The most common type of lampshade involves the use of fabric. If you’re following us on Pinterest, you might have noticed we have a thing for them. In fact, we love fabric lampshades and we have a bunch of cool tutorials here, here and here that show you all there is to it.
However, lampshades can be made using so many different materials. Parchment, glass, plastic, even paper can be used to make a lampshade and each material requires a specific approach to make sure the end result has a professional look.
In today’s DIY lampshade tutorial, we are going to teach you how to make a simple drum shade using paper and adhesive styrene.
When the first incandescent light bulb was produced (way back in 1879), people used paper shades to disperse the light and protect the eyes from its harshness. Over the years, lampshades have become a lot more complex and switched from paper to more flame-resistant and durable materials.
However, to these days, paper remains an excellent choice for a DIY lamp shade. You have a huge range of colors, patterns, and textures to choose from. You have a long list of paper types that you could use to make your DIY lampshade: wrapping paper, cardstock, wallpaper, maps, book pages, magazines, rice paper, translucent vellum paper, newsprint, kraft paper etc.
Plus, if you’re using a sturdy sheet of adhesive styrene as a lampshade lining material, you can make sure your paper shade is flame-resistant and durable.
Adhesive styrene is a thin, translucent, but sturdy and durable polystyrene sheet that provides a hard backing to your lampshade. This is the lampshade lining material that makes it durable and keeps it in good form over many years. It’s also what makes your paper lampshade flame-resistant, which means you can use your lampshade safely, even when using higher-wattage bulbs.
By using the steps below you will be able to make a drum shade using any type of paper. For the most durable type of DIY lampshade, we recommend using a sturdy type of paper, wallpaper or even cardstock in combination with adhesive styrene.
What you will need for this DIY project:
First things first: decide the size of your lampshade. How tall do you want it to be? This will be the height of your shade. How wide do you want it to be? This is the diameter of the shade. The height and diameter dimensions that you choose will determine the size of materials that you need (adhesive styrene, paper, and lampshade rings).
When it comes to the styrene, there are 2 dimensions to consider: height and length. The height is simply the height that you wish your lampshade to be. The length can be calculated using this formula:
Styrene Length = Lampshade Ring Diameter X pi (3.14) + 1 Additional Inch for Overlap
For example, if your lampshade diameter needs to be 10”, your adhesive styrene should be 32" long (=10 x 3.14 +1 = 32.4, rounded down to 32")
Read more about determining the size of a lampshade here and find out how to choose the correct size of adhesive styrene for your DIY drumshade here.
Measure your paper sheet and adhesive styrene. Leave your paper sheet a few inches longer than your styrene sheet. You will need this extra paper to create a seam for your drum shade.
Time to attach the paper to the adhesive styrene. Gradually remove the release liner on the back of your adhesive styrene sheet and attach it to one end of the paper sheet. This sticky adhesive backing will ensure your paper lampshade is durable, sturdy and protected from the heat of the light bulb. As you peel back the release liner, use a smoothing motion to make sure there are no air bubbles and creases between the adhesive styrene and paper.
Roll the adhesive styrene sheet and paper into a drum shape.
Add the lampshade rings, one by one, and use binder clips to keep them secure.
Use the paper tape to secure the adhesive styrene and paper to the lampshade rings. Working progressively, attach the paper tape to the brim of the drumshade.
Make sure only half of the tape’s width is attached to the exterior of the drum shade. You will use the other half to go over the lampshade ring, on the interior of the drum shade.
Time to glue the seam of your drum shade.
Fold about one inch of overlapping paper towards the interior of your drum shade and use double-sided adhesive tape to secure both sides. Press with your hands simultaneously on the exterior and interior of your drum shade to make sure the double sided tape adheres to the paper on all its surface.
If you’re looking for an easy DIY home decor project, making your own lampshade could just be it. With the help of our DIY drum lamp shade supplies, you will be able to make a simple lampshade from scratch in less than an hour.
You can make a lampshade for a table lamp, floor lamp, and even a pendant light fixture for your ceiling.
The simplest shape for a lampshade is the drum, but if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, you can also make a tapered or a panel style lampshade just as easily.
Plus you can customize it just as your heart’s desires, with your choice of fabric, paper, even wood veneer, as well as sizes of lampshade rings and styrenes.
Ready? Set! Go! Make a lamp you love. Shop your supplies here and start crafting.