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Junkie Glass Shade Christmas Tree DIY

November 27, 2021

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Don't throw away those old ceiling fan glass shades.

They can be upcycled and turned into an elegant and unexpected Christmas tree for the holidays. 

Ceiling Fan Glass Shades on A Table

Sometimes I dream in junk.

No really. I see secondhand items and picture them as something else completely. All.The.Time.

I think it's most fun when it happens at Christmas time.

I mean who doesn't love a good junk find Christmas craft?

Case in point.

Several months ago, I was in a thrift store and saw a pile of glass ceiling fan shades stacked on top of one another.

And the lightbulb went on.

Looking at it, I saw a Christmas tree.

A junkie one, but a tree nevertheless.

So I bought the lot of them.

My husband however, did not have the same vision.

He saw ghosts.

And once he said it, it was easy to see why.

So not one to turn down an opportunity to take on a makeover challenge, I tabled my tree idea and turned those shades into spooky {not really} lanterns.

Well, now that fall is making an exit and Christmas decor is being ushered in, it was time to make my original vision a reality.

Just in time for another installment of the Do It Over Designers.

Don't you love how that works out? 😉

I always knew I was going to make a tree out these little guys. 

However, I wasn't sure I was ready to say goodbye to my little ghost friends quite yet. They were unexpected guests, for sure, but ones I've grown rather fond of over the past few months.

So rather than remove their faces, I simply turned them around.

I figured that next fall, I could pop my tree apart again and poof.

They'd be back. 

Stacked Glass Ceiling Fan Shades on a table

To make the tree, I stacked the glass shades on top of one another in a staggered pattern, to mimic whimsical branches blowing in the wind.

Once I was happy with the pattern I grabbed my hot glue gun, dabbed the tiniest drop onto each shade, in one spot, to anchor the tower.

Of course, no Christmas tree would be complete without some snow. Since it's still too warm to snow here, I added my own. 

Aleen's Glitter Snow

I used a small, round bristle brush to layer on some of my own to the base of each swirl.

Can you keep a secret?

I only went half the way around each shade with it. Snow angels. Good. Snow ghosts? No. 

And since this tree will most likely be perched on a bookshelf this season, no one will be any the wiser.

Well, except you.

Applying Glitter Snow To Glass Tree With a brush

The last thing my new tree needed was a star. 

I didn't have one on hand, so I had to make one. 

I'd had a wire star tucked away in a drawer for years. I kept thinking that one day it'd come in handy.

Sculpey Air Dry Clay Wire Star and glass globe on table

It was the perfect size to use as a mold for my clay. I bought the air dry kind.

Cutting A Star from wire Mold with a blue knife

Super easy to work with, requiring nothing more than a play doh rolling pin and knife from the kids' old stash to do the job.

When it dried, I gave it a quick coat of white paint and some iridescent snow I had leftover from my glitter candle holder craft for shine. Then I glued it onto the top glass shade.

Clay Glitter Star on a table

For the final step, I plopped my upcycled tree on top of an electric pillar candle so it glowed.

It provided a tree trunk and a bit of festive sparkle.

In the middle of a holiday forest.

Stacked Glass Globe Christmas Tree among other small trees

Exactly as I pictured it, all those months ago.

Well. Minus the ghosts hiding on the back.

Are you a junkie crafter? 

Now it's time to hop, thanks to my friend Ann who organized this very talented group of gals. I hope you take the time to visit them all. 

Do It Over Designers Blog Hop Graphic

Modern on Monticello

Pandora’s Box

Purple Hues & Me

Southern Sunflowers

Unique Creations by Anita

My Hubbard Home

Interior Frugalista

The Apple Street Cottage

Birdz of a Feather

Exquisitely Unremarkable

  1. I love that you executed this twice - once for your hubby and again for your Christmas idea - but still left the telltale signs on the other side! I often tell my Hubs that he'll get his turn at this idea then conveniently 'forget' to make it over again lol! I think it's stunning - and your secret is safe with thousands of admirers :)

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    1. Thanks Sara!! My husband shares his ideas often, too, and then I generally overrule them...unless they are engineering suggestions. He's much savvier than I am when it comes to getting from A to B. I'm just the dreamer...however, with this project, I took his design advice and started with ghosts. So glad I did.

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  2. Kim when I read the title I instantly thought of Halloween but you have turned this project into a very pretty Christmas upcycle. Now lets see where I can find a few of those glass shades.

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    1. If you find some and craft with the Mary, you'll have to let me know. I'd love to see what you come up with, crafty girl!

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  3. Very cute project - I also saw Ghosts, but your vision was very clever. The clay star was a perfect way to complete the tree!

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    1. Thanks Patti! The ghosts were adorable and I have to say, I love them, but the tree looks lovely now at dusk, too.

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  4. I remember the ghosts and the conversation about our husbands and their vision! Loved them and now I love the new trees. The snow is the perfect touch! Although, Christmas Ghosts remind of of the 'Nightmare Before Christmas'. You might be on to something! lol

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    1. That's so funny, Ann, while I was making this I kept thinking about that movie overall and the mayor from that movie. Didn't his head turn around from Happy To Angry?

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  5. Nothing beats getting two projects out of one, Kim - except maybe three or four more! You certainly had your thinking cap on when you upcycled these shades into lovely holiday creations! I bet you're probably thinking how you can transform them for spring, too!

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    1. Thanks so much, Gail!! I am thinking about spring...although I may have just run out of sides. 😂

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  6. KIM!!
    OMG!! I love this!! So cute and so imaginative!! BUT, I can also see Ghosts for Halloween but I love the Tree idea better!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. I don't usually decorate for Halloween, Deb, so clearly I was sure the tree was going to be my favorite, too. Those sweet sticker faces have stolen a little piece of my heart though. It was very surprising! Thanks for the visit!

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  7. I was with your husband on seeing the adorable ghosts. How clever to keep the ghosts hiding behind so they serve double duty for the holidays. The light covers look just as adorable as a lighted snow capped Christmas tree! I'll never look at ceiling fan light covers the same ever again. Very clever and creative, Kim!

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    1. Apparently, I have a thing for old ceiling fans and all their parts, Marie! And thanks!!

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  8. You're so good at this! I used to walk down the aisle of used goods and sometimes have your vision. I think it petered out. That, and I haven't found a good used goods store here, so I haven't gone. The antique mall I liked kind of turned into one of those manufactured T-shirt type places. Your photo up there is such a beautiful image of you! You go, girl!
    Brenda

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    1. Thank you Brenda, for the kind comment about my craft and my photo. I'm not a fan of pictures, but my kids talked me into it. I find that my crafting vision ebbs and flows, too. It's like a muscle, when I'm in the thick of it, the ideas just flow. If I stop crafting for a bit, I get rusty. Happy Holidays!

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  9. OMG Kim this is so pretty and you have such a great eye to re love things into new and better. I loved the ghosts for this tree is amazing. So pretty.

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    1. Thanks Kris. The tree is really is pretty glowing at night, but those ghosts were an unexpected treat!

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  10. Absolutely adorable again! I loved the ghosts, but I think I love the trees even more :-)

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    1. Thanks so much! I can't believe I was able to get two crafts from this thrift store haul.

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  11. I thought that the glass shades made adorable ghosts, but they are absolutely fabulous as a Christmas tree!

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    1. Thanks Briana!! I have to say the tree is adorable, too.

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  12. Love this Kim. I love that textured snow. The ghosts will be chilly now. They may need a blanket

    Pinned

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    1. Adorable comment, Cindy! You just made me smile. Thank you!

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  13. I see glass shades at the thrift stores, and even have some of my own! Your craft has given me insight on how to repurpose them.
    Both as ghosts and as Christmas decor!
    Thanks :)
    RR

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    1. So glad you found some inspiration here, today! Yay!! I hope you'll share what you make.

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  14. Very cute Christmas trees... I see ghosts too though so you can use them for both! I love decorating on a budget!

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    1. Thank you, Cara! I'm totally a budget crafter and decorator!

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  15. What a great idea, it looks really pretty and unique. Great upcycle.

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    1. Thanks Anita! Upcycles are my favorite kind of craft.

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  16. I remember the ghosts. They were so cute, and now this! I love it! The snow on the edges takes it to a new level. And the ghosts can come back. Just perfect.
    I visited the others - lots of cute ideas.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mari! I love a double duty craft supply and thanks for visiting my friends. They really are talented ladies.

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  17. Very cute idea Kim, the possibilities are endless. Love the sparkle.

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    1. Thanks Linda! I like the dreaming up ideas part and it’s so easy to do with items like this.

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  18. You are so creative.. LOVE IT!!
    Pinning! :-)

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    1. Thanks Carla!! And you know I love being pinned.

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    1. Thank you, Jenna!! They were a fun find for the fall/ winter.

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  20. Two for one ~ gotta' love a project like that! The rippled glass was the perfect shape for your touch of snow on the ends of the 'branches.' Great upcycle idea!

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    1. Thanks so much...that's exactly what I saw they were perched on the thrift store shelf!

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  21. Kim, this project is adorable! I would have never thought to take the shades to make anything out of them! Love it! Hope you are doing well! Love and hugs!

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    1. Thanks Benita! I love seeing you here in the comments. I've missed you....and yes, I have crazy ideas sometimes! Happy Holidays to you and yours. Love and hugs back!!

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  22. Okay, so I did laugh out loud that you dream in junk! The tree turned out great, and how clever to have up-cycled the same item twice!

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    1. It is kind of funny, isn't it? You dream about exotic beaches and far away places and I dream about junk at the curb!! I really need to get out more. 🤣

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  23. I love how creative you are Kim. The holiday tree looks so adorable using up cycled items.

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    1. Thanks Julie! This one looks great at night...with its warm glow.

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  24. What a cute idea, Kim. I love that you have recycled them into more than one project. Hugs, Laura

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    1. Thanks Laura! My mom used to say, waste not, want not...I guess it was burned into my brain.

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  25. Kim, your Christmas tree is so cute. I love everything you make. The star is really cute and sparkly! :D

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    1. Thanks so much, my friend. Your comment just made my day!!

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  26. Kim, I remember I saw ghosts too, but your tree is really cute and I love it..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

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    1. Thanks Judy! I'm hard pressed to pick which is my favorite. xxoo

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  27. Kim, you are the Queen of Repurpose and frugality reigns with two options: ghosts or tree. Very clever. I like the way you embellished the tree, and it looks so cute displayed with your other trees. Always fun to see what you come up with! Enjoy the Season. Hugs.

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    1. Thanks Nancy!! Frugal was my mom's favorite word, so it's wonderful to see it in your comment. I think my creative repurposing comes from her amazing modeling. I hope you're having a lovely holiday season, too! Hugs!

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  28. I had a good laugh when you said "and poof they'd be back". Such an apt way to describe ghost shades coming back next year :D But you've always had such a wonderful way with words and finding ways to do lots with a little. The glowing Christmas tree idea is so clever too.

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    1. Thanks Michelle!! I appreciate all the kind words about my craft and my writing...since I'm very fond of both!

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  29. You are so creative! I love this idea so much.

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    1. Thanks so much, Paula! I had fun with this one.

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