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Lampshade making with the kids!

Looking back through our blog archive for ideas to inspire you while you you're working at home or homeschooling or even both ;) we came across this fantastic creative idea from Three Bears Prints, from 2019, that's perfect for making with the kids.

During these tricky times, we all need a helping hand when finding ideas that will spark children's imagination, keep their interest and teach them a few new skills. We think these fun children's lampshades made from our 20cm lampshade making kit, tick all those boxes and will also give you a long lasting memento of the time spent together.

Marliese, of Three Bears makes use of the Dannells' fabric printing service, but you could use fabric paints or fabric crayons and draw straight onto a plain piece of fabric for a more instant way of making up your shade.

Alternatively if you do want to use our print service we're still open for business and to make this work at home your could break down the project into two stages: the drawing and the lampshade making. Marliese's two able helpers were just 5 years old showing this can be done with any age child!

How to make a lampshade with kids

1. First of all, you have to create a design! The two girls worked up their ideas using coloured pencils.

2. The next stage was to scan these in, and adapt them into lampshade designs. Dannells has a fantastic fabric printing service, which you can use to have your own designs printed up as a lampshade. Dannells gave me a template to work with, with all the dimensions in place for it to be transformed into a lampshade. I then shared our designs with them digitally.

Having gone through this process, especially if you are doing this with children, I would recommend locating the key motifs in the centre, with a background colour both above and below these motifs, so that you have a margin for error!

3. Here, you can see their fabric print outs ready to be adhered to the lampshade covers!

4. The lampshade kits have everything you need to make a lampshade and it's really easy to do.

5. Start with the PVC cover. You need to line it up on the fabric so that the motifs are aligned appropriately. To make it easier for the children, we drew round the PVC cover on the back of the fabric, so we knew exactly where we'd be sticking it.

6. Once you are confident you know where the PVC should be placed, take your time sticking it onto the fabric. If you are working with a child, you may need to help them with this. It is important that you help them to apply it smoothly, avoiding any wrinkles in the fabric.

7. Trim the excess fabric off. You can see I do this with a craft knife - I helped the girls to do this.

Dannells Top Tip - If you have older children they could trim away the fabric using fabric scissors or normal household scissors.

8. (Due to the Scottish weather, we had to move inside at this point!). Next stage is to prepare the lampshade rings. Carefully stick on the double sided tape onto the rings. The girls were extremely competent at doing this - and loved peeling off the backing with a flourish! When working with children doing something artistic, I think it is very important to enable them to do as much as possible, and not to 'interfere'.

9. The two sticky lampshade rings now have to be applied to the lampshade PVC. Start in the middle of the PVC, with the rings perpendicular to the covering. It is easier to do this if there are two of you - we each took one ring. Use tape to stick down seam.

10. The last part is to use the tool included in the kit to tuck the edge of the fabric under the rings. This is quite tricky, so I did this part.

Dannells Top Tip - try using a butter knife or knife with a blunt edge as this may be easier for children to handle and would work well for older or more independent children.

11. Our finished lampshades! The first one features a bird and a cactus and the second one is decorated with wonderful unicorns, rainbows, mermaids and butterflies!

We love the two final lampshades, which have turned out beautifully. By using the fabric printing service and the lampshade kits from Dannells, you could also create your own, unique lampshades - or encourage your children to do a design for their room.


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