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Christmas Tutorial – DIY Pleated Paper Lampshade

Pleated paper lampshades are HUGE at the moment, and what better way to make your own version of this hot interior trend, than using a striking Christmas-inspired art paper!

Less Rigid Stick-It® Lampshade Making PVC is at the heart of this project and its pliability will ensure you achieve clean crisp pleats, that we admit are extremely satisfying to make! Better still this technique will work with wallpaper too, so your lampshade learning can be used again and again!

What you’ll need to make your DIY Pleated Paper Lampshade

Art paper or wall paper (we used Cambridge Imprint paper cut into two 67.5cm strips)

Hole punch (6mm hole)




Masking tape

Less Rigid Stick It® and How to Use it

Created to be more flexible to work with, this lightweight lampshade making PVC is ideal for both smaller and angular shades, as well as opening the door to new creative techniques, such as hand pleating and folding.

Half the thickness of our standard Stick It Lampshade Making PVC, at just 150 microns, our Premium Less Rigid Stick It acts and feels like a smooth and sturdy paper, yet still has exceptional tear resistance. It's these qualities that make it so good for smaller lampshades such as Candle Clip shades and any shade below 20cm or 8”.

Available to buy in the following roll lengths - 2 metres, 5 metres, 25 metres and 100-metre roll lengths - the price becomes more economical the longer the roll you buy.

Tips for Pleating Less Rigid Stick It®

Being more flexible, our Less Rigid Stick It® also needs treating with more care and here's our top tips for making a pleated lampshade.

  • Choose a paper that is the equivalent weight or more, than the Less Rigid Stick It®, so 280 gsm or more

  • Use care when cutting and rolling your Less Rigid panel, due to its length. A long table or work top for preparing the strip.

  • Be careful when peeling back the backing paper - if in doubt lay the strip on a flat surface to avoid 'dinting'

  • Work from the right side of you pleats gently pinching them together, then folding them from the inside to get a sharp pleat.

How to make your DIY Paper Pleated Lampshade

1. Cut a length of Less Rigid Stick It® measuring 150cm x 23cm .

2. Cut a length of paper of the same size, if possible, or as in our case, cut two 23cm strips of art paper, that measure 67.5 cm each in length, which will need to be joined later in the tutorial.

3. Place your Less Rigid Stick It®, with the backing paper face down on the reverse of your chosen paper. Align the short end of the Less Rigid Stick It® with the short edge and top edge of the paper. Peel back 5cm of the backing paper.

4. Adhere the Less Rigid Stick It® by pressing down firmly and continue along the length.

5. If you are joining two pieces, stop pulling away the backing paper just as you finish adhering the first strip of paper. Carefully turn the Less Rigid Stick It® over so the paper is facing up. Cut away the backing paper so that it meet the outer paper edge.

6. Take your second strip of paper and align this with the point the adhered paper finishes. Add pieces of masking tape along the top edge, to act as a hinge.

TOP TIP: You may need to cut away a strip of paper if you want to match the pattern.

7. Flip the second strip of paper upwards and pull away the backing paper by just 2-3cm.

8. Pull the second paper strip down. Working from the first strip edge, gently adhere the second strip in place. Continue adhering the paper using the method in Step 4.

9. Once finished, mark 1cm from the top and bottom edge. Join the marks to make a contunous line and cut to neaten the edges for the finished lampshade height of 21cm.

Trim away any excess Less Rigid Stick It® from the length.

Making the pleats

10. Turnover and make a pencil line 1cm from the short edge at the top and the bottom. Continue to mark at 3cm intervals from the 1cm line and continue along the top and bottom, but don't draw the lines in. These will become your folding lines.

11. Place your ruler against the top and bottom mark and gently score along the ruler with a pair of scissors. Continue along the full length of the shade.

TOP TIP: Use a small, well used pair of scissors as a sharp pair may cut through the PVC or injure you!

12. Once complete, turn the panel over and from the paper side, gently pinch the folds together.

13. Carefully turn the panel over and fold the score line to create the first pleat.

14. On the inside of the first 3cm pleat mark a dot in the centre of the fold, 1.5cm from each edge of the pleat and 1.5cm from the top edge.

15. Punch out a hole using your hole punch, making the dot is on the centre of the punch.

16. Lay the punched fold over the next pleat and mark a dot in the centre of the punched hole on the PVC below. Punch out and continue until each fold has a hole.

17. From the pleat edge cut directly across into the circle. Repeat Steps 14 to 17 on the bottom edge of the pleats.

18. Cut back the remaining short edge to measure 1cm.

19. Place a line of 9mm Tessa Double sided tape long the edge of the final pleat.

20. Remove the backing and place the remaining pleated end over the top and pinch into place.

21. Take your duplex ring and gently open the slit and lock the punched hole over the larger of the two rings, distributing the pleats evenly.

22. Repeat on the plain ring at the bottom of the shade.


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