Monday, September 20, 2010

Anthro Inspired Lamp Shade Tutorial

This tutorial has been sitting as a draft for weeks now. I've been hesitant to post it because I had hangups about whether or not I liked the very tippy top of the shade... but I think I'm finally ok with it now.

Remember those lamp bases I painted black a bit ago? Well, they needed some shades. But I'm cheap. Like realllly cheap. So I bought some ugly lamp shades at the Goodwill for about $2/each hoping I could make them cuter. For a few weeks I was stumped on what to do with them. It hit me one evening to check out lamps at Anthropologie and once there I had my answer: the Mariemont Shade.

I knew I didn't want my shade to be identical but here is my version (that looks more like a slightly ruffled shade). I wanted my layers to have a clean finish and as little fraying as possible so this is what I did. If you don't mind the frayed look you could cut out a few of these steps and save yourself some time. 

First things first, I went through my fabric stash and found various shades of white, off-white, and creams. I cut them into various lengths but they were all 2 inches wide. As for how many to cut, your guess is as good as mine. I happened to be very lucky and cut the exact number I needed.

Then I spent some quality time with my iron. For each strip I ironed down about a half inch on the ends. Then I ironed the strips in half (hot dog style).

After that I sewed the strips shut (as close to the raw edge as possible) so they would be easier to attach to my shade. 

Then I went outside (because the spray adhesive I was using had a very strong warning about it being flammable and dangerous and yadda yadda) to start attaching my strips.

I'm not sure how many people have used spray adhesive before but be warned that it is sticky. Your fingers will be tacky for a bit (even after washing them). I had to peel and rub it off for about 5-10 minutes after I was finished. Because of how tacky and sticky it is, make sure to cover your work area completely or go outside (like I did!). 

Start at the bottom of the shade. For the first layer I grabbed 2 strips that would fit around the base with as little overlap as possible. I sprayed directly onto the base, a little at a time, and quickly attached the strips (overlapping the edge a little) by simply pressing the fabric to the shade.

After that it was easier to spray the back of each strip (one at a time) and attach as you go, randomly picking which color to use. I used my stitching as a guide of where the bottom of my next layer of strips should go. Don't be afraid of this part. The spray adhesive allows some flexibility so if you don't like where or how it attached just peel it back off (but you may need to respray it if it is no longer very sticky) and start over. 

You'll find that at some point you'll have an area with a gap and all of your strips are either too big or too small to cover the gap. Here is how I solved the problem. Once the gap has been closed, just continue to coil the layers up and around.

Soon, it'll look like this with only the very top left to cover.

For that I went back inside and cut a new strip of fabric 4 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the circumference of the top of the shade. I ironed down the ends like I did with the other strips but instead of ironing it in half, I folded the sides in to meet in the middle. Like so:

Then I went back outside and used my spray adhesive to glue my folded-in sides down (so they wouldn't flap about and would be easier to attach to the shade).

Now here was the part I wasn't so sure about. At first I just sprayed one entire side of the strip and folded it over the edge of the shade and pressed down.

Well, I finally finished the shades to my satisfaction. Instead of using a spray adhesive I used my glue gun and just glued down that last piece of fabric. Let me tell you, I sure am glad I didn't use my glue gun on the whole shade (using spray adhesive was a lot faster). But now I am happy.

And here are my completed lamps (not bad for $4 a piece eh?):


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