In it’s former life, this cute lamp was my desktop companion, but now that it’s in Songbird’s room I knew I had to figure out how to rebuild the lampshade. Originally I tried just taking the fabric off, but the existing plastic was so brittle it busted into a hundred pieces. I saved the wire frames and started over.
Start by measuring the height and circumference of the existing shade (pre-demolition). Add 1.5″ to the length for overlap (instead of 31″, it would be 32.5″ long).
Use a straight edge and an Xacto knife to cut a white posterboard into 2 rectangles the same size as your existing shade. My posterboard was too short, so I used spray adhesive to glue four pieces together like this:
Then I re-enforced the seams with white artist tape.
If you want a typical shade, now is the time to use permanent spray adhesive to adhere fabric to one side of your posterboard. This tutorial goes on to describe the fishscale look, but the steps are essentially the same.
Start with a small bead of hot glue at the corners of your posterboard. Hold your wire frames on and give it a couple minutes to harden. Working very slowly, run the hot glue along the edge only a couple inches at a time. Roll the wire frames in unison along the glue.
Once dry, be sure to cut off any glue that dried above the edge.
Too create the scale look you will need this Craft Fuse Iron-On Backing from Pellon. It gives lightweight cottons some body and keeps your circles from fraying.
Iron the Pellon to the back of your desired fabric, making sure to fuse every inch!
Trace circles on the back side and cut with fabric scissors. My circles were about 1.5″ wide.
Starting on the bottom of the shade, use small dabs of hot glue to adhere a row of cut circles facing up.
Overlap the next row of circles, only gluing the tops, so the bottoms are free to sway. Keep going up, up, up!
At the top, do another row of semi-circles.
To create a finished look, use 3/4″ fusible hem tape to make a hem along one side of fabric that’s been cut slightly longer than your shade circumference. Then cut that strip 2″ wide.
Hot glue the strip first to the outside, stopping just short of the end. Then hot glue the inside too. Fold over the last bit and secure in place.
Go back and trim the inside fabric.
For a cleaner line, I covered my inside edge with artist tape.
Repeat this edging along the bottom of the shade too! Don’t forget to tuck it under that first row of scales.
It wasn’t the easiest project I’ve ever tackled, but I’m very please with the outcome.
After buying the posterboard at the Dollar Store and using coupons for the fabric and pellon backing, the new lampshade cost me around $5. Heckofalot better than the $40 that online shops wanted. And waaaaay more personality!