Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DIY: Coffee Sleeve Ceiling Shade (or "Once You Kept Me Warm; Now You Light Up My Life")

As many of you know, Maura and I recently moved into a tiny place of our own in Brooklyn. Although we renovated the bathroom before moving in, it might be awhile before we can make any wholesale changes to the apartment. In the meantime, we're taking on a number of small projects to make our space more enjoyable, while keeping the budget as minimal as possible.

To that end--although I didn't know it when I began--I've been collecting the cardboard sleeves that accompany my morning coffee on the way to work. This hare-brained idea hatched a couple of years ago as I began stashing them in a file cabinet, but didn't take shape until long after we moved this past February. We grew tired of looking up at the bedroom ceiling and seeing the traditional, white, square glass ceiling light cover.

Then I remembered my stockpile of these...

...and drawing some inspiration from this, I got to work. Initially, it seemed like a good idea to connect the coffee sleeves with juut twine, in the hope that its color would allow it to blend in.

When I had finished combining the sleeves, I suspended them with paper clips and cup hooks, screwed into the ceiling.

Once it was in place, however, the shade looked somewhat... messy. Every knot stood out in stark relief against the bright light above. This in no small part contributed to Maura dubbing this "the trash light." So down it came. At her suggestion, I replaced the juut with bobby pins. It should go without saying that adding the bobby pins was much, much faster than tying the individual loops of twine.

I also added several more sleeves to give the shade a looser edge. This time, instead of paper clips, I used white thread to hang the sleeves from the cup hooks.

And finally, a Before/After comparison of the ceiling light:

Materials: 62 coffee sleeves, bobby pins, thread, cup hooks

1 comment:

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