Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Fancy $5 Fix Up (How to Make a Custom Shade)

I am going to start a series of DIY projects I plan to share with you as I chisel away at decorating my home. I’ll try to keep them as simple as possible while maximizing high style for your home.

This first project I have affectionately named my Fancy $5Fix Up because I had to come up with a cheap shade solution for my Haberdasher sconces. They cost more than I wanted to spend so I had to get crafty!

I started with two parchment paper shades I purchased at The Great Indoors for $2 and rummaged through my piles of scrap fabric and samples that clutter up my studio ($0 for the fabric). If you don’t have fabric on hand ask a friend who sews if they have any, you only need half a yard.

The supplies you’ll need to finish this project from beginning to end are below with links where you can buy most of the items. If you don’t have all these items on hand this project will be more like a $25 fix up but nonetheless still very inexpensive. If you have a friend with these items ask if you can borrow them, it will save some you some money.

Fabric cutting scissors
Craft paper (or old wrapping paper)
Bias Tape
Fabric Pins
Spray Mount Glue
Fabric Measuring Tape
Iron on Adhesive

First I had to make a pattern to cut out the fabric for my shades. I made one by rolling the shades along a piece of craft paper while tracing the curve with a marker. After I traced the shade I connected the two curved lines with a ruler. Here’s a tip; start with the seam of the shade against the paper and roll the shade around until the seam reaches the paper again. This will give you a pattern that wraps completely around the shade. Then I cut out my paper pattern and pinned it to the fabric and cut out my pattern.

Before I glued the fabric to the shade I did a dry fit to make sure the fabric fit all the way around and my seams overlaped in the back. To stick the fabric to the shade I sprayed the fabric and not the shades then slowly wrapped the fabric around the shade while smoothing out any bumps or ripples. The spray mount glue is usually very forgiving so you can pull it up and reapply if necessary.

To finish off the shade I made custom bias tape out of the same fabric. Now this step is not a beginner level at all; so I would suggest if you are not familiar with basic sewing steps buy some already made bias tape from your local fabric store. You want extra wide double fold and you can buy it at any fabric store (it’s cheap). Here what it looks like and one package is all you need.

To figure out how much bias tape needed, do a dry fit of the top and bottom then cut your lengths. I always add an extra inch to overlap and edges and give me some room to play. Using your iron on adhesive and following the directions on the package (this is very important; read all the directions first) Iron on a strip of adhesive to the bias tape (with the tape lying open, see photo) then iron the fabric with tape onto the shade.

Ironing the tape onto the shade is the most time consuming step. You have to go slow and rotate the shade around as you iron. The iron on adhesive actually sticks as it cools so take your time and try not to burn your fingers. Here’s a tip; I would iron a small section at a time and set the iron down holding the bias tape in place to let it cool till I made my way around the entire shade and clipped my end. I repeated that process for both top and bottom. Also align all your seams to the back of the shade so they don’t end up in the front.

Well friends, I hope this isn’t too confusing. Email me if you have questions vwalton@jacquelynreese.com. I should also let those of you know who aren't aware, you can buy design-your-own shade kits through Hollywood Lights if you want to spend a little bit more money.


perky04 said...

Very cool!

melifaif said...

I like Fancy, but I like $5 a whole lot more. Thanks for the tip! You are so savvy.