Last year I made Victor a slide lamp with landscape vintage slides with voyages from around the world, including the Great Wall of China. I found the perfect selection of slides for him out of my collection for his travelling spirit. Before I make anything with slides I always scan them as I hate the idea of the photo be lost forever so here is look at some of slides I used on his lamp from various people! Ps. If you are interested on how I made the slide lamp, check out my DIY here.
This month is all about using vintage slides to make custom, unique and beautiful slide curtains. I found out about slide blinds originally through my brother who shared a photo of them with me of (these) curtains and I fell in love. I just adore how not only can you use them functionally as curtains but they are a work of art. Being able to look at each individual slide, not to mention the reflections of them on nearby surfaces really makes the space more beautiful. Right away I set out not only to find how these were made but to make my own for my kitchen window which has been lacking a window treatment since we moved (years ago). Although a long and tedious process, I think the project is very straight forward and the end results makes me so happy. Anytime I am in the kitchen I find a new slide to look at and appreciate. One thing I would love to do is someday make my own slides and make a memory curtain with them. Below I have all the steps you will need to do to make your own as well as videos on me making them, not to mention MANY MANY photos of the finished curtains.
What You’ll Need:
*to calculate how many you will need, refer to step one
- pair of pliers
- jump rings
*to calculate you roughly need 4x the amount of slides
- drill or hole punch
- triangle ruler and pencil
- curtain hooks
Cost and Material Information:
The cost will depend on how you are acquiring the slides and how many you need to make the curtains (I used around 200 slides). For my slides I purchased through Etsy for about $10 per 150 slides. I bought more than I need as I wanted my blinds to mostly be of flowers. For the other materials it will be around $25 to pick up jump rings, a hole punch, pliers, a triangle ruler, hooks, and the curtain rod. All common things to find at Dollar stores, craft stores or online for cheap.
Video of Steps:
- Calculate the amount of slides you will need. To do this measure the height and width of the area you will be covering (include overhang if you want slides to go past the glass) and divide each by the measurements of 1 slide.This will give you an approximate base amount you will need. Have more on hand for mistakes and possible changes.
- Take the slides and lay them out so you know what will be the top slides connected to the curtain hook, the middle slides and the bottom slides. At this time you can also create a pattern with the slides or paint the paper edges.
Example: All slides featuring the color yellow in one column, or all flower slides on the top row, ect. Having a large group of slides to choose from will make this step much easier.
- Take all the middle slides and measure 5mm in on each corner using the triangle ruler and mark. You can skip this step if you want however it helps make sure the slides hang as evenly as possible.
- Where you’ve marked on each corner, use a drill or hole punch to create a hole.
*I did mine with a hole punch and it’s painstaking in the amount of time it takes and on your hand but I found it easier than a drill.
- For the top slides you will need to repeat Step 3 & 4 however for the top two holes will need to accommodate the curtain hooks so you will need to check if you need to make a larger hole.
- Repeat step 3&4 to the bottom slides except only do 2 holes on the top of the slide.
- Lay out all the slides you want for 1 column with 1 top slide, middles slides and 1 bottom slide.
- Use the pliers to twist and separate the jump rings you will need ahead of time, you will need 4x each slide except the bottom and top.
- Attach the slides together using the jump rings and pliers, working down one by one until you are at the bottom. Then attach the hooks to the top slide.
- Repeat until you have all your columns done and place each hook on the rod.
- Hang on your curtain rod and enjoy!
- You can attach the columns together to create one big sheet, or two curtains. Simply use jump rings and either hook into a new hole on the side of each slide or into the existing jump rings. I did the later but the original DIY added additional holes. You can also skip this step and each column will be on it’s own.
I found out at the end of the process a much easier way to create the holes is to have 1 template slide that has the punched holes already and then simply lay on top of each slide and punch the holes you need using it as a reference. No marking required.
(The bottom is a little wonky but I will figure that out. I also went down from 20 slides per column to 19 and accidently left two slides that aren’t meant to be at the bottom)
(the slides also leave patterns on the floor on sunny days which is a delight)
For December’s DIY project I wanted to show you how to make slide necklaces. I don’t know if I invented this or just remember seeing one randomly on the internet but I love the idea of taking slides and transforming them into a necklace. It’s like you are carrying around a secret as the image is only viewable when you hold up to a light. I just love slides, you can get ones of the Great Wall of China, butterflies, lilies, mountain ranges, sunsets, rainbows and so much more. If you want you can even create your own slides using your photography. This year for Christmas I made slides necklaces for every friend I sent a Christmas card to and choose an image out of my slide collection that I thought suited them for various reasons. It’s been probably the easier and funniest project I’ve done all year so I really hope you like it. Let me know in the comments if you decide to makes this yourself as I’d love see.
What You Will Need:
- Jump rings (6-8 mm)
*recommend 70 cm or longer
- 1/8 hole punch
- Pen and ruler
- Paint and brush
Material and Costs:
For this project I’d say the cost to make is roughly $25 and with that you can make plenty of necklaces for friends and family. The biggest purchase is the slides themselves, Etsy, Ebay or your local second hand store will come in handy if you don’t have some laying around. I suggest buying a large quantity of random slides as it’s not only fun to discover what you have when they arrive but usually yields enough good slides to make it worth your while (and more cost effective than buying sorted sets). If you want to make your own the cost depends on where you live but should be roughly around the same price for development (keep in mind you have to shoot with a film camera using slide film). There is a 3rd alternative to make digital photography into slides – price is reasonable but not common (if not available locally to you, online there are speciality sites). For the jump rings and necklaces my suggestion is to buy online on Ebay as you will get much better prices but the materials are easily found at your local craft/art store as well. I suggest buying necklaces that are around 70 cm in length as that’s a good length to be able to hold the slide up to the light and view the image while wearing it. All other supplies you may already have or easily picked up from Dollarama or any craft or art store.
- Pick out the slides you’d like to use. Hold up to a light or window to see the image. Now you can hang the necklace anyway you’d like but I prefer to have the image right side up.
- Use your ruler and pen to mark a point that is in the middle of each each slide. Common lengh of slides is 5cm so I make my mark at 2.5 cm and ususally do it a 0.5cm-1cm down from the top of the slide.
- Use the hole punch to put a hole where you made the mark.
- If you want to paint the slides a different color what I did was use acrylic paint with an angled brush.
TIP: To protect the image of the slide you can cut out paper towel to fit over the image. Also use an angled brush as it will work the best on the edges, and if you want to be extra careful you can use a very small stiff brush for fine details.
- Paint each slide with enough layers to cover any writting on the slide and do both sides of the slide waiting for the paint to dry inbetween. You can also paint the edges of the slide which I’d doing. First image shows what it looks like after 1 coat and 2nd is after 2-3 coats. It’s common for most slides to have writting on one side so you may need to more coats to cover.
- If any paint gets on the image use a lens cloth to clean. You can also use a soft bristle paint brush as well.
TIP: Beware you can scratch the image off (like the above image), so to prevent this make sure you clean the slide before paint has time to dry. If the paint is dry you may need to add a bit of water to your brush or cloth to remove paint completely.
- Using your pliers open up a jump ring and hook into the hole in the top of the slide and close. Then attach to necklace chain.
TIP: You can makes these any color, or even leave them unpainted. Pair with matching chains.
- Simply hold up to any light source or windows to see your secret image when wearing!
Aren’t these wonderful? These are a part of my vintage slide collection, I thought I’d show you all the landscape slides I have this time. I posted early this year with a bunch of my flower slides as well if you want to check out more of my collection. The landscape slides are the most breath taking to me, I only wish I had more of them to treasure and knew more information about where they were taken. I’ve actually used most of my vintage slides now for DIY projects but I’d hate to see the slides’ photo lost forever so I scan all of them beforehand. Scanning can be a really long process it’s so worth it to digitalize the photographs and have them saved. I can’t wait to show you more of my collection, let me know if you enjoy seeing them and I post some sooner that I would normally. Also if you want to check out one of my DIY slide project, here is my Vintage Slide Lamp DIY. I’m doing another quick and easy DIY in December too of slide necklaces but all in anticipation of the big one – my slide curtains in January!
This month’s DIY project is a slide lamp made by replacing a regular lamp shade with vintage slides. I found out about slide lamps this year while I was searching for other projects to do with slides because I purchased a whole bunch to make slide curtains (future DIY project). When I was looking I found all these Etsy stores that sold various versions of this idea and had to make my own (especially considering I would never pay that much for a lamp). I thought I’d show you how I made it because the project is really easy and once you have the materials it’s not expensive to make more. There is also so much room for creativity when it comes to this project because there are many types of lamp shades and you can choose slides of various themes from butterflies to cityscapes depending on the room. I have been so excited to do this project and I’m in love with how mine turned out. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions.
Depends on the size but I made mine in roughly 2 hours.
- lamp with detachable lamp shade
- 1/8th hole punch (or a drill with 1/8th bit)
- jump rings (10mm & 8mm)
- 2 needle nose pliers
- scissors or excato knife
- paint and brush
Price and Material Information:
The price of this DIY really has to do with what materials you are able to start off with and what type of slides you want to use. If you don’t have slides try thrift stores, Ebay or Etsy. I bought 100 random slides for $10 on Etsy. If you want particular slides like say only sunsets most shops will sell sorted slides but at an increase of price. It can be cheaper to buy large amounts of random slides and simply sort them yourself (no guarantee you will get what you want). As for the lamp, I actually didn’t purchase mine. From what I recall I found it on the street or someone left it in one of the apartments I moved into years ago. If you don’t have a lamp you want to destroy I highly encourage you to look at a thrift store, walk around the neighborhood on the 1st of the month, or hey Ikea has $15 lamps. You just need a lamp shade with a top wire rim, square or circular are both fine. The jump rings are available for super cheap on Ebay in a variety of colors, sizes, and quantity (like here). For the other items you need most of them are common household things except the hole punch which can be picked up from a craft store or Staples for $6. If you don’t have two needle nose pliers but do have one and another type that should be fine. As I’m making multiple slide projects the price of this project for me is zero as I had all these materials already as leftovers but I’d say $30 is a good base price.
- Calculate how many slides you need using the existing shade as a reference.
*for mine I made 7 rows of 3 but my lamp shade is quiet small.
- Detach the shade from the lamp and remove the cloth part of the shade leaving only the wire behind.
TIP: You can spray paint the metal wire any color (I didn’t but I think I will go back and do it as the white clashes)
- Taking the slides that you’ve chosen to use and create a pattern so you know what slide you will want in each row. I decided to use mostly slides of sunset and silhouettes and created an alternating patter of horizontal and vertical slides. Make sure you have more than enough slides just in case.
- Taking a pen/pencil and a ruler mark a point at 4x4mm or 5x5mm on each corner of the slide. Repeat for all slides except on the bottom slides which will only need two markings at the top corners. I used a triangle ruler as it made measuring quick. You can free hand each hole with the hole punch instead as well and skip this step.
- Now using the 1/8th hole punch simple punch each slide with the marking in the center of the hole punch.
TIP: You can use a drill with a 1/8 or smaller bit instead to save time.
- This step is optional as I think the regular white side of the slides look pretty great just on their own. However the ones I am using had lots of writing on them so I painted the cleanest side of each slide with silver metallic acrylic paint (you can do both sides if you’d like). I simply did 3 layers of paint and waited for them to dry.
TIP: If you get paint on the inside slide simply use a soft cloth to wipe clean again. (I used a camera lens / glasses cloth so as not to scratch the image)
- Taking your pliers and a 10mm jump ring, twist a jump ring open and attach the slides to each other and twist to close again.
TIP: Since I don’t own a pair of needle nose pliers I’m using one with another type of pliers instead. Keep in mind though this takes a little longer and is tougher to do so for a larger lamp shade you will want to use two needle nose pliers instead.
- I decided to punch the top holes of my slides at the end because I wasn’t sure on where I wanted the placement of the top holes. However you can simply do this in Step 4&5.
- Using the pliers again, twist the 10 mm jump rings open and this time attach to the top metal ring of the shade and close.
- After all the slides are attached to the top you will want to secure each row of slides together with a jump ring. For mine I used a smaller sized jump ring (8mm) and placed one hole in the middle on each slide. I’d suggest doing this once the rows are done as the slides will each hanging slightly differently and you can adjust the placement at this point so both slides beside each other are even. This gives the slides a more finished shape but you can skip this step.
- Attach the lamp shade back onto the light and you are done!
Finished Vintage Slide Lamp:
a little video of me twirling it around because it’s really fun:
Spending my nights glancing into the sunsets on my lamp…okay maybe not but I do love the way the light from the lamp is bouncing off my face. This lamp is probably the most useful thing that happened this week since I’ve been sick. I’ll actually have a DIY on how to make your own slide lamp on Thursday if you are curious. It’s been a pretty tame week as I’ve been trying to rest up, except for going out to eat and celebrate Chilean Independence Day on Thursday I’ve just been working away at planning future posts and getting stuff done. Can’t believe I’m almost at the half way point of my 52 Weeks of Self-Portraits project.
Before I can explain that I mean
Before I can tell you
Man has lost control of his life”
Today I wanted to share part of my growing collection of vintage slides because not only are slides really neat but who ever took these shots was very talented. It feels like an honor to have a part of a photographer’s hard work, almost like owning an original from a painter. There is just something so much more tangible about slides than with digital photography or even negatives to me. Plus I love holding then up to the light one by one to see the image – it’s like opening a present! I don’t have any information on these slides since I bought them on Etsy for various shops but I do know they are from America and taken in the 1960s to 1970s. Currently I own over 200 and since they are going to end up being used in future DIY projects I wanted to scan each one and save the photography forever. I thought today I’d share flowers since its Spring.