How to Create a Film Reel Lampshade
Stitch recycled film reels together with electronic wire to make a fascinating lampshade.
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Sarah Whatley salvages "junk" to create a film reel lampshade.
Materials and Tools:
basic, single-ring lampshade
25-40 watt clear light bulb
spray primer and paint
salvaged electronic wire
metal rolling rack
soap and water
1. Strip away all of the old fabric or material from a single-ring lampshade so the ring that attaches to the harp is all that's left. Remove any leftover glue with soap and water. Dry. Prime the ring with basic spray primer for metal. Let it dry for about an hour.
2. Paint the ring with black spray paint. Coat the ring from every angle. Let dry at least eight hours.
3. Attach the chosen filmstrips to metal rolling racks with magnet strips and arrange the images so a theme/pattern starts to develop.
4. Attach the top row of film to the ring with wire excavated from old electronics. (Electronic wire has body; is easily manipulated and is very colorful.) Tie the film to the top of the ring with a knot to hold it in place. The filmstrips already have holes on either side, so they can easily be sewn to the ring. Wrap the wire through the top row of holes on the film around the ring. Overlap the film slightly when you've gone all the way around, tie the wires together, trim and tuck.
5. Attach the second row of film using the built in holes on the film and a running stitch, sew the wire through the bottom holes on the first filmstrip through the top holes on the second filmstrip. Overlap the film and weave the wires through each other a frame or two, depending on the image and what looks good. Repeat the process for seven or eight rows.
6. Create a paper sleeve for the inside of the shade to defuse light. Cut white paper using the measurement of the height of the shade by roughly half of the circumference of the ring. Attach it to the front of the shade using small pieces of wire through tiny holes in the paper made with a straight pin or a hole punch. If the film is dark enough, the sleeve is not necessary.
7. Finish the film reel lampshade by running wire through the bottom row of holes. Weave, tuck and trim all excess wire on the shade and place it on the harp and secure with a finial. Insert a clear bulb and place the lamp near a wall so the image will be projected. Turn the lamp on and enjoy your film reel lamp. If a paper sleeve has been used, the paper side should face the room.
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