Get Creative with Cow-Print Lampshade

When sprucing up your home, think twice before tossing out a tired-looking, plain-white lampshade. You and your school-age kids can brighten it up and give it new life with the miracle of acrylic paint and decorative trim or ribbon.

Dream up and paint any designs you like, or give “cow prints” a try. The black shapes are simple for beginners to draw and paint on a lampshade, plus the fun cow-spot look is versatile for a range of decorating styles.

Here’s what you’ll need:

- Cleaned used or inexpensive standard, plain-white lampshade without pleats

- Acrylic paint from crafts stores in black or in the color you prefer for the spots

- Pencil

- Newspaper

- Paintbrush

- Decorative fringe, trim or ribbon to fit around the bottom edge of the shade with a slight overlap.

- Glue gun

Here’s the fun:

1. You might want to start the project with your kids by looking at photos of cows, paying particular attention to various sizes and shapes of their spots. Practice sketching a few spots on paper with a pencil. On a newspaper-covered work surface, fill in the practice spots using paint and a paintbrush. Once you get the hang of it, begin sketching and painting on the lampshade, going from top to bottom. Let dry.

2. An adult should carefully glue the fringe or ribbon in place around the bottom rim of the shade. Let dry. Place on your lamp base.

Extra-bright ideas:

Look around for other items that could be embellished, such as a picture frame, pillow, flowerpots or a wastepaper basket.

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