Make your own Kodachrome slide lamp shade — but it will be hard to top Shane’s

Yesterday I saw some instructions on how make a curtain or lampshade out of vintage Kodachrome slides. You know: The gazillions of old family vacation and what-not slides we see at estate sales everywhere? At least I do — in every single house! I posted the link on Retro Renovation’s Facebook Fan page, and low and behold, one of our faithful readers — Shane — piped up that he had built the mother of all Kodachrome lampshades: Featured above. What a beauty. Shane says the project took 300 slides, 1200 holes punched and probably 1300 jewelry connector-rings. “I’m not sure how many hours I’ve got into the whole thing,” he explains. “Punching holes and connecting all the slides together was tedious at best.” Ya think???? I am So Impressed by anyone who has the patience and fortitude to complete a project like this… and, who can find ways to repurpose vintage artifacts in a way that can be enjoyed each and every day. Read on for more info from Shane.

Shane writes:

I made a ~3′ floor lamp shade out of a few hundred slides. It looks pretty cool, but you HAVE to keep it out of the sun (so curtains doesn’t work) or the slides start to fade quickly. 300 slides, 1200 holes punched and probably 1300 rings

I didn’t go by any instructions. I saw a table lamp on a TV show quite a few years ago and wanted to make one. I was having a hard time finding a square table lamp shade (most have at least a little bit of a taper). We had bought this lamp from K-Mart a couple years ago and when the paper shade tore, I peeled all the paper off and went to town. The slides I got off of eBay. The rings I got from a jewelry supply company my wife deals with all the time (I would have to find out the name of it and the type of rings I bought). I also got the hole punch from eBay but I’m sure any scrapbooking supply store should have it. It’s a 1/8″ hole. I’m not sure how many hours I’ve got into the whole thing. Punching holes and connecting all the slides together was tedious at best.

Buying the slides was kind of fun in itself since they were just large lots and you don’t know what you’re going to get. I’ve got a small set (probably 10 slides or so) of a cemetery. Most are family slides, others are scenery. It makes you wonder what happened in the scenes you’re looking at. I also wondered why someone would get rid of them. There’s some Christmas slides and I wouldn’t want to get rid of family memories like that.

Thank you, Shane. This is just spectacular. Well done! Online trail that got me started on this topic: See Daisy Fairbank’s post about about Craftster’s instructions to make these Kodachrome slide projects.

  1. Fred says:

    I would love to try this idea out. Perhaps the holes could be drilled through a stack of slides at a time. This would certainly work with cardboard mounts, and might work with plastic ones. The holes could be smaller as well.

  2. midmodms says:

    Love it! So cool. I once saw a chandelier made out of old curlers, the plastic kind that came in different colors for each size, with I think small while Christmas lights. I though it was beautiful. Kitschy, but that’s not a bad thing, IMO.

  3. Maureen says:

    Great idea! I actually love the thought of using family slides to do this project because they would otherwise be tossed (or sold to strangers) eventually anyway so it would be a way of appreciating what you have. This would be an excellent light to keep in a basement away from direct sunlight!!

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