After being inspired by this pin, my friend Rosie started planning a lampshade making day!
Rosie’s Granny was a prolific crocheter of doilies, and she decided that this would be the perfect way to get the mountains of doilies out of the cupboards and on display. We also had a birthday to celebrate so even if the lampshades didn’t go to plan- we had the most amazing cakes in the world! If you want to join me in bullying Rosie to enter the Great British Bake Off- please tweet her here.
I’m really happy with my new lampshade- it’s a great addition to my living room. Here are my top tips!
- Find the balloons well in advance. We used big, strong balloons- I think they’re called punch balloons. We couldn’t find them in shops so Rosie bought them on ebay and luckily they arrived in time! They need to be strong because the doilies will take a while to dry hard so you don’t want the balloons to pop, wrinkle or lose their shape for a few days.
- Don’t use Vaseline! Some blogs recommend this so that the balloon comes away from from the lampshade, but I didn’t find this an issue and when Rosie tried one with Vaseline the doilies just slipped off the balloon.
- Make sure you have everything you need and clothes and surfaces covered before starting. It get’s messy!
- Plan how it will work as a lampshade before starting. What sort of light fitting do you have? How will you get the bulb in? I left a hole at the top, but it would be easy to cut a hole after drying with sharp scissors. We used light fitting adaptors which are generally used to make Ikea lampshades fit English light fittings! I attached mine after drying by wrapping with strong thread.
- Be generous with the wallpaper paste! We dunked ours straight in the pot.
- Have something to rest your balloon in whilst making and for drying afterwards. We used small plastic bowls, but these weren’t ideal because it gets vey heavy once you’ve got a few doilys on and keeps toppling over! An old, clean paint pot would work well.
I hope I’ve inspired you to make a doily lampshade! It was great fun- like being a kid again and just getting messy and creative. Rosie’s friends were kind enough to let her host the lampshade making at their big house in the country, so we had plenty of space and matching aprons.
I want to have another lampshade making day at some point in the summer and I’ve already started looking at ideas on pinterest. We might not have matching aprons though!