Making old lamps new

I am in the midst of decorating a new apartment. The only problem is I’m in college. Therefore, I basically have very little money to spend on this endeavor. I am always looking for cheap DIYs to take a used piece and make it fresh and new.

I discovered two old lamps in my parent’s house that were being neglected in the basement. They were both made of a shiny gold metal that was covered in splotches of stains. The lamp shades were faded and torn, but the overall shape of their frames were both cute. I decided with a little revamping they would be a nice addition to my living room.

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I started by rubbing this miracle paint on the frames. It gets rid of that ugly gold shine and makes them into a nice matted bronze color. You can find this stuff at any hardware store, most craft stores or online at Amazon:

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Next I conquered the lamp shades. I had to throw the old ones out because they were so far gone. I  shopped around and found a good deal at IKEA.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30228624/

I used painters tape to mark a straight line around each shade. To make sure this was perfectly straight I marked it off first using a ruler and pencil. After the tape was on I used acrylic paint to create a black stripe. You can make any pattern of stripes and use any color with this same technique.

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Now the lamps look fresh and stylish in my living room!

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Blooming Trees

I got pretty bored with the look of my dresser and mirror, so I decided to jazz up the area.

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1) Sketch out two trees lightly with a pencil. Keep in mind that you want the trees to surround the mirror or painting you have hanging on the wall. Add branches that hug the sides of the mirror/painting. 

2) Use acrylic brown paint to fill in the trunks of the trees. I added a small amount of water to the paint. This gives the look of bark.

Image3) Outline one side of the trunk with a darker brown paint. I made this darker paint by mixing in a dash of black paint. Make sure to outline the same side on each trunk so that the light looks even. (I painted the darker shade of paint on the right side of both trunks) Let the trunks dry fully before beginning the leaves. 

4) Use a wide paint brush and splat on some green paint for leaves. Don’t try to make perfect leaves, it will drive you crazy! A slightly messy leaf looks best.

5) Darken the green paint and add swipes of it to the leaves. Make sure to use the same side that you did for the darker parts of the trunk. This will give the leaves more dimension. 

6) You can keep your trees with only leaves or you can add flowers. For my flowers I chose a light purple color that matched accents in the room. Paint a fluffy looking circle as the base of the flower. Use the darkest color first and then work your way up painting smaller, lighter circles on top. I ended up using three shades of purple on my flowers. 

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I still wanted to add something else so I painted on a small bow blowing in the wind! 

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Now decorate accordingly!! 

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