Crafty stuff

Dressing the house: Lampshades & Lampshade making

I teach sewing classes at Made on Marion in Wellington, but for the last couple of years Maryanne has been teaching lampshade making classes, and I have been soooo envious.

Not because I want to teach lampshade making (for one thing, I didn’t know how to make a lampshade), but because all the lampshades that came out of the class were sooo gorgeous, and I desperately wanted to take the class and make my own!

Unfortunately, out old flat was really, really small, and there was simply no-where to put a lamp, plus, I didn’t want to make one that might not go with a house if we managed to buy one!

But, yay, back in Feb we bought our house, and as soon as we did I was on the hunt for lamps and lampstands!

In June, I had a lampstand (and some lamps) and a free weekend, so major excitement: class time!

Not only did I get to take the class, but I got to take it with Madame O: sooo fun!

Madame O picked a fabulous toile de jouy style fabric featuring telephone boxes and angel statues covering their eyes (don’t blink), and at the last minute I found a striking  black and white fabric with foxes and houses and mushrooms and snails and turnips and artichoke trees and other awesomeness.

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

Following the clear and entertaining instructions from Maryanne we were off, cutting and measuring and glueing and taping and rolling, helping each other along and admiring the fabrics that other students  brought in.

Lampshade making at Made on Marion
Maryanne is an excellent teacher, and it was so much fun to be a student for once!

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

Lampshade making turned out to be really easy, but in the ‘if you are taught to do it and someone worked  out all the tricky bits it’s a breeze’ sense of easy, not the ‘anyone could figure this out’ type of easy, so I was really glad I didn’t try to struggle through the frustration of just having a go!

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

After lots of giggles, and lots of information, and lots of “Ah-hah!  That’s how they do it!” moments, I had a lampshade:

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

Sooooo exciting!

Check out how gorgeous our lampshades are!

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

As much as I love my fabric, Madame O’s  toile is sooo covetable!  Unfortunately, the only place in our house it would work is as bedside lamps, and that might be just a little too scary.  Don’t blink!

Having taken the class, I was addicted!  I immediately bought two more kits for standing lamps (best part about the kits?  Most of the materials are made in New Zealand!), and made them up:

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

The grey and sulpher yellow on linen is a reproduction print from Winterthur, and goes in our lounge.  You may have seen it in situ in my post about our house.

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

And the chintz is a fabric I found at an op-shop ages ago, and hoarded it in wait of a house.  It goes in the guest bedroom, which is eventually going to be chinoiserie themed.

Lampshade making at Made on Marion

I love the creepy little birds on the chintz!

If you are in Wellington, or can come up for a weekend, I highly recommend the lampshade making class.  So fun, and so satisfying (and I’m not just saying that because Maryanne is a friend and I’m associated with Made on Marion – I have to really love something to write a rave blog post, otherwise I grumble all the way through it, as you well know 😉 ) !

Maryanne also offers lampshade making  in Martinborough  every few months, and if you are further afield you can order kits (complete with instructions!) off of etsy.

And that’s my first post about making something for the house!  Happiness!


  1. So cute! I love the Winterthur one, particularly. I often find fabric covered lamp shades to be dated looking, but with the right fabrics they can clearly be a charming statement and a lovely addition to your home! Thanks for sharing!


    • Thank you!

      Fabric covered lamp shades have actually been out so long that they are very ‘in’ at the moment in interior design – at least in Wellington where all the high end interior shops are charging $300 a piece for ones like mine! Everything from very bold, fresh fabrics, to quite nostalgic vintage ones.

  2. I’ve so been wanting to take this class, ever since Maryanne told me about it! All the lampshades I see come out of it (including yours!) are utterly gorgeous.

    One day, I’ll figure out where I can put a lampshade, and then it’ll be all systems go, haha! 😉

  3. OMG, that’s the Doctor Who toile from Spoonflower! Awesome to see it in use.

    Looks like Spoonflower took it away, though. I guess the BBC whinged.

  4. Oh, I so want to come and take this class, but like you, I have to wait until I have a house… so I can choose curtains, wall colours, and then lampshades to go with them! One day!

  5. Oooh I’m consumed with lampshade love! What a great excuse to buy beautiful fabr- er I mean what a great way to use up stash!

    I hadn’t seen your house post till now. It’s beautiful. Divine floors …

  6. Lisa says

    That Dr Who toile is fantastic! Is it possible to get in NZ?

  7. Your lampshades are beautiful, and they look like they really compliment your house.

  8. Why didn’t I notice before that the blue-and-white one was Doctor Who-themed? o.O

  9. Jane says

    I love that black and white print, any idea of the designer?

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