How to Cover an Ugly Light Fixture

Hey there! So I'm starting to recover from the craziness of last week's Share the Joy project, just in time to figure out what to make for Thanksgiving (I should probably buy a turkey soon). If you missed it, I organized a group of Central Florida DIY bloggers to redo the office space at a local foster home. Click here to see the before and afters. Since our budget was limited, we just didn't have the cash to replace all 3 light fixtures in the office. That's when the $6 DIY light fixture was born.

Here's what the existing fixture looked like.
When Christine and I were shopping at World Market for this project, she suggested buying a large drum shade to cover one of the fixtures. Great idea except we seriously didn't even have enough money left to afford one gorgeous shade from World Market. We left without one and I decided to hit up Goodwill that night in search of a DIY fix.

Here's what I found. A wonderfully ugly $6 brown (I think it was painted at some point in its life) oval drum shade. Time to get crafty.

To recover the shade:

Step 1
Cut your fabric about 2" bigger than the height of your lampshade, and long enough to wrap around your shade and overlap a little. (Might want to iron your fabric too if it's wrinkled)

Step 2
Line up the edge of your fabric with the seam on the lamp shade and hot glue along the seam in place.

Step 3
Stretch the fabric around the edges of the shade and hot glue. 
Keep going stretching your fabric, making sure there are no wrinkles and gluing the edges. I did not put any glue in the middle of the fabric, just on the edges as I wrapped it around the shade.

Step 4
Once you get back to your glued seam, trim off the excess fabric (if you have any). Leave about 2-3 inches of overlap.
Fold your fabric under and glue in place. Since I stretched the edges of the fabric so much on my way around the shade, my seam kind of ended up in a curved shape.
And that's it. You may have some extra fabric to trim around the shade and a few spots to touch up with glue. 

Once we got the shade to the children's home, my husband drilled a small hole in the center of the existing fixture cover (the dome-shaped metal thing that covers the wires). Then, we just put a screw and nut through the shade's metal bracket and screwed into place.

And, ta da, you're done. Total project time was about 45 minutes to cover the shade and install.

So if your budget just doesn't allow for completely new fixtures, hit up Goodwill and look for a shade. A simple $6 camouflage job might be all you need.
Thanks to Katie from Sew Woodsy for some of the photos.


Share the Joy REVEAL

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of World Market's Share the Joy campaign.

What an amazing, exhausting, and rewarding week this has been.  Last week I told you about World Market's Share the Joy campaign (click here if you missed it). Basically, in honor of Share the Joy, World Market challenged me to come up with a community outreach project they could sponsor. In other words, how could I Share the Joy? I immediately thought of local foster homes since I tutored there in high school. Central Florida Children's Home, a local foster home in need, became our target.

The Central Florida Children's Home is a non-profit organization that has been open 40 years. They run 100% on donations and volunteers and currently foster 15 children ages 2-16. There is a house mom and dad (dad is Hiram) and Natalie, who keeps the office in line. These 3 people keep this safe, warm, loving home running.

Asking for Help

When the wheels started turning and plans started to fall into place, I realized I would not be able to make a truly impactful difference alone. I needed help. That's when I went to fellow local DIY bloggers. Katie and Jon from Sew Woodsy, Lauren from The Thinking Closet, Christine from First Home Love Life, and Wendi from H2O Bungalow all jumped at the opportunity (on really short notice!) to make a difference without reservation. Have I mentioned how awesome the DIY blogging community is?

Let's Do More

After the help was lined up, Katie and I both thought, why not see if we can do more. World Market was already providing so much, we decided to reach out to other companies to see if they wanted to lend a hand too. Holy generosity! Thanks to 3M we had plenty of ScotchBlue Painter's Tape to go around, drop cloths, and office supplies. Thanks to our local Home Depot we were able to paint the entire space and do some repairs. Thanks to RYOBI we were able to assemble all of the furniture, hang curtain rods, remove switch plate covers, and install lighting without killing our wrists! And thanks to Homes.com and ForRent.com we were able to purchase all new lighting, a new fan (full tutorial on that here), and decor. I get goosebumps even typing that!

So it was set. The plan was two full days repairing, revamping, and remaking the offices of the home (a separate building just behind where the children live). This is the place where foster parents come to be interviewed, where fundraising happens, where the day-to-day office tasks get done, and (as we found out) where the older kids sometimes come to get some homework done. Since 100% of the little "free" time and money the house mom and dad receive go to the kids, the office just got left behind. Evidence...

Work It!

So are you ready for the good stuff??? Let's get to it.

Have you ever wondered what it looks like when DIY bloggers descend on you for a whirlwind weekend? Like this. #Ithinktheresroombymyfeet

Let's head in the front door.

And the view as you look to your right at the desk Natalie and Hiram share since his office was never finished.

Here's my husband (who stayed 2 full days to help his crazy blogging wife... love ya babe!) and Wendi from H2O Bungalow patching the walls (30+ holes!) and cleaning the windows in Hiram's future office.

And if you turn back and look towards the front door, here's the view.

So the office was cleaned out and we began removing the "1980's furniture" as Natalie lovingly referred to it. We patched the walls, Jon and my husband Jamey fixed a broken window pane and toilet, installed missing baseboards and new lighting, Katie replaced the air filter (post here about that), Christine's husband replaced the rusted AC return vent, we fixed a hole in the floor,...

and painted until our arms fell off. The colors are Light French Gray and Gulf Winds by Behr.

Here's the whole dream team (Brady Bunch Style) hard at work. Lauren, Jon, Jamey (my husband), Katie, Me, Tony (Christine's husband), Wendi, Christine, and Mark (Lauren's husband).

We completed so many projects in just two days it's pretty mind-boggling! Just a few more pics, then the "afters". I promise :). On day two there was tons of furniture assembly, a ceiling fan install, curtain rods to hang, frames to paint, pin boards to cover, a DIY lamp project, and tons of clean up!

The Finish

And then it happened. After 2 full days, we were done. Without further rambling...

DIY chalkboard wall over two Verona Bookshelves and books donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Hiram's new office. A combination of existing furniture and a Konrad Desk and Zane Pedestal Table.

The new conference table and break area... mixing old and new again. The back wall stencil is the same one I used on my living room curtains from Royal Design Studio.

New Verona Buffet paired with custom shelves made by Jon and original artwork by Lauren.

Even better than the "afters" were the reactions from Hiram and Natalie on their new space. Relief, joy, and excitement.

As Hiram told us, "Being with the kids is the easy part.  All of the extra stuff is what's hard". We were told over and over "you don't know what this means to us" and "this is huge for us". Honestly, going into this even I didn't realize what an impact we were making. I'm so thankful to World Market and our other sponsors for enabling us to Share The Joy at the Central Florida Children's Home. I can't think of a more deserving group!

So now that you've seen what a few bloggers pulled off in a couple weeks, what could you do to Share the Joy? 
Provide stocking stuffers to a local children's home in your area? Make up a gift basket for the local fire station? From November 8th - December 6th, Cost Plus World Market is giving away a $5,000 American Express Gift Card + $5,000 for a charity of your choice each week for 4 weeks. Can you imagine?! You win $5,000 and get to give $5,000 to charity. For a chance to win, become a fan of World Market on Facebook and click here. Even the simplest things can have a big impact.

A few more for pics for good measure. The DIY light fixture from a $6 Goodwill shade and fabric from onlinefabricstore.net by yours truly.
Looking over the conference table to the break area.
Natalie's area. She insisted Hiram get the new desk from World Market and she have the existing furniture... so we made sure she got the new Pakshi Bird of Paradise curtains from World Market.

To read Lauren's post and see her awesome reveal video, click here.


$500 CASH Black Friday Giveaway

Hey! So I've been painting, and fixing, and stenciling, and installing all day for the Central Florida Children's Home with other lovely bloggers (you can read about that here), but I had to take a break. Why you ask?! Because it's Black Friday Giveaway time! So Christine over at First Home Love Life and Wendi over at H2O Bungalow organized 20 bloggers (me included) to get together and offer up 500 big ones to one lucky winner. You can either choose to receive a $500 Visa Gift Card mailed to you, or if you have a Paypal account, we'll send it there. It’s up to you! 

We're excited to be able to provide this to one of our awesome readers. Pay some bills, shop til you drop, take a mini vaca. It's up to you. Use the Rafflecoptor below to enter…
Giveaway will run from 11/18/13 at 12am EST to 11/24/13 at 11:59am EST
*Winner will be notified by email, and has 24 hours to accept, before a runner up is picked*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Share The Joy Plans

I've wanted to write this post for weeks now (it's gonna be a long one)! I've been working and planning my tush off (and not sleeping much) and am so excited to be sharing my most important blogging project to date. Thanks to World Market's Share the Joy campaign, I have organized a small group of Central Florida bloggers to makeover a space at a local children's foster home, sponsored by World Market. I'm just thrilled blogging has provided me with an opportunity to do such a great thing in my community. Squeal!

So what is Share the Joy? From November 8th - December 6th, Cost Plus World Market is giving away a $5,000 American Express Gift Card + $5,000 for a charity of your choice each week for 4 weeks. Can you imagine?! You win $5,000 and get to give $5,000 to charity. So cool and they are doing it 4 times! For a chance to win, become a fan of World Market on Facebook and click here. Who would you help?

When I got the email from World Market challenging me to come up with a way to help my community, I immediately thought of local foster homes. I tutored at a foster home in high school and I still clearly remember it. While that home is no longer open, a google search and a few phone calls lead me to a similar home close by... Central Florida Children's Home. They've been around for 40 years, are currently home to 15 children, and run 100% on volunteers and donations.

Because this is such a big project in a short amount of time, I knew just me and a glue gun weren't going to cut it. I went to my fantastically-willing-to-help-at-a-moment's-notice Central Florida blogging buddies for help. And because they are amazingly awesome, Katie and Jon from Sew Woodsy, Christine from First Home Love Life, and Lauren from The Thinking Closet all enthusiastically agreed to join in and get sweaty.

Now, side note, while everyone was really willing to help this was tough to pull off! Trying the get each blogger's, the children's home's, and World Market's schedules to jive was really hard. There were a couple mornings I just thought there was no way we'd be able to make this happen. But, (you're going to laugh) there is this billboard I pass everyday on my way to work. It says "If not now, when?". Honestly, I think it has something to do with getting your GED but whatevs. That billboard kept giving me a kick in the pants. It's time NOW for me to give back! (Are you imagining me flying down the highway singing Katy Perry's Roar right now?) Totally.

So after tons of phone calls and emails, it was decided that the offices at the children's home needed the most TLC. This is the place potential foster parents come to meet the staff and  be interviewed, where the have meetings with local businesses for fundraisers and to ask for donations, and where the day-to-day office tasks get done. Their major needs were a conference table and two separate desk areas since both staffers are sharing the same desk right now. There's also very little lighting (it's so dark!) and a lack of storage.

After my visit, Christine and I hit up our local World Market and shopped like mad. We purchased mostly furniture to fit the children's home's needs. We loved everything, choosing was hard! The employees were super helpful and made our crazy checkout process easy. Good thing we have large vehicles! #Juststrapittotheroof

So,want a sneak peek of what we got? Here are some of the goods we snagged at our local World Market. Swoon!

Are you excited!? I am! Our 2 days of work begins early next week. When I realized how amazing this project was going to be, and how many kids it was going to potentially help, I decided to see if other DIY brands I work with and love wanted to support our project too. And you know what, they all said YES (because they are amazing)! A huge thanks to RYOBI for supplying us with tools to assemble our bounty of furniture and get our DIY on. Another huge thanks to 3M for donating ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, Command Hooks and strips, and a bounty of office supplies. And, thanks to Homes.com and ForRent.com for donating moola to purchase the new lighting, fans, and decor! You guys rock!

So I'm challenging you now. What can you do to "Share the Joy"? Provide stocking stuffers to a local children's home in your area? Make up a gift basket for the local fire station? You never know what tiny act could turn into something more. Follow me on twitter, facebook, and instagram this week to see all the progress in real time #ShareTheJoy. Then come back next week for the big reveal! Tag your photos too so we can see what projects you came up with. Now I need to go shop again!


Easy Curtain Shelf

Have you even bought or made curtains only to find out the curtain rod you want is just as expensive as the curtains themselves? I hate that. The nice thick substantial ones are so pricey (or maybe I'm cheap). So I came up with a solution that is not only less than a curtain rod but also provides storage! 2 birds, one stone, right? 

A week or so back I posted the curtains I made for Operation Big Girl Room.  Today I'm showing you how I put together the shelf I hung the curtains from.


  • 2 brackets or corbels. I bought mine at Home Depot in the moulding section (ranging from about $5 - $10 each) but they also have them in the curtains section (with holes already) and I've seen salvaged corbels at several thrift stores before. Shop around. They just need to be thick enough to drill a large hole through for your rod.
  • Wood dowel slightly wider than your window. Mine is 1 1/2" I think and cost about $1.50
  • Shelf same width as your dowel. We had ours in the garage from a closet project that never happened!
Step 1
Drill a hole in the center of the corbels. Notice I painted first then drilled. Learn from my mistake. You will have to touch up if you paint first. So do yourself a favor and drill now. I used this bit on my drill. It's slightly wider than my dowel.

Just measure the same distance from each side in, and draw a little "x". Place the center of the drill bit on the "x".

Step 2
Prime and paint your shelf and brackets. (If you need help with the painting, I painted this project the same way I painted the Tween Table for this room. Click here for that tutorial.) If you were using a wood shelf, you could also stain instead of paint. I also painted my rod white to go better with the room. I think painting the rod is probably optional but it makes it look more finished. And, cheater tip... I only painted the bottom and sides of the shelf. No one is ever going to see the top!

Step 3
Hang the corbels on the wall just like you would curtain rod brackets.  Make sure to leave enough room from the ceiling so you'll be able to display things on the shelf. Put the dowel with curtains in the holes, and place the shelf on top. You can secure the shelf to the brackets with small crews from the top if you wish.
Since I hung the brackets far enough apart, the ends of the rod are kind of hidden inside the corbels. If yours stick out you could paint the ends a cool pop of color, screw on a cabinet knob maybe, or add a decorative cap.

That's it. Easy peasy and a place to stash all those dress-up purses I know you have in a pile in the bottom of your closet. :)

If you'd like to see more projects from Operation Big Girl Room, click around below.