Friday, February 25, 2011


It's done! And after spending the time and effort to make this lampshade, I completely understand why Anthropologie charges $128. Step-by-step walkthrough/instructions follow.

I started by blowing up and printing the various pictures of the lampshade found on the Anthropologie site. Some of the flowers had to be adjusted or filled in due to perspective or just because they weren't fully shown, and some had to be rotated and/or cropped, so these were hand-drawn and scanned so I would have a copy of the original. This turned out to be invaluable as I used the master flowers several times. I then cut those pieces of paper and used them as patterns to cut out my fabric. This part of the project was probably the most fun as I picked which fabrics to use where and tried to make sure I wasn't overloading one color in an area.
The next step was to attach the fabric petals to the white fabric I used for the background. Spray adhesive to the rescue! What's even better is that I already had some spray adhesive in the laundry/utility/craft room. I wrapped the white fabric around the shade and held it in place with clothespins. Then I printed another copy of each of the flowers and positioned them inside the lampshade, adjusting for proper spacing. After that, I turned on the bulb so I could see the outline of the petals through the shade.

(That's the lamp!)

(And Halle!)

Next I sprayed each fabric petal and slapped it on the white background fabric. At this point in the project, I could tell I was really going to like the finished product.

The next step was to sew the petals on. This not only attached them permanently, it will help prevent fraying (and it matched the original picture). I decided to use several different shades of thread instead of just one, but kept each flower consistent (two flowers for each color of thread, doesn't that math work out nicely?). But, oh! the sewing.

I've always downplayed my sewing skills because I mostly sew straight lines. "You made a quilt?!" people exclaim. "Yes, but it's just a bunch of straight lines," I say. This was not straight lines. There's not a straight line to be found in this project. The first few flowers were okay, but as time went on, I found myself staring at the petals, counting them, sighing at them, anything but actually sewing them.

And then my sewing machine went on the fritz. My wonderful friend, Vena, has 'fixed' the machine twice now, taking it from non-functional to workable, but I really struggled to get it to finish the job. In fact, I would have been done at least two or three weeks ago but for the problems with the sewing machine. That made an already tedious task downright frustrating and un-fun.

But Thursday night, with teeth-gritted determination, I finished the final two flowers. And, since I was on a roll, I decided to go ahead and finish the project. I ironed the fabric again, to smooth out any wrinkles from weeks of handling and from the sewing process. I had an idea of how I was going to attach the fabric to the shade, but this video really helped refine the process. (Disclaimer for the link: the twins are really annoying, and I swear, a couple times I think the blonde wants to slap the one invading her personal space, but it's great information.) Luckily I also already had fabric glue and had bought white bias tape, so I was all set. With some help from the girls, I was done in about an hour!

More pictures will follow in which I will show you the lamp and shade in their new home (my office). I'll also show you my diploma, which I finally got framed today!

*Fun fact: As I was writing this post, I began to mentally bemoan my lack of pictures to document the process. Lo and behold, when I went to upload pictures, I had documented far more than I remembered!


Felicity said...

A-maz-ing! And totally a lot of work. Love it!

Angela said...

It looks great, and so close to the original. Amazing job.

Chris said...

Wow - that was quite a project! I admire your perseverance...AND the finished project is fabulous! Can't wait to see the big picture.

Jennie Quillen said...

Amazing!!! I LOVE IT! You are so talented. You amaze me.
You could totally make these and sell them! I want one!!!

Jennie Quillen said...

Oh my gosh! I just looked at the original. You're shade looks exactly the same. (Except for the fabric.) That is just too awesome. I am overly impressed. Seriously, I want one.

andreajennine said...

Color me impressed!