How to make lamp shades

Create bespoke decor for your home by learning how to make professionally finished drum lampshades
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  • Lectures 16
  • Contents Video: 44 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 9/2013 English

Course Description

Why settle for shop-bought lampshades that 'just do' when you can make lampshades that reflect your style and compliment your home at a fraction of the cost? In this 44-minute video, you'll learn a professional lampshade-maker's top tips for making your own beautiful and bespoke lampshades. By the end of this easygoing and step-by-step guide, you'll be ready to fill your home with lampshades you love, made by you!

What are the requirements?

  • Lampshade making supplies can be purchased via http://www.quincylampshades.co.uk/product-category/supplies/
  • 0.5m of your favourite fabric - light to medium weight cottons are best to start with
  • Pencil
  • General purpose scissors
  • Fabric scissors (optional)
  • Ruler/fabric tape measure
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Water spray

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of the course you will be able to make rolled-edge fabric covered drum lampshades
  • Learn techniques from a professional lampshade maker
  • Learn which fabrics to avoid when making lampshades
  • Learn how to decide on lampshade sizes
  • Learn how to make the very best of your fabric
  • Find out where to buy lampshade making supplies

What is the target audience?

  • Suitable for adults and children (14+)
  • No experience necessary
  • If you are creative and/or crafty or want to save money on bespoke home decor

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: About this video
01:30

Looking at drum lampshades and the tools and equipment you'll need to make them. Lampshade making supplies can be purchased from Quincy Lampshades (see Section 14: Buying supplies).

You'll need:

  • A minimum of 0.5m fabric of your choice (light to medium-weight cottons are best, such as quilting cottons or decor weight fabric) (see Section 2: Fabric - How much you'll need and which fabrics to avoid)
  • A pair of general purpose scissors
  • A pair of fabric scissors (if available - not completely necessary)
  • Pencil
  • Fabric tape measure or ruler
  • Pencil
  • Ringset
  • 3mm, 9mm and 12mm double sided sticky tape
  • White backed self adhesive PVC
  • Iron
  • Iron board
  • Water spray
Section 2: Fabric
01:15

Not all fabrics are suitable for lampshade making; here we look at which fabrics to avoid. Light to medium-weight cottons are a good choice to start with. Your fabric needs to be at least 6cm wider than your PVC panel on every side.

Section 3: Lampshade sizes
03:14

Looking at things to consider when deciding what size lampshade to make; including minimum heights on ceiling pendants, suitable diameters for different sized rooms, keeping in mind your ceiling heights, getting a good balance between your base and your lampshade, and making the best of your fabric design.

Section 4: Ringsets
01:01

Ringsets provide the skeleton structure of each lampshade. Same-circumference ringsets are used to make drum-shaped lampshades. Each ringset has two parts; one plain ring, and one ring with spokes plus light fitting. Ringsets are available in different diameters.

UK ringsets: have a uno threaded light fitting. This type of ringset is included in lampshade making packs for UK customers.

US ringsets: have a 1/2inch inner diameter washer/spider fitting with a 1/2inch drop. This type of ringset is included in lampshade making packs for US customers.

Section 5: PVC - How to work out the length and width needed
04:07

A panel of self adhesive PVC is the basis of your lampshade; smooth on one side, the fabric is stuck to the other (sticky/adhesive) side. It's important to cut a panel which is the exact length needed for the diameter lampshade you have chosen to make (see the downloadable file available in this section). The width of the panel is the height you've chosen your lampshade to be.

US makers: in the US, PVC is called styrene and is supplied in US lampshade making packs. Please note that styrene does not have a printed grid on the release paper.

Section 6: Getting your fabric ready
01:36

Preparing your fabric goes a long way in getting that professional finish! That means ironing out all the creases and making sure your fabric is completely dry before applying the PVC panel.

Section 7: Applying the PVC
05:01

Before sticking the PVC panel to your fabric, check over the reverse of your fabric and remove any loose cotton threads and bits and bobs. Place your panel so that the grid release paper is down and the white side is up. Make sure you leave a margin of 4-6cm of fabric around each side of the panel to allow for double sided tape. Get your panel aligned on the fabric before sticking it down: check that you have included all the motifs you want to feature, that the panel is straight and that your favourite part of the pattern is positioned under the middle third of the panel as this will be the front of the lampshade.

When you are happy with the position of your panel, prevent it from moving by putting your forearm and elbow on it. Then peel back 5-10cm of the gird release paper, tucking it away underneath the panel, and stick that first section down on to your fabric. Continue to peel back the remaining grid release paper and smooth over lightly. If you are not happy with the placement of the panel you can peel it off (re-apply the grid release paper) and start again. Once you're happy, turn it over and press the fabric side firmly with your hands to ensure that the fabric has adhered to the PVC.

Section 8: Applying the double sided tape
07:04

Three widths of double sided tape is used to do different jobs: 9mm tape is used for the seam, 12mm tape is used for the rolled edges and 3mm tape is used to apply the ringsets. This section shows you how and where to apply each width tape and includes a special tip for getting a good professional finish.

Section 9: Cutting out the fabric panel
02:48

Run your fingers firmly over the double sided tape to make sure it's completely adhered to the fabric and the PVC panel. Then cut away all the excess fabric by cutting the fabric along the edges of the tape and the short edge of the PVC panel.

Section 10: Ceiling pendant or shade for a base?
01:45

If your panel has a definite top or bottom because the pattern design is one-directional, you need to apply the ringsets the right way round depending on whether you're making a shade for a base or a ceiling pendant.

UK makers using uno threaded ringsets: if you're making a shade for a base, the spoked ring will be placed at the bottom. If you're making a ceiling pendant, the spoked ring will be placed at the top. The spoked ring will always point into the body of the shade.

US makers using washer/spider fitting ringsets: if you're making a shade for a base, the spoked ring will be placed at the top. The spoked ring will always point into the body of the shade. Click here for more information.

Section 11: Applying the ringsets to the panel
03:55

Before applying the ringsets to your panel, cut away any excess fabric or cotton threads from the edge of the panel that doesn't have any tape. Place the panel as shown and remove the backing from the 3mm double sided tape. Place your ringsets directly on to the sticky tape, making sure you've got them the right way round according to whether you are making a ceiling pendant or a shade for a base (see Section 10). Roll the rings down the panel at roughly the same pace, pressing them down firmly on to the tape and following the tape very closely.

Just before you get to the end of the roll, remove the backing from the 9mm double sided tape and press the seam together lightly, then turn your shade so that you can press more firmly along the seam with your fingertips using the table to press against.

Section 12: Rolled edges
06:10

Starting on the plain ring, snip away any excess fabric or cotton threads and remove the backing from the 12mm tape. Fold over both layers of fabric at the seam first, sticking them down so that they cover the ring and tuck in.

Next, push the fabric over the ring with your fingertips all the way round. Then stick the fabric a little further over the ring with your thumb. Finally, tuck the fabric in between the ring and the wall of the PVC with your thumbnail.

Repeat on the spoked ring, but remember to cut tiny triangles by each spoke so that you can stick the fabric down on either side of the spokes.

Section 13: Adaptor rings
00:50

An adaptor ring is supplied with every ringset and is used to adjust the diameter of the light fitting circle on the spoked ring to suit different types of bases and hanging light fixtures.

When the adaptor ring is inserted the lampshade is suitable for smaller diameter UK (BC) fittings (often found in older houses and on older bases). When the adaptor ring is removed the lampshade is then suitable for larger diameter EU (ES) fittings (often found in newer houses and on bases purchased from Ikea or Habitat or Heals etc).

US makers: because lampshade making packs for US customers include washer/spider fitting ringsets, adaptor rings are not supplied as they're unnecessary.

Section 14: Buying supplies
01:20

Available from Quincy Lampshades, this lampshade making pack has everything you need to make 7 lampshades.

For UK makers the pack includes:

  • 3 x 30cm dia ringsets, 2 x 25cm ringsets & 2 x 20cm ringsets
  • 50m roll of 3mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 9mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 12mm double sided tape
  • 150cm x 100cm sheet of white backed self adhesive PVC

For US makers the pack includes:

  • 3 x 11″ dia ringsets, 2 x 9″ ringsets & 2 x 7″ ringsets (US washer style ringsets for use with harp fittings)
  • 50m roll of 3mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 9mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 12mm double sided tape
  • 5″ x 4″ sheet of white backed self adhesive Styrene
  • Shipping to the US is included in the total price

If you live outside the UK or US please contact Ruth at Quincy Lampshades for accurate shipping costs

The downloadable file shows how to cut the PVC sheet to fit the ringsets supplied in the pack. Remember that this is a guideline and that the height of the individual panels shown are the maximum – you can of course make the panels less high (but make sure that they are high enough to cover the lightbulb). You cannot shorten the length of the panels – if you did the panel would be too short and your lampshade would not meet at the back

01:23

Available from Quincy Lampshades, this lampshade making pack has everything you need to make 5 lampshades, including an extra large diameter ringset ideal for making lampshades for standard lamps

For UK makers the pack includes:

  • 1 x 40cm dia ringset, 2 x 30cm ringsets & 2 x 20cm ringsets
  • 50m roll of 3mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 9mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 12mm double sided tape
  • 150cm x 100cm sheet of white backed self adhesive PVC

For US makers the pack includes:

  • 1 x 15″ dia ringset, 2 x 11″ ringsets & 2 x 7″ ringsets (US washer style ringsets for use with harp fittings)
  • 50m roll of 3mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 9mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 12mm double sided tape
  • 5″ x 4″ sheet of white backed self adhesive Styrene
  • Shipping to the US is included in the total price

If you live outside the UK or US please contact Ruth at Quincy Lampshades for accurate shipping costs.

The downloadable file shows how to cut the PVC sheet to fit the ringsets supplied in the pack. Remember that this is a guideline and that the height of the individual panels shown are the maximum – you can of course make the panels less high (but make sure that they are high enough to cover the lightbulb). You cannot shorten the length of the panels – if you did the panel would be too short and your lampshade would not meet at the back

01:18

Available from Quincy Lampshades, this lampshade making pack has everything you need to make 5 lampshades.

For UK makers the pack includes:

  • 3 x 30cm ringsets & 2 x 20cm ringsets
  • 50m roll of 3mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 9mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 12mm double sided tape
  • 150cm x 70cm sheet of white backed self adhesive PVC

For US makers the pack includes:

  • 3 x 11″ dia ringsets & 2 x 7″ ringsets (US washer style ringsets for use with harp fittings)
  • 50m roll of 3mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 9mm double sided tape
  • 50m roll of 12mm double sided tape
  • 5″ x 4″ sheet of white backed self adhesive Styrene
  • Shipping to the US is included in the total price

If you live outside the UK or US please contact Ruth at Quincy Lampshades for accurate shipping costs.

The downloadable file shows how to cut the PVC sheet to fit the ringsets supplied in the pack. Remember that this is a guideline and that the height of the individual panels shown are the maximum – you can of course make the panels less high (but make sure that they are high enough to cover the lightbulb). You cannot shorten the length of the panels – if you did the panel would be too short and your lampshade would not meet at the back

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Instructor Biography

Ruth McAllister, Founder & professional lampshade maker at Quincy Lampshades

Quincy Lampshades was founded in 2011 by Ruth McAllister, who, inspired by the brilliance of modern quilting cottons, produces a range of bold and beautiful lampshades. Having discovered that her grandfather was once a lampshade-maker too, Ruth is determined to bring an end to beige and boring lampshades and bring colour, fun and individuality to home lighting at an affordable price.

Ruth is a well-respected teacher of lampshade-making in the UK. She supplies high street retailers and designer homeware businesses.

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