Decor & Interiors DIY & Craft Projects

How to Make a Lampshade (For Under £20!)

One of the things I wanted to do as part of our bedroom makeover was to style our dresser up and make it more of an interesting corner rather than somewhere that just collected bits. Something I wanted to include on the dresser was a lamp. A few years ago we bought an antique chest of drawers which I turned into a TV stand/media cabinet for the lounge. It originally had a mirror attached, which I sold, and my dad made lampbases from the supports. They have never found a home, but I knew that this would be the perfect spot for one of them.
They are a beautiful, barley twist oak; very arts and crafts, so I knew that a William Morris print fabric would look perfect.

To complement the handmade lamp base I decided to make my own lampshade, using a Lampshade Making Kit and William Morris Strawberry Thief fabric. The kit contains everything you need to complete this project, including sticky back plastic, rings, double sided table and a finishing tool.

I purchased the fabric from Laura’s Beau. They are a licensed manufacturer of William Morris prints and extremely reasonable. A half metre length of Strawberry Thief fabric cost just £6.75 with free (next day!) delivery.

What you will need to make a lampshade

  • Lampshade making kit in choice of size and shape
  • Fabric. The amount needed is stated on the kit box.
  • Sharp scissors
How to Make a Lampshade

How to make a lampshade

1. Cut the fabric down to size using the lampshade panel as a template. Because of the placement of the pattern and where I wanted the birds to sit I had to cut from the centre of the fabric. It would be possible to get two lampshades out of a half metre of fabric.

2. Turn the panel over so the plain side is upwards and position it on the fabric. I used the edging panel as a guide but somehow it still went a little wonky. Peal the backing paper off panel and attach the panel to the fabric, pressing down as you go. Continue until all of the panel is stuck to the fabric.

3. Trim the excess fabric down and bend the kiss cut edge back to remove. Do this carefully so it doesn’t pull any loose threads. The exposed fabric will be folded over the rings to give a neat finish.

4. Attach a strip of the double sided tape down one edge of the panel (don’t stick onto the fabric). Attach the tape to the rings, making sure the ring sits in the centre of the tape. Leave a small gap at the end so that you can easily remove the backing.

5. Lay the fabric panel on a flat surface and put one of the rings right on the inside edge of the plastic. If you’re using a directional fabric, like I did, make sure the utility ring is the right way for the type of shade you’re making (in my case as it was a table lamp the utility ring sits at the bottom of the shade).

6. Position the other ring on the other side. This was a little fiddly, but I did manage it by myself and once both are on there they do stand up.

7. Start to roll the rings along the panel, making sure they stay on the edge of the panel.

8. Once you reach the end remove the backing from the double sided tape and gently press the two edges together. Lie the shade on the join and very gently rub your fist along it to seal the tape.

9. Stand the lampshade up and fold the fabric over the ring, gently pulling it taunt and pressing it down so that it sticks to the tape.

10. Where the cross bars join the ring on the utility ring cut a small nick in the fabric to allow you to fold it down either side of the bar.

11. Once you have stuck the fabric down on both rings use the finishing tool to push the fabric under the ring. This is the bit I found the most tricky as in some places it didn’t want to work. When it does it makes a very satisfying clicking noise. If there’s any long threads cut them off, otherwise most will just tuck under.

And there we have one finished lampshade. I was really pleased with how quick and easy this was and how professional the finished piece looks. A William Morris lampshade from John Lewis would have set me back £50. In total this cost me £19.45 and just under an hour to make.

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