As you know, when we moved into our camper, we had to put essentially all our worldly goods into storage. In order to protect our lamp shades from getting crushed, I packed them separately from the lamps. Some of those shades I haven’t found again. One solution was to make another trash can lamp shade.
We have been in this house for about eight months now, and I confess that boxes are still piled in the garage and artwork is propped on the floor in the guest bedrooms. Once we got moved in and the house was livable, I ran out of steam. What can I say?
This lamp lived in the keeping room at the last house with a blue toile shade. Ignore the clip-on shade for now- I’ll explain later.
This trash can caught my eye at TJ Maxx for a couple of reasons. The cutout pattern mimics the Arabesque tile that I am still considering for the kitchen. Repeating patterns and colors throughout the house makes the interior design more cohesive.
The other reason I thought this trash can would make a good lamp shade is the oval shape. Oval lamp shades allow you to place the lamp closer to the wall, taking up less space on the table.
There are a couple of issues with using an open design like this, though. The lamp parts will be visible, and the light may be too harsh.
Painting all the lamp parts minimized the first issue. I painted the entire lamp, including the harp, the switch, and the outside of the socket with Rust-Oleum flat white paint. I stuffed a paper towel into the socket to protect it from the paint.
Adding a glaze highlighted the details and coordinated nicely with the trash-can-turned-lamp-shade. Since the lamps won’t get a lot of abuse, one light coat of clear matte spray varnish is enough to protect the finish.
Turning the trash can into a shade was very simple. I first measured the bottom of the can in several directions to find the center. I punched a hole in that spot with an awl, then drilled a 1/4-inch hole so that it would slide onto the harp. I placed a large washer onto the harp to help stabilize the shade.
The painted and glazed lamp parts blend in nicely. The candelabra bulb is also less noticeable than a regular size bulb.
The shadow pattern is fun, but the shade does have a bit of a glare problem, even with the smaller bulb.
I had hoped to place the clip-on shade on the bulb to cut down the glare, but it was too stiff to bend and fit inside the harp. I’ll be on the lookout for another one that is more pliable.
UPDATE: Two broken bulbs later, I managed to bend the clip-on shade so that it would fit within the harp arms. Within minutes, the bulb burned out. I don’t think there is enough air flow in there for a shade within a shade. Oh, well, I still like how this trash can shade turned out.
There was only one of the trash cans available, so I still have the other base with no shade. Hmm, what shall I do?
In case you missed my earlier Lamp Makeover with Trash Can Lamp Shade:
What unusual things have you used for making over lamps?