Laurie Notaro's DIY Lamp Shade (A Semi-Disastrous How-To)

Categories: DIY, Literary
Laurie Notaro
DAY THREE: I avoid looking at the lamp shade until afternoon.

After taking clothes out of the dryer that have been hibernating for roughly two weeks, I am amazed at how compacting 20 pounds of clothes into a tiny congested ball makes everything so much smaller and instead of ironing the ball, I'm just going to wash it again. JEEN-YUS! I grab my white lamp skirt, the iron and a can of starch.

Step one: I iron wrinkles, fold and waves into the skirt, keeping it stiff with the can of starch.

This is an awesome idea! God DAMNIT I AM SMART! How do I not have my own show? HOW?

Laurie Notaro
Step two: I throw it back over the frame and it's a little wonky, but we can fit it. I fold and pleat then pin the center hole around the top of the frame. It looks like a Balenciaga wedding gown with gentle curves, flips and accordion-like pleats.

This is so fantastic that I bet Elle Home Décor will steal it from me just like some comedy writers like to steal my jokes (I am not being paranoid. I've convinced a friend that this is true, so when two people believe the same thing, that strikes paranoia out!).

Step three: I tie lengths of black elastic cord over and around the frame to keep my Balenciago gown in place. I tie more around the top. It looks structural, angular, insanely innovative. This is a new age for lamp shades, I can feel it. I am onto something. I might just start making lamp shades and ditch the writing thing all together. Lamp shades are fun! Lamp shades are creative! Lamp shades are my calling.

Laurie Notaro
I'm done.

I have made a no-sew lampshade and I am a magician in home design. I take a picture of it and mail it to my editor, eager to get her response that as soon as we run this story, I'm going to get orders from lampshades from as far away as possibly Ohio.

You're onto something, she's going to say. Did you ever suspect you had such an amazing, unparalleled talent? You're like the Alexander McQueen of light bulb dressing, Laurie! How have you been hiding this?

I KNOW! I would squeal to myself at my desk while reading her email, and stomp my feel in frenzied jubilation.

DAY FOUR: Her email arrives.

"I think it'd look perfect," she says, "with one of those leg lamp stands."

Laurie Notaro
I drag myself back into the dining room, where I wish my little green lamp was in the shape of a leg, and realize she is right. It is a gigantic creampuff that looks like it should have the word "fragile" stamped all over it.

I have a moment of silence for the death of my decorator self, until I remember that I just bought four yards of burlap on clearance that I know I could make into an excellent lamp shade.

Laurie Notaro
Stay tuned for new adventures with Laurie Notaro, and catch up on a few classics in any of her books including The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life,It Looked Different on the Model, I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies), There's a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell, and An Idiot Girl's Christmas at Changing Hands, on Amazon, or through her website.

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