish cast.

So although I can’t tell you that I found the PERFECT light bulb. And I still can’t embrace the CFLs, I work with them to try to go easy on my energy bill and lesson my carbon footprint. I mix bulbs in our multi-light (non-dimming) fixtures. I do have to warn you though, if you use CFLs in a closed fixture (like the one shown below with the dome removed.) They will not last as long as they are supposed to.

I also noticed a big difference between the “soft white” CFL bulbs I bought. The Sylvania ones were not nearly as warm as the Ecosmart ones, proving that all CFLs are not created equal.

I did find that I liked different bulbs in different locations. And ultimately I made a decision that allowed me to be eco-conscious but also be happy with our lighting.

But, I really hope that the Philips Ambient LED bulbs will come down in price. They use the least amount of energy, don’t get hot, and give off a light that is very close to an incandescent. So for those of us that still love incandescents, there is hope!

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was NOT paid by any companies to review the above mentioned light bulbs. Ottlite did send me bulbs for free, but I was not swayed to write a positive review. This post is my honest and unswayed opinion.