Adhesive styrene is perfectly suited for making brand new lampshades, or for repairing old shades that have seen better days. The material is light, sturdy and durable, so it helps a lampshade keep its form over many years. Unlike paper or card lamp shade bases, styrene is flame-resistant, making it especially safe when using a high wattage light bulb. With its adhesive backing and release liner, you can very easily apply it to a fabric to make a professional looking lampshade. From start to finish, making your own custom lampshade out of styrene will take about an hour of your time, whether you're a novice lampshade maker or an expert DIY-er.
How much Styrene do you need?The width of your styrene sheet will be the height of your finished lampshade. The length will be the diameter of your finished shade, multiplied by pi (3.14), plus an additional inch for overlap. For example, if your finished shade is 10” high with a 10” diameter, your styrene sheet will be 10” wide by 32.5 inches long (10 x 3.14 +1).
Styrene pieces with heights over 12” are a special heavy-duty styrene which create a stronger, more durable shade.
Learn how to build a custom lampshade using our Adhesive Styrene, Lampshade Rings, and Lampshade Glue Kit by watching the short video tutorial below.
"Love this stuff! I have a 1990 RV and couldn't find replacement 1/2 shades for two wall sconces. Used this to redo the old ones. Took the old ones apart, used it as a pattern on how to cut the styrene sheet. Used a cutting wheel and exacto knife. Worked perfect. Even if you're not a crafty person, you could use this." - IM, Amazon Customer, April 28, 2016
“I cut the rings out of some lampshades being thrown away at work, and made a pair of pendant lamps easy-as-pie. Very happy this stuff is available outside of the commercial market now. Although I do have to say, Clover Wonder Clips are not only your best friend while sewing, they did a perfect job of helping me hold the rings in place while glueing them. I can't see how even little binder clips would not grip too hard and possibly dent/damage a smaller radius lamp.” - K. Stacey, Amazon Customer, April 25, 2016
“I bought a really cute lamp, but it had a really ugly fabric lampshade. I thought it'd be easy to find a white linen shade to replace it but due to the custom dimensions, no luck. While looking online for a replacement, I found this product and decided to give it a go. I highly recommend this product, it is sturdy and making my new lampshade was very easy to do! However, be sure to pay attention to the height you order if your shade is larger at the bottom (like mine is) you will need to calculate extra width to accommodate it.” - Amazon Customer, September 20, 2015
Do I need to worry about toxins or overheating when the lightbulb is close to this material?
CFL and LED bulbs produce very little heat and pose virtually no danger to a lampshade. With standard incandescent bulbs, there should be at least 2" between the outside of the bulb and the interior of the lampshade. The technical term for the adhesive styrene is "High Impact Polystyrene" and in a home use setting, it has no toxic emissions even when exposed to the heat of an incandescent light bulb.
Can I use this to replace my old lampshade’s liner?Yes! You can take apart your current shade and re-use the rings. You’ll need to find new fabric or an alternate material to adhere to the styrene, as it’s usually too difficult to remove old fabric from styrene. There are several tutorials about lampshade making on our blog.
Does the light from a bulb shine through this styrene?Yes! This styrene is translucent, meaning that diffused light will show through it. It’s white in colour, so light diffuses through it nice and bright. The best way to modify the amount of light coming through your lampshade is to replace the bulb.
What glue should I use to seal the edges of the fabric onto the styrene?It's best to use specialty tacky lampshade glue because it’s much easier to work with when making lampshades. It quickly develops a sticky feel but doesn’t dry immediately, giving you just enough time to make any final manipulations. It’s also non-toxic, and dries clear, giving your lampshade a professionally made appearance.
How do you attach the styrene to the rings?Allow an inch of your fabric to hang over your styrene. Use glue to seal the overhanging edges around the lampshade rings, then tuck the fabric under the rings using a wooden molding stick or similar tool. For step-by-step tutorials on this process, visit our blog.