Monday, April 24

Thrifting for Sconces

Every time I look at this title I see "scones." I wish I saw scones every time I looked in the kitchen.

But back on track: I finally hung the second sconce in our bedroom.

I did the first one a few several weeks ago when I built our new crate nightstands... and it didn't go great. There was trial with too much error, and way too many holes in the wall. All of which I chalked up to a combo of bad planning and user error. My bad, guys. It took me a while to work up to doing the other one. 

But after a few weeks of a lamp sitting on my tiny nightstand while the sconce took up my whole dresser, I was ready.  And this time it went much smoother. So hopefully you can learn from my mistakes from the first time around.

But before we get to all that, let me tell you about these scones. This is the recipe I use: Kevin's Famous Scones. And now for the sconces. I knew I wanted something either wall-mounted or hanging since our nightstands have so little surface area to begin with. I had a vague idea of what I wanted - something with moveable arm that would make it easier to reach from bed - but honestly hadn't even started shopping around. Then one day at goodwill BOOM a pair of sconces for $5 each.

My good and patient husband waited while I flipped and flopped about whether they were what I was looking for, if I actually liked them, if the price was right (they didn't have shades so I knew it would end up costing more than $5 each), and if they were too outdated. I swear the man has the patience of the saint, which is the macaroni to my indecisive cheese.

What you can't see from far away is the pretty old school shell-inspired motif on the base. Not so much my jam. BUT. But, would we even notice those shells once the shades were on? Apart from the shells, it actually seemed to be very much my jam. I wanted a black or dark ORB finish (check), a moveable arm (check), and I liked the more traditional feel of a lamp with a shade (check).

There were enough good things going on, that I paid the $10 for the set and gave them a try. Each lamp had a metal plate to attach to the wall.

I'll tell you now, go ahead and get these fancy heavy-duty toggle bolts to anchor that plate to the wall. All of my problems with the first plate revolved around a series of bad/too-small anchor choices.You need something strong to hold a lamp, especially one you'll be pulling on and moving around. So save yourself some time and a lot of holes in the wall. Just start with these.

I marked where the holes needed to be and drilled with the suggested bit size (which is pretty large to fit the toggles). I was afraid the holes would show around the plate since they were so big, but fortunately they didn't. The trick with toggle bolts is you have to put the screw through the holes first, then twist the toggle onto the back. Pop the toggles into the holes and tighten the screws.

Once the plate was anchored, I slipped the lamp onto the front screws and used some small knurled nuts to attach it.

The nuts were missing when I bought it, but I took the lamp into Lowe's and they helped me find some that worked perfectly (I should spray paint them to match. But I'm just not sure that's going to happen.):

At this point... I was not sold.

But I had to give it a fair chance. So I found lamp shades I really liked (simple & neutral) at Lowe's for $19 each and gave them a try. And sure enough, I didn't even notice the base any more. The shades made such a difference!

It seemed a little silly to spend so much more on a lamp shade than I did on the lamp, but all together it was under $25 per lamp. So in the end it was still a pretty good deal, plus I ended up with sconces that I love.

Don't forget to check out our crate nightstand plans here, and my watercolor calendar is from Grace Laced (highly recommend it! It is so pretty and you can frame the prints when you are done with the calendar!).

In other news, our biggest boy is six now.

And our littlest boy thinks he's a big boy, too.

What have you been finding deals on lately?

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