Monday, April 23, 2012

To contact paper or not to contact paper? That is the question.

I have really become obsessed with natural wood lately. I just love the warmth and earthiness it can bring into a room. I love that it can add texture and visual interest, while at the same time remaining netural. Wood is like denim...everything just seems to goes with it.

The other day I came across these lovlies and was smitten. The shades remind me a little of the sixties, but I don't mind that mid-century modern look so much. Besides, when they are paired with the right lamp base, like in this picture, they become totally current.

The only downside to these gorgeous lamps, is that they can be pretty spendy. I saw some selling for as much as $170...just for the shade. So, I started brainstorming ways that I could recreate the look for cheaper.

I researched wood veneer and found that it was less inexpensive than the shades themselves {ranging in price from $40-$70, depending on what kind of wood and the color etc}, but that was still a little too spendy for me.

Then I remembered ripping out a bunch of contact paper shelf liners when we moved into our current house. Of course, at the time I thought the idea of large, fake wood, stickers was repulsive and in very poor taste, but I started to wonder if I could actually make it look respectable.

I decided to give it a try. I bought a 24ft. roll of the stuff for $3.50 and figured I wasn't out much if it ended up looking tacky and crappy.

I decided to try it out on this very unassuming lamp. She's not hideous, but she could be so much more...maybe...hopefully.

After about fifteen minutes of wrestling with the contact paper and finding the best way to go about wrapping it around the lamp shade {this particular lamp shade couldn't be removed from it's base, so it was a little awkward} I ended up with this.

What do you think? Be honest. I was really skeptical at first, but when I put her back on her crate, I thought she actually looked pretty a totally inantimate sorta way.

The biggest difference between my c.p. version and the veneer version is, well, the fact that mine is plastic contact paper. But unless your guests have a tendency to rub their hands all over your lamp shades, you should be able to get away with it. The other slightly noticeable difference is the sheen. C.P., has a little more shine to it than the veneered version which is more matte.
That said, I only spent $3.50 as opposed to $170 and with that kind of savings I am totally okay with a little shine.

So, what's the verdict? Yay yay, or nay nay to contact paper?


  1. I love the look of the shad but I'm not sure if I love it with the blue bottom? what if you painted it white? I don't I think I like the blue! HA i am so indecisive!

    1. LOL! I know all about indecisive. That's part of the reason why I can't commit to spending $170 on a lamp shade, or a lot of other things. What if I decided I don't like it in two months?

  2. i like it! do you think that you could tone down the shine with some type of medium? like a glue or no-shine modpodge? just wondering...

    1. OOh, I'd never thought of that. Maybe I'll give her a try and post the results. Thanks for the idea.

  3. That lamp shade turned out great, very well done! I have this linked to my faux bois post too today, for fake wood look ideas!


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