Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY Lamp Shade = Temporary FAIL

Lamp shades are expensive. 
you make them.

 4 Embroidery hoops.........$6.00 ($1.50 each)
fabric...........................5.99/yd (for 2 shades)
Chicken wire..............Already had it.....freeee!

Grand total? 
$12 for 2 completely unique lampshades.

So I am still undecided about the outcome. I know I need to make some improvements and do some tweaking.

It was definitely a learn-as-you-go experience, but the basic plan is:
 embroidery hoops + chicken wire + fabric = cylindrical lampshade
 Here was my process:

Gather supplies. Most important being:
 2 embroidery hoops (12 inch in this case)
Chicken wire (and snips to cut it with) 
Fabric of your choice (Stil undecided about putting lace on top)
Hot glue
Tacky glue
Needle and thread (optional)

 I then rolled out the chicken wire, kept the ends down with Josh's weights, measured the length by placing the hoop beside the wire and simply rolling it along the edge until it reached the starting point. 

Be careful with chicken wire... it is stinkin sharp and it can have a mind of its own.  I'm sure gloves would be recommended. 

The outside edges are finished (not pointy), so the side that I cut, I bent the prongs down on themselves to prevent bloody fingers.


Then I wrapped that edge around the embroidery hoop, bent the ends down, and hot glued them down. 

I placed the second embroidery hoop on the other end {See how it is finished? Much safer} and glued it while Josh held it in place.

 Where the two ends met and overlapped (leave a little room for them to overlap) I created a seam. I just did whatever worked since the links don't line up perfectly. 

I roughly measured the fabric.. Then I ironed a crease as the ends so it would look neater.

Here is the optional part: stitch the crease for the neat and tidy edges

 I used tacky glue to join the overlapping fabric. It dries very clear and discreet, but if you want to be extra sure, only apply glue to the edge that will be on top.

I then ironed a crease around the top edge (the bottom is a finished edge that hangs just slightly longer than the wire/hoop) in preparation to wrap it over the hoop and sew it down. I didn't want the ends to fray.

Apply handy dandy tacky glue

Wrap it around the hoop and stitch all the way around (optional)

Here is the inside of the top edge

This is where it gets a little sketch. I didn't know what to do for the top cross bar (where it attaches to the lamp)... I for now I'm using chicken wire.

I cut a little extra all the way around.

Place it on top and bent the wire up, then I pushed it up through the bottom

And twisted the wires together where ever I could.

Things that need improving:
The top... in general. How to connect it to the lamp? 
Some sort of plastic liner would make me feel better. 
I'm pretty sure that the combination of low energy bulbs and the significant distance between bulb and fabric should be enough to not start a fire... but still.
 Plastic liner also dulls the shape of the bulb and make the glow warmer

So friends, what do we think? 
I have already returned the lamp bases (They blended in with the door headboard), but I can still see the  potential. 
I would recommend a more substantial fabric, such as an upholstery fabric. 

PS- I apologize for the looooong gap between posts. Time just gets away from me. Plus, I feel like I haven't done much worth reporting lately. Just hanging out and taking it easy. This is for you Allison ;)
I'll try to do a life update soon.

Stay tuned,

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