Everyone’s seen IKEA’s floor uplighter, right? It’s been around forever, lighting up dark corners in practically every home across the land. For a fiver, who can blame us? But it doesn’t exactly scream Halloween, does it? So I went to work making something far more skullalicious.
This skull floor lamp was one of those projects that nearly didn’t happen because I had my light up for sale. But luckily, inspiration struck during an episode of Game of Thrones.
Do you see it?
Oh yes. Thank you Daenerys!
I immediately pulled my listing and pondered exactly what I was going to do to Halloweenify my light. But it wasn’t until some months later and the arrival of a random order of polystyrene skulls that I had my eureka moment.
How to make a Skull Floor Lamp from an IKEA uplighter
Before I started, I had to see if my idea was going to work, so I offered up the skulls to see how many I needed and how far apart to space them. I pretty much eyeballed this process; there was nothing scientific about my approach. Well… you know me and measuring! As it happens, 19 of these 55mm skulls fit perfectly side by side around the rim of the light and another 6 worked brilliantly around the base.
Happy I could bring my idea to life, I decoupaged the outside of the shade with the Mod Podge and tissue paper method I use for my spell books and Dragon’s Eyes. When that was dry, I painted it black and dry-brushed it with grey paint, then painted the skulls the same way.
Dry-brushing is a simple technique that I use ALL the time, where you use the merest hint of a lighter colour to bring out the highlights. All you do is dip your brush into the paint, wipe off the excess until it’s almost dry, then brush lightly onto your project.
You can see how effective it is.
Between you and me, I’m not impressed with the whacking great seam down the front of the skulls. To be honest, I almost sent them back, but it is what is it and you really don’t notice it in the dark.
Next, I turned my attention to the lamp base. The paint job was ok, but it needed something to make it look less like an IKEA uplighter. The great thing about this IKEA light is the stand comes apart in sections so I unscrewed the base and shoved the stand into a couple of pieces of pipe lagging – the same stuff I used for the light up jack in a box.
Ever versatile, I purposely didn’t glue the two pieces of lagging together so it can be easily removed should I wish to shorten the light in the future.
For the base, I added a little more detail with a circle of polystyrene packaging I happened to have lying around. This is the sort of shit I hold onto that drives Beloved nuts, but I KNEW it would come in handy!
Happy with the shape, I painted the lagging and base to match the light.
Once that was dry, I glued the skulls to the top of the light. I wanted them to sit upright, so I cut a slit in the bottom of the skull, added a dollop of hot glue and gently pushed each skull onto the rim of the light.
I thought the skull floor lamp would look great with a coloured bulb. Having invested in smart bulbs last year, Phillips Hue was a strong option, especially as it can be controlled with Hue Halloween (more on that in a post coming soon!). But in my mind I saw a fire bowl, so I opted for a flame bulb.
Have you seen them? They are SO cool!! I first spotted them on Instagram and immediately thought Halloween (proof of the power of social media marketing!)
We ordered ones that are gravity sensitive, so the flame “burns” upright, no matter which way the bulb is facing so you can use them in a lamp or a pendant. They also have three settings – flame, breathe (like flickering candlelight) or static. The only thing I will say is these particular ones don’t seem to work in every E27 fitting. I’m not sure why, but if I find out I’ll update you.
As soon as I made it, I knew my skull floor lamp would make a brilliant addition to this skull lover’s home and it quickly took up residence in the OneandSeventy dining room. Don’t you just love how the flame bulb gives this corner a gorgeous glow?
Naturally, it got moved around a lot before settling in its final spot.
I bloody love it!
As you can imagine, with the Halloween transformation well underway here at OneandSeventy, the skull floor lamp has moved yet again. This time into The Witch at OneandSeventy’s kitchen, where it will provide a flickering flame that will be perfect for this year’s theme.
Sorry. No wide action shots for you just yet… only the sneaky peek at the top of this post. You’ll just have to wait until the Halloween decorating is complete to see it in all its glory!
Suffice to say, this is another of my projects that would look just as skullalicious all year round as it does at Halloween and it really didn’t take much effort or many pennies at all to make.
A hui hou,
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