Ladies, Liquor & Lampshades

“Lampshades without tassels are naked”

All it took was an innocent request on instagram from Kat @projecthomedesign enquiring if anyone knew somewhere in Bristol that ran lampshade workshops and just like that we were ten deep in a group chat of like minded women that had no clue as to how to make a lampshade!

But we had plenty of enthusiasm and a willingness to think outside the box…..what more do you need?

So, on May 2018 I hosted my first ever workshop. However, in hindsight, workshop is probably too strong a word for it. More a collective of hungover ladies learning how to make and upcycle lampshades together. I was the designated instructor as I had once successfully made a tiny drum shade without having a break down. Although, as soon as I saw the giant 45′ lampshade kits two of the ladies had brought in I swiftly denied any previous knowledge and we played it safe by reading the “how to” guide.

We cut:

We glued:

We rolled:

We tried on lampshades as hats. Although as a side note I did recently sell a lampshade as a hat. Apparently it’s all the rage at festivals. Lou is clearly ahead of her time!

As it turned out we were extremely innovative and not only did we negotiate the dodgy instructions together…we also decided, in the way that only people who have no idea what they are doing can, that we had improved on them. Self delusion at its best! But all that aside they turned out fabulously and we discovered in true upcycling fashion you can improvise with different coverings. We used not only bought fabric, but wallpaper, a dress and we even turned one shade inside out and recovered it again on the outside.

We also all agreed that lampshades without tassels are naked and prosecco really does help the learning process.

I have since gone on to upcycle and save many more from landfill that have sold all around the country. They tend to be scalloped edged and heavily tasselled. But here is a simple 15 minute upcycle with a drum shade and a fringed overcoat I bought at a car boot sale:

Cut to size:

Leaving a cm to go over the top edge:

Spray shade with carpet glue £2.99 from The Range:

Roll along fringed edge and press down gently inside the drum remembering orientation depending if you want to use it as a ceiling shade or a table lamp:

Run double side sticky tape on the inside seam of the drum shade … £1.49 at The Range:

Roll excess over to hide raw edge and press down:

Hang and admire:


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