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How to disguise my ugly light fixtures?

 
 
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 12:56 pm
I have five, count 'em, five, 1970's wall light fixtures in my living room. I spent the weekend looking at fixtures and frankly, just don't have $800.00 to replace them.

I've thought about just removing them for now but then my room would be really dark so so I would have to buy lamps and I don't quite want to do that as until the house gets rewired I would have cords running all over the place.

So now I'm thinking maybe I can disguise the things.

I found one just like mine for sale on craigslist. This one is actually nicer than mine as mine are really beat up and funky:

http://images.craigslist.org/3ka3p33odZZZZZZZZZ92pdf90b07ca9bf1c8a.jpg

I'm thinking that I could perhaps paint the back of the "crystals", or make some kind of shade that could hang from the hooks or that the hook thing could be removed and something mounted to the wall.

It is, of course, important that whatever materials I use don't burst into flames when the lights are on.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 16 • Views: 10,586 • Replies: 34
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djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:02 pm
http://www.moonbattery.com/nose-moustache-glasses.jpg
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:04 pm
I spray-glued a lacy hand pressed paper to the outside of a shade I didn't like. With those I might paste some subtly printed or textured paper on the outside. I also like your idea of painting them on the inside.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:15 pm
@boomerang,
Are the "crystal" things removable?

I'm wondering if you can take them off and then surround the lights with paper Chinese lanterns:

Lots of options here, from plain white:

http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/paperlanternstore_2041_98283913

To funky shapes/ colors:

http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/paperlanternstore_2039_140791300

To prints:

http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/paperlanternstore_2039_140942980


All cheapcheapcheap...
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:16 pm
@sozobe,
Doy... only just saw "WALL" light fixtures. Sconces, you mean?

I bet you could still fashion hemispheres out of paper lanterns, with wire....
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:21 pm
@sozobe,
I can totally imagine you making something vaguely like this:

http://www.firefarm.com/images/products/products/large/89-SWR-H_lg.jpg

An interesting surround/ frame, and then some really nice paper curving outwards.

You could also probably do this with fabric, if you get some thin/ flexible plastic and then spray-glue the fabric on it.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:48 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
make some kind of shade that could hang from the hooks or that the hook thing could be removed and something mounted to the wall.


I think lots of variations of wire armatures and paper or fabric could work here...
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 02:29 pm
Hey! Thanks!! Now you've got me thinking.

I was wondering if I could adapt a regular lamp shade somehow but I would have to cut it in half to get it to fit against the wall (I need a half circle). But I would need a way to affix it to the wall so it would have to have some kind of brace across the back.

If I bought a lampshade and snipped it in half, would it hold it's form?

The little crystal things (actually not so little about 2x8" each) just hang on those little hooks so they come off really easy. (Mo has been using the crystal things for some kind of pretend money so I might have trouble getting them back).

The crystal things are actuall plexiglass or plastic of some kind. The front edge is beveled, they're maybe 1/4 inch thick. Do you think they'd be paintable. It might look kind of stained glassy if I tried something like that.

But the hook appartus can come off the fixture so I don't have to use it.

The hook apparatus could also be screwed into the wall (it's sort of a "D" shaped thing with hooks coming off it) so I could make something long and center the light in it.

I could also snip the hooks off and use the "D" thing as an armature for type of material.

I think I would need something with a weight of about watercolor paper for it to hold it's form.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 03:18 pm
You need the expertise of Lightwizard to help you solve this problem.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 03:50 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
watercolor paper

Does Mo do watercolors?
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:06 pm
You could get some colored foil - cut out a pattern and stick it on the glass panels.

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/827/picture1wgz.png

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 09:35 pm
Ohhhhhh. Some interesting ideas. Thanks.

I was showing this thread to Mr. B so, after completely cracking up about my having found our current fixture on craigslist, he doesn't think I'm completely crazy to try to reconfigure something out of what we now have.

I think I'll experiment a little with some paint and paper and see what happens.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 08:26 am
Do you think wallpaper would work -- like a grasscloth wallpaper?
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 09:41 am
@boomerang,
Hm, I am not so sure that the glue would hold it together when the lamp
gets hot. Grasscloth is rather heavy and probably could warp.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 11:14 am
@CalamityJane,
I admit that it has been a couple of decades since I've bought wallpaper but don't they still make the unpasted kind? They used to sell regular and prepasted but maybe prepasted is the new regular.

I was thinking that I could use the D shaped form I have as an armature, affix the paper to the armature with glue or clips or something and screw the armature back into the fixture or into the wall.
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 11:19 am
@boomerang,
I think that would work...
What about going to a scrapbooking place or art store and looking at their papers?
A stiff frosted plastic might be nice. Like those super thin plastic cutting boards.
Wallpaper -I'm not sure about nonpasted, but I'm thinking buying a roll is a lot of paper.

You could use a frosting spray on your "crystals". On the back side.
Paint may stick, but it would be nice to have an extra one to experiment with beforehand.
Vinyl sign companies also has tranlucent vinyl that could be adhered to the backsides. You could take one in and talk to someone there. Small pieces of vinyl shouldn't be expensive or diffulcult to stick down.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 11:27 am
@caribou,
The 12x12 paper they sell for scapbooking is not wide enough. To fit the curve of the armature I'd need at least 20 inches.

I went by the art store the other day while light shopping just to try on some ideas. They have beautiful handmade papers but they were very thin. I don't think they have enough body on their own.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 11:30 am
I do have extras. In fact, I have sanded down the back of one and put some clear primer on it so I can play around a bit.

But I was thinking that my house really needs some textiles (there are so many hard surfaces and it will probably stay that way until Mo gets a bit older) and this might be a good way to introduce them.
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:33 pm
just for fun
http://www.chic-cityrats.net/image/produit/resized/391_1.jpg
another idea...
http://www.artshades.co.uk/leafwall.jpg

This website has a how-to page that looks good, plus lots of other stuff that might be interesting.
http://www.lampshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&amp;Store_Code=ls&amp;Category_Code=13_09<br />
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:34 pm
As some people worry about their lighting fixtures, the world around them are falling apart at the seams.
 

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