What’s better than a lamp shade made entirely of sunglasses? This how-to tutorial might seem like a doozy, but trust us — if we can do it, you can too. Happy craftin’!
- Lamp (we got ours from Walmart)
- Spray paint (optional)
- Sunglasses (lots and lots of ’em)
- Large and small zip ties
- Two wooden circles (like these)
- Four 1″ x 9″ wooden dowels
- Two wire wreath frames (one 8″ like this and one 12″ like this)
- Eight nails
- Power screw driver
- Hole cutting attachment for screwdriver
- ¼” drill bit
Prep your lamp for awesomeness by first taking it apart. You’ll be putting one of the wood circles around the socket of the lamp (where the light bulb screws in). To figure out the size of the hole that you will need to make in the wood circle for it to fit snug, measure the radius of the socket.
Find the center of one of your wood circles (we used this method). Once you’ve located the center on the wood circle, now you’re ready to drill your first hole. Use the hole-cutting attachment for your screwdriver and make a hole the size of the socket in the center of the circle.
Nail all four dowels (evenly spaced) into the bottom of the first wood circle (the one you just drilled the hole into). Tip: Hammer each nail in just enough so that it’s poking through the other side of the circle. Then, align the dowel with the nail and finish hammering the nail into the dowel.
Drill six holes with the ¼” drill bit around the edge of the second wooden circle as evenly spaced as possible (no measurements necessary). You’ll want to make sure the holes are 1-1.5” from the edge of the wood.
Now, you’re going to take the wood circle with the small holes (from step 4) and center it inside the 12” wire wreath frame. Secure the wood circle to the 12” wire frame with large zip ties. Trim the zip ties for a cleaner look. Tip: To make sure the wood circle stays centered as you’re tightening the zip ties, gradually work your way around by gently tightening each zip tie little by little until all are taught.
Flip the first wood circle (the one with the dowels attached) so that the dowels are pointing upwards. Align the second wood circle (which is now attached to the 12” wire wreath frame) on top of the dowels. Hammer into place. Tip: Hammer the screws through the wood and into each rod (similarly to Step 3) so the framework is secure.
Grab the 8” wire wreath frame and fasten it to the 12” frame with large zip ties. Tighten the zip ties until the 8” wire frame hangs about 5” below the 12” frame. Tip: To make sure the wire frame stays level, gradually work your way around the circle by tightening the zip ties little by little.
Step 8 (optional)
Now that you have the framework for the chandelier built, spray paint the lamp and the framework. We used a teal blue color.
Once the spray paint is dry, you can assemble the lamp. To fasten the chandelier framework to the lamp post, slide the wood circle with the large hole over the socket. All you need to do is screw the lightbulb in and it will tighten down on the framework to hold it in place.
Now for the fun part! Gather all of your sunglasses — we’re big fans of bright colors and mirrored lenses. You’ll want to gather enough sunglasses to have two layers of sunglasses on your lamp shade (they’ll be linked together and attached in chains to the bottom wire frame and the top wire frame), but the length of each is completely up to you! Our top wire frame has chains of either two or three pairs, and our bottom frame has chains of either three, four, or five sunglasses.
We decided to follow a pattern with our sunglass chains, but random works, too! Once you have your sunglasses laid out in the order you want to attach them together, grab your small zip ties and get going. All you need to do is connect the sunglasses at the hinges and trim the zip ties.
Once you’ve connected all of your sunglasses, start with the bottom wire frame and attach your sunglass chains. To do this, you’ll hook the top pair of each chain over the wire frame (as if you were slipping the pair onto the collar of your shirt). We spaced our sunglasses evenly around both wire frames.
Voilá! Now stand back, admire, and then go brag about it, because you just created a sunglass masterpiece. Make sure to snap a pic and show us your shade on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter so we can give you a shout-out!