Friday, 30 June 2017

How to make your own lampshade

How to make your own lampshade

Today I’m going to show you how to make a lampshade using a piece of fabric and a lampshade kit. This project is so easy and works out so much cheaper than buying shop bought lampshades ... and it also means you can choose your own fabric! You might remember earlier this year I was gifted a bag in this fabric which is called 'Enchanted Forest' by a designer called Voyage - I thought it was so pretty so I found a supplier called Just fabrics who sold it by the metre and it's currently on sale! The lamp making kit is from a craft company called Dannells - I've made two different types below, the larger one is a drum shade in 40cm and the 'coolie' shade is 30cm. Dannells sell a huge array of lampshade kits in various shapes and sizes, most of which can be adapted for lamps or ceiling lights. Once you've tried your hand at this you will get hooked so be warned! 

How to make your own lampshade

You will need:

Lampshade kit
In this kit you’ll find: The lampshade frame, Self adhesive lampshade panel, 
double-sided tape and a pokey thing. 
Pins (optional)

Choosing Fabric

When it comes to choosing fabric for this project don't opt for anything too thick, as this will be hard to work with. Also bear in mind what it will look like with light shining through ... perhaps hold it up to a light when choosing. Also, when it comes to choosing fabric a plain colour or repetitive pattern is probably easier as it doesn’t matter where you lay your panel, but because my fabric has a 'scene' I have to make sure the pattern is centralised. If you don't need to centralise your pattern you can hop to step 3.

Lampshade with 'Enchanted Forest' fabric by Voyage

Step 1 & 2

Iron your fabric so it has no creases. Lay out your fabric - pattern side up. Without peeling the backing from your PVC panel lay it on top covering the area you want to use (use something to weigh it down either end to keep in place if you need too.) When you're happy with your placement put some pins around the panel an inch from edge, just to use as markers.

Step 3 & 4

Flip the fabric so it's pattern side down (though not upside down!) Then remove approx 5 inches from the sticky adhesive and stick it down to one end of the fabric within your markers and press down firmly using your fist.

Step 5 & 6

Once the end is stuck down slowly remove more of the backing bit by bit with one hand while smoothing it down with the other.

Step 7 & 8

Now you're going to cut the panel out, keeping as close to each edge as possible. 
However …. to avoid a frayed edge like the one in the photo below we’re going to leave an extra half a centimetre at one end, which we’ll fold over at a later stage. 

Step 9

However, rather than do as I've done in step 8, leave a little extra at each side (see the example below left) ... otherwise when you fold over at the end you might come up a little short as I did (see below right.) This is a handy tip I picked up from

Step 10 & 11

Now we’re going to remove these bendy edges. Bend them back until you hear them crack ... do this all the way along. Then peel them away carefully so they don’t fray, then when you’ve finished simply snip off any frays. 

Step 12 & 13

Take your double sided sticky tape and lay a strip across the end where you left the extra bit of fabric. Peel, then fold the fabric back over and stick down firmly. 

Step 14 & 15

Take another line of tape and lay it over the top - don’t peel this off yet.
Our next job is to make our rings sticky! Take one ring at a time, and using the double-sided sticky tape just go all the way around each ring, wrapping it round the edge as you go. Be careful not too overlap the ends, leave a tiny gap.

Step 16 & 17

Now peel the tape cover from each ring, and starting at the opposite end from the sticky tape end stand your rings onto the edge of the plastic (make sure it's on the plastic - not on the fabric). Get one in place first, then the other then slowly start rolling them forward … keeping an eye on the edges as you go.

Step 18 & 19

Keep going - then when you get to the join, peel off the double sided sticky tape ... don't push down yet.

Step 20 & 21

Make sure the join is on a firm surface and press down firmly. 
If you're shade has bars on one of the cylinders as mine does, make a little snip above each one. 

How to make a lamp shade

Step 22 & 23

Using your hand just fold over the edges on each side like so. Then using the pokey tool, push the fabric into the edge and tuck in any frays … you need to push quite hard until you hear a click, but once you start you’ll soon get the hang of it. If the pokey thing bends simply cut to refresh it.

Top Tips:

If you're buying a 'coolie' shade for a lamp (bottom right) you'll also need to purchase a shade carrier

When making a ceiling shade - make sure the ring with the light fitting (bars) is at the top!

You can also purchase a lovely diffuser that you pop in the bottom of the ceiling shade, they sell them with various cut out patterns. (pic below)

Lampshade with 'Enchanted Forest' fabric by Voyage

Lampshade diffuser

JM x

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  1. How beautiful! I really love the fabric <3

    1. Thanks Sophie! I'm so glad you like it. The fabric is beautiful isn't it?!

  2. This would be a thoughtful gift too.