Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Butterfly Lamp

Do you remember my boring, thrifted bedside lamp for Venetia's room?

In my post back here

I've been busy prettying it up. Our inspiration came from this book

Here on Amazon

The idea in the book is more for a hanging light shade, and it's decorated with moths made from fabric and paper. Hopefully you can see a little of it from the photo below.

I do really like the idea just as it is in the book, but Venetia, as she informed me sternly, has a butterfly room, not a moth room! And so we adapted it to a butterfly lamp, using some of the lovely fabric scraps that are in her quilt.

The butterflies are fluttering around the front of the lamp, starting at the bottom...

Moving through the middle...

And finishing at the top...

I have to say, it wasn't a project that was particularly enjoyable. I made the butterflies by using bondaweb to 'stick' one fabric butterfly on to another piece of the same fabric, wrong sides together, to create a 2 sided butterfly. Hope that makes sense! Here's that first step in a photo:

I drew around it, just in my water erasable pen, to make the outline stand out a little better so it was easier to sew, in the next step...

As you can see I sewed a tight zigzag all the way around to attach the 2 layers together securely and give it a good edge. Then I cut around it.

Some of them I kept flatish and just zigzagged a body down the middle, but most of them I folded in half and sewed a quick running stitch down the middle to give it a bit of shape - sorry, I didn't do very well at taking photos here.

They were pretty small, flimsy pieces of fabric to sew and the trouble was that the sewing machine had a tendency to want to eat them. In theory it was simple, but in practice it was annoying and fiddly. I felt that there must be a better method for making them that I hadn't come up with. It would certainly have been a lot easier to have just been able to cut out the shapes in a lovely, thick wool.

But, nevermind. Once I had my butterfly shapes I simply hand sewed them on to the lamp, with just a few stitches down their bodies. And Venetia and I are both really happy with how it turned out, and how it goes with the rest of her room.

And I think I like it the best when the lamp is on. The butterflies stand out beautifully without dimming the light particularly.

It certainly feels a very different lamp from the one we had at the start.



  1. Wow it looks great, and I agree, I love it when it is on too. That books looks great, wonder if I can get it over here. Will have to check the library and see :)

  2. I love it!!! What a way to brighten up a thrift store find! Your daughter must be so pleased with it. I really like the quilt too...I'm sure mama made that as well. ;)

  3. So much fun! That is it... that book in on my to-buy wish list!!!!

  4. It's lovely and whimsical. You're right, it's wonderful when the light is turned on.


Please post a comment, I love to hear from you!