Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lampshade Tutorial

Is anyone starting to wonder if I do anything but make lampshades? Half of my posts have been lampshade related. This tutorial came out of requests that came from the blog love (Thanks Kim!) over at Today's Creative Blog. So here you go- I hope it makes sense!

To start with, grab a large piece of paper ( i used tissue paper- tape a couple together if you need it larger). Put your lamshade in one corner and then, holding a pencil up at the front top right edge, roll the shade and trace the shape onto the paper as you roll it. You will need to do this for the top and then re-position it and do it for the bottom edge. After you cut out your pattern, make sure you wrap it around your shade and verify the size and shape. Here is what the cut out pattern looked like.
Then, decide how many panels you would like to have and cut your pattern into strips. If you have more than one lampshade to do, make a copy of the original pattern first before you cut it up. Keep in mind that the lampshade pattern pieces have no seam allowance so when you pin these pieces on the fabrics, add seam allowance, allowing a few inches at the top and bottom so you have enough to fiddle with. I also recommend thinking out your fabrics so that you don't end up with two of the same pattern when you sew it into a tube. Oh- and number your pieces so you can keep things in correct order.
This is what your cut out fabric should look like.
Now carefully sew the panels together. When you are done, be sure to press them nicely so that you can get a nice tight fit in the next step. I had some lighter fabrics and some darker ones so I pressed toward the darker fabrics so that the darker ones wouldn't show through the lighter fabrics. Also, keep your raw edges nice and straight because when the lamp is on, the light will make the inside edges more visible and it is nicer if the look neat and even. I d not have images for the following, but if you want to add any drawings like on the lampshade I made for the auction, then follow these directions at this point:

To make the drawings: I had 5x7 matboards and I cut out a 2.5 " (or so) square in the middle. I then cut out 4" (or so) squares of fabric and taped them behind the hole in the matboard and gave them to the kids this way to draw their pictures on. This is key because if you do not do it this way, they will draw over the whole square and make it impossible for you to make nice uniform squares to fit on the lampshade. I originally intended to sew these together so it would have given me my seam allowance but it was nice to just have edges I could trim. I then took their finished drawing, fused them to double sided fusible interfacing. Then I trimmed them into neat squares the size I needed. Then just lay them out on your sewn together lampshade and fuse them on. I will say that I left a few unfused until I sewed the last seam ( making the lamshade into a tube). That way I could lay a few over the seam I made last and make it look more like it was all one shade. I hope that makes sense- I didn't want to have one area where things stopped for a seam since all the other drawings went over the other seams. After they were all fused in place, I used a colorful zig zag stitch to sew them all on.

Back to where we were... Take your sewn together peice, and pin it, right side facing the shade. Pull it as tight as you can, making sure you leave atleast an inch at the top and bottom. Pin it tight because it looks nicer if the shade is taut.
After you sew up the seam, turn it right side out and pull it over the shade. If it is nice and taut, you are ready for the next step. If it is not, sew it up a little tighter. When it fits right, trim the top edge to about an inch. Now it is time for your hot glue gun. I will say that on the first shade I turned and stitched the top edge and then just barely tacked it with hot glue. On the bottom I cut it and hot glued the rick rack over it. For this more tailored shade, I like the look of hot gluing both, though I will say that now I will probably go back and hot glue a ribbon on the inside top edge over the edge of the fabric because when you stand above it , it could look a bit more finished. As for the glue, run a bead just around the top inside edge, a couple of inches at a time. The stand the shade with the hot glue end up. Place your thumbs on the outside of your shade and roll the fabric edge onto the hot glue with all eight fingers, keeping it nice and tight and smooth. Tried to get a photo of that but without that third hand, it wasn't going to happen. I will say that you have to go into this knowing you will be burned 2, 3, o.k., 30 times with hot glue. So don't go too crazy with the hot glue- just enought to tack the edge without too much gushing onto your fingers. Repeat this process bit by bit until you are done. Here it is glued down: See what I mean about the ribbon to cover the edge? Now do all of that to the bottom. And that is about it! Here you go- not bad for a $10 shade and lamp from Ikea. And look- it matches the pillow I made for our bed. I love these colors. The polka dot is vintage from an estate sale and the rest are Amy Butler. If anyone makes a shade, I would love to see it. I hope I was clear enough with the directions. Have a great March 5th!


Maija said...

Great tutorial! The lampshade is GORGEOUS!!!! I want to try one!

The Barber Bunch said...

I am new to blogger and just love surfin' the blogs! So glad I found yours!

Great Lampshade


Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

Thanks! Love it!

Felicia said...

Excellent tutorial! Love how it turned out :)

Kate said...

Great tutorial - love the fabrics!

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