DIY map-covered lampshade
May 30, 2012
I thought I was done with the nursery, but then I ran across a map-covered lampshade on Pinterest and just had to do it for the nursery. I already had some pieces of leftover map from when I made the paper airplanes for the mobile, and a boring lamp with a fading lampshade – so how could I pass that up?
Here's how I created the template to cover the shade:
- I used fabric instead of paper, since it is easier to manipulate. I cut a rectangle that was a little bit wider (top to bottom) than the lampshade, and the length equalled the circumference of the bottom of the lampshade.
Then I wrapped the rectangle tightly around the shade and secured it to the bottom of the shade with some hair clips. Then I slowly started gathering/pleating the top edge of the fabric around the top of the lampshade so that the fabric eventually tightly wrapped around the entire shade, top to bottom. I secured the pleats with pins as I went along.
- When I removed the fabric from the lamp, I had my template.
Here's how I created the map cover and secured it to the lampshade:
- I barely had enough map left to cut around the template, so things were a bit tight for me. Allowing yourself an extra 1/4” or so just in case would make this a lot easier for you than it was for me!
I began at one end of the map and slathered about 2” in width of the shade with mod podge, then I smoothed the map down on the lampshade and used a credit card to get out all the bubbles. I slowly worked my way around with this method until the entire map covered the lampshade.
- Once the whole shade was covered, I gave it time to dry. Once dry, I used an X-acto knife to trim any excess paper from the map around the bottom of the lampshade. Then I used a tiny bit of mod podge to smooth down the edge. I didn't cover the entire outer area of the map with mod podge, because I wanted to keep the matte paper look.
After the bottom edge dried, I tried to use the same trimming method around the top, but it was much harder to get in there and I don't think the paper was dry enough, so it started tearing and looked pretty rough. So I decided to hot glue a piece of ribbon over it. Problem solved (it doesn't look perfect, but I wouldn't call it terrible!).
- As you can see, my seam in the back isn't perfect; had my template been spot-on, the seam should have been perfectly up and down. I suppose I could have remedied this by measuring the circumference of the top of shade and making sure my template measured the same... but I'm impatient and much more about “winging it” soooo... Because it wasn't perfect, I had to pull my map a little tighter to make it fit around the top of the shade, so the seam is slanted – but that's why one side faces the wall!
It's scary showing you such ginormous close-ups of the lampshade, because it looks a little close when it's that magnified. But from far away, I promise it looks much cleaner (like in the picture at the top of the post!).