You know you’ve fallen on hard times when Ikea’s out of your budget…! But hey, there’s still a recession on, isn’t there??

I’d had this retrofabulous St Michael’s lamp kicking around our house for a while

and while I’m sure it was beautiful in its day, I was after something more like this, from Ikea’s ‘Lyrik’ range:

So. I started by stripping the original shade right down to its frame. Actually that’s not true. The first thing I did was go to some charity shops and find a sparkly lamp base, which you’ll see lower down in the post. THEN I stripped the original fabric off the shade.

I’ve accidentally marked three lengths on this photo, although you actually only need to to create the basis for the fabric template. You need a doughnut-shaped piece of muslin, where the inner circle is about 1/2 an inch smalled in diameter than measurement a, and the distance to the outer circle is about 3 or 4 inches longer than measurement b (to allow for the gathered fabric at the bottom). Cut your fabric doughnut out, and hem all the way around the outer edge.

Then lay the fabric on your worksurface (if you’re using patterned fabric you want it to be face down), and place the lampshade in the centre of the fabric so that it lies almost right on the edges of the ‘doughnut hole’. Use your glue gun to attach the fabric to the frame, folding the fabric up onto the frame as you go, so that any rough edges you might get are hidden inside the finished lampshade:

When you’re done you’ll have something like a lampshade wearing a wedding veil.

I was kind of making this up as I went along, and the next thing I did was to create the gathers at the bottome of the shade. The frame I was using already had a scalloped edges, so I used the scallops to make sure my gathers were evenly spaced. If your frame is flat along the bottom, just divide the fabric evenly into 8. I just used an open running stitch to hand-sew about 2 inches up from the hem, then before tying the thread off I pulled it tight to create the gather. I don’t know how to explain that in a clearer way – maybe the photo will help:

This is all I had intended to do, but when I was finished, it looked like this…

Not exactly the elegant look I’d been envisioning! Fortunately my glue gun was still on hand to redeem the situation. I folded the bottom of the fabric around the bottom of the frame, gathering it slightly as I went, and glued it to the inside of the frame, in the same way as I had done the top.

The final result is too dissimilar from the inspiration, really, to be called a knock-off, but it retained the elements I originally liked – the diffused light, the ‘just thrown together’ look of the shade, and the overall feminine feeling. I try not to make our house too feminine out of sympathy for the Man who lives here (!) but I love, love, love having this shamelessly girly lamp on my bedside table!


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