A looooooooong time ago when we painted this backsplash, the homeowners Stan and Sue gave us a tour of their lovely home… and I comment on how I loved their vintage swag lamps in their living room. It was meant to just be a compliment… but they proceeded to remark, “those old things? We just bought new lights to put in their place. Do ya want the old ones?” …ummmm, yes please? And so Stan whipped out his ladder and climbed up to their high vaulted ceiling, and removed the fixtures right in front of us. How incredibly generous and awesome?!
I'm sad that I don't have pictures of the lamps before our ADHD dog broke the globes (we shouldn't have had them in our garage I guess)… but we were left with just the ornate brass parts of the lamps, which is what I loved about them to begin with… so it was ok.
After occupying our garage for far too long, I finally decided what I could do to make them awesome again. Our bedroom's been in desperate need of some new matching bedside lamps, and we all know how hard it is to find two matching lamps at garage sales or thrift stores. Why is there always only one? So the swag lamps were the obvious and budget friendly choice for our bedroom… AND they have major character!
So here's what we did. The brass was very tarnished and icky, so everything got a good scrub-down with soapy water. Which didn't help AT ALL. So after googling some home remedies for shining up icky brass, I went at it with lemon juice and an old toothbrush. Also didn't help. So we broke down and bought some brass polish which worked like a charm. We'll know for next time, eh?
For $15, I ordered 36 yards of 6mm crafting beads from Amazon.com. I cut lengths of 18 inches.
While I was measuring and cutting strands of beads, Nick was wiring and soldering the fixtures so that they would work… and not be fire hazards.
Then I just used crafting wire and attached each strand of beads to the brass top and bottom thingys. I didn't take very many process pictures, because I got on a role and wasn't thinking to document my beading journey. But this is what it looks like now!
And here they are in the bedroom during the day.
And at night.
We tried putting in some amber tinted bulbs, and it made for a fun vintagey-yellowy glow.
Remember what our bedroom looked like just last week?
I'm not saying that being a hoarder is a healthy lifestyle, but there's SOME merit to keeping things around “just in case I might use them someday.” Such an improvement!!! Not sure what's next. Curtains p'haps?