Vintage Silver Teapot Lamp

Second-hand stores, my home(s) away from home.  I love rummaging around in thrift stores, you just never know what you’re going to find.  Today, this is what I found sitting quietly on a shelf, waiting for me .


This is an authentic 1898 Van Berch Teapot.  It’s a silver plated teapot that has some beautiful etched embossing as well as some truly lovely ornate work on the spout, handle and upper rim.

At some point in the life of this teapot, another enterprising and crafty soul decided to make this little beauty into a table lamp.  I just needed to fix a bit of loose wiring and when I turned the switch – everything worked great.

Except that lampshade.  I figure a teapot that’s 120 years old deserves a bit better than the cheapest lampshade money can buy.

Time to rip and glue!


These type of shades usually have a minimum amount of glue holding things on. I started at the top trim and simply grabbed an edge and pulled.


Then I removed the main pleated covering, too.


There was a paper ‘binding’ around the top and the bottom edges and I left that in place.  You can see brush strokes of dried glue on the shade but as I want a “Distressed” patina of age on my finished lamp shade, I decided to leave it there (plus, I doubt I could have gotten it off easily, anyways.)  The way I approach crafting is work with what you’ve got – so if there’s glue residue then turn it into part of the design.


I know I can’t simply wrap a piece of paper or fabric around this shade and expect it to look right.  I knew, in order to make the shade I had in mind, I would need to work it in panels – four to be exact.

I like using a whiteboard to do my figuring, it’s easy to doodle a quick pic on and make measurement notes, etc.

For this shade I just measured the circumference at the top and the bottom and divided each by 4 (panels) and measured the shade from top to bottom edge.


I transferred those measurements to a sheet of paper adding a 1/4″ for extra so fabric can overlap a bit.  I always test my patterns first.  I taped the four panels all around to make sure I was correct on my math.  Yep, everything’s a go.


This is called eyelash lace and is frequently used in making wedding gowns, etc.


I used a Sharpie to draw the outline of my pattern.  I WON’T be doing that again.  When I got to the gluing stage of this project I started noticing a faint purple coloration coming out on the lace.  Like I said above, go with what you’ve got, so I simply worked the ‘lavender’ into my design.  In fact, I rather liked it when it was all said and done but next time, I’ll use seamstress chalk for my marking.


I traced out four of these panels.  I was careful to keep the pattern on the same lines of lace as I worked my way across.  When I cut these out and apply them to the shade, I want the lace details to flow all around the shade and look like it’s one piece.


All cut out and ready to start gluing them on.  Except – remember the bare shade and dried glue brush strokes?  I’ve got to do something there first.


I’ve got quite a collection of Glimmer Mist in a lot of different colors.  I chose this one because it looks like old pewter to me.


I took the shade out to my back yard, drove a weeding fork into the ground and just set the shade on the handle.  I then spritz the Mist all over the outside of the shade until I thought I had the look I wanted.  I did this outside because Glimmer Mist goes everywhere and though I have a “spray box” for this it’s too small for this shade – so outside worked just fine.  Plus, it was hot out there so my shade dried in about 10 minutes!


And I’m happy to say my plan worked.  The dried glue and paper trim took the spray differently than the rest of the shade and the way the little mist droplets dried added to the effect, as well.  I like it!


But before I start gluing, I position one lace panel on the shade to see if I’ve cut for plenty of extra.  Looks good.

I used ModPodge Matte to glue the panels on.  I poured a bit into that dish, adding just a touch of water as needed to keep a wide brush pliable and the glue easy to spread.


And once I had a panel covered I smoothed it onto the shade’s surface.  I went one panel at a time, overlapping the edges as I went.


Once dry, I used a pair of scissors to trim the excess at the top and bottom edges.

You can also (kind of) see the line where two of the panels have overlapped.  That doesn’t look good – but I’ve got a plan…



Two types of silver trim are going to finish off this project.  I’ll start with the trim on the left.


After cutting four sections that are about two inches too long, I used a hot glue gun to attach my trim.  I just ran a straight line of glue down the shade and pressed the trim on carefully (that glue’s hot) making sure my trim was on nice and straight.


Then when I had all four on I went back and cut off all the extra trim from the top and bottom edges.


For the bottom section, I used the heavier, more ornate trim.   I glued this larger piece on by running a glue line of about 4 inch sections at a time, lining up the trim and pressing it down and then moving to the next 4 inch section.  When I got back around to the start I just barely overlapped a piece, glued it down and then trimmed off the excess.


For the top section, I used the same trim as I did on the four sides.  The bottom trim just looked to heavy for the much smaller top section.

But that’s it!  I now have a finished lamp shade that I think goes much better with this lovely, heavily patina-ed old silver teapot.  The lace pattern is there, but very subtly, and the pewter colored Mist mixed with the hint of lavender is just enough of a shade off from the teapot to be an addition to the silver pot not a competition like the original ivory shade was.

This lamp displays well whether the light is on or off and it will certainly make a lovely accent piece to any room it is placed in.

This piece is now available in my Etsy shop – Old Raven.  Thanks for taking a look at this “how to” blog and I hope you have a moment to browse through the windows of my online shop, as well.


Craft On



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s