Lampshade restoration – before, during and the end result…

I finished restoring my big empire lampshade today and I thought I’d put some photos on here to show the before – when it was a really tired, ugly lampshade I discovered in the back room of a local antique shop. To during – from binding the rings and struts to pinning the fabric to the frame to stitching the fabric onto the frame and finally hand-stitching the trim to the bottom ring (no glue or double-sided sticky tape here!)

I haven’t added up the number of hours involved but it hasn’t been quick, that’s for sure. However, as with all these projects, I have learnt a lot and definitely become much more efficient at the whole process.

This is going to be a post full of photos of the various stages involved, just so you get an idea.

First, the before shot:

A very dusty, swathed pink-ish crepe satin cover with a glued on trim at the top and tassels at the bottom – hmmm, no wonder it had been overlooked for so long!

Then during:

The stripped frame – in excellent condition, couldn’t believe my luck!

Bare lampshade frame

Binding the frame and struts (nice and easy bit) and finally a choice of fabric for the cover, after lots of deliberation and searching:

Binding rings

Stretching and pinning the fabric to the bound frame, see the pins – ouch! (This was then repeated for the silk lining as the fabric behaves differently):

Pinning fabric to the frame

The next step is to mark the strut lines and then remove the fabric and sew it to the other side using a sewing machine. It is then carefully eased over the frame; hopefully it fits like a glove after a bit more pinning.

Below is a close-up of the lovely streetly stitch used to attach the fabric to the top and bottom rings, comes naturally now!:

Streetly stitch

Preparing to stitch the tassel trim to the bottom ring, on a lovely sunny day in the garden (you can see the hand-made flip over bias strip I had already sewn onto the top ring):

Attaching tassel trim

And finally:

Drum roll please…. the finished lampshade, phew!:

Big lampshade complete

Urban shot
And a bit more of an urban shot outside

I love it, really pleased with the final result. I may have to decorate a room around it though and still have to paint the base but I think sanding and painting will be a doddle compared to all the pinning and hand-stitching! The good news is I now have my first paid commission through an Interior Designer for a hand-stitched empire lampshade like this. I know what I’ll be doing next week… more details to follow…

2 thoughts on “Lampshade restoration – before, during and the end result…

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