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Tips for Pattern Matching Fabric on Large Lampshades

Updated: Apr 24

Making oversized DIY lampshades is a fantastic way of adding statement lighting to your home, or for professional lampshade makers, a way of offering truly bespoke lampshade sizes to your clients, yet a common problem when making oversized lampshades is that your fabric may not be wide enough for the length of the PVC lampshade panel, specifically when using patterned fabrics.


To overcome these issues and help you pattern-match your fabrics to fit larger DIY lampshades, we’ve rounded up advice from our professional makers to show you the different methods to get a seamless finish when working with patterned fabrics. We guarantee is will give you the confidence to make bigger bolder lampshades!  


Fabric Widths and Lampshade Making

Fabric come in a variety of widths but in general craft fabrics are 112cm, dressmaking fabrics are between 140cm/55” and 150cm/ 60”, with some curtain fabric being sold in wider widths. Unless you are using a wider width curtain fabric, unfortunately standard fabric widths cannot accommodate larger lampshade diameters and panel lengths.


For example, the largest diameter of shade you can make using fabric that is 112cm wide is a 35cm drum lampshade, as the 112.1cm panel will just fit the width (although we suggest checking if the width of your fabric includes the selvedge).

The largest diameter lampshade that could be made using fabric that is 150cm in width is a 45cm diameter drum lampshade that has a panel length of 143.7cm.

Whereas plain or checked fabric can be used by laying the panel along the length of the fabric, making larger diameter lampshades is a problem if using a patterned fabric that spans the fabric width, therefore to create larger patterned fabric lampshades, you‘ll need to pattern match the fabric.


There are several different ways to pattern match fabric, and we’ve turned to our professional lampshade makers to share their preferred methods.

Method 1 - Jane Warren of The Lampshade Loft

For a defined fabric pattern, two pieces of the fabric will need to be joined and this new seam is best positioned opposite the main seam of the lampshade. My example below is based on making a 60cm drum shade:


1. For the fabric to be the right length, first join your fabric pieces. For a 60cm drum you will need 1902mm of fabric, to match the length of the panel, plus I allow 1cm extra for turning over at one end, so that you don’t have a raw edge on the main seam.


2. Cut two pieces of fabric around 1 meter each, iron them smooth, and then pattern match the two pieces in the middle, ensuring you leave a 1cm turning on one end. Join them together by turning under the 1cm of fabric on the left hand piece.


3. On the underside of this turn, add a strip of 9mm double sided sticky tape, take off its cover and join the two pieces, to create one continuous 2 metre length.

Jane says...

If you don’t have enough fabric to pattern match, use this method to join two random pieces and instead add a strip of bias along the join and tuck the ends in over and under the rings. Make this a feature by matching it to the background colour of the fabric for example.


Finding the mid-point of your panel

1. The exact length of a 60cm Lampshade Panel panel is 1902mm including the 15mm main seam allowance. Deduct the15mm seam allowance, and you are left with 1887mm.


2. With paper side of the panel face up, starting from one side edge, place a pencil mark 15mm in. From that point, measure the halfway point along the panel, and place pencil marks top and base and join with a thin pencil line, using a ruler.

So for this example, half of 1887mm is 953.5mm. This marks the exact point opposite the main seam allowance of the finished lampshade, where the joined fabric seam will be placed.


3.Slide a pin in the top where the pencil mark is, to pull away the paper from the laminate, then slide your scissors in and carefully cut the paper down the pencil line. Lightly mark the middle points on the sticky part of the panel, at the top and base.

4. Peel away a small amount of the paper from the laminate on the left hand side. Place your ironed, joined fabric panel on top of the laminate, ensuring that the new seam matches the pencil marks exactly, so it is straight and will sit opposite the main seam.

5. Smooth the fabric over to the right, taking the paper off underneath in small equal lengths as per you normally make the drum lampshades. When finished, do the same on the left hand side.

Jane says....

This method here does not mention the height of the fabric because it depends on whether you are using a lampshade making kit, or whether you have cut the laminate to size yourself.

Find more useful and practical lampshade making techniques, skills and tips from Jane, in her forthcoming book, The Complete Guide to Making Lampshade, which is published in May.

Reserve your copy now by hitting the button below. Alternatively follow Jane on Instagram @thelampshadeloft, or check out her beautiful shades at

Method 2 - Neringa of Chantier Studio

We love these two Instagram Reels from Neringa from Chantier Studio ( sharing how she perfectly matches her signature Frida Kahlo fabric, on a stunning Gold lined oversized lampshade, with clever cutting techniques.


Here’s a breakdown the of Neringa's pattern matching method:


  • Work out where the pattern in your fabric needs to overlap

  • Cut around the pattern you adhere to the panel first, leaving a small margin around the pattern.

  • Cut closely around the edge of the pattern on the second piece of fabric.

  • Carefully apply a textile glue along the pattern margin on the adhered piece of fabric

  • Overlay the second piece so the pattern matches.

  • Smooth into place using a Lamination Squeegee.

  •  Continue to make your shade as normal

Neringa says...

How to join fabric for the really big shades? There are two possible ways depending on the design of the fabric: to sew by matching the pattern in a straight line or to glue according to the design of the pattern. I think the gluing is better way as you can see in this reel (above) because the connection line is invisible when the light is turned on. But we can use this way when the pattern of the fabric is favourable for it.

Be inspired by Chantier Studio's incredible Instagram lampshade making reels, showing off her talent for making all shapes and sizes of lampshade. To buy any of her stunning lampshades, or to commission your own bespoke shade simply DM Neringa via her instagram.

Matching Patterned Wallpaper

Similar to pattern fabrics, wallpaper that has a pattern across the width will also need matching to make one of our Lampshade Making Kits or a double sided lampshade, particularly as most wallpapers are a standard width of 53cm.

Using almost identical steps to Jane Warren's method above, for pattern matching fabrics, you can follow our Lampshade Kit Hack #3How to Make a Wallpaper Lampshade blog post to find out the tricks and tips to get you started!


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