Introduction: Remote-controlled Fabric Lamp
The tackiest thing... housed a poinsettia plant that I "won" at the holiday Yankee Swap party in December. I still have the plant, it's doing great, but I relieved it of the horrid bucket it was sitting in. It was so ugly I didn't want to photograph it as is. I spared you the eye-burn. Instead, I show you the brilliant plastic cage that was the scaffold for the 12 feet of tacky garland shown in the trash bin. It even had a "gold" Santa buckle.
~ The third pic is the remote control LED strip. The strip is a lengthy 5 meters. The remote control does the basic functions of turning the lights on and off, with three levels of brightness(100%, 50%, 25%) but also has modes for patterns, with accompanying speeds, just in case you want to make yourself a little queasy.
Step 1: Weaving LED Strip, Then Diffusing
~ I had some leftover linen from slipcovers I made for the dining room. It's a medium weight weave, so needs some diffusion to blur the LED's.
~ I wove the 5 meter LED strip in and out of the bucket scaffolding. Somehow, the length was perfect. Destiny.
~ I wrapped the cage with batting. I pinned it snug, not too tight, and also had about 8-10" at the bottom that I just tucked inside.
~ I whip-stitched it all, cinching the center top.
Step 2: Preparing and Pleating Fabric
~ I cut out a long rectangle and ironed it out well. The height was the same as the bucket/cage, plus 1", the length was over three times its diameter at the widest, about 45". To pleat requires 3 times the circumference, as 3 layers essentially represent the same distance. I serged the raw edges.
~ I folded over one edge and pressed that out. This was my beginning pleat edge.
~ I wanted 2" pleats, so I measured 4" from the edge with my trusty rule guide.
~ At the beginning of the ruler was where I folded over. This would be the under-crease of the next pleat. I brought the edge of the fabric fold to 2" and creased.
~ Pinned first pleat.
~ Making second pleat in same manner. I continued until all length of fabric was pleated.
~ I stitched along the edge of each pleat, from the edge to about 1.5" in, then back-stitched to the edge.
Step 3: Fitting Skirt Over Cage
(I've made so many pleated skirts, it's funny to be doing this for a home decor project.)
~ I wrapped the pleated skirt over the widest(bottom) part of the cage, meeting the edges to where they touched, to determine where I should stitch them together. Marking with a pin, I removed from cage then sewed them together, forming a completed loop that I could fit over the... batting cage. : D (get it?)
~ I placed that bottom over some of the extra linen and chalked around. This would be the circle that I'd sew to the skirt, to create the bottom of the lamp.
~ I stitched the pleated skirt edge to the circle, right sides together.
~ Turned right-side out. I clipped any peak-a-boo threads and finger-pressed a crisper edge.
~ Pleating to the smaller diameter: Not that difficult, just have to keep the pleat line centered, at a 90 degree angle from the top, re-adjusting the pins as necessary. In essence, you are creating deeper pleats to compensate for the smaller diameter.
~ I then steamed all the pleats crisp.
Step 4: Fixing the Connection
~ These remote LED strips have a wonky connection mechanism. You have to peel back the silicone covering, open the hinged doors of the plastic housing of the clamps and then pinch the connection, and then close the doors, thereby locking it. Well, the lights flicker... it's just not a solid, permanent connection, and maybe isn't meant to be such.
~ I removed the plastic housing, stripped the wires, and made a nice, soldered, permanent connection
~ A bit of heat-shrink tubing to keep it rigid, and this thing's ready!
Step 5: Closing It Up, and Hanger Loop
~ I re-sewed/cinched the batting after pushing the wires down into the cage.
~ This thing doesn't weigh much at all, and I want to hang it from the ceiling. I chose some heavy-duty, waxed linen thread to create a small loop for the chain it would hang from.
~ I made a double thread with knot(a large loop), grabbed enough into the batting with the thread, and fed the needle through the loop to create a centered anchor.
Step 6: Top, Smaller Circle
~ I cut out a smaller circle for the top, interfaced it for added rigidity and serged the outside edge.
~ I snipped out a small hole large enough to fit the wire through and fed the circle down onto the top.
~ I thoroughly pinned the top to the sides, folding under the serged edge, and hand-stitched with heavy-duty thread.
Step 7: From Ugly, Useless... This, to That.
I love this hanging lamp!
It is textural and provides just enough mood lighting. It is more of an artistic piece rather than a source of functional lighting to be sure, but it is just what that wall needs, and especially complements the other furniture and lighting sources that I've created for the room.
(and, yes, I did paint that black cord with some leftover paint from that wall... isn't that what silly artists do?)
It's nice to have a lamp that can be turned off with a simple remote, and though I probably won't use all the other features that the remote provides, it's nice to know that I can, just in case I want to.
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