DIY: lampshade

Once Drew and I moved into our home, I knew we needed some new items to help make our house complete.  One of those items being lamps for the living room.  I was lucky enough to find these huge glass lamps in brown and yellow.  But they did not come with lampshades.  This only meant one thing…

Time to get creative and make lampshades!

I can not even count the number of ideas we came up with.  Some of the ideas were silly, some impractical, and some just not ideal for our current home.  We finally landed on an idea and went with it.  We both knew we wanted 70s style drum shades.

First we started by making the frame. At the Fab Lab, we laser cut out two circles.  We cut three grooves in both to hold the supports.

Next, we used simple wood glue and bamboo cooking skewers.  We glued the skewers in the grooves then clamped both circular pieces together.

We decided the best way to get a circular frame for our lampshade was needlepoint hoops.  We bought two 14 inch hoops for each lampshade.  Drew did the measurements to cut down the skewers and marked where to drill the holes in the inner loop.

Drew even let me operate the drill!

Next, I placed the now cut skewers into my newly drilled holes.  Ta Dah!

Now that we had two working top braces for our lamps, it was time to get sewing.  We decided to make our shades with fabric.  We opted for a two-toned ivory striped linen and then lined it with an ivory burlap.  We decided on 14 inch tall lampshades.  Basically we cut out two rectangles of both fabrics and sewed them together.  We went with a more complicated process, as we wanted to make the shades reversible with clean edges.

Once the fabric was complete we clamped it between the hoops.  We thought the color of the natural wood of the hoop was perfect with our lamps.  It also complimented the colors in the fabric we chose.

We love the unique detail of the needlepoint hoop screw.  We have it facing out for people to see.

Here you can see the finished bracing I was working on earlier.  We didn’t want a finial sticking up but instead used a nut to hold the shade in place.

Our finished lampshade.  We love the texture of the burlap coming through when the light is on.  I personally love the stripes when the lamp is off.

And here is the final product! I think they make a great statement in our living room.  You might notice waves in the fabric.  We chose not to brace them vertically, but it can easily be done. Or we could even weight the bottom hoop to help alleviate the sag in the fabric.


Overall cost per shade:

nuts: 97c

harp: $4

needlepoint hoop: $2 (times 2)

fabric: $5

Approximate cost $14

You can cut down cost by choosing a less expensive fabric.  Also, your lamp might already have a harp (the tall metal brace that goes around the light bulb).



    • I can’t believe I still have these chairs, but they haven’t been used since college! They really need redone, maybe I will attempt to recover them
      one day.

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