#memadeshade March winner

As another month flies by, it's time to announce March's #memadeshade winner from our Instagram competition entries.


This month was packed with an array of lampshades in all shapes and sizes using our lampshade making kits, but as always there is only one winner.


Entered by @cottocc (COtoo), using a screenprint design by @sallyelfordillustrator, this month's winning shade encapsulates the stunning British coastline and the murmurations of starlings, which been seen during the winter months from October to March.


COtoo win a £100 voucher to spend on lampshade making materials on the Dannells website, which we're sure will come in handy to expand their budding business using their talents to make ranges of home products, that reflect the moors and coastal views that surround them.


Find out more about COtoo and their business in the Q&A below...



Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the creative things that you do?

COtoo is a blend of the talents of Caroline Leeson (seamstress and handbag maker) and Odette Illingworth (photographer and lampshade maker). For many years, we worked independently on our crafts before meeting at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough where we were members of an artist collective in the Theatre Shop. We hit it off immediately and soon we were busy working together on collaborative projects.


Are you newbie lampshade makers or have you made up a Needcraft Lampshade making kit before?

Odette has been making lampshades for around three years at first starting with the standard making kits before progressing to more bespoke designs using the component parts.


What do you love about the shade you entered for the #memadeshade competition?

Selecting just one shade per month is very difficult as we are lucky in working with many talented artists and designers. We selected this one by Sally Elford as we loved the unique style and the colours used. Sally does a lot of print work and the depth and use of faded colour work superbly on this print, creating a beautiful shade.


How do you choose the designers that you work with for COtoo?

We go with the heart; we look for what inspires us, what images or paintings we would love to work with. When we started, we would approach the artist or designer asking if they would like to work with us to produce homewares. As we have become more successful, we find that artists approach us to seek a collaboration. During lockdown, artists have found it difficult to show their work with galleries and open studios closed. Having their work on homewares has proved to be a way for them to continue their creative process and an affordable way for customers to have artwork in the home. And we love being part of the process to achieve that ambition.



Can you tell us a little bit about the designer you worked with on the winning shade?

Sally is based near Brighton and creates limited edition screen-prints using stencils or exposed screens. Her work has featured on greetings cards and we are so pleased that they can now be seen on our cushions, shades and coasters.


What do you like most about the Needcraft lampshade making kits?

At first, we found the guidance sent with the kits very helpful. The videos on the website are also very good. Now we are more experienced, we appreciate being able to purchase the component parts rather than being restricted to buying the kits in large numbers. Being able to buy the separate components means we can offer a variety of heights, working with the majesty of each image to do it justice, or to embellish the inside of the shade where it complements the external


Any plans to make more lampshades?

Lampshade making is a core element of our COtoo business. We are making shades every day with orders coming in from artists and from our Etsy Shop (www.etsy.com/uk/shop/COtoo). We will be Dannells customers for some time yet!


March's most liked shades


In every competition, there's always a runner up and these lucky four make up this month's #mostlikedshades. Here's how they described their own entries in the #memadeshade competition:


@onnekedesign - Designer, Illustrator, Shopkeeper. Visit the Onneke studio & shop for cards, prints, gifts.


'A little impossible to photograph... but this new table lamp is rather gorgeous. Thinner but also taller than the normal little lampshade and it comes with the fitting. I am aiming to make some more for when the shop finally reopens.'


@jenthepiecemaker - Maker of fabric lampshades, clocks & bags. Specialise in Nature, flowers, wildlife, animals and birds. Family run business in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


'Day 4 of our new collection in collaboration with @jowhiteland - today it’s goldfinches. These beautiful garden birds love the teasels we have growing in the garden but never touch the Niger seed which we put out specifically for them!'


@ohsewkate - Gorgeous bespoke home interior from pinboards to keyrings and everything else in between


'This Highland Cattle fabric is so popular - but who can blame them! It’s absolutely gorgeous!'


@paulcleden - Printmaker and illustrator. Living in Dorchester, Dorset. Creating prints and restoring a Victorian house.


'Here is the first lampshade made with my hand-printed ‘Wet Walk’ fabric design. I am going to explore more colours but for a prototype I am pleased.'


Well done to all the entrants that ended up in our March's #mostliked and give them a friendly follow on Instagram.


Enter our #memadeshade competition


It's super simple to enter our #memadeshade Instagram competition. Just make a lampshade from any of our lampshade making kits and follow the steps below. And if you want to check out the hashtag #memadeshade for inspiration in advance, we've had over 2500 shades enter since we started!


Here's a reminder of what to do...

  1. Simply take a picture of your proudest lampshade from one of our kits and enter on Instagram following the steps below:

  2. Follow @needcraft if you haven’t already

  3. Post an image of a lampshade you’ve made from an @needcraft lampshade making kit and tag with #memadeshade and the type of kit you used i.e 30cm Drum shade kits, Square kit etc.

  4. And any size and shape can be entered so display those drums shades, exhibit your empires and reveal your rectangles – any lampshade from one of our kits counts!

For full terms and conditions click here.


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