do it yourself

Here at the so tread softly house we’re on a bit of a ‘let’s finish off those jobs that we’ve been meaning to do for ages but have actually got used to living with’ vibe. I can’t quite believe that we’ve been here over five years and still we have a bath that really has seen better days and storage cupboards with doors painted a disturbing shade of flesh and umpteen light fittings without shades. The list goes on.

Light shades are for some reason, ridiculously expensive here and having whitewashed the hallway and taken out  the awful glass in the front door and replaced it with wonderfully milky sand blasted gorgeousness, it was time to tackle the lighting issue. I would have loved an antique chandelier with clear glass droplets but will save that purchase for our ‘forever’ home. Instead, inspired by honesty seed pods, I gathered together wire, linen, an old standard lamp shade that I had in storage and some sheets of Japanese xuan paper and made my own.

image: xuan chandelier detail

image: paper chandelier

image: hallway light

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I love how the little pods cast shadows on the walls. I plan to make some mobiles along similar lines for the shop.

Until next time…

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     /  April 7, 2011

    priceless – better than a bought one – and very cool.

  2. Beautiful! I’ll have to save my pennies for one. We have a bunch of old lady decor that HAS to go and first on the list is the tassled lightshades. The prices of nice simple ones has me a little weak at the knees though when multiplied by however many we need.

  3. genius! it’s lovely, really!

  4. Alison – your chandelier is beautiful!!

    I’m suspect you’ll be inundated with people asking if you’ll make more… just gorgeous!!

    Best wishes,


    ps. Thank you very much for your lovely comments re. my artwork.

  5. Wow Al, this is beautiful! Excellent job!

  6. you make it sound so easy… while it’s clearly not!!

    Beautiful!! beautiful.

  7. Geeb

     /  April 7, 2011

    Compltely gorg, Doll. Particularly love the cunning way you used the shade upside-down to help create your final dome shape.
    You know you could even sneak the odd glass drop or prism in to that – maybe even a jewel colour or two?


  8. I love that lampshade!!!! Really cool!

  9. Very beautiful. The dancing shadows are really cool. Well done on a great finishing off task. KP

  10. OMG That is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! Im so inspired to make my own. Thank you for sharing!

  11. hi Agnes, that is abolutely fabulous, and so delicate looking!
    your head must be a very busy place sometimes, so much going on in there..

  12. Rose

     /  April 8, 2011

    so THAT is what you do with those honesty seed pods.I collect mine every year and then do no know what to do with them. Please step my way ———there is a garage full of them. So glad the OP went well and blessings for this years enterprises which keep me inspired and expectant. Rose

  13. Thank you lovely people for your very kind comments. So glad that you all approve of the paper chandelier.
    Each and every comment made me smile so THANK YOU!
    Wishes from my home to yours,

  14. I love, love, love that chandelier so pretty. If you ever start making them, let me know I would love them.

  15. Alison, that’s really, really lovely.

    (i have something i am not that keen on in the loo, that has lots of wire and laser cut shapes, Habitat bought. The dust is a problem but is sorted by tights pulled over the top of the vacuum cleaner nozzle, should you run into problems down the line!)

  16. Only this morning Catherine I was wondering how I was going to clean it and thought about a little feather duster. Your tights and hoover tip in inspired!
    Glad you like it. x

  17. Oh my! Such fluttery goodness. You are an inspiration.

  18. Your lampshade is stunning!

  19. Itisi

     /  April 27, 2011

    I love your shade and totally agree that the price of lampshades in NZ is exorbitant but discovered it is impossible to find frames to DIY. There is a gap in the market here! I now look out for shades at 2nd hand shops, strip them down and recover to my taste.
    PS: I also have periglacial blue features throughout my house – great colour that changes with the light and time of day to reflect a different mood. Beautiful.

  20. Zarich

     /  May 10, 2011

    Ohhh, that’s lovely. And I am now encouraged to try out an idea I had years ago, which isn’t that, but is kinda similar. Thank you! Zx

  21. These are so beautiful, they remind me of my mothers garden in england. How do you get it all so perfectly smooth and flat? Also congrats on the new baby, life changer. sweet dust

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