Some basic ideas on how to make homemade lamps and lampshades. Ways to decorate the shades by using stencils, buttons, ribbons, beads or rubber-stamps.
Many ordinary or unusual objects can be made into homemade lamps. Hobby and craft stores sell the basic kits, which include the cord, stem, and socket. Visit flea markets, garages sales and thrift stores to find objects you can use to create these unique lamps. Glass and brass vases work very well, but you could also use ceramic figurines, toys, or teapots.
First, choose your object, in this case use a doll or toy. Take a flat, thin block of stained wood with smooth, rounded edges and drill a hole through the middle (or the side) that is large enough to run the electric cord through, and thread the stem with the cord so that it will be on the top. Then glue felt on the bottom of the wood. (which will keep the lamp from scratching your furniture.) Place your object on the top part of the wood and secure with appropriate type of glue. Then place a copper tube over the lamp stem and affix it to the bottom of the base with a nut or metal washer ring. Use manufacturer's instructions to thread the wire of the cord into the socket. Place a bulb in the socket, place the lamp shade to the bulb, plug in and voila! you have a unique homemade lamp.
Another alternative would be to create your own ceramic lamps using molds. Begin by taking a ceramics class and make a pretty hurricane lamp, then wire according to the instructions. Paint or place decals on the lamp for decorations.
If you choose to use vases you do not need to make a wooden base. Just drill a hole in through the bottom of the vase so that you can thread the cord through. Glass vases need extra care to avoid breaking the ceramic or glass.
There are kits for lamp shades you can find in the hobby stores that have a sticky adhesive on the surface so that you can place whatever kind of material on it that you choose. Another great idea is saving the frames from old, torn or worn shades and covering them with what ever kind of fabric you would like.
To make a ribbon shade, wrap and wind strands of ribbon (directly from the roll) from the top to the bottom of the shade, overlapping until you have covered the whole frame, then tuck the end in the inside of the shade and hot glue it into place.
Another interesting idea is to take a light metal type of material such as screening and cut, the top more narrow and the bottom more wide then place the sides together with staples or glue and paper fasteners. Place a pretty satin ribbon or bric brac over the top and bottom to hide the jagged edges. Then sew unusual buttons or beads to the screen. in clusters. You can dress up any shade with beads or buttons.
Using plain white shades, paint swirls, polka-dots, squares, or other geometric shapes onto the surface. Or use stencils to create interesting patterns onto the shade. Do you know how to cross-stitch or embroider?
Consider texturizing your shade with a rag or a sponge and paint. Use two complementary colors for added interest. Then choose one or two rubber-stamps and stamp the pattern you want onto the shade.
So keep your eyes open for objects that you think might make an interesting lamp. Give them as gifts or sell them on e-bay or in craft fairs, or flea markets. But most of all, enjoy yourself.
There are many things to consider when getting ready to purchase an exfoliator. What should you look for in a good exfoliator? What is the difference between an exfoliator for the face versus one for the body?
An exfoliant is an important part of any beauty routine. It can be the use of a washcloth for the face or a razor for your legs, as long as you are gently rubbing your skin or even scraping it, you are removing excess dead skin cells. A good exfoliant will smooth your skin because it removes the dead cells to reveal the newer ones underneath.
When you are out shopping for an exfoliant note that they come in different shapes and sizes:
Abrasive sponges, pads, brushes are not unlike something you might use for your dishes, tread carefully and you may want to soap these up and use them on the body only, not the face. Facial scrubs are ones with very subtle grains, like finely milled apricot pits. If used gently on the face they can be very effective. Facial masks perform exfoliation, when they dry they take the dead skin cells with them. Some facial masks have a grainy texture that helps smooth the skin during the rinse cycle. Toners are even exfoliating products and work by removing dirt and cells via a cotton ball or pad. Toners are used on the face and neck.
When choosing a scrub for the face, make sure it has a light texture and fine, even particles. Chunks of scrub ingredients are best saved for the body as they will be too harsh for the fine and delicate facial skin and may leave it red and irritated. Don't choose something with a lot of oils or you may have more clogged pores than you want to deal with. Blot your face dry when you rinse the product off and use a moisturizer at night and one with a sunscreen in the morning.
If you are using an exfoliant for the first time, use it once a day (at night) or a few times per week. Allow your skin to recover before you make another attempt and always stop if your skin is uncomfortable or you feel pain, switch products immediately and give your skin a rest.
When you are out shopping for an exfoliant, consider a cream with alpha and beta hydroxy acids because they can get deeper into the skin's layers than a loofah could. If you use a facial scrub consider one that has some moisturizing or skin softening ingredients so when you are finished blotting your face dry, you're not reaching for a heavy moisturizer to soothe your skin.
Exfoliating is best done a few times per week, once a day is not necessary. Some of my favorite exfoliating products are:
Fresh - Brown Sugar Body Polish
Philosophy's - under your skin
Clinique - Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator
Origins - Ginger Body Scrub
You don't have to spend a lot on the exfoliation process but it sure makes a shower that much more fun. A clean washcloth soaped up will do the trick as will a dip in cornmeal and water. I find it a more pleasurable experience when a fragrance is involved and all of the above will leave your senses reeling.
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