How to Make a Cut & Pierced Lampshade

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Things You'll Need

  • Plain white lampshade

  • Heavy vellum parchment

  • Chalk

  • Scissors

  • Pinking shears (optional)

  • Glass-topped surface

  • Utility knife

  • Large embroidery needle

  • Spray adhesive

Push-pins work in a pinch if you don't have an embroidery needle.

Whether your lampshades are dated and faded or you're just ready for a change, cut and pierced lampshades offer an inexpensive solution to your decorating challenges. These lampshades feature small decorative cuts and little pierced holes that create designs. When the lampshades are finished, the light shines through these designs like a punched lantern. You can tap into your inner creativity to make these cut and pierced lampshades to complement any kind of home décor.


Step 1

Lay your plain white lampshade on its side on the vellum parchment. Make sure the parchment is thick, heavy and stiff. Roll the lampshade over the vellum, tracing the path of the bottom of the shade as you go. Repeat with the top of the shade. You should have a large U shape when finished.

Step 2

Cut out your U shape. If you want some extra embellishment, cut it out with pinking shears. Make sure to cut about ½ inch from your chalk lines with the pinking shears. This ensures the paper sticks out beyond the shade when finished. Otherwise, just cut along the lines with regular scissors.


Step 3

Draw a design on the paper with chalk. Choose broad, simple outlines like roses and flowers with pointed petals. Stars, suns, line-drawn animals and simple human figures also work well. Draw thin things, like vines, as slender, curving boxes.

Step 4

Place your paper U on a glass-topped surface. If you don't have a glass surface, use an old wooden table. Don't use your favorite table, though, because it will get scratched.

Step 5

Use a utility knife to cut along your chalk lines. Cut out only the tips of things like flower petals, leaves, the tips of moons, stars' arms and flowing women's skirts. These things will curl up slightly and give your lampshade texture.


Step 6

Add details to your work with piercings. Push a large embroidery pin into the vellum. Cluster holes at different densities to create shadows and to define things like leaf veins.

Step 7

Spray your white lampshade with spray adhesive. Smooth your cut and pierced vellum onto the shade. Be very gentle to avoid tears. Let it dry overnight.