18 Aug 2011

The Lamp Shade

Quite a few years back, I bought a white 70s lamp from a little shop in Würzburg (Germany) and I really did love it for its uniqueness. Unfortunately, over the years, I have become tired of looking at its super-swirly pattern and that called for change of shade. I started my quest for an entirely new lamp shade which soon proved to be a lot more difficult than I thought. Everything looked either completely boring-meant-to-be-modern (and still ludicrously expensive in some cases) or way too plain. The local DIY shop only offered me some kind of frame made of a ring for the top and one for the bottom and suggested I try fiddling with a fabric of my choice until I had a lasting solution. That didn't satisfy me either. Luckily the well known Swedish furniture shop have LÖBBO on offer in various sizes and even colours. So I bought one of those medium sized plastic sheets (you have to transfer it into shade-shape yourself via a push-fit system). Moreover, I got myself the kind of fabric I thought would suit me best for the time being, a spray-on glue and double-sided adhesive tape (only 5mm or less in width).

1. Lay out your fabric on the floor, and put the plastic sheet of the shade above it. Add 2cm on all 4 sides of the plastic and cut out of the fabric. To prevent its edges from fraying, sew all the way around with a 5mm wide zigzag stitch.
2. What follows is the glueing part. Protect the floor with old newspaper and put your plastic sheet in the middle (outside up). Get your spray-on glue and spray evenly all over the shade, don't forget the edges!! If you have a helping hand, get it now, and carefully place the prepared piece of fabric onto the plastic. Any air bubbles caught in the middle can be removed with strokes from the inside towards the edges.
3. Remove from the sticky newspaper and turn around. Now you'll need the double-sided tape which will go on the top and bottom inside edges of the shade; this will fix the fabric onto the plastic on the inside as well (spray-on glue would be too messy here, as you only need a very small part to be sticky). Fold over the edges of the fabric and press onto the tape.
4. Follow the instructions that came with the shade and give it its round shape via the push-fit system. It's a bit tricky at first, but once you get a couple to fit, the remaining are not that hard any more... 
5. Put the edges of the left and right side neatly on top of each other and glue together with some double-sided tape to make the white plastic sheet completely disappear under the fabric. 
6. Now you basically just need to screw the new fabulous shade onto its lamp base and there you go. If you don't have a base but a cord set, all of these instructions work just as well. Just get LÖBBO one size up and don't hesitate to choose a new fabric and off you go! 

Both of my choices of fabric are Tilda by Norwegian designer Tone Finnanger, who produces so many lovely things and patterns that you just don't know what to make first and which fabric you will love most! If anyone actually follows my instructions and creates a new lamp shade for their home, do let me know, I would be delighted to hear from you!!!

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