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How to Make a Polka Dot Lampshade

May 14, 2018 47 Comments

How to Make a Polka Dot Lampshade

 

My home is FULL of lighting. From multiple sconce, pendant and floor lamps to a fun geometric chandelier, I would certainly describe myself as a "lighting enthusiast". I find that lamps and lampshades just have a knack for tying a room's decor together. That's why I l-o-v-e DIY-ing my own lighting! It gives me the freedom and flexibility to choose any colour, size, pattern and materials that I like - and I can choose ones that perfectly compliment my personal style.

Even though my home is already full of light, I've recently been craving a small desk lamp for those nights when I want to keep working after the sun goes down. So I went to a local thrift store and bought a tiny little lamp base for $4.50 (score!), painted it a matte black and decided to craft myself a DIY lampshade. After scouring through my fabric bin, I decided on a cute and minimalist cotton fabric with tiny black polka dots. I bought it ages ago without any idea of what I wanted to do with it. A lampshade seemed like the perfect project for it.

So today I'm going to show you exactly how I made my simple drum lampshade using a cotton fabric. Here's what you'll need before getting started:

Lampshade Making Supplies:

    - Lampshade rings                                                                                                                                                                                        - Styrene                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Lampshade glue kit (tacky glue, binder clips + a moulding stick)                                                                                     - Cotton fabric (or a different material of your choice)

Other Tools + Supplies:

- Scissors                                                                                                                                                                                                         - Paint brush or other glue spreadind device                                                                                                                                   - Measuring tape or ruler                                                                                                                                                                       - Pencil

 

 

My home is FULL of lighting. From multiple sconce, pendant and floor lamps to a fun geometric chandelier, I would certainly describe myself as a "lighting enthusiast". I find that lamps and lampshades just have a knack for tying a room's decor together. That's why I l-o-v-e DIY-ing my own lighting! It gives me the freedom and flexibility to choose any colour, size, pattern and materials that I like - and I can choose ones that perfectly compliment my personal style.

Even though my home is already full of light, I've recently been craving a small desk lamp for those nights when I want to keep working after the sun goes down. So I went to a local thrift store and bought a tiny little lamp base for $4.50 (score!), painted it a matte black and decided to craft myself a DIY lampshade. After scouring through my fabric bin, I decided on a cute and minimalist cotton fabric with tiny black polka dots. I bought it ages ago without any idea of what I wanted to do with it. A lampshade seemed like the perfect project for it.

So today I'm going to show you exactly how I made my simple drum lampshade using a cotton fabric. Here's what you'll need before getting started:

Lampshade Making Supplies:

- Lampshade rings                                                                        - Styrene                                                                                           - Lampshade glue kit (tacky glue, binder clips + a moulding stick)                                                                             - Cotton fabric (or a different material of your choice)

Other Tools + Supplies:

- Scissors                                                                                         - Paint brush or other glue spreadind device                   - Measuring tape or ruler                                                         - Pencil

 

 

Step One:

Determine how much fabric you'll need. My lampshade rings were 10" in diameter, so that meant I needed 32.4" of styrene, and roughly 34" of fabric.  

To determine this, I used this simple equation: Lampshade Diameter x Pi (3.14) + 1 additional inch for overlap. So for me that meant = 10 x 3.14 + 1 = 32.4 inches of styrene. Then I added one more inch for my fabric.

Step Two:

Measure + cut your materials. One side of your styrene will have one inch of fabric overhang, and the otherside will be flush with your fabric.

 

 

Once I cut my materials down to size, it was time for the fun part: assembling my soon-to-be lampshade!

 

 

Step Three: Peel back a little bit of the paper layer on the styrene to reveal the adhesive side and line it up an inch away from the top of your fabric. Slowly pulling back the paper layer, press down on the styrene so that it sticks to your fabric. I pulled on my fabric while doing this part as well, which nicely eliminated all of the wrinkles that existed in it before.

 

 

Step Four: Apply lampshade glue to the top edge of your styrene (on the short side) and press down on your fabric to bind the two together. The lampshade glue is tacky so it won't take long at all for it to really hold the fabric in place. This will face the inside of your lampshade.

 

 

Step Five: Once your fabric is applied to the styrene, roll it up into a cylinder. Use the binder clips to hold it in place. Leave the arms of the top binder clip facing up. Then take the top lampshade ring and place it into the cylinder. When you add your washer ring, make sure that the washer is facing down into the cylinder. Rest the ring between the arm of the binder clip you put down first, then use the other binder clips to secure the ring to the edge of the styrene. You may need to adjust the size of the cylinder at this point so it's snug.

 

 

Step Six: Grab your glue and an old paintbrush and apply glue to the overhanging fabric. This glue gets tacky after about ten seconds, at which point you can press the fabric down. Then grab your moulding stick and use it to gently tuck the fabric up behind the ring. Contine doing this up and around the cylinder.

 

 

Step Seven: When you're done with one ring, flip the shade over and do the same on the other side. Your lampshade should be dry within a couple of hours.

 

 

Step Eight:   Attach your lampshade to your lamp base. Most lamps in the US will come with a harp and finial for securing your shade to your lamp base, but if your lamp doesn't require these two pieces, you would use a Euro-fitter lampshade ring set instead. Euro fitter lampshade rings sit directly overtop of the socket.  

...... And you're done! Time to enjoy your beautiful DIY lampshade :)

 

 

If you'd like a bit more guidance on how to make your own DIY lampshade, watch our video tutorial below:

 

 

 




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