Introduction: Refurbish Vanity Bathroom Light With Paper Coffee Filters, Leaves and Ferns!
Just about every other day I am doing some sort of project for either my wife, myself, or for the house, nothing major, just things to kill boredom. Now I am not sure if it was on here or maybe a "upcycling" website, but I saw an individual make a lamp shade from coffee filters....and I can really dig upcycling or recycling something into another useful item, whether for function or for form, makes no difference...hence this project I took on today.
When we moved into this new condo several light fixtures were pretty rough to look at....mainly the back patio and the guest bathroom. Of course TIME and MONEY can always be an issue regarding NEW items around the house no matter how small, so I thought about some lighting ideas based on the other lampshade I had seen reusing used coffee filters and came up with this idea. (Oh, and chop sticks too!)
BTW, I am positive there are better ways to do this, better materials, etc....so perhaps use this "ible" for inspiration rather than an exact guide. I tend to be impatient when I have ideas in my head and I like to get projects done in a relatively short period of time.
Materials were simple and were also things I already had throughout the garage...
- Gorilla Wood Glue or other wood glue on hand
- Rolling Pin or pipe/pvc
- Small Plastic Dish
- Small Paint Brush
- 15 or so used coffee filters
- Various plant leaves from the garden
- Scissors/ Razor Blade
...and of course the bathroom light fixture. Many of you have seen this exact glass cover in your own bathroom, pretty standard when they build some of these condo/apartments....frosted glass with a "see-thru" swirl pattern? Now I am not going to say it is hideous, but we like a more organic and earthy look in our home plus we tend to be frugal with expenses.
Step 1: Drink Some Java and Save the Filters!
First off gather up used coffee filters. We tend to have a pot of coffee in this household every morning, so the filters add up easily. When cleaning the coffee maker I would rinse the filters and set them aside to dry. Once they are dry you will tear them up as shown in the picture.
Remember, you'll want these to be used, not new, so the coffee stains come into play with the light...gives a rustic look and warm glow.My wife says tea stained filters would come out darker than coffee...we'll see on another project.
Anyhow, I happened to have used 15-17 used filters on this light.
Step 2: Time to Add the Plants!
The next thing we did was get some ferns and other various leaves out of the garden. Now this was a last minute idea and should have been a longer step, perhaps more thought in regards to drying the ferns and other leaves out completely. But we will see how it goes over the next few weeks doing it this way...
Once we had some plants picked out I rolled them with a rolling pin in order to soften them up, making them wrap around the curves of the glass easier. Without doing so they would not bend or stay put in place....so we crushed them.
Moving forward I took elmers glue, mixed with that a little bit of water and then set that aside, you'll use this to brush on the filters.
With newspaper spread over the counter/ work area, we then took the glass bathroom fixture and propped it up AND off the counter surface. Taking straight elmers glue (NOT the mixture I made) I now brushed it on to the areas I wanted the ferns and leaves placed. Once all the plants were in place it was time to start laying down the coffee filters.
Step 3: Time to Use Those Filters and Get Messy With Some Glue!
Laying down the coffee filters should be random with no particular pattern in mind other than they should all overlap, leaving no glass exposed. Dipping the paint brush in the glue/water mixture I would then brush the filter into place with the glue and kept doing that, working randomly around the fixture.
Once the light fixture was completely covered and brushed entirely with the Elmers glue mixture it was set outside in the sun to harden. This worked out nicely and it was completely dry in 30-35 minutes. I am thinking a resin might work good in place of glue...or some kind of final coat. Hmmm....?
I then took a new razor blade and ran it around the edge of the light fixture, trimming away any extra material and leaving a nice clean look. Don't forget to cut out the holes for the mounting caps.
Now it goes back in the bathroom.....I will admit I am not completely sold on it, for some reason it seemed better in my head....and in hindsight I should have made an inner support and used the glass as a mold....but I sure as heck like it better than what it use to look like!! Quick and easy and i finally used up all those filters my wife was moaning about! :)
Oh, the last couple pictures were taken of the back porch light. I used a bunch of chopsticks I had stored up, used coffee filters and a hot glue gun. No measurements taken, just eyeballed it, cut the chopsticks with wire snips and glued it all in place as I went along. Sure it looks hap-hazzard but it was fun and fits our shabby-chic surfer/ skater lifestyle.
Thanks for looking and hope to have sparked an idea or two. :)