Teen Room Project #8: City Scape Table Lamp

city scape lampI saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be cool to make for Eden’s room. We had an old lamp at home that had a silver base and wasn’t too dated. I figured the lamp itself would fit with the decor, but in order to pull this off, I needed to find a “drum shade” (one that has the same diameter at both the top and bottom without tapering). Strangely it was hard to find one. I finally found a brand new one on Kijiji for $5. It didn’t fit well, but I simply flipped it upside down and glued a rubber washer to the bottom edge. This slipped over the light bulb socket and the rubber made for a tighter fit, so the shade didn’t wobble. Once the bulb was screwed in, it was pretty much secured in place despite it not being a custom fit.

City Scape Lamp Shade:


  • black drum shade
  • image of a city skyline
  • pencil
  • needle/pin or even a cake tester (something pointy)*


To make the city scape, I found a silhouette image on-line and then copied it and traced it onto my red shade. I was actually doing some trial and error because I did not find a tutorial for making it, just a picture of the finished product. I wasn’t sure if I should put the holes through the recovered shade or just have it shine through the holes of the red. city scape lampSo, I initially traced my picture on red and then poked holes through the red before I covered it in black. (In the end, I had to make the holes through the black as well as the holes weren’t very visible, so don’t do this as it was a waste of time. However, because the red would not be my finished surface, I traced directly onto the fabric. If I had already covered it, this would not have been an option. Instead, I would have cut out the city scape and then taped it to the shade. I would have then used it to create negative space without tracing.)

Once the city skyline is taped in place (in my case it was traced on red shade), begin to poke holes along the entire sky line almost like you are tracing it with pin pokes. I was a little tentative and made the holes quite small at first, but ended up going over them all a second time so that they allowed enough light to pass through. You need to create the skyline with the holes before adding random poke holes throughout the “night sky”. Basically your buildings become negative space and there are no holes in this portion, but you can randomly add holes anywhere above that line. Although I didn’t make an exact line across the top, I generally tried to keep a 3/4″ no poke zone that looks a bit like a top border even though the pokes are still random at the top.

Because mine was red and the colour wouldn’t work for the project, I picked up a few dollars worth of black taffeta at the fabric store. I used spray adhesive I had on hand and simply sprayed the shade lightly and then carefully laid the fabric over it to get even coverage. I folded over the top and bottom edges and then added a little rim of ribbon with my hot glue gun, along the inside edges. The finished ribbon edge sat just under the lip on the top and just above the lip on the bottom. It really isn’t visible from the outside, but gives the edge more of a finished look. The interior is still red, but it works because red is in fact the accent colour in her room.

The finished effect is a bit underwhelming, but I love how it adds to the overall theme in such a subtle way. It really adds to the ambiance of her sitting area.

*When poking the holes, I found that if the tool was tapered, it was easier to poke through and you could get a better hole in the end. I also found that my fingers got sore after a while and that the cake tester with the rounded end on it was easier to push through that the needle.

Teen Room Project #7: Throw Cushion Covers

Eden used to have what I thought was an awesome banquette style table/bench in her room that was perfect for doing her homework, art projects and painting finger nails. However, she was adamant that she did not want it in her room when we did the bedroom transformation. Instead, she wanted a comfy seating area to hang-out in when her girlfriends are over. Originally she wanted to make a pallet type sofa, but in all honesty, it seemed like another big project and not really necessary when we have a futon right outside her door in our landing that virtually goes unused. She agreed that this would be a great alternative and so swapped the banquet and the futon. The second floor of our home has two large bedrooms, a large landing area and a bathroom. This is the kid’s zone and so the swap really made no difference to me.

Although we may someday purchase a new cover for the futon, for now, we just removed the old navy one and replaced it with an older duvet cover. It is a bit larger than it needs to be, but Eden doesn’t even mind the oversized look and the price was right!

To dress it up, I decided to use some of the old cushions from the futon and make some simple new slip covers for them. I had all of the fabric on hand from previous projects and the style I made required no zippers and minimal work.

Throw Cushion Tutorial

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

For these simple slip covers, you simply measure the width of your pillow and add about an inch for seam allowances. Mine were all square, so the width was 14″ plus 1″ for the seam allowance. Ideally, if you are using new fabric and aren’t doing piece work, the length will be equal to 2X the size plus about a 3 to 4 inch overlap depending on the size of the pillow. For mine, The width was 15″ and the total length would have been about 34 “.IMG_2449

Step 2: Finish the seams

Next, you take the short sides of the fabric and finish the seams. I usually do a double fold to give a nice finished look. (This is just an example and I did not actually use this particular piece of fabric. I pinned the seams to give you the idea.)

Step 3: Fold and Pin

Lay the big rectangle down flat with right side facing up. Place a pin at the center point and then fold over one of the finished side seams so that it’s laying down the middle of the fabric. Take the other finished seam and drag it over so that it lays onto of the first one that has been placed at the center point. (Remove the pin.) You want to measure and lay it down once the folded cover is the desired width. So, the last piece will now be overlapping the first fold. Remeasure to be sure that the folded cover is the desired size of the finished cover.


Fold the first end in and lay it down in the middle of the fabric.

Fold the other end

Drag the other end over to overlap first side and stop when the folded square/rectangle equals desired size.

Step 4: Sew

Sew along the top and bottom of the cushion cover. Turn right side out and ensure corners are pushed out. Insert the pillow through the overlapped portion. This will sit at the back of the finished cushion.

*Of course, I didn’t have new fabric, I was using scraps I had on hand, so I had to do some piece work. It was basically the same concept, but I used “less appealing” fabric on the back where the overlap is and my decor fabric on the front. Of course, instead of a fold along the sides, mine has a seam. You just have to allow that little extra for the side seam. Here are the shots of the ones I made.

Floor Pillow:

Eden also had a large throw pillow that needed to be recovered to match her new decor. For this one, I simple removed the previous cover from the pillow and used it as a template for cutting out the new fabric. I actually used an old shower curtain that was in excellent shape. It is a bit silky feeling and I thought it would be great because it wouldn’t collect lint on it in the same way the previous fleece one did. I even removed the zipper from the old one and re-used it in the new cover. This cost nothing, but gave the pillow a fresh new look for her cozy little “den”.

floor pillow

The floor pillow cover was made from upcycling an old shower curtain.

floor pillow

Here’s a shot of the finished floor pillow with a cushion. The cushion fabric was left over from the Roman Blinds.

Bolster Pillows:

Finally, I took the old bolster covers and used them as a template to make a long tube like cover for back of the futon. This simply meant finishing the end seams and then sewing a long tube. Instead of the hassle of trying to make a nice fitting end, we just used ribbon to tie the ends. Simple to do and helps dress up the old futon a little. I’m not sure I “love” the ribbon, but I had it on hand and it will do until I find something I like better. These covers were also made from an old shower curtain. Eden doesn’t like a lot of pattern, but I was able to add a bit of interest with the varying sheens and textures of the cushion fabrics. I like the waffle fabric on the bolsters a lot.bolster

How much did all these new cushions cost? Not a dime. I was able to re-use/repurpose what I had on hand without being out-of-pocket at all. It is still looking a little sparse and we’ll definitely have to kick it up a notch, but its a good starting point. Now I can look for fabrics or pre-made covers that will coordinate well with what she already has. I’d really like to bring more colour and pattern in, but Eden and I don’t always see eye to eye and ultimately ….it is her space!