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Lampshade Kit Hack #3 – Making a wallpaper lampshade

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Our Lampshade kits are not only for beautiful fabrics. Making your own bespoke lampshades from scratch using wallpaper is easy to achieve, with the right know how and a couple of easy #hacks.

Whether you simply use off cuts left over from papering your room, or want to use an eye-catching wallpaper for lampshades to sell in your retail collection, working with the vertical pattern of wallpaper needs a little thinking through to get a professional finish. In the second of our #lampshadehack series we’ll take you through how to do just that, in our step by step tutorial below.

You can, of course, use wallpaper horizontally across your shade and for tips on how to do this after step 2, you can skip to step 9 of our DIY tutorial.

Choosing your wallpaper

Wallpaper come in a range of patterns and textures not mention price ranges. To make a wallpaper lampshade we’ve found that the more flexible that paper, the easier it will be to make a shade from. Avoid structure cardboard-like papers, as these will be difficult to tuck under in the final stages. If you’re not sure, order a sample in advance to check its flexibility.

A note on wallpapers

Standard wallpapers are 53cm wide. With the exception of a 15cm diameter drum lampshade making kit (where the lampshade making PVC only measures 50.7 cm) you’ll need to pattern match your paper if you are making any other size of shade.

What you'll need

Masking tape

Tape scissors

Wallpaper with a vertical pattern



Old loyalty card / butter knife

How to make your wallpaper shade

1. If you’ve ever tried your hand a wallpapering with patterned paper, you’ll know that matching up your pattern repeat vertically is an important part of the process, which is no different here. Measure your paper to work out the pattern repeat or check the label.

2. Before starting remove the kiss cuts on the PVC panel.

3. Cut two strips of paper that will pattern match. Lay your PVC panel with the backing paper face up. Place a piece of masking tape above the centre of the PVC to mark the centre point. We found this by dividing the length of the PVC by 2 and marking at 48cm.

4. Position the first of your pieces of wallpaper over on half of the PVC and tape into place with masking tape, along the top edge, creating a hinge.

5. Repeat with second piece of wallpaper, matching the pattern.

4. Flip up the both piece of wallpaper away from the PVC. Remove the backing paper away from the right half of the PVC, folding this back at the half way mark, using your pencil mark to guide you.

5. Pull down the 1st piece using the masking tape hinge to keep in place. Position the wallpaper onto the sticky side of the PVC, again using the centre mark as a guide. Make sure the edge of your wallpaper sits perpendicular to the top edge of the PVC. Smooth into place.

NOTE: It’s important to pull the wallpaper tightly, to avoid creases. See a similar action on our You Tube video - How to make lampshades with bespoke inner linings

6. Now pull the second piece of wallpaper down to check the pattern match. Adjust the masking tape hinge if necessary.

7. Pull away the remaining backing by roughly 10cm.

8. Pull the wallpaper into position, match the pattern carefully and smooth down into place. Pull the remaining backing paper away a small section at a time, smoothing the wallpaper into place.

9. Flip the panel with the panel facing upwards. Measure and mark with a pencil, 1.5cm from the top edge of the PVC. Continue along the length and join the marks together with a ruler. Repeat at the bottom of the PVC. Cut along the lines, then cut the short edges as close as possible to the PVC.

11. Position a length of double sided tape on the PVC at one of the short ends.

12. Follow steps 9 to 20 from your drum lampshade kit instructions.

13. Where the seams meet cut away a small square of wallpaper, from the inside of the seam. This removes the bulk from the seam. Note: this is also included in your printed instructions.

13. When tucking under the wallpaper allowance at the top and the bottom an old loyalty card or butter knife can be really useful for this tase of making the shade. Check out our blog post on Top 5 household tools for making lampshades.

14. Fold down the paper over the taped rings but avoid pushing under the ring, as you would with a fabric shade.

15. Starting at the inside seam, gently push the paper under the ring using the loyalty card. Use small strokes pushing along the length of the frame to avoid damaging the wallpaper.

16. Using your thumbs, smooth the paper down in small sections, to get a professional edge.

17. When you reach the spokes, snip these with the scissors in line with the spokes, pushing the the wallpaper down each side of the spokes, for a clean finish.

18. Voila - one vertical wallpaper shade!

#Memadeshade Instagram Competition

Don't forget any shade that you make from one of our lampshade making kits can be entered into our monthly #memadeshade Instagram competition and with a £100 voucher to spend at Dannells to be won, it's definitely worth it!

Check out our May winner here or follow us or search #memadeshadeon Instagram.



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