Covering a Lampshade

I don’t know if you have seen the new Somerset Home mag but this issue is really nice! I love their pictures and am always inspired by one of their magazines. I have to keep a paper and pencil next to me while I look because my brain is just a whirlwind of ideas.
 I don’t know how you create but my creativity happens all the time and usually when I can let my mind wander. So, when I’m driving (I know, I know…but at least I’m not on my cell phone) , lying in bed NOT SLEEPING, over my daughter’s babysitting (like yesterday), sitting in one of the endless appointments for the horde, etc… My inspirations are magazines, television, movies, nature, objects (especially industrial), interesting people and just about anything. In addition to what I show here on the blog, I have also created sculpture from metal scraps    ( that one hangs in my old church), art pieces (like the sunflower I posted on this blog), architectural/furniture designs (I designed much of this house we live in), and other interests. I am always looking at objects in new ways….remember that roll of rusty wire stuff my hubby shook his head at? I’ve finally figured out the art piece I want to make and I hope to show you that soon. I am so happy I finally have an outlet for my more funky side with the shop Chartreuse, down near the oceanfront here. Otherwise, I would have to do what I’ve done for years….sketch it and set it aside. Many of my ideas are a little too ‘out of the box’ for most of the people I know.
But here, I enjoy showing my milder side and the side of me that loves soft colors, classical music, chippy white paint and classic furnishings. I don’t know if this makes me weird or just really creative (I like the really creative idea, myself). I know in the blogging world the counsel is to stick to one thing so it can become your ‘signature’. I’m in deep trouble if that is the only way this blogging thing will work. I do want to grow and I do want people to follow me ( after all, that’s why we’re all here isn’t it?) but does it mean I shouldn’t show you the funky stuff too? I don’t know the answer but I’m just going to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully other weird, oops, I mean creative people will find me.

Back to the Somerset Home Issue….

There is this nice bit about covering lampshades which is really interesting. I want to try some of the ideas. Today, just in case you haven’t covered too many lampshades, I thought I’d show you a basic one and you can spring off from there.
These are the lampshades in my breakfast area:

I actually did them years ago because the only shades I could find were little and too expensive. Necessity is the mother of invention (something I believe wholeheartedly) and I sat one afternoon and covered all five. It was easy. Here we go…..

Get supplies: paper (anything that is big enough), scissors, spray adhesive, a pencil. I wouldn’t use a marker because you may get it on the shade which could show through if your fabric is light.

This takes some practice so we’ll first roll the shade on the paper without tracing it until you can do it smoothly. I am right handed so just reverse this for left handedness. With your left hand inside the lampshade, position it all the way to the left of your paper starting at the seam. Then ‘walk’ your fingers along inside the shade, rolling the shade along the paper.


Walking further…

Until you’ve gone all the way around and met the seam again. This has to be done with one hand because you are going to be holding a pencil in the other hand in a minute….so practice the walking bit a couple times…
Then you’re going to place the shade back at the beginning of the paper again but this time, you’ll draw along the edge of the shade as you walk it along. 

Got the idea? Now, when you get to the end of the line…so to speak….DON’T LIFT THE SHADE. Just move the pencil to the bottom and roll backwards while you trace. Believe me, it’s not easy to get the shade exactly back where you think it was if you lift it up and try to start again. Just do it at one time. If you mess up….move to another piece of paper…no big deal!
Cut your pattern out leaving a 1/2 inch border so you can turn in the top and bottom a bit.

Dry fit the paper around the shade before you cut out your fabric. 

The ends of the pattern will be uneven. Fold the paper to make a nice straight edge with about a 1/2 inch overlap.

Cut out your final pattern, lay it on your fabric and pin or trace around the edge with a pencil…

I am not making an actual cover here so I traced mine with a Sharpie for the visual. But, you’ll see in the next couple pics how that Sharpie can show through so don’t do what I did!
Once again, fit the fabric around the shade and make sure you have good edges to overlap, and everything is even. We’re going to use spray adhesive to glue the fabric on, so you’ll need to move outside or somewhere you won’t worry about overspray. 
Lay your shadde on the fabric and roll it all the way around so it is nicely fitted. Holding the lampshade still, fold back one of the ends and adhere that small bit to the shade.

Once you have this beginning part adhered, just continue to do small areas all the way around. Here are some tips: Don’t pull the fabric too much as it is on the bias and will stretch out of shape, instead use a smoothing motion with your hand; firmer fabrics will go on more easily as they don’t stretch as much; you can cover a black shade too but your fabric needs to be heavier. Check the look with the light turned on before you cut the fabric if you’re worried. When you get to the seam, make a small hem and use some hot glue or fabric glue. The spray glue will spray all over your finished shade if you try to use that.

You can see that if you use a check, they will not match up exactly. I knew that when I made them but I wanted the check so I keep the seams turned around or it would make me crazy. No one has ever made a comment and believe me, I have some critical people in my life.

Finally, add whatever trim you like to the bottom and/or top.

Now, the most interesting part of this whole tutorial is that whenever you see pictures of BOTH of my hands….I had to use my chin to take the picture….like I said….weird….

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge