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Top 5 household tools for making lampshades

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Although our Needcraft lampshade making kits contain everything you need to make a super professional looking shade, we’ve rounded up five useful household items, perfect for taking your lampshade making to the next level.

1 Butter knife

Believe it or not lurking in your cutlery drawer are some useful lampshade making tools – a butter knife, a toddler or even a plastic picnic knife, are all simple replacements for the rolled edge tool that comes in your Needcraft kit.

All of the above can be used to tuck your fabric under the lampshade rings, in the final stage of making up your shade and are particularly handy if you’re working with thick or springy fabric – think tweeds and wools. With a longer handle any of the blunt knives mentioned will also help anyone who has mobility issues with their hands and finds the repetitiveness of using the tucking in tool a little tricky.

2 Credit Card or Store Card

Similar to the above a credit card is the perfect shape for tucking under the fabric margin left by the kiss cut, underneath the lampshade rings. Its rounded corners help carefully push the fabric under the rings and works well on finer fabrics such as Tarna Lawns or lightweight cottons. Eco friendly as well, it’s a way of repurposing unused loyalty cards from your purse!

3 Seam roller

Often used for wallpapering (to seal those pesky seams!) and for card making, a sponge seam roller is a great way to close lampshade seams, rather than just using the pressure of your hand.

It’s great for getting to the seams of smaller shades such as the Candle Clip Lampshade Making Kits and Lantern Making Kits too, as the length of the handle get to spots your hands simply can’t!

 4 ‘Tape’ scissors

If you’re a dressmaker or quilter your fabric scissors will hold a high ranking in your household (maybe below children, but possibly above the dog 😉 ). Having a dedicated pair of craft scissors in your lampshade making kit pays dividends, as the double sided high tack tape that comes in the kit is just that – super tacky. It’s exactly what you don’t want clogging up your best fabric scissors!  

5 Masking Tape

Great for a beginning lampshade maker, masking tape is a great way of holding your lampshade making PVC in place, as you adhere it to your fabric. Masking tape can also be advantageous, if you have a fabric pattern, such as a stripe that you need to line up accurately along the length of the shade.

After finding the right position for your PVC, which you’ve laid onto the wrong side of your fabric, simply pop a few 4-5 cm strips along the top of the PVC to hold it in place. Pull away the first 5-10 cm of the backing paper and press down onto the fabric, as usual. Continue removing the backing paper slowly and pressing down. The masking tape will limit any movement between the fabric and the PVC.

What extra tools do you use to make your lampshades? We’d love to hear!


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