Introduction: Custom Low-Light Lampshade - College

About: Hi, I'm a woodworker, tinker mechanic and dabble in just about anything I can get my hands on.

This is a great project for your senior leaving for college. He/she will now have a lamp like no one else.

The shade is darkened so it can be left on without bothering a sleeping roommate while you burn that midnight oil studying.

Step 1: Creating the Stencil and Adding It to the Shade

Now, I have a vinyl cutter this step can easy if you have one or more time consuming if you don't.

You need to cut out your custom stencil using an exact o knife or CNC vinyl cutter. My son is going to Penn State in the fall so I got the logo from their website. Now I think I were to sell these lamps there would be trademark problem and Penn State would sue. However, if this something you want to sell, make your own images that you clearly know aren't copyrighted.

Things you need:

12 x 12 adhesive vinyl sheet

12 x 12 peel away backing tape

1 Lamp shade (white) - Found a couple in the discount bin at Ollies for $5.00 each.

Lamp of course

Dark enamel spray paint of your choice. (I got dark blue)

Straight pin

Outdoor area

  1. After you stencil is cut remove the parts that will be dark after the painting is done.
  2. By looking at the images above you can see the letters are what is put onto the lamp shade. So remove the vinyl around the letters.
  3. Take the peel away backing and place it over the vinyl that remains.
  4. Press it down firmly.
  5. Peel the backing away from the sheet so now the vinyl you wish to keep is attached to the backing.
  6. Position this backing over the shade gently.
  7. Press the backing and vinyl firmly onto the shade.
  8. Gently peel off the back and all that should remain on the shade should be the vinyl.
  9. Sometimes the vinyl wants to peel off with the backing so be patient.

Step 2: Painting the Shade

  1. Making sure all the vinyl is firmly attached to the shade its time to paint.
  2. Make light passes around the shade.
  3. Don't spray too much at once or the paint will bleed behind the vinyl.
  4. Try to make sure you spray as perpendicular to the surface as possible. Angles will allow paint to get behind the vinyl too sometimes.
  5. Make 3 or more coats of paint. Waiting 10 minutes in between allowing to the paint to dry some.

Make sure your coats are even. I can see some imperfections in my painting and that will be amplified when the lamp is lit.

Step 3: The Big Reveal

  1. After allowing the last coat to dry for an hour or more, its now time to remove the vinyl.
  2. Unless you have long sharp finger nails a straight pin works best for this.
  3. Just get the pin behind the vinyl and peel each part off.
  4. This process is quick and you get so see the fruits of your labor almost instantly.

Step 4: Finished Product on the Lamp