Sometimes I go to Goodwill to find a specific item I need for one of my crazy upcycling project ideas. 

Other times I go to Goodwill — and the crazy upcycling project idea finds me!

I always like to check out Goodwill’s Lighting section for funky inexpensive lamps. I didn’t think much about this little $9.99 lamp at first. However, when I walked past the lamps a second time, something about it caught my eye. 

All of a sudden those different-sized spheres stacked on top of each other reminded me of a snowman. 

Then I realized the lampshade could be his hat!

Do you see it too?

Creating the snowman lamp was easy. I simply painted all of those spheres on the base white. Then I painted the lampshade black. 

Is it starting to look more like a snowman to you now?

The fun part of this project was adding the little snowman details.

I dipped the paintbrush handle in black paint and pounced it on to create the eyes, mouth and buttons. (They don’t have to be perfect circles. Snowmen are never perfect, but always super-cute!) 

I used orange craft paint for a carrot nose and I ripped a strip of flannel from an old shirt for his hat.

Does it look like a snowman now?

The black lampshade still kind of looked like a lampshade to me. So I went to the $1 discount store for some wide red ribbon and a little sprig of poinsettia to embellish the hat. Then my mom suggested I add a little bit of “snow” to the hat.

To create a snowy effect, lightly pounce a little white paint around the edges.

Oh yeah! It definitely looks like a snowman now!

The holidays are a fun time to get really creative with your seasonal decorating. My snowman lamp only cost about $12 to make. You can easily create something similar to fit your personal style year-round. Skip the poinsettia and the snowman face and choose paint colors to match your home décor. 

Goodwill always has a nice selection of lamps and lampshades. If you like the shape of the lamp, all it takes is a little paint to update it perfectly for your home.


Courtney Mickalonis

Courtney Mickalonis is an artist, teacher, and treasure hunter at All Things New Again, a furniture and paint boutique in Leesburg, VA. She finds old furniture that nobody loves anymore and makes it beautiful—and useful—again. Courtney teaches a monthly Learn How to Paint Furniture class at their Leesburg studio and hosts The Furniture Painting Friday Show every Friday at 12 noon on the All Things New Again Facebook page.