Lace Lampshade DIY Tutorial

Like Mr. Williams I too can´t stand a naked light bulb. I want to dress it up in a lampshade that gives the light I prefer, that looks good and fits nicely in the overall atmosphere of my place. My obsession with making my own lampshades started three years ago. I and my (then) husband-to-be could not find lampshades that would appeal to us aesthetically and budget-wise. After struggling with continuos search I finally dared to say think: “We need to make our own lamps”. I did not know how to make my own lampshade. But I was curious and brave crazy enough to start doing them (make/fail/do anyway) and figuring out all how-tos along the way. My husband has been supportive in this journey and does not object too loud the constantly growing stack of my flea market finds that are intended to be transformed into new lamps.
The lampshade you see below is for our dining area. I made it one and a half years ago. I wanted to have a lampshade with lace, get enough light through it, be easy to clean, and achieve the look that feels fresh. In my humble proud opinion, I got what I aimed for.

MATERIALS I USED (picture 1):

*Circles for lampshade´s form, and structure to hang the lampshade.
* Paper for lampshade´s side (mine is glossy (easier to clean), with perforated holes for nicer light).
* Scissors, Needle, Thread. To cut and stitch the paper, to attach it to circles.
* Lace for as many rows as necessary. I had 2 rows of self crocheted lace, so I used yarn, hook and patterns.
* White glue to make the mixture with water 1:1 for strengthening the lace.
* Plastic Wrap and Painter´s Tape to protect the lampshade when applying mixture to the lace.
* Brush. To apply the mixture on the lace.
1. I wrapped the paper around one circle to measure the necessary length & marked it, then chose the width of the lampshade. I cut out the paper rectangular that would form the sides of lampshade.
2. Then I stitched (instead of stitching or sewing – one can also glue) the paper to lampshade´s circles, and sewed together paper´s edges on the side of lampshade (pictures 2&3). I prefer sewing as then I can be sure that my lampshade will hold together for a very long time.
3. I crocheted two different lace pieces after completing step 1 and step 2 as then I had a better idea of what kind of lace would look better for this lampshade.
4. I sewed by hand the lace on the lampshade and joined it together to form the circle. (picture 4).
5. Then I treated the lace with textile strengthener (mixing white glue with water 1:1).  Before applying the mixture I put on protection plastic on the sides of lampshade (picture 5), in case if mixture might drip on the lampshade. (I had a lot of drops flying around and hitting the lampshade and floor. Good that I had put newspaper on the floor.) I made sure that lace was treated well with the mixture, but also that it was not soaking wet with it, so the holes in the lace were without glue (otherwise the excess mixture after hardening would become transparent,  but still – visible, which I wanted to avoid).
6. I hung the lamp on balcony to dry. Then I formed still wet lace into the shape I wanted it to be. During drying process, time to time I checked if the lace was in the shape I wished it to be and corrected it when necessary.
7. When both rows of lace were dry, I removed the protection plastic and asked my husband to hang up the lampshade to enjoy the result :-)
8. Time by time (for me – usually once in several months) the lace slightly gets out of the shape due to temperature and air humidity changes. In such case I reshape it back with dry hands in the correct shape.
9. Tips about the choice of light bulb. As the sides of lampshade are (somewhat) transparent – big light bulb looks much better than small size light bulb when the light is on (see the picture of lampshade on the very top of this post – where the light is on).
In the beginning I had the usual, transparent light bulb and because of perforated holes it created the light play on walls and ceiling. It looked nice aesthetically, but it disturbed my eyes, so I changed to the milky light bulb, and now we enjoy beautifully even light.

I wish you to have fun while creating and to be inspired no matter what project your hands and head are currently busy with! :) I look forward to your comments about this post!

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