How to make lampshades using paper
By Jane Warren, Mar 8 2017 02:36PM
I often get asked how to make lampshades using paper - either wallpaper or wrapping paper or paper maps - in fact there are so many items you can use to make shades! how about sheet music or old manuscaripts?
The best method I have found is to make the lampshade in the normal way you make a drum using fabric, but then instead of tucking in the excess fabric under the rings, just cut off the extra paper along the rings once you have rolled it. You can then use a bias binding to finish the shade:
* take your binding, and open up one side and iron it smooth
* attach double sided sticky tape around all the top of the shade, take off the cover
* place the closed part of the binding onto the tape
* tuck the opened up part of the binding under the rings
* job done!
As far as the paper itself is concerned, ensure there is nothing printed onto the back - maps for example, often have street names on the reverse - this will all show once your shade is lit!
I also iron paper before I use it, but if there are creases such as from the folded Ordnance Survey maps, which I use, it can add to its authenticity.
Take note of the width of paper - wrapping paper for example - is barely 50cm wide. This means you will only be able to make a small 15cm (diameter) drum shade but you can add pieces together (see previous post on making large shades) and positioning a seam opposite the main seam.
These paper shades are entirely fire proofed as you make them with the materials all tested by the lighting association, and your paper will not be a hazard.
They are fun to make and entirely bespoke! so come along to a class and learn how to make drum shades - including paper ones!