Thursday, August 12, 2010

Make your own lampshade!!

Alright, so it was my brother in law's birthday the other day and they just got a new apartment so they asked for a lamp and they were cool with it being used. I have this awesome brass floor lamp from my aunt but it doesn't have a shade. So, being low on money I tried to think of a way that I could get a shade for the lamp. It is one that uses a glass upward facing shade then I thought, Why don't I make one?

So here it is for your viewing and crafting pleasure.

I love to collect scarves and I have this beautiful scarf that had a radial (circle) design and it looks very antiquey so I thought, that will be perfect!! The shade only cost me 2.25$ to make because I had everything except for the interfacing. OK lets get to it.
First I took a piece of newspaper and folded it into a quarter then made a circle line from one corner to the next. The newspaper is just the right size for my scarf. I tried forming it into a cone and testing it on my lamp to see how it would look.

Here is my lovely scarf. I had to iron it first by covering it with a dishcloth so it wouldn't scorch it. I was doing this on my stainless steel island, yeah, don't do that. I guess the metal is super thin and it started to warp so I had to move onto my glass table.
I bought extra wide interfacing at Joanns, make sure to get the thick stuff because that gives your lamp its stiffness. You place it on the wrong side of your fabric and then iron it from the inside out so you don't end up with creases. I emptied the water out of my iron and set it on the highest temperature because the temperature where it doesn't use steam was too cool.
And here is is all smooth and stuck together.
I placed my newspaper circle on top and when I was testing it out I figured that if you take away a quarter of the circle then join those together it makes a cone.
I left a little extra instead of taking out a whole quarter, looking back now, take the whole quarter out.
I used my little maraca to measure a circle in the center. It is about 3 inches across.
Cut that out.
I'm going to edge the top of my lamp with red satin 1 inch ribbon so you have to fold it in half and iron it so it stays that shape. 

Then I formed my cone, checked it on my lamp and adjusted it. Then I clipped it with clothespins and Warren assisted me in glueing it together. We used an epoxy but I would recommend using gorilla glue or sewing it instead. The epoxy got really hard and where we applied it a little thick it seeped through. Then I placed coasters on it to hold it while it dries.
Ok, cool thing. My husband has been working on his dune buggy and is almost done so when I told him about my project he's like, I have a bearing ring that will work!! Pulls it out, tries it on the lamp, and boom it fits perfectly inside. So I was pretty lucky, otherwise you should check out your local hardware store. You could cut a piece of PVC pipe or you might just find some kind of metal ring that will work. So I placed it on the bottom of my shade and then drew a circle to mark where it evenly lay.
Then I cut snips in my shade that went up to that line. So I can flare those out to fit on my ring.
So then I moved in by my sewing machine and I opened up the ribbon and fitted the shade inside. I made sure to start my ribbon in the back where my overlap is, see you can see in the corner of the picture where the epoxy seeped through. Lovely huh?
OK, now we sew it on. Sadly I didn't do so great in this department because the shade is curved so your ribbon has to curve with it and that means that it has to gather together in areas and I thought it would do it really easy but it didn't, so I had to re-sew  a couple spots where it didn't catch the ribbon. I just kind of squished it up so it would gather it when it fed through the machine. I'm sure my incredibly talented sewing queen Sister in law Sandy, would know how to fix this but I didn't. If you have any tips Sandy, please clue the rest of us in. Thanks!!


  1. I LOVE the lampshade!!!! That is so cool! The pictures are vibrant and your instructions are so articulate, yet easy to follow. You're so funny to call me out, because I was loving this project 100% until I saw the word, "ribbon", and I was like, "uh oh.". Yes, I've done that too(see ugly green edging on my gold tole bag:) the "TRICK" is bias tape. Ribbon looks pretty and is deceiving, because it isn't flexible on the edges, so you can't use it successfully around curves. The bias tape refers to how the fabric is cut on the diagonal grain crosswise to make strips. It's then folded over and has a clean edge. You can buy it in a zillion colors and sizes, but you can make your own using any kind of fabric, as long as you cut it diagonally on the bias. This is also the way you cut fabric to make piping. I hope that helps. I love this blog!!!!! I love you!

  2. HA HA! That is awesome!! Thank you for commenting Sandy! I always wondered why it says to use bias tape and that totally explains it, and the problem with the ribbon gives an excellent example of why you need bias tape. Thanks for explaining that, you are so cool! I'm glad you like the shade, I was excited to do it and I love that it goes so well with the lamp. Love ya!!

  3. Yeah, even in my professional experience, it took me a while to REALLY understand the whole bias thing and why it matters, because when you Look at bias tape, it just kinda looks like folded over fabric or ribbon, same with piping and all kinds of edging. It's HORRIBLE to try and turn a corner when your fabric won't give! There are tons of instructions online on how to cut bias strips. It uses up a lot of fabric, so whenever possible, I try to use premade. It's already perfect, and worth the 2 or 3 bucks. It's good on necklines and armholes too! Again, love the projects. Oh, by the way... Saw that you're canceling photo Tuesday but if you ever wanna take a request, maybe you could teach how to take decent baby how do you get that effect where the subject is sharp and the background people and scenery are more blurred. I think it gas to do with aperture, but I don't know really what to do...or the cute baby feet pics. Anyway, most people with babies probably hire a pro for some things, but the rest of the time, it's just them with their cameras and little ones....or some tips on getting better kid/baby pics, or ways to set them up, I don't know...stuff that you know that the rest of us don't! So, that's something I'd love, if you ever wanna take requests!

  4. Thanks Sandy! Those are some great photo ideas, I'll explain those on Tuesday, You are so smrt! he hehe


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