How to Update a Bathroom Light Fixture Using Craft Store Supplies

2 Materials
2 Hours

My bathroom light fixtures were brass and terribly outdated. The lighting was harsh and unflattering from the bare, exposed bulbs, but more elegant and modern fixtures were pricey. Besides, these fixtures were a perfect size and they worked well. So instead of replacing them, I decided to give them a quick and easy makeover with a few supplies from the craft store. Yup, the craft store. Can you believe it?


  • Silver Spray Paint
  • Adhesive Styrene Roll
  • Mirror Sheets
  • Velcro Tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • LED Bulbs
  • Drop Cloths
  • Mask
  • Goggles
  • Gloves

Step 1: Remove Bulbs and Plate from Wall

Since this makeover was a quick one, I didn’t need to take the entire fixture off the wall. That was awesome, since I didn’t want to get an electrician or mess with wires. I just made sure the power to the light was off. Then I covered my bathroom vanity with a drop cloth to protect it, since I was going to be working in the area. Then I unscrewed the bulbs and removed the brass fixture plates and metal socket sleeves from the wall, so I could take them outside to paint them.

Remove Bulbs and Plate from Wall

Step 2: Sand and Spray Paint the Fixture

I placed another drop cloth on my driveway and put my goggles and mask on before I started. Since the fixtures were shiny, I used a piece of sandpaper to gently scuff them up a bit so the paint would stick. I made sure the spray paint I used was recommended for metal and had a primer in it, as well. If you’re not using a combination product, to ensure good coverage, you should prime first, then paint. 

Sand and Spray Paint the Fixture

Step 3: Measure the Styrene

In order to make the covers, I needed to purchase a roll of adhesive styrene. The Styrene is made for lampshades, so I knew it would be a safe product to use. I rolled it out and measured what I needed to construct my mini shades, keeping in mind that each shade would arch around the bulb. I wanted to leave a safe enough clearance between the shades and the bulb and about a ½ inch extra on each side to attach to them to the fixtures themselves. I also measured and marked the height of the fixture so the covers would be flush. 

Measure the Styrene

Step 4: Draw and Cut Out Design

I began drawing my bulb cover design on the styrene using a pencil. My particular design was filled with scrolls and circles, so I used a compass to ensure perfect lines. Next, I used my scissors to very carefully cut out the completed design and then I repeated this process until I had enough covers for all my bulbs. 

Step 5: Cut Out Mirror Paper

I used one of the cut styrene covers as a template and traced the design onto mirrored sheets I picked up at the craft store. I cut the mirrored sheets out just as carefully and when I was done, I peeled the adhesive backing off the styrene and stuck the mirror pattern on to it. I went slow, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles with my finger. I repeated this step until every shade was covered. 

Cut Out Mirror Paper

Step 6: Adhere the Covers to the Fixture

Now it was time to put it all together. In order to make the covers stick to the backplate of the fixture, I arched the covers and folded the ends in about ½ inch. I cut small squares of Velcro tape and placed them between the backside of the folds and the fixture itself. I used Velcro so I could remove the covers and replace them with a different design in the future if I desired. When I was done, I just rehung the fixture on the wall and replaced the bulbs with LED ones so they’d burn cooler. 

Adhere the Covers to The Fixture

It was a very quick and inexpensive transformation, but the results are quite dramatic. The new light fixtures have completely changed the look of my bathroom and, like I said, all the supplies were from my local craft store. It didn’t require any electrical skills, which made it a super easy DIY and one I was able complete in about 2 hours. If you have one of these old makeup mirror style, builder grade lights, why not give it a try?

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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Carol Carol on Mar 02, 2020

    I have a similar fixture. You did a lovely job. However, won't the exposed part of the styrene's adhesive not covered by the design's mirror paper gather dust, etc?

  • Karen Karen on Mar 31, 2020

    I have similar fixtures and love the transformation. In your description, you cut the pattern out of the styrene and the mirror paper. However, the picture looks like you used uncut pieces of styrene covered with the design cut-outs to make the covers. Can you please clarify?

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