When I found a matching pair of old lamps to makeover, I was thrilled! They were a great shape and the right size, but the shades were bad. Instead of dumping them, I thought of a simple Anthropologie inspired butterfly pendant light for my youngest daughter’s room, and it’s something you can do with any lamp shade. My little Quinn loves all things that fly, bugs and birds are her thing and have been since she first laid eyes on them. I decided that I could create a pendant light using the shade and makeover this shade into a whimsical light that would add character and charm to her room.
Anthropologie Inspired Butterfly Pendant Light
Because of her love for flying creatures, especially butterflies, I wanted to attach paper butterflies, make them partial cutouts for light to escape, and fold out their wings like they are flying. The lamp shade was pretty old, had some damage, and the fabric was delicate from age so if this didn’t work out, I knew that would be why. Some of the butterflies didn’t work out perfectly, but it didn’t affect the overall design and it all worked out.
To make the wings pop out after cutting around them, I glued floral wire to the back side, across both sets of wings. I think a thicker wire would have provided me more control over how the wings popped out, but overall, the wire did what I needed it to do. I used a thick superglue to attach the wire, and it worked perfectly. I also found this glue gun glue rope that allowed me to never have to reload my glue gun. This was so helpful because I had to work fast before the glue dried.
I used large paper butterflies, they’re on cardstock, and the images look like they’re modeled after real butterflies. The large size made it easier to cut the shade around the wings, but it also made each butterfly pretty heavy so sometimes the lamp shade fabric would rip under the pressure. Like I mentioned earlier, this didn’t ruin the design, but I did need to reinforce the torn ones to get the look I wanted. The large butterfly cutouts were beautiful, but I wanted some smaller sized ones to balance out the design. Instead of adding smaller ones to the outside, I decided to attach smaller butterfly stickers to the inside of the shade – this way they’d only be visible when the light is on.
The original shade was a cream color, probably from age as well as the original color to coordinate with the lamp. The interior paint color throughout most of our home is Alabaster white, so I went ahead and spray painted the outside of the shade with white chalk spray paint. The white would also work better with the white light kit cord and overall look in her bedroom. When the butterflies were attached, cutout, and the wings bent, butterfly shadows added to the inside, the shade still needed something… When in doubt, add glitter! Just kidding, I’m not exactly a fan of glitter, but my daughter is, and I wanted a whimsical light for her room, so this time a little glitter helped to add some whimsey complete the overall design.
This lampshade makeover was a lot of fun! I didn’t know if it would turn out, but it did and my daughters loved watching it come together step by step. Quinn won’t see it on the light kit and hanging until it’s set up in her new room, but she adores what she sees now, so I count this DIY as a success! I guess five-year-old’s aren’t too hard to please after all.
Anthropologie Inspired Butterfly Pendant Light Supplies:
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Steps to create an Anthropologie Inspired Butterfly Pendant Light:
- Super glue wires to the backs of the butterflies
- If needed, spray paint lamp shade
- Glue gun butterflies to the lamp shade (use hot temp)
- Use an Xacto knife to cut around the wings, leaving the butterflies bodies attached
- If needed, use Xacto knife knife to remove inside shade lining
- Carefully bend wings out as desired
- If desired, add butterfly stickers to the inside of the shade
- If desired, lightly spray glitter to the outside of the shade
- Hang light kit and then add shade
I just love that old lamp shades can be repurposed, and I think this project lends itself for many applications. If you don’t like butterflies, you could glue any object you do like, add some cutouts, maybe a little glitter, or spray paint the base color something fun and bright – the options are endless. This Anthropologie inspired butterfly pendant light can serve as inspiration to create a pendant light that works with your style, you can create your own design applying this concept! Be inspired and get crafty~