Saturday, 19 October 2013

The completed lamp makeover...

I only had about an hour and a half to myself today whilst my daughter was at a party. As luck would have it, the lamp embellishing item I ordered from America arrived this morning so I thought rather than start on the cupboard doors I'd sort out the lamp.

This is a tiny copper stencil that would have originated in Europe. I bought it from this Etsy shop and it came so fast with a little card with a tiny woven laundry label in the same initials. Sweet touch. (I went for an intertwined J and E for my husband and I.) These are sometimes called Dowry Stencils.

Here's what the Alpenhimmel shop says about them...

''These lovely monogrammed copper stencils come from Germany and were used from around the mid 19th century to mid 20th century to mark a young girl’s dowry linens. Brides marked their kitchen towels, table linens, bed linens, and sometimes even their under garments with their initials. After stencilling, the initials were then embroidered with either white or red thread. A classic tradition that can be reinvented by you! Use these vintage stencils to mark your own linens or use them to add a unique finishing touch to your artwork, quilts, or other handcrafts.
Each stencil is 60 - 160 years old.''

(This is NOT a sponsored post. I just like this shop. You can also find these on eBay.)

Here's the before again...


If you remember I had a little trouble painting the basket part. You can read about that here.

Well, I cracked it. I just attacked the final coat of paint with a wire brush and it all looked fine.


So the shade got covered with linen and looked rather bland. I fancied a bit of a faux grain sack look.

I masked off some stripes with Frog tape.

Frog tape is well worth the extra cost if you ask me. If you've ever been desperately frustrated by pound shop masking tape that rips...not all masking tapes are created equal.

(This post is NOT sponsored by Frog tape either. But I like it.)

With a stencil brush and a tester pot of Wilkinsons paint I stippled between the tape with a dryish brush. Grain sacks have a worn look about them so you don't want to just paint between the lines...

I let the stripes dry, it didn't take long, and taped the little monogram stencil over the central stripe.

I stippled over this with a dark red, then joined up all the stencil lines with a tiny brush and a steady hand. Because I hate the look of stencils.

Wehey.The great thing about these copper stencils is that they are so thin, they bend. This made it super easy to fit the curve of the shade.

Yes, the monogram is pretty dinky. If I did this again I might source a larger stencil but most of them seem to be small and I wanted our initials which narrowed the search.

Most importantly I'm happy with the outcome! I thought I might have to give up on this makeover several times so I'm thrilled it turned out okay.

Happy weekend!

p.s. If you want to follow me on Pinterest you can do that here

If you'd like a 20% off code for the Alpenhimmel Etsy shop, head over to my newer post.



  1. You are so clever! It looks lovely. Desperate for one of those stencils now, can feel a bout of stencil-mania coming on, and i want to do a capital 'f' cross stitch for fin. Clauds great aunt did them for each kid in the family as they were born but she's too sick now to do one with fin x

  2. Ah, sorry to hear that Max. I love the history behind them. I see monogrammed linen sheets fetching small fortunes on ebay and these stencils are just what the young girls would have used. The postage is very reasonable. I'm sure it's the same to N.Z.

  3. Never doubted you would pull it off. Fantastic grain sack effect.

  4. Thanks Fiona, you have more faith in me than I do! x

  5. Good work on finishing this- it looks amazing! Love your choice of letters too- very sweet :) I've got my own wicker project to get cracking with; just got to wait for a break in the miserable weather (so, May, then...) xxx

    1. Thanks Katie, your project sounds intriguing! Is it either too big to do in the house or a spray paint job? Looking forward to seeing it in May. xxx

  6. I'm glad you didn't give up on the lamp, it looks lovely. Of course, the idea of doing anything that requires a steady hand lets me out... I do envy your skills and your steadiness!
    The little copper stencil is a sweet thing. Forget the cupboard; I expect you will be embroidering all your sheets and knickers with JE now! xxxx

    1. Yes but the J might confuse my other half and he might think my knickers are his! xxxx

  7. What a transformation, it looks lovely and the base is great with the wire brush treatment. x

  8. Lovely, I knew you would turn it around! x

  9. Wow that looks AMAZING! Love the stripes too.

    Have you started doing all your undergarments yet then? ;0)

    1. Haha! Far too busy deconstructing doors! Thanks Liz x


I love to hear your comments!