Monday, June 25, 2012

Bedroom light fail

I figure it's only fair to write about the failures along with the successes. Today I had a lighting failure :(

I wanted to change the lighting situation in the bedroom, since the overhead light is a ceiling fan that we don't use that just looks large and dark in our small bedroom. I didn't want to replace the whole fixture since I know our landlord really likes it (he proudly mentioned having just installed it when we toured the apartment originally). Instead, I thought I'd just unscrew the fan blades and then mount something new around the existing fixture.

So I went from this:

To this:

And then this, when I removed the glass cones around each bulb:

I decided I wanted to make a drum shade to hang around the existing fixture, so I found a few tutorials online and concocted a plan that involved an embroidery hoop, poster board, some fabric (already on hand), and a glue gun.

First, I figured out how deep the drum shade should be (I determined 15", in order to fit over the fixture). I needed about 1.5 piece of posterboard glued together to get the right length to wrap the posterboard around the embroidery hoop). I just glued two pieces together with a hot glue gun to get a long strip that's 15" wide at all points, then trimmed off the excess length.

Then I slowly glued one edge of the posterboard strip around one of the rings of the embroidery hoop, like so:

After gluing the other ring along the other edge, I was left with this cylinder:

Then I covered it with some fabric that I had on hand (from the roman shade project for the living room):

Then I had to figure out how to mount it. I ended up screwing a few small hooks into the ceiling, and then attaching some binder rings I had on hand to the shade that would slip over the ceiling hooks.

Here's where the fail part comes in. The project was successful in a technical sense, but I just don't like the result. The proportions don't feel right -- too long, not wide enough:

It feels like a trash can attached to the ceiling or something. Not exactly what I was going for. Another picture, without the light turned on:

So, I will just have to try try again! Mulling over some possibilities, both for the bedroom light and how to reuse the supplies on another project if I don't end up using them in whatever I end up doing in the bedroom. Oh well, but I guess it's all about the trial and error!


  1. Oh, I appreciate you posting a failure! It makes me a little less intimidated by your many successes. I must admit this one made me lol -- it does look a bit like the photo has been flipped and we are looking at a lovely wastebasket.

    1. Yeah, "trash can chic" isn't exactly the look I was going for... :) But it's all part of the DIY package, there's plenty of failure mixed in there!

  2. Maybe the issue is that it is so cylindrical, ie that the sides are straight? To me it also kind of looks like a scoop shop ice cream container. Well ... maybe you can put a bottom on it and use it for a waste basket!! Oh well -- you'll just have to put your imagination to work again ... how bad is that!!

    1. I've definitely seen a lot of cylindrical drum shades I likes, but the proportions are just too off (it would need to be wider to balance it out). But agreed -- not too bad to keep working at the project!