Lamp Shades For Dolls

Anyone can make a doll sized lampshade.  You just have to know what size and what shape works for your doll. First, fold paper into an appealing shape, not too cone shaped, but not too straight.  I use a stapler to hold it while working because it can be easily removed, but paper clips or tape Doll furniturehave their advantages and disadvantages also.  In the second photo I’ve held the cone vertically and tried to mark a horizontal line as well as possible.  It’s a little difficult, but you can refine that line in the next few steps.  Remember, we’re making a pattern, so don’t use you’re best paper.  In the third photo I’m marking a line that will allow me to put it back in exactly the same position, with a small overlap of approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch inch depending on the size of the shade. The last photo in this group shows putting it back together after cutting the top and bottom to the length I want and refining the edges with scissors.  Look at full sized shades to get an idea of how you want yours to look.  Set it on a table to see if it appears level.

If you read DIY Doll Table Lamps, you saw how the shade sits on a clear or translucent platform.  So, a shade that had sides that were straight up and down doesn’t work with this method of lamp building.   It would slide right off.  You also saw in the last photo of that post that the shade only sat down about 1/2 – 3/4 inch onto the platform to leave room for the little lights.  If you’re not using LED lights, it doesn’t matter where the shade meets the plexiglass, as long as it gives you the look and shape you desire  You have several elements to juggle in your design and execution of the base and shade; the total height, the height of the base, the height of the shade, and how much of the pole (dowel) will show.   But the nice part is….there’s no right or wrong.  Lamps and shades come in every conceivable shape and size.

This photo shows three shades.  The bottom one (laid flat) is wallpaper, and ready to be put together.  The pinkish one is a pattern for a more angled shade , and the small finished shade at the top is wallpaper with a small scale pattern.  Your finished shade should be out of paper that can hold it’s shape, not too lightweight, but not too stiff and heavy.  The photo on the right is of a finished shade in white paper and a fabric cover made from the same pattern.  The fabric part uses all of the pattern right up to the line plus 1/2 inch seam allowances on each end…..or you could just hot glue it!  The last photo in this group  is showing the fabric sleeve on the shade.  Fabric doesn’t have enough body and needs the shade under it, which is great because then you can use pretty sheer fabrics that let the light shine through.

I have two ways to finish the shade using fabric in this way.  The first is to add a piece of matching trim to finish the shade.  This picture shows how that’s created. Click to enlarge.

If your shade is not too angular you can cut a strip of fabric on the straight of the grain (as shown), but if you have a really flared shade, it’s best to cut it on the bias of the fabric (on the diagonal) which allows it to bend.   Here’s the trim being glued onto the shade with a hot glue gun.  Start and stop the trim at the fabric seam.  The seams are always turned to the wall so they aren’t noticeable.  In this photo I was using a sheer white fabric, with a little pattern in it, on top of a white paper shade and simply cut the fabric about 1/4 inch longer at the top and bottom.  The old glue gun did the rest.  Very easy and effective if the fabric is the same color as the shade.

Last and most important, now that you’re completely pooped, is to have a couple of margaritas with you dolls and relax.  Here’s what that eventually leads to…..if your dolls are anything like mine.

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