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DIY Tutorial – Parchment Lampshade with Leather Thong Trim

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

To celebrate our the latest addition to our Lampshade Making Parchment Range - our Cumulus Laminated Parchment - we’ve brought back a retro lampshade style, but with a modern aesthetic, in today’s DIY lampshade tutorial post!

By pairing the cloudy appearance of the cream Cumulus Parchment with tan leather thong wrapping, this handmade lampshade is worthy of a place in any home and is also very easy to make. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to make yours!

What you’ll need to make your Parchment Lampshade with Wrapped Leather Thong Trim

Lampshade Making Parchment Range

Laminated Parchment is the perfect material for making both modern and traditional lampshades, and due to it being adhered to clear professional Lampshade Making PVC, you’ll also have the peace of mind that any lampshades you make, meet the relevant professional safety standards too.

Used for making hard shades, in combination with our rigid frames, our Laminated Parchment range is more translucent than our standard Stick-It Lampshade Making PVC and is available in a range of finishes, textures and muted neutral tones, such as cream, off white and white.

Our NEW Cumulus Laminated Parchment is true to its name sake and has a cloudy appearance when lit, with the exterior parchment paper being a light cream, with a slightly mottled texture. All our parchments are available to buy by the metre, 'off the roll' and come in a variety of widths that are detailed below for each type.

How to make your Parchment Lampshade with Wrapped Leather Thong Trim

1. Remove the kiss cuts from the PVC panel in your Empire lampshade making kit. Put these to one side for use later. Cut away the remaining backing paper.

2. Lay the Empire PVC panel onto the Cumulus (laminated) Parchment. Secure in place with masking tape. Draw around the outside edge of the Empire PVC template with a pencil.

3. Remove the panel and cut around the drawn lines.

4. Add tape to right-hand side short edge.

5. Take the bottom kiss-cut strip and apply on the wrong side, along the bottom of the parchment PVC panel. Sit the kiss cut strip half on, half off the panel with the overhang being roughly 7.5mm. Repeat with remaining kiss-cut along the top edge.

6. Stick a soft dressmaking tape along the kisscut overlap, with the centimetre side facing up. Ensure the start lines up with the end of the kiss-cut strip. Use the measurements below to mark your holes. Each dot should be placed 2cm apart.

For the top edge

First hole 2 cm from the taped edge

Final hole approximately 1 cm from the untaped edge

For the bottom edge

First hole 2 cm from the taped edge

Final hole approximately 2 cm from the untaped edge

7. Remove the tape and kiss-cut from the panel. Punch a hole at each dot using one of the methods below. Choose a hole size a millimetre larger than the width of your leather thong. Ie. 4mm for a 3mm leather thong.

Punching the hole from the laminated side can leave an indented ring around the hole therefore we’ve provided two methods of doing this.

From the laminated side: punch the hole as pictured

From the parchment side: With the parchment facing upwards, place a light under the laminate. Punch out the holes according to the visible marked dots.

8. Apply the double-sided tape from your kit to the rings, with the ring sitting between the tape edges. Pinch the tape around the rings, so the tape covers the ring as much as possible.

9. Position the duplex ring at the top of the PVC at the untaped short edge, with the smaller rings facing inward. Position the large plain ring at the bottom of the PVC. Sit the rings close to the edge, leaving a gap of a few millimetres to the edge of the PVC panel.

Note: Our PVC is upside down in the image below!

10. Start to roll the rings, keeping them in line with the top and bottom edge of the PVC.

11. Stop rolling 10cm away from the taped short edge. Turn the seam edge of the shade towards you. Remove the backing from the tape. Pull remaining PVC over so the outer edges are parallel. Gently seal the seam with your fingers in centre, but leave the edges of the shade unsealed.

12. Turn the shade round and seal the centre of the seam firmly with your hand from the inside.

13. Unroll the Self-adhesive textile tape and wrap this once round the top of the shade. Cut with a 3cm overlap.

14. Along the long edge of the Self-adhesive Textile Tape fold over 6mm. Continue along the full length.

15. Leaving a 1cm overhang, position the fold on the edge of the parchment, so the 6mm allowance sits above the punched holes. Continue around the shade.

16. When you reach the seam, cut away the tape lining up with the inside seam.

17. Cut back the 1cm overhang to 3-4mm and fold back neatly. Repeat on the remaining edge. Finish sealing the lampshade seam.

18. Push the Self-adhesive Textile Tape down onto the ring, but don’t tuck underneath, as per our normal lampshade making instructions.

19. Tuck the tape under the frame using the Rolled Edge Tool from the kit.

20. Take the leather thong and wrap this twice around the top of the shade.

21. Push one end of the leather thong through the first hole to the right of the seam, from the inside of the shade, leaving a 5cm overhang. Continue to wrap the thong through the holes from the inside out, ensuring the thong sits flat and not too tight.

22. Once you are happy with the wrapping, from the inside at the seam, tuck the loose end under the frame using the Rolled Edge Tool. Cut the loose end off.

23. Repeat with the remaining loose end.

24. Wrap the leather thong two and a half times around the bottom of the shade and repeat steps 16 and 17.

Ta-dah! You've finished your parchment lampshade with wrapped leather thong trim!

Try Before You Buy

If you want to see and feel the any of our parchment range, including our NEW Cumulus Parchment, we'd be only to happy to send them to you. Simply send your sample request to


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