I was keeping an eye out for a lampshade to match the grey and white stars theme we’ve got going on in Jude’s room (you know, the theme that extends to his curtains and changing mat). It’s the last thing that really needed doing to finish it off after I painted it a couple of months ago. Of course, there’s more I want, but this definitely stood out as “wrong” in the room. None were quite what I was looking for, so I decided to do it myself.
Having a quick google, I found the perfect instructions for me – covering a lampshade that already has white or cream fabric covering the frame. The shade that was left by the previous homeowners was a three-tier cream pendant shape – think upside down wedding cake.
The instructions I followed have you roll your existing shade over newspaper (or in my case, taped-together gardening magazine) and trace the shape an extra centimetre all the way around. Pretty straightforward with this one, but if the shade you have is contoured, that’s when it starts looking like something other than a rectangle. So here’s what I ended up with: three rectangles.
You then place the paper on the fabric, arrange it how you want the pattern to appear, then cut out the fabric rectangles, iron down the hems, and spray the existing shade and hem with fabric adhesive (I used Crafter’s Companion Stick & Stay Permanent Fusible Adhesive), rolling the new fabric over and smoothing as you go. I did find that the glue went off after about 30 seconds, so you need to spray little and often.
Once you’ve been working with it for a bit, your hands end up sticky and you need to be careful not to transfer this to the outside of the shade you’re working with. This also causes another problem – because the instructions I was following didn’t allow for the hem to be folded under, the raw hem started pulling away if I tried to adjust where it was stuck down, leaving an annoyingly less-than-perfect finish on the inside, with stray threads hanging off – difficult to fix when it’s already glued down, and impossible to hide. I would definitely allow for a folded hem if I did this again.
I wish I’d been a bit more careful with my aim as well, as the sprayed glue is still visible on the inside of the lampshades – I need to have a go at them with nail varnish remover to see if it will bring it off.
So… here it is. I’m pleased with it – obviously, I couldn’t have found a better match to the curtains! Just don’t look too closely…