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Leg Lamp Costume Redeux – A Near Miss – So.Much.Swearing

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Ralphie and the Leg Lamp in the Flesh
Ralphie (my husband) and the Leg Lamp (me)

Several years ago, my husband and I went as Ralphie and the Leg Lamp for Halloween. As a costume, it wasn’t all that hard to make. Truthfully, that hardest part was finding a lampshade to fit over my booty. I got more than a few odd looks in the thrift store as I divested lamps of their shades and proceeded to try to pull them up like a pair of pants. (If you are interested in learning how to make their own leg lamp costume, please comment below. If there is enough interest, I can make a tutorial. You have to provide your own Ralphie, though I can give you pointers on making his shirt 😉 )

Anywhooo, I have never been able to part with Leg Lampshade. So many fond, if uncomfortable memories! Sitting while wearing a lampshade as a skirt is problematic to say the least. Going to the bathroom is a tactical maneuver. It did win 1st place in the costume contest. $25.00 large, baby!

It has been hanging on my dress form, Giselle, for YEARS and in my way every time I wanted to actually use my dress form. One day, after removing and replacing Leg Lampshade from the dress form AGAIN, I had a durr-hey moment! Turn it back into a lampshade! I don’t have room for a table lamp, but a hanging lamp over my work table would be perfect! How hard could this be?

Leg Lamp Conversion Supplies
Lamp Conversion Supplies

I purchased a lamp kit, some chain and ceiling hooks. I had some wrought iron chains that I saved from some hanging flower baskets that I would use to suspend the shade from the chain. Wiring up the lamp wasn’t too difficult after one false start where I wired the lamp up and then realized that I needed to put the chain over the cord before wiring the lamp. *mild cursing*


The chains from the hanging baskets were way too long and needed to be shorted so I wouldn’t clunk my head on the shade every time I worked at my table. After pinching my fingers in the needle nose pliers a number of times, *more vehement cursing* I managed to remove enough links to make it workable.

Leg Lamp Hot Glue Palooza
Leg Lamp Hot Glue Palooza

The next step was to attach the wrought iron chains to suspend the shade. When making my costume I may have been a little overzealous with the glue gun and strapping tape. In my defense, when your costume consists of a lampshade suspended by a ribbon tied around your waist, you want to make damn sure it doesn’t fall off. I needed to break the hot glue/strapping tape seal to attach the chains. This is where the Xacto knife came into play. *intense swearing and accusing the Xacto of acting on its Oedipus Complex* The chains got attached. There was no bloodshed and no stitches required. I call that a win.

Leg Lamp - Christmas Story
A Christmas Story – Darren McGavin
“Aw, blasted poop flirt rattle crap camel flirt. You blonker frattle feet sturckle frat! Of a womp sack butt ratter bottom fodder… …smick melly whop walker. Drop dumb fratten house stickle fifer!”

Our house was built in 1898. Consequently, any rooms that we haven’t remodeled have lath and plaster walls and ceilings. Lath and plaster is the bane of this DIYer’s existence. Just hang some hooks in the ceiling? Easy, right! Oh, Hell no! Find a stud? F*#k no! Six pilot holes later and full-on channeling Darren McGaven – Furnace Fighter from A Christmas Story, I finally got the hooks installed in what I *hope* is something relatively solid.

Leg Lamp/Hanging Lamp
Leg Lamp/Hanging Lamp – A Christmas Story Revisited

Needless to say, there was no amount of editing that could make any of the footage of this project usable. You know it’s pretty bad when it’s too sweary even for me.  Though I will give myself some style points for some inventive expletives.

The moral of this story is that even if your project goes a little, or a lot sideways, you can still persevere and make it work. Sometimes you need to adjust your expectations and be willing to step back and rethink your goals. My lamp didn’t turn out exactly as I pictured it, but ultimately, I’ve got a functional hanging lamp and I’m happy with that!

Please leave your comments below. Share your own sideways crafting stories! If you’re feeling DIY AF, check out some of the other DIY projects on It Might Get Nerdy – Mirror Update, DIY Bulletin Board, Alarm Clock Picture Frame, Suit Vest Upcycle.

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