I Woke Up Next to the World's Biggest Lampshade

I haven't posted since last week. You know what that means, right? I've been on a craft bender. But unlike your average maniacal person, I didn't wake up broke next to some stranger whose name I don't know. No, I'm a craft maniac. I woke up next to the world's biggest lampshade. Where did it come from? Did I buy all that metallic gold posterboard? Why do I have Aleene's tacky glue under my nails? Am I wearing vintage Pucci?!
No matter. It had to be done. That old chandelier had to be covered. It was so brass, so tempered glass, so 80s fern bar. And it was right in my eyes all the time. Remember it?
Even if I could scrape up a little money to buy a new one, the ceiling height makes replacing it a non-DIYable project for now, which means I'd need to hire an eletrician. Ka-ching ka-ching. Nope, I needed a quick fix. A lampshade! But where does one purchase a 26 inch tall by 20 inch wide lampshade? You don't, silly! You make one!
I wanted to retain a little of the sparkle so I added the metallic accents to match the chain. I'm shooting for an "I think I remember a similar light fixture in my grandparents' country club in the early 70s" sort of feeling. Brass but not an 80s builder brass. It's a fully conscious, self-aware brass.

The good thing is that now I know how to make any size/shape lampshade to cover any ceiling fixture atrocity I find in my house from now on. Here's the skinny:

Cut two circles of foam core. I cut a slit in one to slip it around the chandelier's chain.
Then cut strips of posterboard about an inch wide.
Fold in half lengthwise. Cut triangular snips along one edge. Now it can snake around.
Glue the posterboard strips like this along your fabric which you already cut to size and ironed a fusible backing to so it won't unravel. Here...look at this.
You have a big hunk of fabric now with toothy posterboard strips along the top and bottom edge. These teeth will provide a surface to attach the foam core circles. See?
You slip the foam core circles in there and then pin them temporarily in place. A circle at the top and a circle at the bottom. It's fun. Sort of like playing twister with a bolt of muslin and a bunch of push pins. 
Then lift up the flaps and glue them back down. Because it's not a party until Aleene shows up. 
I added a circle of posterboard at the top to cover the snaggy toothed edge. And one underneath, too. Makes it looked more finished, I'd say. The whole original fixture is in tact under there. The shade just rests on top, although you could easily use wire or fishing line to tie it to a chain if you need to. 
And now I can move on to the next 5 projects I have in mind! Wheeee! I love craft mania!


  1. Girl, when will your innovation END? Beautiful. If my grandparents had belonged to a country club, I *know* they would've had one of these babies.

  2. Hi Katie - I was searching around for an e-mail address, but couldn't find one. I stumbled across your Etsy shop while searching for squirrel pull along toys and I was wondering do you still have these/make them?? I NEED one for my daughters nursery.

    HappeningsoftheHH {at} gmail {dot} com

  3. Hi Katie... it is me again, hehe. I JUST watched you on Martha Stewart!!! And so I know I could attempt to make one of these squirrels, but still am very interested in purchasing one from you. I would much appreciate it if you could shoot me an e-mail - you are SO talented!!

  4. When you go on craft benders, good things happen.

  5. Wow! Fell over your blog today. It's wonderful and you're funny and I LOVE the seahorse pattern. If I wasn't up to my chin sewing bunnies, I'd make one right now! Happy new follower.

  6. You are crackin' me up!!!! Love the lampshade and your humor!

  7. Oh my dear you are absolutely brilliant!!! I love it! What a good idea!!!!

  8. This is amazing. How did you get cut your foamcore circles so clean?


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