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When only a custom lampshade will do.

It's hard to find just the right lampshade ready-made. But making one is a simple, inexpensive project that takes only a few hours. Choose any fabric you like for the shade, then give it body with a backing of paper or a thin sheet of styrene.

For the pattern, you can start with an old shade or an inexpensive new one. Carefully detach fabric and backing from rings for a shade of the same size. Directions for designing a new pattern follow.

Tools and materials

* One package spring-type wooden clothespins

* Scissors

* Push pins

* One 45-inch square of felt or an old blanket

* Masking or transparent tape

* Multipurpose spray adhesive (for use with styrene backing or paper)

* Heavy-body craft glue

* Table knife with a dull point

* Shade pattern

* Translucent fabric (lightweight cotton or cotton blend works best)

* Paper or styrene for shade backing

* Top and bottom shade rings

Shopping for materials

For the shade backing, you can use two-ply paper, such as watercolor paper or bristol board. Hot-press watercolor paper, 60- to 130-pound weight, can often be found at art supply stores in 26- by 40-inch sheets for about $5 each; bristol costs about $2.50 for a 23- by 29-inch sheet. Or check the yellow pages under Lamp Shade Frames & Supplies or under Lamps--Supplies and Parts for dealers that sell shade backing and rings. Total cost for all materials should be about $15 (more for designer fabric).

When shopping for paper backing, bring your pattern to determine whether the art supply, craft, or lampshade store has a sheet large enough for you shade. If not, order paper or styrene (pressure-sensitive or plain) from one of the sources listed on page 164. You can also order shade rings (prices vary from under $1 to about $3 from most of these suppliers.

You'll also need to bring your pattern when shopping for fabric. To calculate the yardage you'll need, keep in mind that you must position the center line of your pattern along or across the grain of the fabric.

Making your own pattern

To design an entirely new shade, make a few rough sketches on scrap paper to determine general proportions. The pattern for a cylindrical shade will be a rectangle, with two sides measuring the same as the shade's circumference rings and two sides measuring the same as its height.

If you want to design a tapered shade, remember that the steeper the slope of the taper, the more paper required to make the pattern. You can tape together pieces of paper into large widths, if necessary, but this process is cumbersome.

It was easy to make the pattern for the shade shown on page 160. The small and large rings measure 21 and 52 inches in circumference, respectively. The shade's vertical height, determined by measuring the distance between the midpoints of the circles defined by the rings, is 11 inches.

To draw your pattern, you'll need a yardstick, a right angle, a pencil, a fabric measuring tape, a 1- by 30-inch strip of carbdobard for a compass, and mailing, butcher, or similar paper.

After you've chosen the top and bottom rings and determined the shade's height, draw your pattern according to the instructions and diagram on page 164.

When you've completed your pattern, use clothespins to pin it to the lampshade rings to check fit. The straight edges should overlap 1/2 inch; trim as necessary.

To draw your pattern, using the diagram above as a guide, measure the diameter of the large ring and draw it on paper as the line AB. Draw line CD perpendicular to AB at midpoint C to mark the vertical height of your shade. Measure the diameter of the small ring and draw it as EF, parallel to AB, with point D as the midpoint. Draw lines AE and BF to intersect at point G.

Secure one end of the cardboard strip at G with a push pin, place strip edge along AEG, and at A poke a hole through the taut cardboard strip with a pencil and describe an arc. Repeat with push pin at G and pencil point starting at E.

Use a cloth tape measure to determine the circumference of both rings; mark the distance of each circumference along the appropriate arcs at points H and I (an alternate method of determining ring circumference is to multiply each diameter by 3.14). Draw HI to intersect G. On the arc AH, mark point J 1-1/2 inches beyond H, and draw line HK parallel to HI. With scissors, cut the pattern along JK, KE, EA, and AJ.

Mail-order sources for backings, rings Green Gables, 18411 Gault St., Reseda, Calif. 91335; (18) 996-8200. Lampshade rings, plain styrene ($4 per yard of 48-inch-wide fabric); catalog $5. Mainely shades, Boc 6052, Falmouth, Me. 04105; (207) 797-7568. Pressure-sensitive styrene ($8.95 a 48-inch-wide yard), pressure-sensitive paper ($7.95 a 48-inch-wide yard). You can also order ready-made patterns, called arcs, in different sizes for 75 cents each. Catalog costs $1.50. Russell Ormsbee, Box 36, Concord, N.H. 03301; (603) 224-1603. Pressure-sensitive styrene ($8.85 a 48-inch-wide yard), pressure-sensitive paper ($7 a 48-inch-wide yard), plain backing paper ($3 a 48-inch-wide yard). Arcs (see above) cost 50 cents each. Price list $1. Savoir-Faire, Box 2021, Sausalito, Calif. 94965; (415) 332-4660. Lampshade rings, and pressure-sensitive styrene ($6.50 a 48-inch-wide yard).
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1985
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