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Design Threads: Make Your Own Patchwork Lampshade

Lampshades are the perfect opportunity to inject personality into your living space with colour and pattern.

This week for Design Threads, we will show you how to create a homemade lampshade using recycled fabric samples.

What you will need:

– Sewing machine, needle and thread
– Old scraps of fabric or textiles you love
– An existing plain lampshade that you would like to jazz up (preferably a drum shape)
– Iron and ironing board
– Fabric glue
– Pinking shear scissors
– Accessories such as beads, pompom trim and ribbon

Step 1. Make a template of the surface area of the lampshade. You will need to measure the circumference and the height of your chosen shade.

The template will be there to guide you in terms of shape and size.

Step 2. Get creative and cut up old fabric samples or scraps of textiles that you love. We recommend using pinking shears only. These will stop the thread in the fabrics from pulling apart.

Arrange the fabrics into a fun patchwork pattern. When you are happy, take a photo of the arrangement for reference.

Step 3. Before you start sewing the fabrics together. It is important to iron the textiles down so they are completely flat and straight.

Step 4. Use a sewing machine to stitch all the fabrics together. Start with two fabrics facing each other, and sew down the edge in a straight line. It can be helpful to use pins to hold them together.

You then open the two fabrics out and iron down the flaps on the back. Continue this process until all of your fabrics are one big patchwork.

Step 5. Using an iron, press down on the back of the patchwork so the flaps are all flat. Turn it over and do the front so the whole piece is completely flat.

Step 6. Using fabric glue or all-purpose UHU glue, slowly and gently start to stick down the fabric. Using clothes pegs is a good way to keep the fabric held down whilst it is drying.

Step 7. Neatly trim around the top and bottom of the lampshade so you can get rid of any extra over hanging fabric. However, leave enough so you can fold the fabric inside the lip of the lampshade.

Step 8. To finish your lampshade off, find a ribbon which works well with your pattern. This will conceal the jagged edge of the fabric.

We also like to run the ribbon down the edge of the lampshade along the seam. It is often easier to iron the ribbon before glueing. For a final flourish, you can add a fun pom-pom trim around the bottom of the shade if you wish.

Click here to find out more.

Give it a go! Share your creations with us on Instagram using #DesignThreads and tag @KitKempDesignThread. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could even try painting onto a plain lampshade in the Bloomsbury style!

Weekly Book Recommendation from Much Ado Books

Ann Patchett dissects family relationships and obsessions in this compelling novel that the Sunday Times called “A wonderful hypnotic masterpiece.”

Siblings abandoned by their mother find their world upturned when their father brings home his new wife. Their lives play out with a backdrop of jealousy, intrigue and an obsession with their childhood house and the art they lived with.

We loved Patchett’s powerful, subtle prose. The family drama, where the past is always present, was gripping. And the multiple conundrums that slowly unravel make this a memorable, intense tale.

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