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Lampshade Kit Hack #9 - Using Vinyl as a Lampshade Inner

Updated: Mar 28

Want to make a shade that stands out from the crowd? How about using colourful vinyl on the inside of your shade? Easy to apply and economical to boot, our opaque gloss vinyl gives your shade an interesting pop of colour and with 19 colours in our range, you won't be short on choice! Read on to find out why you should give this creative hack a try and importantly, how to apply the vinyl to your Lampshade Making Kit.

What is Vinyl covering?

Originally used in our banner making business, Need-a-Banner, vinyl covering is a thin, flexible but robust self-adhesive material, that can be cut out to create lettering and a variety of signage elements and thinking more creatively, we discovered its secondary use - to brighten up the inside of lampshades, giving a clean and modern feel!

Why use vinyl as a lampshade inner?

Apart from the bespoke colours, that make it easy to match (or totally mismatch!) your fabric, our coloured vinyl is a bright alternative to a plain inner and the glossy finish reflects the light from the bulb beautifully.

At 610mm wide, just one metre is enough to cover the insides of two 30cm diameter lampshades making it an economical material for both beginner and professional lampshade makers. As well as being fire retardant, it's also opaque, meaning that light isn't transmitted through the vinyl, therefore light from the bulb be directed up and down from the lampshade and any pattern on the outer fabric won't be distorted.

All the colours!

From light to dark, our 19 colours of vinyl coverings certainly pack a punch and included in the range are two opaque Spanish Metallics, silver and gold.

Preparing to use vinyl

Before applying vinyl to your Lampshade Making Kit, you need to remove your kiss cuts from your lampshade making PVC. This is because the vinyl will only be on the inside section of your shade and if the vinyl is applied with the kiss cuts still attached, it may stretch when trying to remove the kiss cuts afterwards. Once you have removed the kiss cuts, roll them up neatly or simply let them hang from your table, using the sticky side to attach them.

After applying the vinyl and before applying your outer fabric to your PVC, the kiss cuts can be replaced at the top and bottom of your panel, or if you prefer you can use our Self Adhesive PVC Strip to create a margin. Creating a fabric margin is important, as this is tucked underneath the frame of the lampshade, creating a professional finish.

What you’ll need

Vinyl covering that is at least a few centimetres larger on all four sides than your PVC panel

Waterproof work area or cutting mat

Masking tape

Dish or plate

Household scissors

Washing up liquid


Measuring jug

Self-adhesive strip (optional - see above)

Dry cloth

How to apply vinyl to the inside of your lampshade

1. Check that your vinyl backing is big enough to cover your Lampshade PVC panel.

2. Mix 3 drops of washing up liquid with 250 ml of water in a bowl.

3. Using masking tape, place short 5 cm pieces of tape along the top edge of the vinyl, which will act as a hinge.

4. Flip the panel upwards away from the PVC panel, using the hinge.

5. Use a sponge to add water to the back of the PVC panel. Make sure the sponge is quite wet and be generous. Add water to the edges of the panel too so the vinyl won’t stick to your surface.

Top tip: Try to avoid getting the paper wet as it’s difficult to peel off afterwards

6. Starting at the short edge, peel the backing off the vinyl by holding one side and pulling the paper away with the other hand.

7. Carefully pull your vinyl over the PVC panel, using the hinge, by holding onto the bottom edge. Allow the panel to lay gently on the PVC panel.

8. Bubbles will appear where the water collects under the vinyl. Remove the bubble with the velvet edge of the squeegee, starting at the centre and moving outwards, to get a smooth finish, bubble-free finish.

9. When all water has been pushed out, flip over and dry off any excess water with a cloth.

10. Cut around the edges using the PVC as a guide.

11. Leave the panel to dry before adding your outer fabric to the self-adhesive side of the lampshade making PVC.

12. Finally, remove the backing paper from the self-adhesive side of the lampshade making PVC, then reattach the kiss cuts at the top and bottom of your panel. Continue to make up your lampshade according to the instructions in the kit.

Watch how it's done!

Grab yourself a cuppa and watch how our Professional Demonstrator Sam, applies Gold Opaque Vinyl to a lampshade making kit and then applies an outer fabric too.


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