How to Build a Lampshade

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Lamps are a great accessory for any room. Besides just being functional to divert the light, a lampshade can be made with certain decorations, cutouts, colors and shapes to stand out for any place. Creating your own piece can be fun and invigorating.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal wire
  • Fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Decorations
  • Fabric stiffener
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • Glue
  • Draw a sketch of the design you would like for the lampshade. Use the pieces already in the room and magazines for inspiration.

  • Measure the area the lamp will be in to see how much room there is. Decide on how big the lampshade will be in reference to the available space.

  • Pick out the material the lampshade will be made out of. Traditional lampshades can be made from fabric, heavy paper, plastic, metal or wood.

  • Lay out the shape out of your material. A traditional cone shape is a circle with the center circle cut out. Cut a seam from inner circle to outer circle in a straight line if it is going to be attached to a sturdier material, like cardboard.

  • Add decorations or colors to the material that will be used. If the material needs to be dyed, such as a fabric, do this step now.

  • Cut out pieces for design. Use scissors for fabric or paper, router for wood, drill for metal or X-Acta knife for plastic.

  • Make supports to hold lampshade around the light bulb. Metal wires can be used, such as an old wire hanger. Use pliers and gloves while bending wire into shape.

  • For flimsy materials, add stiffener such as fabric stiffener so it will keep its shape.

  • Attach lampshade material to supports. Then place over the light bulb.

  • Add any last decorations, such as accessories, paints, pins, glitter, or sew-ons.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful with all equipment. Wear gloves and safety glasses.

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