The other day, I stumbled upon (and fell utterly in love with) this gorgeous lampshade by BeauVamp at notonthehighstreet.com:

I don’t know who BeauVamp is, but she (he?) creates some of the most beautiful lampshades I’ve ever seen. Everything about this – the bird, the colours, the scalloped edges, the ruffle – makes me want it in my house. Everything apart from the ยฃ200.00 price tag.

Unfortunately, when I looked online to learn how one might go about making a DIY version of this, I was totally put off. It just seemed needlessly complicated somehow. In the end, though, I threw out everything I’d read, made it up as it went along, and it turned out to be totally worth it. Don’t you love it when a little risk pays off? ๐Ÿ™‚

For this project you’ll need:

  • A scallop bell lampshade or lampshade frame
  • A few coordinating fabrics
  • A sewing machine or needle and thread
  • A glue gun
  • Pom-pom trim (or similar)

There are places where you can buy plain lampshade frames, but I didn’t want to shell out for that, so I used an existing shade. Start by removing all the fabric from the shade, so you’re left with a bare frame. The shade I was using was lined with a fire retardent material, so I was careful to keep that intact to re-attach later. You want to end up with this:

ImageNext you’ll need to cut your fabric panels, using the fabric you removed earlier as a template. Be sure to use theย outer fabric for the template, as the inner panels are smaller. And remember to leave a seam allowance, too. Figure out which panels you want to go next to each other:


Then flip them over and sew them along the long edge. I left a huge seam allowance, as you can see, which I later had to trim.


Sew the two ends together, flip it the right way out again, and place it over your frame to make sure all the edges match up nicely. If they don’t adjust the seams as necessary. (Again, I left a needlessly big seam allowance at the top and bottom of the shade, which I had to trim before the next step.) Sorry about the out-of-focus photo!

At this point, reinforce the seams with a zigzag stitch, and trim the to about 3mm. I didn’t do this, and when I went to hang the shade I realised that my ugly great seams cast ugly great shadows along the edges of the frame, so I had to undo it all and go back in and trim them. Save yourself that hassle and do it now.

Then, fold the edges of your fabric around the metal frame, and glue them. Make sure the fabric is pulled fairly taut so it’s smooth.

At this point I’m afraid I got so engrossed in what I was doing that I stopped taking pictures. But the rest of it is pretty straightforward. You can leave your shade like this, but my fabric had come with a warning that it wasn’t fire-retardent, so I wanted to re-use the original lining for an extra layer of protection. This was still in one piece, so it was relatively easy to just slip inside the shade, and glue the edges down in the same way. If the edges of the lining peek around to the outside of the shade, it’s not the end of the world. That’s what the pom-pom trim is for ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave the glue to dry for at least an hour. Then glue the pom-pom trim to the bottom to cover the seam where the inner and outer fabric meet. I was hanging our shade from the ceiling so I didn’t worry about the top seam. If you’re making a table lamp you might want to cover the top seam with some kind of trim too.

And… finis! Not so painful after all ๐Ÿ˜‰


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