Upcycle the Doily

There was a time and a place for doilies and sadly, or not, most of those times have passed. Not many young people use doilies in their houses to protect furniture or just to look pretty. With this, there is an abundance of them at flea markets, garage sales and second-hand stores, ripe for the picking for crafters like me.

I’ve been collecting doilies, sporadically for eight months now. While I can see the intricate craftsmanship that went into them, I don’t plan to cover every surface in my house with them. This is not an original idea, I stole it from Pinterest. If you want to see other people’s versions, just search doily lamp. Only mine, like anyone else’s is slightly different, since no two doilies are made the same.

gluing doilies to a balloon

  • Collect doilies
  • Buy big punching bag balloon and white glue (actually carpenters glue worked better for me – with more tack, although I did start with white glue.) You’ll also need a light socket, but check around your house you never know if you have a spare one from Ikea hanging around in a box of cords.
  • Apply doilies to balloon with liberal amounts of sightly watered-down glue.
  • Allow a few days to dry. I had to re-stick some doilies.
    • When I popped the balloon it seemed to dislodge some of the doilies. Then I ended up glue-gunning some in strategic places, just to be sure!
  • Attach the cord and light bulb (again for me this was a glue-gunning project, but you wouldn’t know from looking at it) and voila!

doily hanging lampI started out with a frosted light bulb and was underwhelmed by the results. Once I switched it out for a clear bulb, the effect is much more clear, with designs projected onto the walls. It’s totally what I was going for!

I was in need of soft lighting to help pull together my bedroom re-design. There are a few more additions to the room still to come and then I will reveal the difference a few DIY projects can make. This light couldn’t be better!

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