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Mother's Day Make - Mini Empire Fairy Light Shades

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

There is nothing nicer and more satisfying than hand making a gift for someone else - especially if that's your Mum or someone you hold dear. These DIY Mini Empire Fairy Light Shades take a couple of hours to make, using basic lampshade making techniques and you can add a personal touch with your choice of fabric scraps and assortment of trims. The result? A pretty and unique Mother's Day gift!

To make our Mini Empire Shade template, we used our Lampshade Design Service and if you haven't explored this yet, it allows you to create your own shape and size of lampshade, however big or small!

What you’ll need to make your Mini Vintage Fairy light shades

Stick It Lampshade making PVC measuring 60cm x 44cm or scraps that allow you to cut 10 templates

Butterfly clips (usually used for scrapbooking)

10 scraps of vintage fabric from your stash

A range of trims (you’ll need 30 cm per shade)

Revolving hole punch

Fabric scissors

Regular scissors

How to make your Mini Vintage Fairy light shades

1. Take your FREE Mini Empire shade template PDF, cut out and glue to a piece of card (an old cereal box will be fine)

2. Position your template on the paper backing of your PVC and draw around the template 10 times, nesting each template as close together as possible.

3. Cut out each mini shade using your regular scissors.

4. Position your ironed fabric wrong side up on the table. With the back paper down, peel a small amount away and position the PVC onto the fabric to secure in place.

5. Remove the backing paper by reaching under the PVC. (If you are regular shade maker you may want to simply remove the backing paper one and adhere to the fabric in one go.) Repeat with each shade.

6. Carefully cut around the edge of the PVC, cutting away the excess fabric. Repeat with each shade.

7. Use the revolving hole punch to make two holes at the top and the bottom of one of the short sides. These need to be at least 0.5 cm away from the short edge and if you are adding trims, 0.5 to 1 cm away from the bottom long edge (check the depth of your trims before punching the holes). Repeat on the remaining pieces.

8. Roll the mini lampshade so the short edges overlap by at least 1 centimeter with the punched holes on the inside of the shade. Using a pencil mark through the holes on the other side.

9. Roll flat and punch holes at the points marked. These should match the first set of holes. Place a piece of double sided tape between one set of holes to secure the trim.

10. Remove the backing from the tape and roll the lampshade from the untaped end and stick the shade together using the tape, whilst also lining up the holes. Position a butterfly clip in each hole and fasten on the inside of the shade.

11. To attach your trim run a thin line of fabric glue along the bottom edge of your shade.

12. Tuck the trim under the seam and the place a small section at a time onto the fabric glue. when the trim meets, snip away neatly, securing the end with a little more glue if needed.

13. To make the holes for your LED lights, punch a whole a quarter of the way round the top of the shade to the left of the seam. Repeat to the right of the seam so you have two hole opposite each other ready to string your lights through.

14. Carefully thread your LED lights through each of you shades. We stretched out our wire first, threaded them through every shade, then adjusted so that two LED lights sat in each shade.

15. Switch on and ta-dah, you're done!


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