Give me a "T"

After upcycling all my available silverware for lampshades (see posts here and here), I cogitated what else I could use to make an interesting/unique/one-of-a-kind shade...and since I love old metal...my mind quickly thought of...Brass Stencils!

I had quite a collection of stencils already but when my sister discovered a bagful at an estate sale and graciously let me buy them, I knew I was set...

I started with two lampshades that had seen better days, but both had interesting shapes which would add to the appeal of the design...I began by deconstructing the shades, ripping off the silk material, lining and trim...

Once I had removed the material, I kept the seam binding wrapped around the edges since I liked the colors and tone it added...
I assembled all my stencils and laid them out to get a good mix of letters, sizes and patinas for each shade...
After I finalized my collection of stencils, I used heavy weight linen thread to tie each set of stencils together.  I used my metal punch on the smallest setting to punch holes in each stencil.  Since the lampshade frame was divided into 8 sections, I composed 8 sets of letters, tied them together and then attached each set to the top of the frame.
For each base, I used a brass lamp I bought at the Yakima ReStore and spray painted each with the same Anodized Bronze Rustoleum color that I used with my first silverware lamp...I like that the color is kinda brown/kinda gray/kinda vintage looking...after all of the stencil sets were attached, I applied a light coat of Elmer's Glue to each knot to insure it would be secure....

Lamp #1...
For the second lamp, I tweaked my design...since the shade frame had quite a rounded shape to each of the eight sections, I didn't think that a lot of straight edges would work.  Again, I scrounged around my studio for what would inspire me...and found some vintage clock faces...used four faces...and spelled out T-I-M-E  around the perimeter...

I used an Edison bulb for the lamp...plays up that vintage vibe...

11-06-11 update:  since so many have enjoyed my "letters" lamps, I'm linking up to The DIY Showoff to share the inspiration...lots of great ideas over there...


  1. That is the coolest thing I"ve seen in a long time. Went to see the other two and love both of them. Love the idea of a chandelier too. I have some old silver.....I wonder if my husband could drill some holes for me....hummmmmm. LOL

  2. Amy - You are just too good for words! I absolutely adore your creations! Just brilliant. Gonna feature on Blue Velvet Chair today. Just love them!


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  4. Love your shades, so creative, gorgeous!!!

  5. Hi Amy,
    LOVE the lampshades!! Such a great look! Guess who has a lot of brass stencils :) Yes....I will be stealing this idea!!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Every time I visit here, I am amazed, amused, and just generally delighted! These shades rock, and that is one gorgeous hole punch! I still use my old Cropodile....

  7. WOW! These are gorgeous!! I bet they are beautiful at night with the light shining thru. LOVE it!

  8. Found the lampshade on pininterest & hopped over for a look. Really enjoy your style. Thanks for your creative use of letters, clocks & lampshades :0)

  9. Very cool lamp!
    Im your newest follower!
    Susan @ homeroad.net

  10. Love this. Funny because I just bought an old fabric less lampshade frame at the thrift shop the other day with vague transformation plans. This gives me great inspiration. Following along.

  11. I live the design of lamp #1! I'm on-line searching for a lampshade to complement a sitting cat, all white, desktop lamp.


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