Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: A Painted Lamp Makeover!

Spray Painted Lamp Shade_Pic Monkey

I hate to admit it……..but I’ve been wasting money on my electricity bill over the last year.

I know, you’re shocked, right?

Me…..the so-called Miss Thrift Diving Queen, has failed to notice when her electricity bill is sky high! Shocking!

I am on “budget billing.” In other words, I pay our AVERAGE monthly bill each month instead of the ACTUAL usage. It’s supposed to eliminate any surprise billings each month. But it’s easy to get disillusioned about energy consumption when we’re “only” paying the AVERAGE. What about those high months??

But imagine my shock when our actual usage one warm month was nearly $500?!  YIKES!

I knew it was time to replace the bulbs with energy efficient ones… start unplugging things when not in use….and turning off lights when we leave the room. We’d sort of gotten lazy!

So when GE asked me to partner up recently to talk about how I reduce, reuse, and recycle, and that they would provide me some coupons for a few new GE energy efficient light bulbs, I jumped at the chance.

I already reuse and recycle nearly every furnishing in my house via thrift stores and a pretty coat of paint, which has saved a ton of money and keeps people’s “trash” out of landfills. And I had already started to reduce our energy consumption to save some money. Now it’s time to change out those old bulbs for new GE energy-efficient ones. I am always striving to DO more and SAVE more!

(In fact, I’m even canceling our cable this week, too! That’s a whole ‘nutha post coming soon….stay tuned!).

(By the way, all opinions about my GE Lighting experience are my own, including my project idea! Go check out the full shopping and project prepping over in my Google+ album!)


Painted Lamp Shade Makeover!


One of my favorite types of projects are lamp makeovers. It’s so easy to reuse things to make lamps. Wiring them is a piece of cake! All you need to do is order a lamp kit from Amazon. In fact, recently I did a post on how to make your own DIY pendant lamp (which includes a wiring tutorial) that I made from an old broken fruit basket from my kitchen. It’s hanging in my craft room, and I love it!

Anyhow…many months ago I found these 2……..hookahs??………at the thrift store for $5.00 each on a 50% off holiday sale. I thought they were candle holders until I realized they were hollow inside, with openings at the top and bottom, and would make the perfect lamps!

Thrift Diving DIY lamps

I bought a cheap lamp shade from Walmart for $11. My thrift store usually doesn’t have drum lamp shades. (Oooh, but the last lamp makeover I did, I struck gold when I found these awesome thrift store lampshades for $2.00 each!)



Thrift Diving painted lamp_BEFORE


And after a little bit of drippy-drippy spray paint and total random creativeness, here’s the AFTER!



thrift diving painted lamp shade

All I did was glob tons of paint on the rim of the lamp shade and just let it dribble down the sides. I layered the paint with pink, turquoise, white, and apple green. :) I wanted orange, too, but didn’t have any on hand. Oh well, this is plenty! I like the random splatter of green the most!

painted lamp shade_thrift diving

This was such a fun project! It’s like being able to make a mess and the messier, the better :)

I used spray primer on the hookah/lamp prior to spraying it with white semi-gloss.

To get the globs of paint on the lamp shade, I folded a piece of paper in half, and then took a can of spray paint and sprayed a huge puddle of it the crack of the piece of paper. Then, I dribbled the puddle of paint over the edge of the paper and let it run down the side fo the lamp shade in random patterns.

spray paint.png


I used one of my new GE light bulbs in the new lamp, so now, there’s no more wasted electricity!!!

GE Reduce Reuse Recycle

GE Reduce Reuse Recycle

I prefer 60 watt bulbs because they’re just the amount of light I need for my crafting. And I like that these GE bulbs are a bit smaller so they fit more compactly inside of lamps. Some of those bulbs I have have seen can get monstrous size! Watch this video to show you how small these bulbs really are!

And don’t you just love how cozy lamps look at night? This lamp looks very cool when turned on! Even my kids thought it was neat, and they are quick to tell you something doesn’t look good! LOL. Oh, and be careful when you’re painting a lamp shade, because the paint will make it very opaque. But the awesome part is that you can make any design with paint and it will be even more striking at night between the translucent shade and the opaque paint. Be creative!

Also, because I am a night-owl, I tend to burn the midnight oil well into the wee hours of morning. So I need energy-efficient bulbs that will keep costs low while burning all night :)




So I  plan to put my DIY painted lamp shade in my craft room; just not sure yet. In the meantime, it’s sitting on top of my hand-me-down Ikea Expedit bookcase, out of the hands of a little toddler who will destroy it if you let him get his hands on it……;)

thrifted craft room_painted lamp shade




TOTAL COST: About $24!

TOTAL TIME: About 1 hour, minus drying time in between.

 Spray painted lamp shade_Thrift Diving


So how do YOU reduce, reuse, and recycle?

Have you noticed you’ve been wasteful and are cutting back, too? In what other ways do you reduce, reuse, or recycle? And be sure to check out Be sure to GE over on Facebook and Twitter @GELighting #GELighting.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider SHARING and LEAVING A COMMENT :) 








I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and GE Lighting #cbias #SocialFabric”

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About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 36-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

Comments (31)

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  1. Dawn Kropp says:

    I love it! I’m so going to share with my readers.. because we LOVE everything “With a Side of Thriftiness!”

  2. I was looking at that picture and trying to guess what kind of paint you used. Never would have guessed spray paint!

    • Yep! The turquoise was actually just a little jar of sample paint from my “paint stock pile,” but the pink and green and white are all spray paint! Just spray a big glob of it on a piece of paper or in a cup, and then dribble it down the side for a cool little effect. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Cathy says:

    Wow, that lamp is gorgeous! I love all the colors i it! Good job Serena.

  4. Another great reinvention of something otherwise castoff. Great ideas all around. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thanks, Christine! I know…just think of all the stuff that people get rid of, when, if they knew how fabulous it could be, would change their minds and keep it? LOL. Lucky for us they get rid of it, though!

  5. Denise says:

    Hi Serena, This is my first time visiting your site…just clicked over from Facebook! This lamp re-do is adorable…love the colours on the shade. Will visit again soon. ~ Denise

  6. anna says:

    the lamp looks perfect in the Crafts room!

  7. Pam says:

    The lamp is beautiful!

    I recycle everything I can. Our city makes that very easy for us to do. Many items that I no longer use are quickly picked up if you place them curbside and used by others.

  8. Andrew says:

    I love the lamp but am just as interested in how you keep yur craft room so neat and tidy! Amazing.
    Thanks for the cool idea.

    • Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

      Ooh, but what you don’t see in my craft room pic is the big pile of MESS out to the left of the frame! Lol Plus, this is one room the kids can’t really play in! Lol. Thanks for commenting!

  9. Super cool lamp shade!! I love the splatter/drip effect and its so colorful, brightens a room. Another idea, for those with little kids, would be to have them put handprints all over the shade. At least sounds like a good memory maker, if they don’t press too hard! Surely, there’s a kid friendly paint that will stick to a lampshade! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Iain says:

    This is fantastic.

    I would have never thought of using hookah pipes to create lamps, but they did turn out particularly well.

    My gf recently made a picture out of shirt to reuse the shirt because it didn’t fit properly.

    There are so many ways to reuse things. All you need is a great imagination and you are ready to rock.

    Great makeover

  11. Amy says:

    Really cute project! Love the paint colors you used!

  12. Megan says:

    Your lamp looks so great! I love the colors of the shade. :)

  13. OMG I love this serena! and it looks so good in the room. :)

  14. Trisha D. says:

    Ahhh, that shade is to die for! Such a genius idea to transform a hooka, who woulda thought!

    We got rid of cable a long time ago. The only thing I miss are commercials (since some are funny and lots of people talk about them), current events, and football games.

  15. Amy says:

    LOVE the lamps! Especially the shades. Who would have thought you could have used a Hooka to create a lamp!

  16. Kandi says:

    I love the lamp that you made! And we only use the GE energy smart bulbs right. Some of the things we do for reducing is just making sure all lights are off if we are not in the room, we also dry clothes outside if we can (so not running the dryer as often).

  17. debbie says:

    The lamp is adorable and I just love it. I can’t wait to try it. We do use the energy efficient bulbs and they really do last forever. I keep a lamp on in our sunroom all night and it has been years since we put it in. I don’t think it will ever burn out.

    • Thanks, Debbie! It’s really easy to do! I keep meaning to post the video tutorial, but I’ve been so busy. That’s awesome about the bulb in your sunroom! Just think if everyone replaced all the bulbs with energy efficient ones….Less pollution! I think they are phasing out the incandescent ones, though! Thanks so much for taking time to comment :) I love comments.

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