Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eiffel Tower Pinhole Lamp DIY...

So here's my DIY Eiffel Tower pinhole lamp. I'm pretty pleased with it as a first go.
I took inspiration from a lamp I saw in an upmarket home décor boutique in Noosa recently, although that one featured a New York Skyline.
I'd got a pair of these little lamps in a second hand store some time ago. They were particularly ugly and neglected and had these creamy coloured shades with flecks of stuff through them, and were embellished with brown fringing and braid...erk! I actually went back four times before I really saw any potential in them whatsoever, and clearly nobody else saw 'potential' either because even at $15 for the pair, they sat gathering dust for 3 or 4 months before I rehomed them.
Off came the brown fringing and braid, and already they didn't look half bad. Then I saw this lamp...
....and realised what a great DIY project they were. At $7.50 each, there wasn't too much I could do wrong....right?
Pinhole lamps are popping up everywhere all of a sudden and the New York Skyline is a favourite subject matter. Me? I'll take the Eiffel Tower over Manhattan any day.
So all I needed for my DIY pinhole lamp was a lampshade I wasn't afraid to ruin, some black paint, an appropriate outline to use as template, some masking tape, and a thick needle.
Lampshade found, chalkboard paint employed (it was just what I happened to have that was black), template discovered here....
....and resized accordingly, and bookbinding needle at the ready, I proceeded to tape this outline to the correct position on my lampshade.

...my outline...

...lampshade before...

...lampshade with template...
...and then I spent three days in spurts of a few minutes at a time, poking holes in my lampshade with the bookbinding needle, which by the way is nothing special and is in fact just a longer, thicker sewing needle.
I used the dots on the template as a guide, and about half way through, remembered that there is a neat-o little tool that would do this for you called an Awl which I highly recommend over a needle for the task. But in the interests of using what I had, I perservered with my needle and just spread the task over several evenings.
I was so proud of myself until I realised that in my haste to get those pinholes done, I had neglected to first paint my shade black...doh!
I suggest remembering to do this first, as once painted, the holes in my lampshade were all but clogged and I had to go over the whole thing with the needle, yet again! Sheesh.
Had my desire for a glittering Eiffel Tower next to my bed been any the lesser, I would have given up at this point and binned the thing. But dang if I didn't want to read by my favourite tourist icon at bedtime.
The entire glittering effect of my lampshade could probably be enhanced by a second coat of black paint, but for now, I kind of like the tissue paper effect, and in the flesh, the little holes sparkle far more brightly than they appear to in my photo.
I'm quite thrilled with the result and have a mind to do the twin to this lamp in the same fashion. I'm going to buy an awl, and redo the pinholes to open them a little more to enhance the effect, and perhaps do that second coat of black paint too.
Or perhaps I'll use this idea....
...and do the Eiffel Tower black against a twinkling night sky.
We'll see.
Meanwhile I hope I've inspired you to punch holes in inanimate objects....hehehe!


  1. Hi Mimi--what a fun project, I love the Eiffel Tower, but I do love the NYC skyline as well...Thanks for your visit to my blog and your kind words. Have a great week! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

    1. Hi Lorraine. Yes it WAS fun and I'm keen to do another. I love the NYC skyline too, but Paris holds my heart :)

  2. I love your lamp! I think even uncrafty me could give this a go. Can you let me know what you painted the lamp shade with please?

    1. Hi there lucindasans. I just used black chalkboard paint left over from another project. Acrylic should work as would any other black household paint. Let me know how you go :)

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  4. This lampshade looks wonderful--just like seeing the tower sparkling at night.


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