Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Peacock Lamp

A few Halloweens back I was a peacock. The costume was simple: black skinny pants, a vibrant blue top, black flats (easy party wear for a night of house and bar hopping), about 100 peacock feathers fastened to my head with wire and bobby pins, and some sweet painting on the top half of my face. It was fantastic. Post Halloween, I salvaged all the feathers from my hair and displayed them bouquet style in a mason jar. In that jar they collected dust, told no style story, and added clutter. (You might remember seeing them on the top of my messy corner bookshelf here.)

The beautiful peacock feathers with their gold, blue, green, and turquoise hues needed a new purpose that was utilitarian, aesthetically pleasing, and added interest and personality to my surroundings. I had a vision: a lamp shade covered in feathers sitting on top a gold base. 

In my basement of forgotten treasures, there was an odd lamp whose shade was too small and too short for it's body, which was mint green and from the Christmas Tree Shop (yikes). Years ago the too-short shade was on top a small silver base and had a Yeats poem written on the shade in sharpie. Both miss-matched pieces were dull and lack-luster. They were the perfect subjects for my peacock lamp. They were just like the feathers: neglected and dusty.

- Krylon, Indoor/Outdoor spray paint primer in White
- Krylon, Metallics spray paint, gold
- masking tap
- large plastic sheet (for coving your paint area)
- hot glue gun
- glue sticks
- scissors
- 50 peacock feathers
- large mason jar (you'll tape the inside structure of the shade for a work stand)


Lamp: Clean materials. Mask off areas not to be painted. 2 coats of primer (30 minutes between each coat). 1 coat of gold paint (that's all you need if you prime it well). Touch up as needed. Dry for two hours. Remove tape. Marvel at your work.

Shade: Clean materials. Repair any tears as needed. If your shade has a heavy pattern on it paint a neutral tone with fabric paint (I did not do this). Starting at the bottom and moving in a circular motion, start apply the feathers to the lamp by glueing the "stem" of the feather to the shade. When you reach the top of the shade, invert the feathers when glueing. Trim feathers as needed.

Nervous about the heat from the lightbulb causing the glue and feathers to overheat, I used a 15w bulb in the lamp once it was assembled. The light is soft and really shows the depth of the feathers. I adore the results. It's lovely, luscious, and totally quirky, and inspired another "adulting" project: restyling and de-cluttering my dresser.

© Habit & Style, 2013

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