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DIY Victorian Lampshade Repurposing by Carolyn Wainscott

Caution:when you walk into one of your favorite shops and the owner says “just the person I need to see” then proceeds to hold up a decrepit lampshade that had seen its better days but had been gorgeous in its time. The fabric was torn inside and out, the beads wrapped in a paper towel but the frame was in great condition. I forgot to take a photo before it was taken apart but here it is after:


love the prisms


at the suggestion of Kim, the shop owner, the antique trim was salvaged. It took 2 days of soaking in white vinegar and Dawn, the water was very dirty


the wire frame


the frame is wrapped-I used stripps of scrap batting but bias tape or fabric strips can be used


make a paper pattern of one of the sections [remember rubbing a pencil on paper over a form?]. I cut a trial piece from scrap to be sure of the fit

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This is a rather large lampshade [about 24″ tall] with 8 sections. It required almost 3 1/2 yards of 58″ satin taffeta for the lining and outer shell. Glue each section of outer shell to batting covered wire being sure to keep the fabric very taut then trim carefully. Left photo below is inside of shade with sections glued to batting covered wire. The lining was cut using the lining from the shade as a pattern and sewn together. It is then placed inside shade and edges folded over to outside shell-glued to outside shell and trimmed. The lining must be kept taut also. Those little clips used in sewing came in so handy to keep the fabric in place for sizing and fitting. Keep glue area very near edge as it will be covered with trim.

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about 12 yards of the gimp braid were used and almost 15 yards of the rope braid

the gimp was glued over each “seam”-the roping along each side of the gimp





So, don’t overlook that poor, shabby old lampshade at the next yard or estate sale-it might be a diamond in the rough.

Thank you for joining us


may the joys of crafting be upon you

Carolyn Wainscott