Crafts & Hobbies Information

Make Your Own Lampshades


When redecorating your room, you may be faced with looking for new lampshades (or perhaps a lampshade you currently have has gotten damaged). So why not make your own!

If your lamp currently has a lampshade on it, half of the battle is already won! You have a base to start building your new shade. When selecting a material for your new shade, you can use paper, fabrics, plastic, or any heat-resistant material. Do keep in mind though, that the surface of a 100-watt light bulb can reach over 200 degrees and could cause a fire hazard. Make sure the material you choose for a lampshade is either far enough from the light bulb, or is fire-resistant.

Next, have fun! Take a trip to your local craft store or fabric store and get some ideas for your fabric or other material for your shade. Remember, the more transparent the material, the more the color of your light will change by the material. If you use a lightweight, transparent green sheer material, your finished lamp will give off a greenish glow. On the other hand, a heavy piece of velvet (or how about some thin strips of tree bark) won't allow much light through at all. Light will escape from the top or bottom of the lamp only. Keep this in mind as you plan your new lampshade.

To begin making your new lampshade, you will need the measurements of the current shade. If possible, take the old shade apart by carefully cutting it along it's seams. You can then use this as a template for your new lampshade. However, don't be stifled by the old shade! You can easily create an entirely new look with a piece of rigid wire, bending it into a new shape for a new shade. In this case, making a new cover may be a little trickier, but the process is the same. Simply cover the lampshade frame with your material. For fabric you can sew the seams or glue it. The same is true for other materials. If the glue is far enough away from the light bulb, you can even use hot melt glue.

The best part of making your own lampshades is that if you don't like your creation, or you redecorate your room, you can quickly and inexpensively make a new lampshade.

Dean Novosat holds a degree in Scenery and Lighting Design from Frankling & Marshall College and he uses his knowledge and experience with theatrical lighting in the home. He feels the home is just a blank canvas or stage that we choose to live in! He is the webmaster of http://www.only-lamp-shades.com and he enjoys using light in unique and different ways in the home.


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