Ikea Hack: Aläng Lamp

Shaun and I were under the impression we would be able to move into our new apartment this weekend, but unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding. The building manager said we could move in early, on Friday, but she didn’t mean this Friday, she meant the last one of the month, being March 29th. Disappointing, but understandable. Here I was already picking out paint colours (oh yes, we’ll have a few feature walls!), deciding on a stain for some shelves we’re going to install…. but I’ll have to put those musings on hold. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few existing projects I’ve already finished.

One quick, cheap and easy DIY is the update I made to one my table lamps:


(As an aside, why did they put the outlet so high? I realize it makes cords simpler to plug in, but it’s not exactly attractive. Oh well.)

I got this Ikea lamp at a Thrift Store last year for a little under ten bucks, and I could just tell it was originally from Ikea, where it retails for $20:

Pretty good deal, but it was a little… boring. Every place I’ve lived in tends to have wall colour in the taupe to white range, so this off-white colour just blends right in. I read in Young House Love’s book that an easy way to add a bit of personality to a shade would be to add ribbon.

Lamp close up

I found this navy blue ribbon at Fabricland for 50% off, so it ended up costing me about three dollars. First, I measured the length I would need to go around the bottom of the shade, and trimmed off a bit more. To stop the edges from fraying (quick tip I learned from wearing point shoes growing up), I melted them with the flame from a lighter.

Lamp bottom

Then, using a glue gun, I secured it to the bottom of lamp, making sure to line it up with the bottom edge of the shade, as well as its subtle pattern. You can see in the image above that the ribbon lines up with the line going through the shade, which ensures my line will be straight the whole way around. I made sure to use the minimum amount of glue needed so that it wouldn’t show through the ribbon. The ribbon gave an easy sharp edge, so I didn’t bother tucking it under the shade; I just made sure I couldn’t see any of the shade underneath. I followed the same steps on top.


I worried the glue would melt with the heat of the bulb over time, but I’ve had this for a couple months and haven’t had a problem! I love the nautical feel of the navy, and how well it echoes the stripes on my chair.

Cost breakdown:

Lamp: $8

Ribbon: $3

Total: An easy $11! It took me less than an hour to do too. Now just imagine it with a bold dark gray feature wall behind it… I can’t wait!