Friday, October 26, 2012

How to: Decorate a Lamp Shade

I bought two of these little lamps at a second hand shop a few years ago. Their shades were gone. So, I bought plain brown paper shades and liked the look just fine. 
But I decided that the room and the lamp shade could use a little jazzing up, so I took the shades off the lamps and began to think about how to fix them up.
It is much easier to embellish a lamp shade vertically than horizontally. When going round and round, there is the pitch or angle of the shade to deal with. Narrow bands work well, wider bands won't lay flat on the surface without adjustment. So, I decide quickly that I will decorate with vertical bands of braid.
Whenever I visit a craft or fabric store, I try to get my eyes on the clearance bin and pick out bargains that I like. Never buy anything that you don't like, just because it is on sale. Only something that you find attractive is a bargain. 
When I purchase something for my stash, I try to imagine how I could use it. Little girls dresses, for example, or a pillow top are both things that I make regularly. I keep possibilities for both in my stash. These braids came to my stash because my daughter likes the combination of pink and green. I was pretty sure they would come in handy sometime.
We are farmers, I live a long way from a craft store. I usually work from my stash. 
The shade is seven inches tall.
I cut a pile of seven inch lengths of each color of braid.
There is a seam on the lampshade that is plumb, meaning at a perfect 90 degree angle with the top and bottom of the shade, so I work from that line.
I apply hot glue to the line and apply my first piece of braid. This will allow me to keep things straight without constant measuring.
I then work around the top of the shade gluing only the top of each piece to the top of the lamp shade. Only my plumb line is glued down.
Since the shade is wider at the bottom, the braid will fan out toward the bottom. It will be easier to get the braid evenly applied around the bottom, after the top is done. Place the braid as close together as you can on the top of the shade for best coverage. Braid would also look nice artfully spaced. Or you can use any variety or combination of decorations using this technique. 
Trim the top and the bottom of the braid so it is even around the lamp shade.
There is a pattern that developed, so I duplicated it on shade number 2. 
When top and bottom are arranged and hot glued in place, apply a row of braid to the top and bottom of the shade to finish the edges. This braid is easy to use as the ribbon is narrow and the edges roll together. If you are using a flat ribbon, it is tricky to get it flat if it is over 1/4 inch wide.
Today we are fancy in GriggsDakota.

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