Thursday, 8 September 2016

How to make: Pressed flower lampshade + using hydrangea petals

As we near the end of summer I decided to make use of some of the flowers I pressed earlier in the year. Hydrangea petals are ideal for making pressed flower projects because they are so pretty and delicate. I don’t know about your hydrangea bushes but mine are still in blooming, so if you fancy making this pretty pressed flower lampshade you should still have time! Simply pick the petals, make sure they are nice and dry and lie them flat in a press or inside a heavy book for a week or two, then you can begin.

You will need: 

Pressed hydrangea petals

Natural handmade Lokta tissue paper 
I bought this from and I highly recommend it. It's perfect for this project and it's cheap!

Small tin clear varnish - in gloss

Small tin clear varnish - in matt.

Spray adhesive

Glue gun

Step 1

Press your flowers or leaves. If you're not sure how to do that pop over to my simple guide to pressing flowers.  Now there are two ways to begin covering your lamp. Lay your tissue paper down with the right side down. Then slowly roll your lampshade across it from one end to the other, while outlining the edge in pencil as you go. You should end up with a semi-circle. Do this for the top and the bottom. Then when finished add an extra 2 cms to either end and cut out the piece. This should cover your shade perfectly with an overhang which you'll fold over the edges. OR the super easy, more rustic version - simply tear a few large pieces from the handmade paper.

Step 2 & 3

Spray your shade with the glue adhesive, smoothing the paper onto the surface as you go until it's completely covered. (Note: Do remember to wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the can) This adhesive doesn’t dry super fast so you will have time to smooth out any bubbles as you go.

Step 4

Now use your glue gun on the inside rim, to smooth and secure the edges over at either end,

Step 5

Now for the fun part. One at a time, give the petals a spritz (on the back of the petal) with the adhesive and begin fixing your petals to the lampshade from the bottom of the lamp upwards. Don’t be too precious, they don't have to be completely stuck down, the varnish will take care of that in a mo.

Step 6

When all petals are fixed in place, give the whole shade a coat with clear gloss varnish and allow it to dry. The reason I use gloss at this stage is because it dries completely clear, where as using a few layers of matt would give a slightly milkier looking finish. You could leave the lamp as it is at this stage if you prefer this finish. 

Step 7 

Now roughly tear (don’t cut) up some more tissue paper into large pieces. In sections apply another layer of gloss and begin applying the paper to the shade, apply more gloss on top of the layers, until the whole shade is covered. You’ll notice the gloss makes the paper almost see though, and then it dries crystal clear. Leave it to dry.

Step 8

Once dry, if your happy with your shade give it a final coat with the MATT varnish OR if you'd like to add another layer of tissue paper as I have done then go ahead, then when dry finish with a coat of matt varnish. TADA! Now you can any your pretty petals all year round!

JM x

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