Games: don't junk it - use it

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The Independent Online
Lampshades are generally rather dull, or expensive, or both. Here's how to make an attractive lamp from a shopping bag.

1. Find a sturdy paper shopping bag with a design you like. I always use a "Shakers" bag because of the slogan printed down its side: "Beauty rests on utility." So true, don't you agree?

2. Cut a thin piece of plywood - or MDF or acrylic - to just under the size of the base.

3. Acquire a lampholder - I have used a recycled ceiling rose - and wire it, chipping a bit out of the edge so the wire can lie flat. Do not attach the plug yet.

4. Glue the lampholder to the centre of the plywood.

5. Clip a small hole at the bottom edge of the bag where you want the wire to emerge, Reinforce it with one or two of those ring reinforcers you find lying around.

6. Drop the plywood base into the bottom of the bag and thread the wire through the hole.

7. Important: Use a cold-burning, low-wattage bulb (the energy-saving fluorescent type). If you use a normal bulb your bag will catch fire and your house will burn down.

8. Now you can put the plug on, plug it in, and wait for your visitors to gaze at your shopping bag light in wonder and envy.