And then there was light! Really, really good looking light.
Lampshades are expensive. Like, it’s stupid how expensive they can be. We’re talkin’ upwards of $70. Per lampshade. You’re getting a flimsy, circular layer of paper or fabric that controls the amount of light that escapes from a lightbulb. $70. For a lampshade. Lamp not included. Just the shade. $70. I don’t know how much more explicit I can be but I hope you’re able to detect the incredulousness in my tone. Because let me tell you something, I am incredulous.
So. As I mentioned before, I wanted my little self some burlap lampshades. And I wasn’t about to fork over more money than I’m
currently, temporarily worth to get them.
So I made ’em muh-self.
And I’m going to show you how.
Ready? Ok so here’s the scoop.
I was envisioning drum-shaped burlap shades, so I searched for deals online and found exactly what I was looking for (shape wise) at Shopko for $9.99 each. A steal!
Sidebar: I haven’t been to Shopko since the 7th grade when I realized I was blind as a bat and Daddy Potato took me to the optometrist to get my first pair of glasses. I remember the first thing I saw clearly (for the first time EVER) was the ‘home goods’ sign and aisle at the back of the store. I was utterly delighted. To be able to see. Not because of the home goods. They were sub-par. Although that is a bit serendipitous, wouldn’t you say?
…So after I returned from the place where dreams are made with my $10 lampshades, I was ready to get to work.
- Unroll wide, brown shipping paper so it’s flat on your work table. Or floor. I went for the floor. If you want to utilize your resources at home, (remember now, we’re trying to avoid racking up the $$$, ammi right?) then simply tape together printing paper large enough to cover your lampshade entirely, with room left over. Secure the corners and edges with masking tape so the paper does not roll up.
Now you’re ready to rumble.
Pay attention to this next part. I did not pay attention, the first time, and totally screwed it up and wasted half my fabric.
And sobbed for hours.Don’t you judge me. Besides, Buddha says;
there are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
Do you have chills? Does my wisdom give you chills?
- Alright so now you want to lay the lampshade on one edge of the paper. Use the shade’s seam as a guide to align the shade with the paper.
- Hold a marker or pen or pencil or your own blood in one hand and slowly roll the lampshade toward the opposite end of the paper, starting at the seam, following your pen along the paper as you roll. As the shade rolls, mark its edges until the shade makes a complete 360-degree turn. Mark the end of your pattern once you’ve reached the seam again.
Pardon the poor picture quality on half of these images. I used my phone while I was temporarily separated from my camera. But do you see the faint arched shape? Like a half-assed rainbow? That’s your lampshade template!
- Now cut that son-of-a-gun out.
- Match your template against your shade to make sure you haven’t screwed it up royally.
- Then lay your pattern over your fabric and trace it entirely and as precisely as possible.
Burlap was probably my most challenging fabric one could choose for such a project. It doesn’t keep its shape like other fabrics because of its loose weave.
Here’s another lovely little tid bit they don’t tell you when they screamed from the rooftops that burlap is the new ‘it’ material. Burlap smells terrible. Like sour grass.
Word to the wise: air that shiz out for a few days before bringing it indoors. You’ll thank me.
- Once you’ve cut your fabric, you can adhere it to your shade using your choice of adhesive. (Super Glue, Elmer’s, Rubber Cement, spray tack, hot glue gun all work well). Choose something that dries clear and evenly below your fabric. I used a hot glue gun.
- Once you’ve glued and positioned your fabric to the shade, tape the boarders on top and bottom to ensure the material doesn’t shift while the glue dries.
(I used pins because the fabric was too delicate for tape and the pin holes wouldn’t show through in end product).
- Once it’s dry, trim your fabric as close to the boarder as possible so it won’t peak through your boarder. You can also measure 1/2″ more fabric than needed on either end if you choose to wrap your fabric around to the back of the shade instead of using a boarder.
- Now wrap your boarder (I used natural colored ribbon) around the boarder to measure length and adhere with glue. Tape boarders again to prevent shifting until dry.
And what do you know. You’ve got yourself a pair of sweet Suite Potato burlap lampshades for under $15.00.
Oh. Jeez. Look at that. I’m incredulous again.