Budget project · DIY · Furniture Makeover · Home decor

Island Vibes Lamp Makeover


Today I would like to share a quick and easy DIY, something to add a little pop or update a piece of your decor. For all of our consumerism, our desire for stuff and things, and are equally fervent desire to declutter, one thing I noticed many homes do not have enough of is lighting options. Honestly, you can almost never have enough light sources, be it windows for natural light, candles for soft romantic light, bright task lights, dimmers and switches, & a myriad of different effects light bulbs… you get the idea. So I’m always on the lookout for more lighting. And when a local housing development had their annual community wide garage sale I scored this lamp for $1. I like the shape, hated the shade, was wishy-washy about the color. But a dollar?!? I could work with that.

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  • Lamp
  • Spray paint (Rustoleum Seaside)
  • Sisal twine
  • Acrylic paint (white)
  • Clear protective coat This one

And so it sat in my front closet along with many, many projects I think of and prep for but have yet to start, until inspiration struck. With spring approaching, crocuses peeking out and some semi warm days around here, I began dreaming of sand beneath my toes, warm sun on my skin and palm trees swaying in the sultry breeze and was truly digging the Palm Springs / island vibe, so…



I love it. I love the color (Rustoleum American Accents in Seaside spray paint), I love the organic textural look of the lampshade, and the pop of bright white. The more geometric motif was actually a struggle for me, as I gravitate towards flowing scrollwork and soft lines. My original idea was to work with the grooves and make it look more like a waterfall cascading down the lamp, but after days of sketching I was unhappy, uninspired and frustrated, so I decided to try something new and I feel it totally works. To me it looks like stylized ocean waves, it looks like shark fins to my boys (go figure), but either way, it provides a nice punch of bright color and natural texture, just in time for Spring.


The first thing I did was tape off the socket and cord and primed the lamp. While that was drying I went in search of a shade. I absolutely hated the shape of the lampshade it came with but luckily I had another stripped down lampshade in the closet from a different DIY lamp I ended up completely unhappy with. So I had my lampshade frame, but what to do? I could cover it in fabric, but that seemed boring because I had done something similar recently. I dug through my stash of ribbons, beads and wire but my sisal twine wrapped flowerpot kept catching my eye, so I thought, why not?

I began by tying off the end of the twine on the bottom rim of the frame and wrapped the twine all the way around the rim, then tied off the other end, added a little drop of glue to each knot for added reinforcement and trimmed the excess. Then I repeated this step along the top rim of the shade. I kept the line fairly taut while wrapping and occasionally pushed the coils of twine together to ensure I had complete coverage over the metal frame.


The next step was to move on to the middle of the lampshade frame. This shade had a lot of ribs attaching the top rim to the bottom rim, & I thought it would look cool having those ribs showing. So I tied one end of my twine to a rib- starting at the bottom- and began wrapping all the way to the top, moving right to left. I would wrap the twine around the rib by wrapping under the rib then coming back over the top and back under towards the next rib. If I wanted the ribs hidden, I would have simply wrapped the twine around the shade, keeping to the outside of the ribs. And I just continued that until I reached the top. It’s a good project to do while watching your favorite show, because it takes some time to finish and it becomes pretty mindless after a while. 🙂 Then tie off the other end of the twine add a drop of glue to the knot and trim the excess. I made sure all of my knots were on the inside of the frame. And my lamp shade was finished.


I then moved back to my lamp base. I adore this color, Rustoleum’s Seaside. I gave the base 3 coats of spray paint with a light sanding between each coat. I find that the sanding is a necessary step for me because spray painting and getting that perfectly smooth, glossy finish takes a little practice, so sanding away any imperfections or slight drips allows me to get that elusive finish.


I then took a pencil (or you can use a marker that wipes away if you can’t see the pencil line) and lightly sketched out my design. Then I applied two coats of white acrylic paint to my triangles and around the rims, and topped it off with two coats of Krylon Colormaster Satin Acrylic in Crystal Clear.



I really love the punch of bright color, especially right now when spring is so close, teasing us with the hints of color as early flowers start to peek through and sending semi-warmish days sprinkled into our weeks. I think it gives off a tropical, beachy vibe I’m totally into. I’m really feeling Palm Springs-like, jungalow style decor these days and make no secret of my dream to Palm Springserize our home as well as turn our living space into an urban jungle, & I think this piece fits right in!






As always, have fun! Go nuts! Get messy! Amazing things can happen when you do!

Xo, Caroline

P.S. Here are the fun parties I link to!