Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Brilliant idea #8 – making old light fixtures new

Again with the light fixtures, I know. I stripped wallpaper in my bathroom and painted the walls, and Kevin and I put in a new tub surround (and drywall behind), and I moved out some furniture, stained the sink cabinet, refinished an old dresser that was in the garage, and bought these cute little Depression-style glass knobs in different colors (the walls are white and I didn’t want the room to be too blah). I put Monet prints I’d bought several years ago on the walls, painted and stained a wicker shelf unit that had been in the bathroom before, and painted old wooden towel bars that had been in the house when I moved in and put those back up.

But the light fixtures. Ugh. The existing light fixtures were gold-plated squares attached to the walls, with frosted glass globes in a Victorian style and very visible ugly old light bulbs. I toyed with the idea of replacing the entire pieces, but the light fixtures I tend to like are expensive and I needed two single ones on either side of the mirror and a larger one on the other side of the room. Plus, I didn’t want to have to screw around with re-wiring something!

For several years I had been attracted to little candle holders and vases made of mosaic tiles, but I had never bought any because I had enough candle holders and don’t use vases. So the idea of using little mosaic tiles was already tumbling about in my brain.

Then I had a brilliant idea. I thought I could use the mosaic tiles to cover the gold-plated square pieces, replace the glass globes, and have a unique and attractive light fixture. I painted the gold-plating white when I was painting the walls and caulked around the edges to smooth it out. Then I bought some blue and green tiles off eBay and at Michael’s, measured the square fixtures, and cut a paper plate as my form, then adhered the tiles to the paper plate and adhered the paper plate to the light fixture square. I bought thick bubbled glass globes and got some attractive flame-shaped light bulbs instead of the old standard ones.

I am not quite finished with this project, as I am going to put tiles on the sides of the squares and still have to cover the light fixture on the opposite side of the room, but I am waiting until spring so I can open the windows, because the adhesive stinks! Until then, unfinished pictures!

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