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Meet the Author – Jane Warren of The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades

Updated: May 28

We have a treat in store for lampshade makers of every level today, as we announce the publication of The Complete Guide to Lampshade Making, by Jane Warren, one of our most valued customers and Facebook Group contributors!

By pouring her 12 years of lampshade knowledge and expertise into her book, Jane has created a practical and inspirational guide that teaches you how to make a wide range of beautiful and bespoke lampshade styles using the easy to follow step-by-step instructions, and we are excited to be offering The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades to Dannells customers at cost price!

We were thrilled to chat to Jane to find out more about how the book came about, how she found the process of writing and what she hopes its readers will learn, in our Meet the Author blog post.

Congratulations on the launch of your book – The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades. Can you tell us more about what we can expect from the book?

Thank you! The book covers making lampshades in all kind of styles, using the different methods needed. There are two distinct parts - the first one being all about making hard lampshades - from the simple drum to accordion pleated, mini lampshade garlands to scallop edged lampshades. The second part of the book is about hand sewn soft lampshades - gathered, pleated (box and knife), traditional tailored and all types of linings. There are lots of tutorials on making your own trims for lampshades included too.


How did writing The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades come about?

I was lucky enough to be approached by the publisher (The Crowood Press) who had found me via Instagram, they wanted to publish a how-to book on making lampshades, and saw that I have been teaching workshops on making various styles for some time. I had been thinking about it anyway, I already had a notebook full of the various ways of making shades that had evolved over the years.


How did you start the process of deciding what to include and what not to include in your book

It seemed sensible to cover both the hard and soft lampshade making styles, so that it is comprehensive and I wanted it to start with an easy straightforward make - the drum and end with a more complex lampshade - the box pleated, so that the reader’s skill set can increase as they work through the book. But I also wanted it to be a reference book, containing detail on sizes, materials, suppliers , remaking and repurposing, and also offering troubleshooting tips.

What resources did you use, to help you write your book?

I worked with manufacturers - such as yourselves at Dannells, and fabric houses and other suppliers to make the lampshades in the book which was wonderful, and I also worked with other lampshade makers to help illustrate the different lampshade styles, so they are examples of the fantastic results of learning the skills needed to make them. There are also pages dedicated to artists who use their talent to make lampshades - such as block printing, hand painting etc - their designs are literally lit up and are totally unique.

How did you find the time to write, alongside running your successful lampshade making business, The Lampshade Loft?

I didn’t really! I had to make the book be the focus of my time, as it took quite some time to gather all the information, write about each style and then effect the tutorials and of course most of the photography. I carried out online lessons via zoom to keep my income coming in!


What was your favourite part of writing the The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades? 

I loved working with the artists (as mentioned above) and other lampshade makers who were all so happy to be part of the project. It also refreshed my skills as I needed to make one of every type of lampshade for photography and the step by step tutorials, so that was really enjoyable.

And the most difficult?

Probably the photography - I don’t have a fancy camera, just my phone. Also, sometimes when you know something well yourself, you need an outsider to check if what you are writing actually makes sense, my husband Ian was brilliant at helping with this!


What do you feel you learned while writing the book?

Because each lampshade tutorial had to be photographed as I made them, and I had to do each project step-by-step, I actually found myself making some of them in a different or more efficient way which was interesting!


What’s your project or skill were you most keen to share in your book?

Overall, just to show that by using different fabrics and papers you can really change the lighting in your home or that of others - there are so many different styles and shapes to make, and I just wanted to share the techniques that can be used to make them.

What are you hoping your readers will take from The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades?

I just hope it inspires the reader to try all the different methods and styles. There are lots of people who make hard shades only, and if this book inspires them to make the soft lampshades, that would be wonderful. The techniques used are just the ones I have honed but others make them in different ways, and that is fine too - the book is just a starter for ideas.


What is your favourite lampshade making project in the book?

I think the smocking in the box pleated lampshades - they are so lovely to make and also by using a patterned fabric as the lining really sets them apart. Making them takes time, but hand sewn lampshades are a slow make, and can be really relaxing and rewarding.

Would you like to write more books in the future?

Although the book is called The Complete Guide, there are more shapes and sizes that can be made, maybe a reprint with those others included would be good!


And, finally, tell us more about your business, The Lampshade Loft and how our blog readers can find you.  

I set up the lampshade loft in 2013, to offer three things: to sell my own handmade and vintage original lampshades, to take bespoke lampshade commissions, and lastly to teach the skills needed for people to make their own. I was lucky that at that time, there were not many people who made all the different styles and so I received a lot of work and it became very full on! I enjoy the teaching the most and now mainly focus on that and a few lampshade styles I make and sell myself via my website. You can find me using the details below:

Instagram: @thelampshadeloft

The Complete Guide to Making Lampshades

Passionate about making lampshade making accessible to everyone, Dannells Directors, David Little and Jamie Dannell, have supported Jane to create this fantastic book and say:

"We feel confident this book will be a valuable resource to help you create stunning lampshades, using our range of lampshade making kits and supplies, and we’re excited to offer you this book at cost price, the same price we pay directly to the publisher"

Complete Guide to Lampshade Making is a practical and inspirational book, which teaches you how to make a wide range of beautiful and bespoke lampshade styles using the easy to follow step-by-step instructions, and Jane Warren’s expert techniques and tips.

Alongside tutorials for simple drum hard lampshades, through to more complex hand-sewn traditional gathered and pleated designs the book includes everything you need to know about lampshade sizes, frames and fittings, how to use an assortment of fabrics and papers and techniques to recycle, remake and repurpose old lampshades.

Packed with creative lampshade making ideas, inspirational photography and clear illustrations, Dannells feel the Complete Guide to Lampshade Making is the essential lampshade makers bible, whether you’re a beginner or advanced lampshade maker and, as passionate advocates of the skills and craft of lampshade making, we are offering the Complete Guide to Lampshade Making at cost price to Dannells customers.

RRP £20 - available to Dannells customers at £13.99 excluding VAT!


Part 1: Hard Lampshades  

  • Materials and getting started

  • Making Hard Lampshades  

  • Further Idea and Techniques for Hard Lampshades  

Part 2: Soft Fabric Lampshades

  • Materials and Techniques

  • Traditional Tailored Lampshades

  • Gathered and Pleated Lampshades

  • Further Ideas for Soft Lampshades

  • Trims for Lampshades

Meet the Maker - Jane Warren

It's not the first time we've interviewed Jane. She was our very first Meet the Maker, in it's current incarnation, in 2019, so if you'd like to get to know Jane and more about her business, The Lampshade Loft, we encourage to have a read!






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