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Lampshade Style Guide - Candle Clip Lampshades

Wall lights can be a beautiful source of subtle lighting in your home, but can also be overlooked as a focal feature or being shown off with a unique shade. In this month’s Lampshade Style Guide, we look at the origins of the wall lights, tips on making Candle Clip Lampshades and ideas and inspiration from our army of makers to ensure these little shades shine!

A little bit of history

Wall lights and chandeliers have been the mainstays of lighting in homes, since medieval times. In their crudest form, they were made from wrought iron and used candles made from animal fat or beeswax, lighting large dining rooms, corridors and entrance halls. Over many historical eras, they have evolved into the wall lights that we know today.

The Baroque period, originating in Italy, influenced everything from architecture to music and brought opulence and drama to wealthy homes. During these 150 years, wall lights developed into candelabra styles, featuring multiple arms and wrought iron ceiling lights became chandeliers adorned with glass. After the introduction of fabric lampshades in the Victorian era, the trend carried through to Edwardian interior fashions and miniature versions would have been used on wall lights and chandeliers in homes, to match the table and standard lights for a cohesive look.

Style Description

Candle Clip Lampshades are small lampshades that are not suited to a regular utility fitting due to the narrow top ring of the shade. Instead, these are fitted with a wired ‘candle clip’, that fits onto a tall and narrow candle bulb, named so because it looks like a candle flame. For the same reasons, the candle clip fitting is also used on narrow soft shade making frames, such as the “6 Scalloped Frame and 5” Bowed Empire Frame.

Whether used in multiples on a chandelier or a wall light fitting, Candle Clip Lampshades are a diminutive version of the classic empire shade, with tapered sides, a base ring measuring 14.5cm and a height of 13cm and are available to buy as a pair.

Advantages and Uses

As well as being easy to fit, Candle Clip Lampshades also super easy to clean and can be simply lifted off the bulb, gently dusted down and then replaced.

Although small, a candle clip shade can certainly pack a punch, drawing the eye upwards to a chandelier or a wall light. We’ve seen versions with excessive trims, made from bold handprinted papers and bright patterned fabrics. In contrast, a candle clip shade is a perfect vehicle for using up leftover wallpaper to create a ‘is it, isn’t there?’ wall light as seen above from @alexandralangdonshop.

Its tapered style means the light will flood downwards from the bottom of the shade and very little light will radiate from the top. Recent lighting trends have tapped into the candle clip shade’s gentle luminescence and by pairing it with tall Regency-style table lamp bases, you can achieve a simple yet elegant look.

Candle Clip Shade Making Tips

Candle Clip Shades are quick and easy to make, due to their size, but there are a few things to weigh up.

Using pattern and prints, either large or small need consideration. If you’re using a large pattern, think about the placement and what you want to capture. Small patterns work well, but those that include horizontal repeats won’t align straight, around the shade and will curve upwards, so bear this in mind.

When making your shade, it’s easier to roll both the rings together, by leaning them to the left a little. This is due to the curve of the pre-cut Lampshade Making PVC panel that’s provided in the kits.

At the final stage of making your lampshade, known as the tucking in stage, it’s useful to have a butter knife or palette knife handy. This will help you reach the fabric at the top of the rings, from the base of the lampshade and tuck this under the rings.

Check out our blog post on alternative useful tucking in tools – Tips and tricks to achieve a professionally tucked in lampshade edge.

Find all these tips and many more, on our How to Make a Candle Clip Shade demonstrated by Sam, in our YouTube video below.

Creative Candle Clip Shades

Thinking outside of the box, we discovered that a Candle Clip Lampshade is ideal for making a fun table light decoration for the festive season. We think this would work well for any season and make an eye-catching decoration at your next barbeque or even at a wedding! Just simple adapt, by using a bright summery fabric to suit the occasion.

Candle clip showcase

We couldn't resist showing off what our clever makers have done with our Candle Clip Lampshades. From birds to bright patterns, and a little trim, thrown in for good measure, the possibilities are endless making these little lampshade cherries on top of the interior design


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