Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Lamp Skirt - A Tutorial

I am a lover of on-line tutorials but I've never attempted to create one of my own...until now!  I'm in the process of re-decorating the room that my two middle daughters share and I've come up with a few creative ideas that I am going to share. Maybe I'll get a few followers out of it! 

My first tutorial is the Lamp Skirt. 

I am a huge college football fan, so I worked on this particular skirt during the Oklahoma game.  You may see bits of the game in the background! (We won this one, by the way!)  So let's start with what you will need.  I'm sure you have seen the basic drum lamp shade on a simple metal base at many big-box stores.  This one came from Target and was less than $20.
This lamp was already in the existing room.  I had covered it with fabric and trim a few years ago but it was obviously not going to work in the new (purple) room.
Here's what you'll need to create your new Lamp Skirt.
 Pick out a piece of fabric about 1 yd. long x 10 in deep, (I recommend Sis Boom...always!).  The amount of fabric you use will depend on how full you want the skirt and how deep your top trim will be.  For this skirt, I used Super Fly from Sis Boom.  The trim piece is 4in.x about 28in.  You don't need to be exactly precise on these measurements.  Just err on the part of a little more rather than a little less because you can always gather it more to make it fit.  You'll also need a glue gun and some trim to embellish with.
  So, let's get started.  Finish both sides of your top trim piece.  I used a rolled edge with a contrasting color.  You could also fold the sides over and press them down to finish.  You just don't want the edges to unravel.

Sew the short ends of your rectangle together so that the fabric becomes a circle.  Then you'll need to finish the top and bottom edges of  this piece as well.  I did this with a serger, but you could zig zag stitch if you are using a traditional machine.   You just want a clean edge.  After you've finished the edge, run a gathering stitch just under the finished edge.  I find the simplest way to gather fabric is to set your stitch length to the highest number (typically about 5) and set your tension at the highest setting.  This will cause the fabric to gather a little on its own as you are sewing.  Don't cut this gathering thread too close to the fabric.  You'll need a piece of thread long enough to grab on to to pull. 
You'll run the gathering stitch at both the top and the bottom of the circle.
 Next you'll place your circle of fabric around the lamp shade.
 Gently pull the strings you left at the ends to tighten the circle.
 As you tighten the circle, make sure your ruffles are even all the way around.
 This picture shows the bottom of the skirt before I finished the edge.  Make sure you do that finishing first!
 For this shade, I wanted the zebra print to start about 4 inches from the top.  Take a pen and draw a line around the shade to give yourself a guide for your glue gun.  This line will be covered later by the top trim.
 Hopefully, by this point, your team is winning and it's time to make some nachos and open a beer!  This should take about enough time to get your glue gun heated up!  (I wouldn't recommend opening too many beers when you have your glue gun out...)
 Looks like I am in need of a new gun.  This one has seen its day!    
Starting to look like a skirt!

 Now you'll flip your lampshade upside down and pull your gathering thread to tighten the bottom of the skirt.  Again, keeping your ruffles even all the way around.  Glue the finished edge of the ruffle right along the inside bottom of the shade.  The best way to keep the ruffles even is to start with a drop of glue at the inside seam of the shade.  Then place a drop of glue directly across from there.  The next drop will go halfway between the first two and then directly across again.  So now your fabric is glued in four, evenly spaced places. 
 Flip the shade upright again and make sure your ruffles are still even.  Make sure your top ruffles are lined up with your bottom ruffles.  Now you can flip it again and glue the rest of the bottom edge to the inside of the shade.
  The finished edge is glued just about the bottom rim of the shade.There will be about 1-2 inches of fabric hanging below the shade.

Now you'll glue the trim piece to the top edge of the shade.  Fold the short edge of the trim piece down and press it to get a clean edge, then start to glue! Just run a line along the very top of the shade.  I found it easier to glue the bottom of the trim at the same time, alternating placing glue at the top and at the bottom.  This gave me control over manipulating the fabric to keep it even all the way around.

  For the second lamp, I wrapped the top fabric completely over the top edge at the top of the shade.
 Once you've added your top fabric, you can embellish the rest of the shade in any way you like!  I think ruffles for example, would be adorable for a younger girls room!  I chose to add pom pom trim and a bow, but there are all kinds of variations you could do to make your lamp skirt unique and original!  I initially had the bow at the top of this lamp but stared at it long enough to realize it needed to be lowered and it needed pom pom trim.

 Much better!
Looks great with a stack of Sis Boom pillows!
And here is the second lamp, across the room.
 I did this one with Sis Boom Crazy Love fabric...always one of my favorites!
I'd love to hear what you think of my Lamp Skirt tutorial!  Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for visiting!

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