How to make a copper lined lampshade

This step by step guide to making a copper lined lampshade is all you need to make your own double-sided drum lampshade with a copper lining. There are images each step of the way with thorough instructions by professional lampshade maker, Alison Bick.

If you give this a try, we’d love to hear how you got on in the comments below this post.

Let’s get started!

In this blog post I will go through step by step my process for making a lampshade with a Copper lining PVC panel. I chose a matt finish for the copper as I thought it would look really stunning with the teal background colour of my Lily fabric design.

To make this copper lined lampshade I ordered a lampshade kit with a metallic lining (add this in the dropdown menu before ‘Add to cart’) and had my fabric design printed on to a fabric lampshade panel, using a ‘Digital prints for lampshade kits‘ service, all by Dannells.

Once I have received the kit and print, I get my workspace ready. I lay out some cloth over my dining table, so that I know I’ve got a clean, soft yet level surface to work on.

Step One

First of all I check the fabric for any bits or dust, and lay it face down flat on a clean surface. I don’t usually need to iron the printed fabric, as it arrives in a roll and should be smooth and without creases. If it is creased though, give it a quick press with a cool iron, printed side down. To be extra safe, use a clean cloth over the fabric to press.

Step Two

Unwrap the adhesive PVC copper lining panel, unroll and lay flat over the top of the back-side of the printed fabric, with the adhesive side down. Position the panel over the print. My prints are quite dark, so it is easy to see where they are in relation to the edge of the panel.

I don’t trim the fabric until after I have stuck the panel down.

Top Tip

Use something clean to hold the panel down over the fabric. I use spare lampshade kit boxes.

I allow about 5mm of fabric over the edge of the short width of one side of panel, as I’m going to use this to fold over the PVC panel later to make a neat edge when it is rolled up.

Step Three

Peel away the checked backing paper, and position the edges onto the fabric.

I use a bit of Foamboard to gently smooth the adhesive panel to the fabric, as I gradually peel back the checked backing paper.

This ensures that you don’t get any bubbles, and your fabric sticks smoothly to the adhesive panel. Keep peeling back slowly, making sure that the fabric remains in the same position, smoothing down with your hand or foamboard.

Reposition whatever you are using to keep the panel held down on the fabric (the box in my case).

I check that there are no bumps and the fabric is smoothly stuck onto the panel.

Step Four

Now I cut out around the panel. I leave 5mm at one end of the panel.

Top Tip

At the same end, I also leave an extra 7mm on either side. (This makes a tidy edge later when you come to tucking your fabric edges into the rings.) I got this top tip from Fiona, a fellow lampshade maker.

Step Five

I turn over my lampshade panel so that the fabric is facing up. I need to remove the two kiss-cut strips on either side of the panel, so I gently fold over the edges of the panel until I hear the snap. Then I turn the panel over again and pull the strips off, one by one, making sure that the fabric doesn’t fray as I’m pulling.

Step Six

Using the double-side tape provided in my lampshade kit, I stick it onto the short edge of the panel where I want to fold over my fabric. (the 5mm extra mentioned above). I peel off the tape backing and smooth down the fabric. Then add another piece of tape across the top of that, but I don’t peel off just yet. (Once I’ve rolled the fabric around the rings, I’ll use this tape to seal the lampshade together).

Step Seven

Putting my panel to one side, I lay it out flat in preparation for the next step. Use those weights (boxes again to hold it down as that panel is extra curvy).

I slot the ring adapter into position in the centre of the ringset as below. This is an converter plug for European lamp fittings).

I now tape up the ring sets. I do the one with the lamp fitting in first, so that I can lay it on the table whilst I tape up the other ring. Pull off the tape cover.

Step Eight

I position both rings about 10cm from the short edge, the one without the taped hem. I don’t put it right to the edge of the panel, as I want a straight edge to the lampshade once the fabric has been rolled over the rings. (I leave maybe about 1mm, use your judgement to what you think looks right).

I do a double check, and ask myself, ‘is the lamp fitting pointing towards the inside of the lamp panel?’ (Don’t make the same mistake I did first time round and make a perfect shade with the lamp fitting bit hanging below the shade!).

Top tip

Think about your fabric design and whether you are making a pendant shade (hanging from the ceiling) or a shade for a lamp, and make sure you have got yours the right way up. Otherwise your pattern might end up upside down!

Then I roll nearly to the end, making sure that I’ve got an even distance to the edge of the panel all along the way. (If you are just starting out, it is helpful to have someone else’s hands working with you on this rolling.)

Step Nine

Once you get to the end, remove the tape from the hemmed edge, and stick it to the lampshade fabric underneath.

Step Ten

Folding and Tucking

Top Tip

Taking time on this will make your lampshade look neat and professional

Keeping the lampshade close to me, with both hands on either end, I gradually roll the fabric around the rings, folding over the fabric so that it sticks to the taped rings. Then with the tucking tool, I tuck the fabric behind the ring so you can’t see any messy edges.

Gradually work the fabric in behind the rings. The longer sections that I left when I cut out the fabric will cover the rings neatly so there aren’t any fabric edges sticking out where the two edges join together creating bulk fabric.

Once I’ve tucked in on both sides of the shade, I then put the lampshade in the upright position and stand up again to poke any extra bits that are sticking out. You will be able to see these bits clearer by standing and looking over into the shade.

Snip the fabric where the lamp shade spokes are so you can fold on either side of the spokes.

Use the tucking tool supplied in your kit (or any other useful gadget that does the job, see ideas HERE) to neatly tuck in the excess fabric behind the rings.

Once you have tucked in all the folded fabric into the rings, take a step back and admire your handiwork!

A job well done!

My Teal Lily design really works well with a copper lined shade, and gives an extra classy touch to the finished shade.

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Find Alison Bick and her work:

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