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Lampshade Hack #5 – 4 ways to add lampshade trims

Updated: May 15

Trims are easy, creative extras you can add to any of our Lampshade Making Kits to make them look that little bit more special. Taking a plain shade up a level, transforming it to suit a particular style or room or to giving it the wow factor making it a true centrepiece, trims can make all the difference to your shade making.

As a beginner shade maker, it’s tricky to know how to apply trims professionally and what to use to make a trim stay in place, so to help you get started we’ve shared our top tips on four different ways to apply trims to your lampshade, with some help from our expert makers from our Facebook Lampshade Makers Forum.

Double-sided tape

Found in your lampshade making kit our double-sided tape is probably the simplest way to add fringing and the most traditional place to position this is along the bottom edge of the shade. Double-sided tape will work well for lightweight trims but for thicker or heavier braids, scroll down for our adhesive solutions and ideas below!

By applying the double-sided tape along the bottom edge of your shade, starting at the inner side of the seam remove the red backing tape around 5 cm at a time and apply the trim.

When reaching the outer edge of the seam carefully fold the trim over and glue in place using textile or fabric glue - see Step 3 below in our guide on how to use glue to attach a trim.

Dependent on the thickness of your fringing or trim, you can also tuck this under your seam, just before you close this up and tuck the fabric under at the top and bottom.

Soft Furnishing tape

A step up from double-sided tape, our Soft Furnishing Bond tape is a great way to ensure a good hold along the bottom of your shade as it’s extremely high tack! Useful for weightier trims, this tape is 12mm wide making it good for braids and fringing. Repeat the same steps for the double-sided tape above but instead replace this with Soft Furnishing Bond Tape.

We love this tip from Alison Gove, of Alison Gove Curtain Creations and Dannells Lampshade Forum member on how to adapt the width of the tape.

If your need to split the width of the Soft Furnishing Bond tape, I use a stanley knife around the reel. Saves me having to wrestle with sticky scissors!

And if you’re using a tasselled trim and want to avoid the tassels getting trapped, when you're completing the final stage of making your shade (the tucking in part) try running a length of masking tape along your fringing before your start, to keep the strands out of the way.

Hot and cold glue guns

A glue gun may seem a little overkill to add a trim, but many of our expert lampshade makers use this method. For some a Hot glue Gun may not be the right thing, due to the stringy residue that can come with using one, but if you don’t feel confident with this get used to a cold melt glue gun first, which will give you the same results? Or if you prefer a smaller size, take a look at our Handy hot melt glue gun, which easily fits into your hand.

Elizabeth Pegg, of Silkworms and Cottontails, regularly uses a glue gun to add her trims to her professional soft and hard shades, combining this with a fabric glue to neaten the ends. For our forum members, Elizabeth had this advice on how to best use a glue gun to attach a trim:

‘For scalloped shade with a double layer of fringe using I use a glue gun. There'll be white visible bits are where the glue has dried, which gets covered when I add on the braid. This often happens with the fringes as they are loosely woven at the top. I like to spread the glue on the trim and then press it in place, a little at a time.’

Fabric and Textile glues

There are a wide range of textile glues available and as a crafter or maker you may already have your particular favourite. We recommend Bostick Fabric glue and Gutterman Creativ HT2 textile glue.

We used a Hexagonal Lampshade Making Kit in this demo, but if you're using a Drum lampshade Making Kit, make sure your frame is positioned steadily on the table and won’t roll. A book on either side helps with this.

1. Starting at the inside seam run a thin layer of glue along the bottom of the frame – around 5-10 cm is adequate.

2. Position the trim on top of the glue and peg in place, using a regular household pegs. Continue around the shade slowly and carefully turning the shade, applying the trim.

3. To finish, fold the trim at the outer edge and glue in place using the glue.

4. Hold in place with a peg until dry.

And finally ....

We love this final and very practical piece of advice from Elizabeth’s and with her considered approach to lampshade making, it’s clear why her shades look so fantastic!

‘I put the shade on the table but I often sit on a stool so the shade at eye level. It’s important to keep the trim level as you go along’

Happy trimming!


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