September 26, 2012

Monopoly®-izing the family room

The long-awaited day has come. Today is the “reveal” for those of us participating in Erin’s brainchild: the Random Acts of Craftiness (henceforth referred to as RAoC) challenge. (I previously referred to this activity in a post sometime last month…)

The beneficiary of this RAoC in my home was this lonely, little table lamp. (There’s a back-story as to why it was procured last year from the thrift store, but I won’t bore you with details.)

It somewhat straddles the demarcation between breakfast nook & family room.

It’s not imposing enough to really anchor that end of the sectional which is our only seating in said family room.

Enter Erin & her tossed gauntlet: what can you make/remake by upcycling an old board game?

This does play into our decorating scheme for that room. Above a portion of the sectional is this statement:So, Erin & all your RAoC participants – GAME ON! It will be so much fun to play this edition with you! I foresee a decor improvement on our horizon…


Now, when my guys play Monopoly®, this is what it looks like:DSCN5109

…but I wanted my lamp to portray the more classic version of the game. I scoured an antique mall, frequented thrift shops, even went Goodwill hunting… I gotta tell you – I refuse to pay what some of those vendors believed their used merchandise to be worth!

Fortunately, there was the internet. Equally as fortunate is the lovely shopping experience which is Etsy. And most fortuitous, there is Judy Ashman’s shop, Vintage Paper Works!DSCN4982


So, I took my little green wooden houses & big red wooden hotels and the hubs' big cordless drill and went to work. (*insert woodworking skill or lack thereof disclaimer here*)bead

Next, I used the router to faux-age the buildings; then I “strung” my beads on a length of chain.strung

I stitched the chain to the bottom of the lamp shade.stitch

While taking time off to stop the blood from flowing from the needle pricks  During breaks from old shoulder fatigue  In between stints of stitching, I E-6000®-ed the tokens to the lamp base utilizing a template to ensure equitable spacing.DSCN5032

I waffled between three or four possibilities for using Monopoly® money on the shade. Originally I had planned to stitch it on the fabric I’d cut to cover the shade. But I wasn’t wanting a ruffle-y look. Thought about découpage, but that felt like too much work & too much clean-up.

In the end we determined our solution would be to print scanned images of the money onto iron-on transfer paper. (I was hoping it would bring more of a translucency to the shade when illuminated.)money

I really wanted to place the money in a way that would account for the curve in the shade, but that would’ve used up a lot more of that expensive transfer paper than I was willing to part with. Oh! And did you see the section that I accidently ironed on upside-down? PSHHHHHH!

The top & bottom trims from the original shade had come off during all the maneuvering – so I painted them black & reused them.paint

Have you stuck with me thus far? Are you ready for the reveal?

Drumroll, please.

Curtains up!




You really need to go to His and Hers to see what other crafty people have done with their game pieces.


  1. Love how the lamp turned out. Way to use that creative side!

    Thanks for participating!!

  2. Super cute! And definitely perfect for a game themed den.

  3. You are so crafty! I love the way your lamp turned out. Perfect for a game/family room.

  4. I love it! Monopoly is one of my favorite games. :)

  5. Wow, I'm impressed with how much of the game you managed to use in one project--very creative! Definitely gives this lamp much more presence. Well done.

    1. I second what Erin said: you get the award for "Most Thorough Use of a Game"!! Nicely done! And I'm glad the first challenge could contribute nicely to your existing theme. ;) Thanks so much for participating, Melody!!

  6. What a fun lamp! I love the houses hanging form the shade. Love it!

  7. That is so cute.. and goes great with your room. You need to come thrifting with me.. all I could find at my goodwill were monopoly games.. but I wasn't creative enough to come up with a decent project like yours!

  8. Your idea is great! I love how you used all the elements of the game. We both love lamps. I wish I had a million places in my house to put them. Unfortunately I don't. A lot of people may start getting lamps as Christmas gifts because no matter what I do, I have endless lamp ideas.

  9. This is awesome!! It works perfectly in the theme of your room too!

    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  10. This challenge was made for you!! It's perfect in your room. Fabulous job!

  11. Excellent work on getting that lamp into the game!


What do you think?