Playing Vignettes | Sofa Table Styling

Accessorise Definition

I’m sure I’m not alone in labeling the act of accessorising one of the most transformative and enjoyable in home beautification.

Not only does this final layer help bring a room to life, it’s also just plain fun messing around with a bunch of beautiful objects (and, as far as decorating on a budget goes, there’s no denying the affordable impact some carefully considered styling can impart).

I used to re-arrange all the ornamental vignettes in my home often, though now, with a three and one year old, I find it’s a bit counter-productive. I’ve noticed that stagnant vignettes can remain ignored for several months though as soon as I move anything around the kids’ interest is suddenly piqued, and sure enough, five minutes later my pretty new arrangement is little more than a disheveled pile of discarded ‘play things’.

I know in a few years I’ll be the one playing around with the accessories once more, though for now I do miss it.

Which is why I was excited when my mum mentioned she was looking at doing some zhooshing in her lounge room. Rather fortuitously, her announcement coincided with an email from the guys at Super Amart who were looking to showcase some of their affordable homewares. Gotta love it when the universe aligns!

I fell in love with these BIG glass statement lamps (being cleared for half price – the website states $89 though I got mine for just $70 each in store!) so decided to make them my jumping-off point.

Now, just to work out where to put them.

I could have done the regular side table thing though mum had a big blank wall behind one of her couches which was just crying out for something.

Before

See what I mean?

Soooo, we shifted the couch forward slightly, slotted in a narrow sofa table and set to work making things look pretty.

The Power of Accessorising

Aside from the gorgeous lamps, which I love even more now, and the big original abstract, which you can read more about below, we used things we already owned. Mum and I are fortunate to share similar taste so we often swap stuff around and even have a joint collection of ‘excess’ decor we can switch and change from.

Sofa Table Styling

Although there is nothing extravagant or expensive about this vignette I like to think it has a gentle sophistication, the contrasting elements working in harmony to impart a fresh, collected feel. And whilst it’s far from perfect to me there’s just something so lovely about the perfect imperfection of rustic meets refined (and something so rewarding about making the most of things you already own to create a new look on a tight budget).

Elegant Glass Lamp

When creating vignettes I usually have some kind of vision in mind however find I generally end up using more elements than originally planned. I don’t know what it is. I tend to like the look of quite clean, sparse-ish vignettes in photos though struggle when attempting to emulate that simplicity myself. I guess deep down I just like more stuff! Not too much though.

Sofa Table Vignette

When dressing the couch we actually had both green and blue velveteen cushions to choose from. Green is one of my absolute favourite accent colours to use when decorating though in this case I opted for blue to reference the artwork and give some relief from the foliage of the ferns.

Here’s a Photoshoped version which shows the green cushions instead.

Sofa Table Styling with Green Cushions

Which do you prefer? Blue or green?

Styling with Different Coloured Cushions

Either way, it’s a pretty cohesive scheme; the blue ties-in with the art, the green ties-in with the foliage. I guess it just depends how much you love green :-)

I’m not totally convinced with the boldness of the stripe on the lumbar cushion. I guess it does help break-up the solids though. Again, it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

Now, just in case anyone is wondering how the big original artwork isn’t “extravagant” or “expensive” I should probably mention that I painted it myself! Whilst I’m under no illusion it’s any kid of masterpiece it does look good (if I do say so myself :-) and works well in the space. It took me a few goes to achieve the look I was after though once I discovered the techniques I needed to use it was actually really easy…and fun! If you’d like to see a tutorial let me know and I might give it a go :-)

Sofa Table Styling

I realise it’s a bit skimpy only sharing this one snippet of the room with you, though the rest of the makeover is still in the works. I would promise a future full reveal however have no idea when the space will actually be complete. Regardless, I hope this tidbit does help highlight the power of accessorising. I’ve heard styling referred to as nothing more than ‘smoke and mirrors’ though I’m comfortable admitting it’s my kind of illusion!

Room Styling Before and After | The Painted Hive

Room Styling Before and After | The Painted Hive

Ahhh, playing vignettes – one of my absolute fave pastimes. Maybe I need to get out more!

Vignette Styling

Couldn’t resist squeezing this pic of Cooper in. I tried getting a shot of my parent’s dog though he was too fidgety. Gotta hand it to Coops, he might shed hair like a yeti though at least he’s an obedient model.

 

Signature

This post was sponsored by Super Amart.
Read my full advertising policy and disclosure statement here.

 

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New Reader-Based Consultation Segment…and a room before and after!

A little while back now I was contacted by one of my lovely local readers who was seeking some design advice. She was actually enquiring about ‘hiring’ me to help, and whilst this is something I’ve done in the past, the timing was just a little off for me so I felt uncomfortable committing to the work.

That said, I was still keen to help her out and do enjoy the challenge, and just plain fun, of playing ‘dollhouse’.

Fortuitously, I’d actually been toying with the idea of beginning a new reader-based design segment and her open plan living space seemed like the prefect kick-off candidate!

"Room with a View" 3D Concept Renderings

The segment will focus on breathing virtual life into your design visions. In other words, turning your dreamy home desires into realistic concept renderings you can actually see!

Notice how I said ‘your’? Whilst I’m super open to helping propel the design – filling in any gaps and dealing with dilemmas – at this stage I’d really like concentrate on rooms you guys already have some ideas for, rather than full-blown “I’m totally lost” re-dos. I love the idea of working in a collaborative way to make your own imaginings visible.

Maybe you’ve got a new colour scheme in mind, different furniture layout to trial or are even contemplating a mini reno. From using a specific wallpaper to creating a particular overall ‘vibe’, it can be as precise or vague as you like, as long as there is some intent. The general goal of the rendering is to provide a motivating (and hopefully exciting!) visual guide which you can then tailor to your needs during the design implementation process.

Anyhoo, back to the kick-off space.

My reader, Jelaine, had come to a stand-still in her combined living-dining area.

She wanted to work with what she already had (for the most part) to achieve a cohesive modern french country feel, with hints of vintage industrial. Although she had some ideas, she just wasn’t quite sure how to pull everything together.

Here’s her space…

Before 1

Before 4

Before 3

Before 2

Note: Jelaine purchased new sofas mid-way through the consultation process after I saw a great deal on some which I thought fit her criteria and suggested she check them out. Although I was sent a few fresh pics of the space including the new sofas – which were sufficient for my rendering purposes – the initial photos (incorporating the original micro-suede couches) were just a little wider angled and better showed the space as a whole which is why I’ve used them above. Of course, the new sofas are depicted in my plans and here they are in the room…

Living Room Before

She also shared photos of some accessories she’d like included…

Decorating Accessories

And here are her needs and wants…

DINING AREA
– Table, chairs and clock to stay
– Lighting for above dining table
– Furniture (incorporating storage) for beneath clock
– Artwork for blank wall

LIVING AREA
– Rug, coffee table, new brown sofas and TV bench to stay
– Incorporate lamps somewhere
– Artwork for above three-seater sofa
– Use architectural prints if possible
– Lighten-up the overall brown-ness
– Additional furniture to accompany TV bench (likes the look of built-ins)

So, taking all things into account – including accurate dimensions of the room itself along with any existing furnishings – here’s what I came up with (side-by-side comparisons can be found further below)…

3D Room Rendering | The Painted Hive

CLICK THE ABOVE IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Go on, you know you want to – it looks heaps better big!

3D Room Rendering After

Virtual Interior Design

Room Re-Design in 3D

3D Room Rendering

Pardon the funky shadowing. Just a quirk of the program.

Below is a ‘doll’s house’ view to more clearly show the spacial planning and furniture lay-out.

3D Dollshouse View

And a bit about the decisions I made…

DINING AREA
I was initially going to suggest placing a small cabinet beneath the clock, though its high hanging position prompted me to recommend a 3/4 cupboard instead. Not only does it provide more storage, thought it’s also just a bit different. I went with a distressed mint green which references the artwork in the living area, breaks-up all the timber in the space and adds some needed personality. Atop the cupboard a simple collection of glassware befriends the solitary clock.

On the opposite dining room wall I have created a basic photo gallery. This area is currently a bit of a transient zone (you might have noticed both a spin bike and keyboard in each of the before pics – which were taken a few weeks apart) with no real defined future plan. The gallery, being both simple and interesting, provides flexibility yet works to give purpose and impact to the wall. If in the future Jelaine wants to pull in something more permanent (maybe in the form of a sideboard, low bar or bench) the gallery can easily be adapted to work.

A low central pendant helps define the dining area. I used an industrial pyramid style pendant, though a longer rectangular one would work equally well, as would an appropriately scaled pair of alternate pendants, like glass cones or traditional lanterns.

LIVING AREA
Rather than commit to the permanence and expense of built-ins, I have simply flanked the TV bench with two tall narrow shelving units. Although open to changing the TV bench, Jelaine did mention that she does like it, so I have retained it at this stage. That said, I do like the idea of switching it out for something simpler which can be painted to match the shelves (and doesn’t compete so readily with the coffee table). I mentioned this to Jelaine and she is now keen to find an alternative. Restrained yet thoughtful styling using co-ordinating accessories (notice I sneaked in her pair of lovely lanterns?) helps avoid a cluttered feel. Pretty baskets can be used to store any smaller, less decorative items. To bridge the shelves and take focus off the TV I have used Jelaine’s existing architectural prints which were purchased by her husband.

I retained the couch configuration – which, after brainstorming all the alternatives, I decided does work best for the space – though added a small occasional chair and two ottomans. The chair works to define the seating area without enclosing it. It also provides an avenue to introduce a lighter coloured fabric. I felt the rectangular shape of the coffee table was a little ill-fitting so have teamed it with a pair of ottomans to create a collective square shape which I feel works better in the space. Along with providing additional seating, the ottomans are easily repositionable as required and, depending on the style, can also be used for storage. To help brighten things up I have used a combination of light-toned linen cushions, some plain and some with simple grain-sack stripes to fit with Jelaine’s desired french feel. I have placed a brown ticking cushion on the occasional chair to tie it in with the chocolate couches.

To break-up all the angles in the room I added a round pedestal table between the couches. I went with something reasonably tall so it didn’t get too lost behind the sofa arms and chose a warm grey to add a bit of depth. Atop the table sits the shorter of Jelaine’s lamps. Positioned symmetrically at the other end of the three-seater sofa is the taller of her lamps. You can’t see it clearly in the pics though I’ve used a small milking stool to bring it up to the same level as the table lamp (books could also be used as risers to get the levels perfect if need be). Giving company to the occasional chair is a small side table, here in the form of a stump stool, however numerous different styles could work well.

To cleanly counter-balance the fullness of the shelves and create a focal point away from the TV I have placed one large artwork above the three-seater sofa. I chose a muted abstract for a bit of edge and colour (as mentioned above, the artwork colour is referenced in the green dining room cupboard to help unite the areas).

Note: Of course, all the specifics in my design are merely suggestive. Particulars concerning details such as colour, style, finishes, etc, can and should be adjusted as necessary.

Now, who doesn’t love a before and after? Here are some comparisons to save all that back and forth scrolling (remember, she already has the new couches)…

Before and After Virtual Room Makeover

Room Makeover Before and After 3D Rendering

Room Makeover Before and After Virtual Rendering

Before and After Room Redo - Virtual Style

 

Soooo, now I invite you guys to submit one of your spaces!

If you have a room you believe would be a good candidate for this new segment simply send me a brief overview of your vision for the space along with a few photos.

Email thepaintedhive@gmail.com with subject line “Room with a View”.

Guys, please don’t go into too much detail or send a million pics at this stage. Depending on the number of submissions I receive I may not be able to get to them all and I’d hate for anyone to take a heap of time composing a submission which doesn’t evolve into a rendering. I plan to select a space as often as time and motivation permits, any of the more nitty-gritty deets can follow if your room is chosen.

Although I have this awesome rendering program (and have somehow conquered the considerable learning curve in order to actually use it!) I can’t count the number of times I’ve just wished someone would simply show me how an imagined space might look. So, I’m really looking forward to being able to do exactly that for some of you! Eeeek!

Signature

Don’t want to gamble with the chance I might pick you? Feel free to contact me about a custom consultation.

Break

This room was rendered using Home Designer Architectural.

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Create Your Own FREE Art Paintings (from photographs)!

Turn Your Photos Into Art (the ultimate guide) | The Painted Hive

In keeping with my completely, absolutely, totally not weird obsession with budget-friendly wall art I wanted to share a really cool and easy way to create your very own custom ‘paintings’.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the concept of digitally turning photos into paintings, and maybe some of you have already played around with the process, though for anyone a little sceptical or uncertain, hopefully this post sheds some light, sparks a few ideas and helps inspire.

I started playing around with applying painterly effects to photos a few years ago after I got Photoshop and stumbled across a few on-line tutorials. It was a new and exciting discovery for me, opening a whole world of possibilities. Achieving really good results using Photoshop can be tricky, so at the time I also trialed a few auto-painting programs which offered simple “one-click” filters.

Since then there has been heaps of progression in the photo-to-art realm. Having sooooo many options is awesome and empowering, though can also be confusing and overwhelming. So, here’s my little break-down.

 

The Photo

Of course, you need a photo to begin with.

The choice is entirely personal, though keep in mind that some may work more successfully than others. Certain compositions and subject matter just lend themselves better to artistic treatments. And remember, one of the bonuses of turning your photo into a painting is that it doesn’t need to be particularly spectacular to begin with.

The photo could be an existing one of your own, one taken specifically for the purpose of applying a painterly effect or a scan of an old photograph.

In addition to using your very own photos, it’s also nice to know that there are literally millions to choose from online. This can be handy if you’re after something specific that you simply don’t have the ability or inclination to capture. Online photos can be purchased through stock image websites or even downloaded directly for free (just be sure to obtain consent first).

A few of my fave subject matters for painting conversions are…

Drag the slider to compare before and after – if you’re viewing in a reader you may need to click over to the blog.


ANIMALS
Who doesn’t love a painting of a beautiful animal? I especially adore the impact of large-scale animal art and, for whatever reason, am particularly drawn to farmyard animals and birds (along with the more obscure, like camels and giraffes – weird). I also like the idea of using photos of your very own pets.
The above deer has been converted by the team at Topaz Impression.

 

LANDSCAPES
The natural romance of most landscapes makes them well suited to painterly transformations. Imagine turning your cherished travel snaps into custom works of art. Or converting scenic home-town pics into meaningful paintings.
The above lake has been converted by the team at Topaz Impression.

 

ISOLATED
A grouping of themed isolated objects (that is, individual items on plain backgrounds) can have amazing impact. I LOVE the possibilities here. Think Gramdma’s old china, your kid’s favourite toys, fruit, leaves, shells, kitchen utensils, precious trinkets, vintage wares, little knick-knacks…anything! Simply place your chosen object against an all white background then snap your pic. If needed, further editing to clean-up the ‘canvas’ can be undertaken during the conversion process. As a shortcut you can also find lots of isolated images online.
The above car (not my usual style, I know, though this was done for my brother and I think a collection of cars would be great in a masculine space) has been converted by myself using a combination of Paper Artist and GIMP. Original image from Performance Garage.

 

BOTANICALS
From a vase of carefully orchestrated roses to clusters of clematis still on the vine, botanicals can range dramatically in terms of style. This makes them incredibly flexible. So, whether your taste is neutral and natural or bold and bright there is sure to be a composition to suit. For sentimental types I like the idea of immortalising a special bouquet. Or how about simply capturing your favourite backyard blooms?
The above hydrangeas have been converted by myself using Waterlogue. Original image from Jentertaining.

 

STILL LIFE
If you’re looking for an easy, fun and rewarding project, why not try composing and photographing your very own still life then converting it into a painting? You could use some of your favourite items and even incorporate sentimental objects. Remember, the photo itself doesn’t have to be spectacular though you might want to pay attention to light and balance.
The above composition has been converted by myself using Topaz Impression. Original image unknown.

 

Note: Generally speaking, you can’t simply download and print photographs taken straight from the internet because the resulting quality will be super poor due to insufficient resolution (refer to my Understanding & Editing Free Printables post for further information about this). Even high resolution photos carry limitations in terms of quality when it comes to enlargement. It doesn’t take much for them to begin to appear blurry or pixelated which is a shame because photos really rely on crispness to look their best. Digital paintings, however, are much more forgiving in this respect. This is part of the beauty of applying painterly effects – the flexibility they provide in terms of size and quality. This allows for the use of poor resolution images and the considerable enlargement of almost any photo with little discernible degradation. For me, the ability to create HUGE statement art is one of the most exciting aspects of using painterly effects.

 

The Effect

Of course, the look of the ‘painting’, and the way it’s achieved, is essentially dictated by the method (and program – more on those below) you use. Some processes are super quick and require absolutely no skill, whereas others demand quite a bit of patience and artistic ability. The options are almost endless, and needless to say, results vary.

I’m partial to the more traditional looking artistic styles, though the sky really is the limit here. From funky pop art to something more whimsical you’re only limited by your imagination!

Essentially, there are three main methods for turning a photo into a painting. Keep in mind these describe the different photo-to-art techniques. Photo-to-art programs may incorporate capabilities for one or all methods – refer to the program list below for more details.

AUTO-PAINTING
This involves using pre-set filters which, as the name suggests, are applied automatically. Simply select one of the available styles (such as ‘watercolor, ‘oil painting’ or ‘pastel’, for example) and via smart algorithms your photo is instantly transformed! In some cases you can also make controlled changes by adjusting certain parameters (such as brush size, stroke direction and texture, for example) or making other edits to tweak the effect to best suit your image and desired look.

Photo to Painting with DAP

Dynamic Auto Painter

ASSISTED DIGITAL PAINTING
Unlike auto-painting, which is, well, automatic, assisted digital painting calls for the manual conversion of photos through the application of user-applied brush strokes. This might sound complex and labour intensive though smart technology, known as ‘cloning’, does much of the work for you. You see, rather than having to create your painting from scratch on a blank canvas, cloning uses the original photo as a source, instantly transforming areas in a painterly fashion as you apply custom strokes! This process does require some practice and an artistic eye though the results can be amazingly realistic and quite striking.

Photo to Painting using Corel Painter

Corel Painter

Note: Whilst you can certainly use a standard mouse to paint digitally (I do), a tablet and stylus does give greater control.

IMAGE EDITING
Of course, all of the methods involve image editing, though what I’m specifically pertaining to here is the clever blending of standard photo manipulation techniques. Different effects can be applied to your photo then layered in such a way as to mimic a realistic painting. I know this sounds kinda technical – and, well, it can be – though for beginners there are lots of on-line tutorials to educate and build confidence. Results can be fantastic and the process is really rewarding.

Photo to Oil Painting in Photoshop

Photoshop (via Thom Yorke)

Note: Although image editing isn’t the obvious choice for photo-to-art conversions, it’s a great technique to try if you already own a powerful image editing program. It can extend your knowledge of the program’s capabilities and ensure you get the most out of it. It also negates the need to buy any new software.

 

For the purpose of clearly explaining the different methods I have segregated them however they could be, and often are, combined. For example, you could begin by applying an automatic filter then build upon it with some custom digital painting and subsequent editing to achieve your desired look. This layering of styles can produce amazing results.

As an aside, keep in mind that the way your painting appears on screen may not accurately reflect the way it will look once printed. Play around with different resolutions and sizes and always choose the best available quality when saving your work. If possible, view at print size and print a test patch first.

 

The Program

From basic apps for hobbyists to comprehensive software packages for professionals, program options are vast and varied. Obviously, they all differ in terms of capabilities, cost, and out-put quality, and some are super simple to use and require absolutely no skill whilst others come with pretty steep learning curves and the need for some talent. I think you really need to use a program to get a good understanding of how it works and what it offers. Fortunately, most of the more pricey options provide free trials.

Here are just a few programs to check out (prices are a guide only)…

WATERLOGUE ($3.00)
A popular app (Apple devices only) featuring a small selection of luminous watercolour filters.

TOPAZ IMPRESSION ($100)
An intelligent program featuring hundreds of realistic editable filters.

PAPER ARTIST ($4.00)
A fun app with a vast collection of different artistic filters.

COREL PAINTER ($400)
A professional program with a focus on manual digital painting.

COREL PAINTER ESSENTIALS ($40)
A condensed version of Corel Painter.

COREL PAINT IT ($40)
A fun program with several artistic filters and the ability to make some custom changes.

PHOTOSHOP ($30 monthly)
A powerful photo editing program.

PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS ($100)
A condensed version of Photoshop.

POPSICOLOR ($3.00)
A funky app (Apple devices only) which renders splashy watercolours.

FILTER FORGE ($30 – $300)
A versatile program inclusive of thousands of filters and the ability to create and save your own effects.

DYNAMIC AUTO PAINTER ($100)
A world-class program with numerous detailed filters and the ability to create your own effects.

JIXIPIX ARTISTA SERIES ($35)
A suite of artistic filters with some customisation options.

POSTWORKSHOP ($120)
A comprehensive program featuring hundreds of editable and layerable filters plus the ability to paint manually.

SYNTHETIK STUDIO ARTIST ($300)
An extensive program with hundreds of editable filters and assisted painting capabilities.

SNAP ART ($100)
An effective program featuring a wide selection of artistic style filters with options for customisation.

AKVIS ARTWORK ($70)
A simple program inclusive of several artistic style filters which can be adjusted and combined.

GIMP ($FREE)
A free photo editing alternative to Photoshop.

 

 

Of course, there’s no denying the beauty and pure specialness of real art, though let’s face it, not all of us have the skill to produce lovely paintings. These clever digital alternatives are a perfect cheat – and just plain fun! To be honest, I’m actually reasonably artistic (if I do say so myself :-) and really enjoy drawing and painting, though I’m not exactly what you’d call ‘efficient’ (read: I am slow and messy!), so for now I’m loving playing around with this virtual substitute!

I’m also loving the possibilities it opens up in terms of gift giving. How cool would it be to gift someone special a custom ‘painting’ of something symbolic?

I’m actually working on some cool free printables for you guys using a few of these programs and techniques so will share more in-depth tutorials when I get around to that.

Signature

PS I’m trying out a new before and after image slider. If it doesn’t work for you, or something just looks plain outta wack, feel free to let me know.

PPS Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Christmas.

Thank you so much for your e-friendship throughout 2014.

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Easy DIY Lantern Lamp

A few months back my mum mentioned she was looking for a new bedside lamp to grace the guest room at her beach house.

Well, actually, that’s not entirely accurate. When I say “looking for” I really mean “dreaming up”, and when I say “new” I really mean “not new at all” because, like me, she has the same weird can’t-leave-well-enough-alone-or-just-buy-stuff-from-a-store-like-most-regular-people disease.

Anyways, her plan was to simply combine two elements she already owned; an inexpensive lantern and a complete lamp cord. Yep, two basic items anyone can get their hands on!

And when I say “simply combine” I really do mean just that! Truly ruly, this is one of the easiest DIY lamps ever. It’s also super affordable, completely one-off and the possibilities are almost endless! Oh, and did I mention the absence of any wiring?

You only need three ingredients…

Convert a Lantern into a Lamp | The Painted Hive

LANTERN
We used a rustic wooden lantern that was found at a discount variety store a few years ago for just $8. Although we used a lantern you could use almost anything with an appropriate form (as long as it’s safe to use as a lamp – remember, some light bulbs can get pretty hot). I’m liking the idea of a cute wooden birdhouse!

If possible, use something with a raised base to allow space for the socket flange and to provide a feed for the cord (demonstrative photos below). Of course, if you can’t find something raised, you could always add your own little feet/apron or consider the option of hollowing out certain areas (if possible).

LAMP CORD
Did you know you can buy wire-free DIY lamp cords? Whilst we used a cord from an old Ikea MYLONIT lamp (this was a really cheap self-assemble lamp with a complete cord which was entirely independent of the actual lamp form – now discontinued) Ikea still sells super affordable similar lamps with all-in-one cords which would work just as well for a project like this (check out the LATER, KVARNA and KAJUTA).

Note: As an alternative to the Ikea lamp cords, you could try a plug-in pendant cord though they can be pretty pricey (up to $60) and may not be as well suited for this type of use. I know there are lots of really affordable lamp kits available in the US (and I’ve also just discovered you can actually buy separate cord sets from US Ikea stores) though I think due to legalities they are pretty much non-existent here in Australia. I found using the Ikea lamps to be the best option.

LIGHT BULB
We used a little 15 watt pilot bulb (available at supermarkets or hardware stores) which, for whatever reason, I think compliments the subtle nautical style of the lantern. It’s low wattage also emits just the right amount of warm light given it’s shining through clear glass. Of course, you could get fancy with a more decorative filament bulb or use a traditional candle-shaped one.

To convert the lantern into a lamp…

How to Make a Lantern into a Lamp | The Painted Hive

ONE Make a hole in the base of your lantern.

This needs to be large enough to accommodate the socket, though not so large that the flange fits through (refer to diagram below). The flange needs to be ‘caught’ by the underside of the lantern so the socket can be properly secured.

In the case of our old Ikea spring-loaded lamp cord, we had a little room for error in terms of hole size as the circumference of the flange was quite a bit larger than that of the socket. The newer Ikea lamp cords however require a little more precision as the difference in size between the flange and socket isn’t as generous…

Ikea DIY Lamp Cord Parts

That said, for greater ease or to correct any oh-oh-I-made-the-hole-too-big mistakes, you could always use a washer to fake a larger base area.

To create our hole we used a hole saw bit (as can be seen above) though there are lots of ways to go about it. A spade bit (if you have a large enough one) or a multi-tool are just two alternatives.

Note: These methods for creating the hole should work for metal too – as long as the cutting bits are good quality and sharp. Getting through might just take a little longer.

 

DIY Lantern to Lamp

TWO Paint the socket sleeve (thanks for being my hand model mum!).

This just helps disguise the plastic look of it. We went with basic matte black, though you could opt for a trendy colour pop or faux metal finish. You could also choose to conceal the sleeve once in place – I contemplated wrapping it in twine, fine rope or even a sleeve of metallic card, though decided it wasn’t really necessary. I actually quite like the simplicity of it.

 

How to Convert a Lantern into a Lamp

THREE Feed the socket through the hole and insert your bulb – DONE!

Obviously I took the above demonstrative spring arm photo before I painted the socket sleeve!

In our case, this meant squeezing up the spring-loaded arms and inserting the socket from the underside before allowing the arms to snap back, securing the socket in place. If you are using one of the newer Ikea lamp cords, this would simply involve inserting the socket from the underside then screwing down the plastic nut to sandwich the base of the lantern. Essentially, the nut and spring arms serve the same anchoring purpose.

And it really is as simple as that!

DIY Lantern Lamp | The Painted Hive

Mum now has a totally unique lamp to both compliment and illuminate her beach house guest room – and all for less than $15 and in under fifteen minutes!

I tested the lamp at night and was immediately smitten with its warm glow and shadow cast. The decorative x’s cut the light quite boldly and produce, what is to me, quite an enchanting ambiance.

Below you can see what I mean about the lantern needing some sort of raised base or hollow. There has to be space to accommodate the socket flange and somewhere for the cord to feed out or the whole thing won’t sit level.

Lantern Lamp DIY

As nice as it is to use lanterns with actual candles, this is just a bit of a quirky take which makes for a unique lamp and provides easy one-click radiance.

I know this isn’t really a Christmas project though given the time of year I thought I’d style it a bit festively.

Turn a Lantern into a Lamp (No Wiring Required!) | The Painted Hive

Since creating this lamp I’ve found my eyes lingering longer over every lantern (slash hollow object) I come across. Do you ever do that too? Get so excited about the possibilities of a project that you just want to make more and more for no good reason? Fortunately stuff like this can make pretty cute one-of-a-kind gifts!

Hope everyone’s Christmas preps are going well :-)

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