A common question plagues me during great shifts in design or my own creative tilts: What does a person do with an out-of-date lampshade? You know, the lampshade that will not be bought at Goodwill. The lampshade no one will pick up on the street. The lampshade most people will sacrifice to the landfill because it’s cracked down the center or has stains. Today’s answer to that is DIY floral wall art, but a lampshade is something with multiple parts so next week I’ll have another DIY project using the rest of the lampshade.
For now, let’s talk floral wall art. I have a knack for collecting and drying foliage throughout the year. Living next to two eucalyptus trees and gardens that span the whole of Berkeley residential neighborhoods, I tend to collect fallen leaves, flowers, and branches throughout the year on my walks, dry them, and use them in my Instagram photography. I also dry flowers from the odd bouquet and have been known to snip branches off of people’s dead Christmas trees. If you haven’t noticed, I love plants. I wanted a way to display some of these collected florals on my wall, AND I also wanted to mutilate this ugly lampshade I own.
Most lampshades come in three parts: The fabric/paper/plastic shade, a metal hoop, and a metal piece that connects the shade beneath a lightbulb. Take a look at the lampshade sitting next to you, you’ll probably see all three of those parts. Today, we use the hoop, some dried florals, scrap yarn, and a little hot glue to create a timeless piece of floral wall art that looks as modern as it does vintage.
Also, can we take a minute to basque in the glorious moment that we made it to October? October is my favorite month, my birthday month, and it was fun to make a pretty little piece of art that thematically fits with fall without feeling too Halloween or autumn leaf eccentric.
BUT FIRST: Kill your lampshade
Oh, it’s sad but necessary, because what else will you do with it? I know, it’s odd to destroy a functional item to live more sustainably. It makes no sense, but it does. Sometimes living sustainably means investing in the life cycle of our physical belongings and reimagining them into new things.
To upcylce your lampshade, you’ll need to take it completely apart. I tore the shade from the hoop, and used a cerated kitchen knife to cut away the parts that stuck to the plastic shade, sanded the residual plastic down, spray painted it rose gold and ended up with a nice clean metal hoop.
I originally planned to make a wall hanging for you, but the florals inspired me too much because I already had them on hand, and you ended up with floral wall art instead.
Your standard lampshade will work fine, again, the one you’d love to toss in the dumpster at first opportunity. Remember: Keep the inner part because I have another DIY project for you that maximizes the potential of the lampshade. You can also keep the shade part, I’m brainstorming another DIY for it too!
DIY Floral Wall Art
- Metal Hoop
- Dried flowers and foliage, preferably a collection of branches and individual pieces. I collect mine from walks.
- Hot glue gun
- Scrap yarn or string
1. Get a sense of how you want your wall art to center on the wall. I decided I wanted the florals on the bottom, opening up to an empty hoop like a halo.
2. Layer on your branches first and secure them with your string. I tied mine on and clipped the ends.
3. Begin to layer your florals into the branches. I tied a few pieces together and glued them in. I also glued individual leaves facing the direction I wanted the eye to travel against the wall.
4. Glue larger eye-catching florals, like my yellow straw flowers. Don’t be afraid to turn things over, or upside-down, get creative.
5. Fill in the gaps with smaller details, splayed blossoms or berries and leaves. It’s your party.
Hang your floral wall art and enjoy it! It’s the perfect piece for autumn.
More Floral DIYs