top of page

Lampshade Making

I answered a few questions for Zoe Hewitt who writes for The Bishopton voice. I thought I'd share them for anyone who's interested in learning all about my Lampshade practice.

How did you first get into lampshade making?

I gained my degree in Textile Design at Art School back in the day, then worked for a vintage fair company. These combined interests led me to be the owner of a large collection of vintage lampshades. My studio was starting to overflow! I eventually got around to recovering these shades when I was then talked into hosting a mini workshop for my neighbours to pass my skills on. This then led to me hosting a workshop for friends of theirs, the concept grew from that really. I run monthly workshops at Creative Space on North street, I also host pop up workshops when requested.

Are they difficult to make?

Standard drum lampshades are pretty straightforward, you cover panels with your fabric, then the tricky part is rolling the panel around the ring sets. More complex shapes such as a Hexagonal frame start adding interest! I do love a challenge though. I had one workshop attendee bring a Sari for her lampshade covering, this was pretty tricky, a novice and silk! The end result was stunning though. I do then make hand stitched and bespoke shades from existing frames which are trickier. You never know how good the structure is until you strip it back.

How / why did you specialise?

That’s a tricky question, I didn’t intentionally set out to be a ‘Lampshade maker’. Although my main business is Interior Design I HAVE to create things to keep me sane. This, along with my passion for encouraging creativity in others and salvaging and reusing led to this side-line.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Meeting my workshop attendees and finding out what fabrics they’ve picked to create their shades with. Everyone has such different tastes, even when using the same fabric, attendees create very different lampshades depending on their choice of print placement. I really enjoy watching the reaction of the attendees when they get to see the finished product.

Do people tend to show more interest in the dark winter months?

Not necessarily, December is generally quiet due to everyone planning for the festive season. I guess it’s either a skill you want to learn or you may be in the midst of redecorating and want to create a specific shade to match.

What is the most weird / wonderful project you have undertaken?

I just adore textiles, colour and pattern. So a couple of years a go when requested to make over twenty shades in a plain silk I found that a little tedious! They were for a large house! I was asked to create a fabulously huge shade for a living room which had a lovely big ceiling rose. I made a HUGE 80cm diameter lampshade that would allow you to view the ceiling rose, it sounds odd but worked well!

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just finished a commission for a tapered square lampshade, that was tricky! The original frame was to be salvaged and I spent 3hrs hand peeling the glue and velvet trim from the frame before I could start recovering.

What is next?

I have plans for 2020 to create more unusual shaped shades as I’ve not been that adventurous recently. My collection of saved shades has grown again and needs to be used! There are plans to host a workshop collaboration to create macramé lampshades too.

Tell us about your forthcoming workshops and dates.

I’m running workshops on the last Thursday of each month at Creative Space, North Street.

- February, Thursday 27th 7-9pm - Floor Standing Lamp

- March, Thursday 26th 7-9pm – Small and Medium Lampshades

- April, Thursday 30th 7-9pm – Large and Extra Large Lampshades

You can email me at or visit my website for more information

bottom of page