Anthropology Inspired Lampshade

5 Materials
1 Day

I’ve been drooling over this lampshade but even on sale, it’s way out of my price range. What’s a girl to do? Well, if she’s a true DIYer, she’ll make her own!
This lampshade is embroidered, which I know how to do but the lampshade that I wanted to use really thick and pushing the needle through was very difficult.
Here is my lampshade which I picked up at a thrift store for $2.00.
My lampshade has a heavy cover and is lined so to make my colorful lampshade:
A-I took plain white paper and creased it on the ribs of the lamp
B-and cut the shape with scissors
C-I made four of these shapes
I tore a few pictures out of a coloring book with flowers that I liked.
A-Because my lampshade is thick, I held the coloring book page up to a window and placed the white paper on top.
B-and traced the flowers onto the white paper.

If the lampshade that you are working with is thin, you could trace your pictures directly onto the lampshade. Place the picture on the inside of the lampshade, turn on the light and trace.
A-After I traced my entire pattern onto the white paper
B-I used painter’s tape and taped the pattern onto the lampshade
To transfer the pattern onto the lampshade, I used a pencil and punched holes through the paper.
A-You can see the dots that were made when punching through the paper
B-I then connected the dots with the same pencil.
This is the lampshade after the pattern was transferred and the dots were connected.
I wanted to embroider using paint so I bought fabric paint in tubes with a thin tip.
A-I began by outlining each design in the appropriate color.
B-For the center of a blackeyed Susan, I filled it in with dots of black paint and then added brown dots for a layer of color.
I continued to add lines of paint, as if I was embroidering; however, that didn’t work. The paint was too thick and it looked really messy.
Plan B:
I outlined each design using the tube of paint, then while the paint was still wet, I used the tip of a small paint brush to drag paint into the design and fill each pedal for flowers. I continued to fill the design until it was complete.
Once the paint was dry, I went over the each flower, adding details and more color.
I allowed the shade to dry and couldn’t wait to see it “lit up” which is the top picture. The bottom picture was taken during the day.

It does have raised color due to the lines of the fabric paint so even though it’s not embroidered, it’s beautiful and one of a kind.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Catherine Martin
    on Apr 27, 2018

    Could a beginner embroiderer do this?Could you use a embroidery paper for the picture and somehow adhere it to the pape? I love this,

    • Pegg77
      on Sep 8, 2020

      Amazon has transfer paper that would make this so much easier!

  • Pinkystarfish
    on Apr 27, 2018

    I wonder if you could tape your pattern to the inside of the shade and then turn on the light to trace the pattern instead of punching holes? Just a thought but love your idea!

    • Janice
      on Mar 27, 2019

      Pinkystarfish, your idea is great. I've even printed sayings out on my printer and then taped them to the backside of my lampshade just for fun. When the lamp is used you can see what's be printed. I've done ZZZZZZZ with the Z diminishing in size. Also "Sleep Tight" , etc. for a lamp in my guest room.

      Get many compliments on the originality. Just a nice surprise.

  • Harriette N
    on Apr 28, 2018

    You are extremely smart and creative! Do you have any other craft projects that you can share?

Join the conversation

2 of 118 comments
  • Pamela
    on Mar 16, 2020

    I have a shade in my living room with some discoloration. Thanks to you I have decided to paint it to match the curtains. I have acrylic paints which should do nicely. THANKS for saving me the trouble and cost of buying a new shade.

  • Patricia
    on Mar 31, 2020

    Very creative. Love this!!!

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