Friday, November 19, 2010

November Project, Lamp Shade, Part 1

I have had a request for a floor lamp. It uses a shade that I make from poster board, so I thought I would make the shade for the November Blog Project. I am posting it in 4 parts. This shade is not for electricity. I think the paper and fabric would not be good to have getting hot with an electric bulb on.
I have given patterns, but given the nature of computers it's probably not going to copy for you in the size I'm using. Copy the pattern into a program that you'll be able to change its size. The size I'm using for the floor lamp is: 1 3/8 inch inch tall, 7/16 inch wide at the top and 3/4 inch wide at the bottom. There is also a line drawn 3/16 inch down from the top. This is the line for gluing the center to. This a large lamp shade. Once you have it in a program that you can adjust the size with you can make any size shade.

I copied my pattern shapes into my old Print Shop 15 program and pasted a bunch to fit a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock. As I said before I usually make the lamp shade from poster board and when glued it is darn near indestructible. You have to trace the pattern shape seven times for the shade when poster board is used so I am using card stock here. Since the card stock can go through the printer it's easier to copy and print them out and then just cut the pattern shapes out. A note about the center, I made this from a 1 inch circle using a circle template. I carefully measured 7/16 inch around the circle 7 times and drew a straight line between the
marks I made on the circle. I copied these onto the card stock, too. Before I used it in the lamp shade I glued the center onto poster board, though. The center needs to be stiff; it is going to give shape to the shade.
After you've got your patterns printed out, cut out 7 pattern shapes and 1 center. Make sure the top of each pattern shape measures the same as each side of the center. To glue the card stock together use yellow wood glue, Elmer's Wood Glue or Titebond Original Wood Glue. We want the shade to be rigid when we are done, not flexible. I am using the yellow wood glue because it will grip and dry faster than the white glue.

When gluing the shade pattern shapes together make sure the line for the center will be in the inside of the finished shade.
The shade flares out at the bottom, pick up one pattern shape and gently rub your thumb over it to bend slightly, don't crease.

Apply the glue to both edges and while bending the pattern shapes butt the edges together and hold. I know this can get wonky, have patience, it does work. The yellow glue doesn't take long to grip, maybe a minute, it's not dry but it's stuck and can be put it down. Remember,butt the edges and don't overlap them.

Glue 2 pattern shapes together at a time; you will have 1 pattern shape left over, leave it for now.

Apply a line of glue to the inside seams.

Let these dry a bit, maybe an hour. I have let them dry overnight, the pairs draw together a bit and I have to spread them apart. This doesn't hurt them, it's just more work.

You should have 3 pairs and 1 left over shape. Glue 2 pairs together and glue the left over shape to the last pair. Apply a line of glue to the inside seams and let dry again.

Glue the 2 halves together at one seam, apply glue to the inside seam and let it dry.

When that seam is dry, glue the last seam together. Don't worry about the shape yet. When the center is pushed into the top the shape will change and relax around the center.

If you haven't glued the center onto a piece of poster board yet, do it now.
Depending on what you are going to use to hold up your shade with, punch a hole in the center of the center. Since I am going to use this for a floor lamp I am going to use a 1/8 inch hole punch to punch a hole. If you make a smaller shade for a table lamp you might want to use a 1/16 inch hole.

This is the end of part 1. I have to make supper for my family and will put in the rest of the parts tomorrow or late, late tonight. Kris


  1. Thank you so much for this great tutorial !

  2. What a lovely tutorial, thank you very much

  3. This is awesome! thank you very much.

  4. bellisimo grazie mille per il tutorial........