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Lampshade Kit Hack #4 – Neon Stitched Empire Cork Lampshade

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

The trend for natural materials has been working its way in to our homes for a couple of years now with rattan, cork and cane making a big come back. We couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon too, by bringing some of our laminated cork lampshade PVC to life with an Empire lampshade kit and a pop of bold neon stitching.

Made by laminating a thin layer of cork to 300 micron clear PVC, our cork lampshade making PVC lights beautifully and has a soft, warm feel. The bright contrast of the neon yellow jersey yarn 'sewn' in a blanket stitch along the bottom and top edge of the shade gives this DIY shade a fab contemporary twist. Replace the neon for pastel embroidery cotton, metallic string or multiple strands of wool to create your own unique look. Read on to find out how...

What you’ll need to make your Neon Stitched Empire Cork Lampshade

Neon yellow jersey yarn - approximately 6 metres (the large or smaller the shade, the more or less yarn you'll need)

Masking tape

Good scissors

Soft tape measure

Revolving hole punch


Note: In advance of starting this project lay both your Empire shade Pvc and the cork PVC flat under some heavy books overnight, to remove any curl.

How to make your Neon Stitched Empire Cork Lampshade

1. Remove the kiss cuts from the PVC panel in your Empire lampshade making kit. Roll gently and put these to one side for use later. Cut away the paper at the top and the bottom

2. Lay the empire PVC onto the Cork Laminated PVC and secure in place with masking tape. Draw around the outside edge of the Empire PVC template.

3. Remove the panel and cut around the drawn lines. Add tape to right-hand side short edge.

4. Take the bottom kiss-cut strip and apply along the bottom of the cork PVC panel, on the wrong side of the panel. Make sure that the kiss cut strip sits half on and half off the panel. The kiss-cut strip measures 15mm in total so roughly 7.5 mm of the strip should be visible overlapping the edge of the panel. Repeat with remaining kiss-cut along the top edge.

5. Taking a soft dressmaking tape measure stick this along the overlap of the strip with the centimetre side facing up, making sure the start of the tape measure lines up with the end of the kiss-cut strip. Use the measurements below to marking 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

6. Remove the measuring tape and kiss-cut from the edge of the cork panel. Using a revolving hole punch a hole at each dot. The size of the hole you choose will be dependent on what yarn, string or cotton you are using to create your blanket stitch at the top. The thinner the material, the smaller the hole.

7. Apply the doubles sided tape from your kit to the rings (follow step 10 & 11 from the kit instructions).

8. Position the rings on the PVC at the untaped short edge. The duplex ring sits at the top of the PVC with the smaller of the two rings facing inward. The large plain ring sits at the bottom of the PVC. The rings should sit close to the edge of the PVC leaving a small gap of a few millimetres between the edge and the position of the ring.

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

9. Continue to roll the rings, keeping them in line with the top and bottom edge of the cork PVC.

10. Stop rolling around 10 cm away from the taped short edge and turn the seam edge of the shade towards you. Remove the backing from the tape and pull over the remaining PVC so the outer edge of the shade meet. Gently seal the seam with your fingers. Don’t apply too much pressure here as you could damage the shade.

11. Turn the shade round and seal the seam firmly with your hand from the inside.

12. Take the neon jersey yarn and wrap this around the top of the shade three times. This will give you roughly the right amount of yarn to complete the blanket stitching.

13. Take one end of the yarn and push through the hole nearest to the seam, on the outside PVC. Knot as per the picture sequence below. It's important that the short end points away from your blanket stitching meaning the long end of the yarn is ready to start stitching.

Note: Don’t pull the know too tightly as this will need to be undone for the final stitch.

14. From the inside of the shade push the yarn through the next hole, leaving a loop at the top of the frame big enough to fit two fingers through.

15. Take the yarn from the outside of the shade towards the inside of the shade and through the loop.

16. Gently tighten the blanket stitch so that the upright from the hole to the edge of the shade is tight and the length along the frame edge sits parallel. Repeat the stitching for each hole until you reach the last hole. Then repeat on the bottom of the shade.

17. Loosen the knot at the start of your blanket stitching, but don’t undo the knot fully.

18. Take the tail end of the yarn from the final stitch and push through the loosened knot.

18. Pull the knot closed trapping the tail end.

19. Cut away the loose end to neaten and push to onto the tape to stick in place. Repeat on the bottom of the shade.

Ta-dah! You've finished your shade cork shade!

Show us your shade

Don't forget that you can enter our monthly #memadeshade Instagram competition, by sharing your shade made from a Needcraft lampshade making kit. For more details read our blog post here or find us on Instagram @needcraft.



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