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Let there be light…

“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night”,  said one fine gentleman.

Lovely DIY idea! However, we love our men and neither would we want them to die, nor cut them out in little stars. Just imagine several pieces of Johnny Depp up above the world so high…..eeeeek! (And then, I would suffer from eternal Spondylosis by staring at the sky 24 X 7) NO!

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Once I am done with my daily dose of jokes that only I find funny, let me enlighten you with some easier-than-the-above lighting ideas. Being a compulsive DIYer, I have tried most of them at home (with a little help from the electrician) and trust me, not only are they quick and easy, they also infuse a lot of personal touch to your interiors.

Cheer-leaders –

Liquor bottles emerge undoubted winners when it comes to recycling. Pick a few ‘leftovers’ from a high-spirited party, clean them and use them to light up your mood. Personally I keep two things in mind while preserving bottles. One, their attractiveness in terms of physical features and two, their worth in terms of memories lingering on them. (The second criterion dominates the first in most cases, though.)

The one in the picture below needs a little help from the electrician. Fixing a cork, a bulb on top of that and an electric wire to plug that in would not cost you more than a hundred. Try the local guy nearest to your residence. He can do it. A friend’s special-occasion gift can turn any dull evening into a special occasion.  Go, try!

bottle

You can do the same with mason jars. I found these at a restaurant in Kolkata. The interiors were designed by a Kolkata-based artist of whom I am a huge fan. Every single corner of that place reeked of love for recycling. The lone jar-light in the restroom melted my heart. I would make one for my dining room, I had decided.

mason jar

The easiest of these is the one below. Coloured bottles are hung around the periphery of a circular frame with one big bulb hanging in the middle. The effect is oh-so-rainbowish! And you know what a chandelier with bling is called? Chandler Bing! 😉

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Catch me if you can-e –

Cane baskets can be wonderfully used for lights. I had bought this lamp a few years back from a very talented friend’s store. She is the queen of recycling. (In fact, her store’s tagline reads: ‘Serious recycling’. So, you know what I mean). The cane basket is made into a bulb holder and the shade above is made out of south-cotton dress material. There is a quaint little shop in New Market, Kolkata where they make lampshades out of any material you give them. So if you want your lampshade to be of the same material as the new Kalamkari or Bagru curtains you have put in the living room, keep aside some material and hand it over them. They will do the rest. I am sure you can find similar infamous lampshade shops where they would gladly do this for you.

cne basket

Another version of cane lamp I loved was hanging in a store in Shantiniketan. It was not on sale; so a click was all that I could bring home. It had the shape of a weaver bird’s home. This instantly lighted up an idea in my devil’s workshop. A friend had gifted me a real weaver bird’s nest which the bird had abandoned while shifting places. From my earlier posts you must have gauged by now that I am a lover of old houses. So the old house of a bird has become a part of my nest, with a bulb resting in its belly.

cane

Love comes half circle –

The semi circular shades made out of everyday things at home demands my unadulterated love. The lamp at artist Syed Ali Arif’s studio apartment was a delight for the eyes. An idea also dawned on me. Instead of buying a lamp, why not turn an old colander into a shade by spray painting it? It would look good in a kitchen.

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This picture was nicked from Pinterest from which painting ideas can be borrowed. However, the non-painted copper ones also look equally beautiful. One can hang a colander from the ceiling with a bulb fitted at the centre. Ah, a dum-a-dum-mast-colander moment!

colander

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Half circles also remind me that globes make wonderful lamps too. My mother is a Geography teacher. We have grown in an abundance of maps. One particular activity which I loved was globe-watching and virtual globe-trotting. Having passed out from school more than a decade back, I don’t remember the last time I held a globe. This lamp, therefore touched my heart. What a simple idea to preserve childhood memories.

globe

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Rice lights make nice lights –

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Yes they do. Adding them anywhere in the house gives the corner a dreamy effect. The idea of using rice lights came from my own brother. He had his guitar hung on our bedroom wall and along the borders was put a string of rice lights. At night, when every other light was switched off, his guitar would gently weep smile.

rice lights

A friend’s sister also made this wonderful lamp just by putting multicolored rice lights in an alcohol bottle. See the effect!

When lamps turn canvas-

A couple had written on a lampshade hanging in their bedroom, all the places where they had visited during their courtship days. Various colours and various fonts using fabric paint. The effect was beautiful. Good to look at, great to preserve memories. I sadly do not have a picture of the same.

What I have however is another hand painted lamp shade which a Patachitra artist had painted for me in a handicraft mela. Due to busy office hours, nowadays I lack the patience of painting these on my own. However this is so easy. Buy a plain lampshade, grab a box of fabric paint and infuse Madhubani, Patachitra or Warli on it. Your canvas will light up your living area in a moment.

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These are some of the ideas I loved and tried to implement. I am sure there is a store house of ideas which you guys would love to share. I will wait.

On that note, wish you all a delightful Friday!