Love letter lamp

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share an old post that I did using a love letter from Mr. SCC. This is one of my most popular posts of all time, so you guys must love it, too 🙂 Hope you enjoy the love letter lamp!

I love me some Pottery Barn – but I don’t always love their prices: this lamp = $100? Uhh… no.
I also fell in love with this shade. $59? No, thank you very much.
(It’s not available anymore… but it’s ok – ’cause we’re gonna make it cheaper, anyway!)

I already had the shade, it used to be my dining room light, picked up at Goodwill for $2. Then I went thrifting with {Living With} Lindsay, she spotted the lamp for $7. She is genius!

White spray paint, I gave the lamp a couple of realllllly good coats. Then I roughed it up with sand paper.

I mixed up a little raw umber paint with some Ralph Lauren glaze. Mixing in some paint means that not every distressed finish in your house looks exactly the same. It gives it a little more depth and variation.

Wipe it off in circles, so that you don’t have wiping marks left over.
Once finished distressing, set aside to let dry.

Next go make some tea. Or coffee. Either will work.
I used leftover tea bags from making today’s batch of sweet tea.

Once it’s cooled, “paint” a couple of coats of tea onto the shade. If your shade is already the color you want, skip this step. Blot with paper towels to help absorb the excess. Set aside to dry – or blow dry it with a hair dryer (I’m impatient!). I did this while my spray paint was drying.

Just like with my curtains, translate your favorite phrase (mine is from a love note Mr. SCC wrote me years ago), and print it off, I used this font at 175 point.

Trim your words and tape them to the inside of the shade.

Put the shade on a lamp and painted it using the words as an outline.
Add in a few post mark stamps for a little flair… and you’re done!

A $159 lamp for less than $10. Yes! And that’s why I’m crazy about the love letter lamp 🙂

About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. Very very cute. I love the shade and of course the price tag!!

  2. Wow, that looks great!!

  3. What a great project!!

  4. Great project. No wonder it ws so popular. Actually I like your lamp better. The shape is nicer.
    I am hopping over from Terry at Forever Decorating. I am now following, Please come and follow me as well.
    Blessings, Ginger

  5. Great idea!
    Happy Valentines Day!

  6. This is great!!! Thanks for sharing your secrets, now I am inspired to try something too! ()Hugs…

  7. wow! fab!!

  8. I’m in love with it too! Love it when we can make thrift store knock offs of retail store items….

    Since Google Connect is going out of service soon, I’d like to follow you on Linky Followers, the new tool.

    If you hook up to
    Follow Me on my blog, I’ll follow you back and it’s easier to access your blog when I want to see it. Through the Blog Hop we can also view other blogs.
    Join me at

    Thanks for sharing….

  9. So cute and simple. I love this. Thanks for sharing.

  10. so stinkin cute! I love it!!

  11. Super cute idea!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Great Job, Gina. Now, I’ve gotta find a lampshade to try that on.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. I love the lamp, great job. I will have to try something like this. Joined you site! hugs, Lynn

  14. this look amazing!! Well done Gina!

  15. OO how do I love anything Paris like!! You did an awesome job!!! I was just noticing (seen them hundred times before) I love the wood planks for your buttons on the right side!!
    ~Jen @

  16. GREAT project! Another winner! xo Diana

  17. If I could reach thru this screen I would give you a kiss. 🙂 I just saw a shade like this and loved it, but didn’t want to buy the whole lamp. Now I can have the shade and save some moolah too! Thank you, thank you! Blessings, Barb

  18. Gosh I love this post, I just did up a table in French wash and went to the bother of buying all the special paints to do it, when all I needed was your instructions as I paid $100 NZ dollars for the French wash :(. I am using it on a corner cuboard at the moment but I have a few other things to paint and will abandon my French Wash and use your method with the burnt umber. As an artist I have plenty of that colour as I use it as the groundwork for my paintings.

    Thank you for your post, really inspirational.


  19. wow, this looks great!!!!

  20. I’m in love too! Looks fantastic. Love the idea of taping the words on the inside and painting them on the outside. Thanks for sharing. x Julie

  21. Oh my, simply beautiful…..headed to look for a lamp shade!

  22. One of my favorite things is making over a thrift store lamp! There are always a ton of them in every store I go into and most people just dont see the potential in them. I have also taken some of my own lamps that were in brushed nickel and repainted them in oil rubbed bronze to make them not-so-modern.

    I have a friend that works with a group that decorates apartments for people who are coming from being homeless. Everything they decorate the home with the families are allowed to keep once they move on. My hope by summer is to provide most if not all of the lamps for them by purchasing them at thrift stores and giving them facelifts. Who deserves something pretty more than someone who has had such a hard time of it? Plus, a little fabric, sisal, stamps or felt can make a simple lamp so gorgeous!

    Thanks for always providing inspiration on a shoestring!


  23. The lamp is EXCELLENT!

  24. LUV this, Gina! Way to go! I pinned it for a future project!! 🙂

    xoxo laurie

  25. I picked up this same lamp (X2) at a garage sale last summer and have been waiting to paint it–too cold here–and now I know I have to. Thanks for the little push, now if the weather would just cooperate!

  26. LOVE your lamp – especially the shade! I am SO going to do this!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  27. Wow! Great tutorial for a great project! You really did a nice job. I thought you were going to transfer the words to the shade somehow – but taping them behind and painting them is a perfect idea! I love it!

  28. LOVE it!!
    AND, you are SO SMART!! Putting the words behind the shade and turning the lamp on is so simple, BUT i would NEVER have thought of it!! 🙂

  29. What a great way to restyle a lamp! Thank you for a great tutorial, fun project! I’ll have to do one!
    I might use scripture or some calligraphy favorite words. I am now following you!

  30. You are a genius! This is fabulous!

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