So, I had great plans to create a brand new West Elm inspired drum shade...but then my laziness took over and I just started re-working what I already had done. So this is probably going to be a How and How Not To type of post.
Let's start at the beginning...
(**as I re-read this, it's kinda, sorta wordy...so I added a bare bones bullet point instruction list for you super-smarties at the end of the post**)
First I took the original burlap drum shade down and took it apart. I wanted to use the wire mesh for the "backbone" of my woven veneer. You can click here to see how I fashioned the wire mesh into a drum shade...or if you're super smart and don't need pictures like I do...I formed it into the shape I wanted, wired the ends together, and spray painted it the color I wanted...simple.
If you're starting from scratch, it's probably best to decide how long you'd like your "woven pieces" to be on the grid. That way you can cut your wire mesh the exact length you need and all of your pieces will be the same length and you won't end up with a short one at the end. Too confusing?? Not sure what I'm even talking about? Here is a picture:
My pieces all ended up being 10 squares long...and it took 8 "woven pieces" to circle the mesh, so if I would have pre-cut the wire mesh to length it would have been 80 squares long (before I wired it together into the drum shade shape--I would maybe go with 81 squares so you can overlap one when you wire it together).
*****This happened to be a giant stroke of luck since I did NOT decide in advance how long they would be and did NOT pre-cut my wire mesh to the exact length I would need. If you are smart you WILL plan things out before hand (do as I say, not as I did).*****
All right...so you've got your wire mesh in the drum shade shape, now it's time to cut out the spaces the wood veneer strips will be woven through (I ended up with 7 woven strips circling the mesh)...
I used 2 strips of 7/8 inch wood veneer edge banding for each of my "woven strips" which happened to be exactly 3 squares wide. As you can see from my stellar visual aid, I picked a spot to start (you can't tell from the picture but I did start at the top of the wire mesh) and used my wire cutters to cut an opening for the veneer strips. I chose to work in a circle--cutting all the open spaces for just one of the woven veneer strips. Every 1st and 10th square became a rectangle (3 squares wide) all the way around the mesh. Then I moved on to what would be the second woven strip--which would be offset from the first. I started just under the first opening I cut (I used this as the center of my offset woven strip), counted back 5 squares to find my offset 1st square, counted forward 5 squares (to find my offset 10th square) and repeated the process of cutting all the rectangle openings for the offset woven strip. I feel like the picture explains it better.
Anyway, I repeated these steps until I had openings for all 7 of my woven strips.
Oh...maybe be a little more careful than I was when cutting the mesh...I probably didn't cut it as close as I could have. Annnnnd maybe wait to spray paint the mesh until after you have all the openings cut...I lost a bit of coverage as I was cutting the mesh and had to re-spray some bits.
Then came the weaving...
I feel like this is self explanatory...just weave the strips through the openings. You can see from the picture that each "woven strip" was actually 2 pieces of the veneer banding (they do make/sell 2 inch banding strips, but I couldn't find them anywhere...it took me an hour to find these at Home Depot...since they are strategically placed on the corners of random rows).
I used a dollop of wood glue on the ends of each piece of veneer banding to keep it in place
And here's where I let you in on a couple of fun facts I figured out the first time I did this...
Fun Fact #1--if you are going to stain the wood veener...do it BEFORE you weave it through the mesh. The first time I did this I used White Birch veneer and it was a little light for my taste so I grabbed a scrap of it to test out some different colors of stain on it. I found the exact shade I wanted and figured it would be just as easy to apply the stain while it was woven through the mesh as is was when it was laying flat on the table...I figured wrong. It wasn't difficult to apply the stain, but it wasn't as easy to wipe it off and the stain ended up much darker than I anticipated....it wasn't awful...it just wasn't what I wanted...it looked like this:
Fun Fact #2--the wire mesh shows through the veneer when it's dark and the light is on. It may not bother you, but it bothered me...A LOT. When I did this the second time, I thought about just putting some fabric on the inside to tone down the light, but that seemed like a lot of work to me...so instead...I got some new veneer banding (this time in Red Oak) took my original woven pieces off the wire mesh frame, used my straightening iron to iron the new Red Oak banding to the old stained White Birch banding, and wove them through the wire mesh again...it ended up looking like this:
Ok...so all that's done...now it's time to hang it. I again used the classy technique of wiring the Ikea twist cap to the mesh (you can read about the first time I did this here). This is super easy, but you do have to make sure you put it in the center, or it won't hang straight...I may have had to do this part 1 or 5 times. Anyway...
There it is...a West Elm Inspired Woven Veneer Drum Shade! Now, my original thought was to put some thicker wire around the top and bottom (to make it more substantial), but because the Universe is against me I haven't been able to make it work...yet. I'm taking a break from it for a few days...so we'll see if I can figure it out.
P.S. I feel like my explanation makes this seem tricky...it's not...it was super easy once I got everything figured out. Here's a not so wordy How To:
- Wire Mesh (I used YardGard 2 ft. x 5 ft. x 1/4 in. 23 Gauge Galvanized Hardware Cloth)
- Veneer Banding (I used Band-It 7/8 in. x 25 ft Wood Veneer Edging in White Birch on the first version, Red Oak on the second version)
- 2 packages will do the trick, but I used 4 because I ironed the strips together for the "non-see through" effect
- Spray Paint (I used Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze)
- Wire Cutter
- Stain (I used Minwax Provincial on the first version, no stain on the second version)
- Glue (I used Elmer's Wood Glue)
- Light Cord (I used an Ikea Hemma cord)
- Drill (or some other way to poke a hole in the twist cap of the light cord)
- Pre-cut wire mesh (had I done this it would have been 81 squares (one extra for wiring overlap) x 21 squares
- Form wire mesh into drum shade shape
- Overlap one square and wire the mesh together
- Use wire cutter to cut rectangular openings (3 squares wide) every 1st & 10th square around the mesh for first woven veneer strip
- Use wire cutter to cut rectangular openings (3 squares wide) every offset 1st & 10th square around the mesh for second woven veneer strip
- Repeat previous two steps until you have rectangular openings for all 7 woven veneer strips
- Spray paint wire mesh desired color
- Iron only the edges of wood veneer strips together (to create a double layer & "non-see through effect")
- Stain wood veneer
- Weave wood veneer strips through rectangular openings in wire mesh frame
- Use a small dollop of glue to hold the woven strips together
- Drill holes into Hemma Cord twist cap
- Use wire to attach Hemma Cord twist cap in the center of the wire mesh frame
- Twist Hemma Cord twist cap onto the Hemma Cord light fixture
- Screw in a light bulb
- Turn light on, and...
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