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Punk Lamp: Upcycling with old zips

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A few months ago a derelict, half burnt down house around the corner threw open it’s doors. The new owners needed to clear out the junk that had sat there untouched for 30 years. You can only IMAGINE what kind of state I was in when I arrived. Breathless with eagerness. Sweating with hope.

I sprinted into the darkened corners, fear of rats melting in the face of frozen scenes of the Seventies. I was on the hunt and returned successful. A set of drawers, several singular drawers without the set, a few rusty door knobs (you can’t BELIEVE my luck so far, can you?) and a bag full of ancient zips.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them until I was sitting next to a lamp I had kind of upcycled (okay, yeah, just tied ribbon onto) and knew it had to go through it’s third re-invention.

Forgive this shockingly poor picture, it is the Before shot and you KNOW these have to be badly lit, blurry, involve scummy crockery. Also, I had already begun picking off the ribbon before remembering to snap it – I realise it looks a little like a half plucked chicken-lamp.

I had a funny comment on a post the other day, where we were discussing the rich, quirky history some secondhand items must have.  I said “If only the furniture could talk, eh?” and Inkomplete said “I sometimes make up stories for mine.”


Meet Deakin, the punk-chic lamp from Peckham.

This lamp is a wealthy lamp, heralding from a plush and exquisite mansion in St James Park orphaned but rescued by us in his teen years in 2009. Deakin quickly shed his stuffy heritage, embraced his feminine side and went through a kitch be-ribboned look in his early twenties, as many do. Deakin has reached what some would call a mid life crisis, but what he calls an “awakening.” Deaki is now an anarchist; squatting with some ancient Peckham rockers,  only a hat-tip to his old, more elegant life in a small rosette.

I just hand sewed the zips on. And pushed a bit of my homemade chalk board paint (you haven’t seen that Homemade Chalkboard How To? But you must. It will blow your minds)  in a navy colour around the base. I thought using chalkboard paint would add another dimension but also didn’t want to cough up for expensive tile paint.

The beautiful thing about adding tile grout to your acrylic is that it adds an abrasiveness which means it will stick to ANYTHING, where as normal paint would peel right off a shiny ceramic surface.

So, what d’ya reckon about Deakin eh?


*sings to the tune of Three in the Bed* Doooo remember to take a look at Magpie Monday!

and also *sings to the tune of The Happy Wanderer* Vote for Meeee, Vote for Meeeee, Vote for Meeee, Vote for Lu-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-stic (Yeah, that one didn’t quite work, anyway:  I got through to the finals of these amazing blog awards, in the Craft and Thrift section and I’d lurve you to vote, thanks so much!)

25 responses »

  1. geraldine wilson

    You are amazing Lucy.X

  2. Oh Deakin is a babe!

    LOVE this idea. I spotted a basket of zips in a charity shop this eek and fell upon them. My squeals must have been audible because I looked up to find the assistant, eyebrow raised, looking pityingly at me. “Funny what turns people on” I quipped. “Hmmm” she replied.

  3. I love Deakin and the idea to make up stories about your pieces. Maybe we should have a regular “story of ….” spot for our finds.

  4. Awesome, he’s like a posho with dreadlocks at Glastonbury! And I like how you can unzip him or zip him him up depending on your lighting requirements. *Resists non-altruistic urge to wail “But whyyy are there no half destroyed houses near meeee?”*

  5. singlemarriedmum

    Wow! and Wow again! That is unspeakably clever – Deakin is pure class x

  6. Very cool! I love the idea of ‘punk-chic’ 🙂

  7. Nice makeover, but where are the safety pins? 😉

  8. Oh Wow! How fab is that! Very quirky, I love it! x

  9. Wow………… I mean hmmmmmm…….

    I love it.

    Love navy and yellow together.

    Brilliant craftiness.

  10. Oh wow – I love it! And a great story for your lamp 😉
    Thanks for the grout tip, too.

  11. Dude, you need to put Deakins base inside an old DM boot. THEN he’s proper rebel-punk.

    Love it! x

  12. This is bloody marvellous!

  13. Deakin is a dude and is now appearing on this weeks Britmums Green roundup for your wonderfully creative reuse idea. THanks for sharing!

  14. Pingback: DIY lace bowl … in 10 minutes « Lulastic and the Hippyshake

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