Arts & Crafts Magazine

DIY a Mercury Glass Lamp with a Custom Fabric Shade for Less Than $52

By Barbarayesspaces @Barbara_Miller

The Idea formal mercury lamps

Image from

Antiqued silver glass called Mercury glass is everywhere right now – and I love it.

It has a worn quality that makes it interesting in almost any room. I started thought  it would be the perfect base for a lamp shade technique I had stored away in the idea section of my brain. So I decided to pair a custom fabric shade with a DIY mercury base.This was definitely a figure it out as I went project but I love the custom bedside lamp I created for one little girl’s bedside table.The beauty of this project is you can change the fabric to any fabric that works with your decor.The Design torn-lamp-shadeI needed to find a simple glass base that has an opening large enough to allow me to paint inside and a lamp shade frame. I decided to use all IKEA for these pieces because even though you can get a lamp shade at any thrift store and remove the old fabric to get to a frame, not all of those shades fit an IKEA base. (IKEA does that on purpose and let’s face it – it’s annoying)I wanted to create a unique lamp shade that required no high level DIY skills, if you build a sleek lamp shade any imperfection will show so why not design something that celebrates those imperfections as part of the artistic process!

The Materials Girl's Bedroom Lamp

  • 1 IKEA Bran lamp base
  • 1 IKEA Hemsta lamp shade
  • 1 can Krylon Looking Glass spray paint
  • 3/4 yards of Quilting fabric – or other substantial cotton
  • Matching spool of thread
  • Sewing needle

The Process


Watch the video first, these instructions are meant to help you remember the order or answer any additional question

  • Remove the base from the box but save it to use in the painting process
  • Tape the cord that is extending from the base and anything else you want to protect from paint spray
  • Clean the inside of the lamp and let dry (409 or similar is fine)
  • Invert the base inside the box so the opening on the bottom is facing up – stand up the box to support the base during painting
  • Using MANY, MANY light coats cover the inside with the looking glass paint, any imperfections add to the antiqued look
  • Tear fabric into 2-3 inch strips
  • Wrap the end of the first strip around the bottom of the shade and stitch it in place by hand
  • Wrap the strip over the top and back down until you reach the end, sew to the top or bottom rail and start a new strip in the same place
  • Continue this wrapping, overlapping each piece by at least 1/2 an inch until you get back to where you started and stitch this end in the same way as you started
  • Make sure you stitch neatly as the inside of the lampshade will be visible
  • When the base is dry put the base and top together and light it up!

Watch the video if you are confused about any part of this process, or comment and I will respond!

The OutcomeH-vignette-afterHannah now has a lamp next to her bed that is not only darling but allows her to read when her little sister is sleeping, a low wattage bulb makes this easier in a shared bedroom.I think this would also be fantastic with a burlap looking linen, a true burlap would unravel too much or dress it up with a raw silk.mercury-lamp-after The Budget $18.00 –IKEA Bran lamp base$10.00 – Hemsta lamp shade (I found mine in as is for half off)$10.29 –Krylon Looking Glass spray paint$6.75 – 3/4 yards of Quilting fabric – or other substantial cotton ($8.99 per yard)$3.98 – Spool of thread$0.00 – I had the sewing needlesTOTAL: $49.02 Signature-Transparent   52 projects smaller DIY: Milo Baughman Inspired Mosaic Cube Table for under $52We are adding new videos to our YES Spaces DIY page regularly this year until we reach 52! Based on your input we have directions and when needed measurements and plans here for you as well. So be sure to subscribe here and over on YouTube so you don’t miss anything!If you want to add custom touches to your home contact YES Spaces today! I would love to talk to you about your family and your space!Visit our YES Spaces DIY channel to see videos of other family friendly projects!Connect with us on Facebook for the “How To” behind some of today’s most popular design ideas!View our Pinterest Boards for my curated design inspiration!Watch our MESS to YES Home Makeover!

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