How to Make a Clip-on Lamp Shade

Written by katherine kally
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Design your own custom-sized and custom-covered clip-on lamp shade with a few supplies from your local hardware store and some step-by-step instructions. The clip-on shade described here is 8 inches tall with a 5-inch top and a 7-inch base. You can adjust the sizes of your lamp shade to fit any lamp at all by increasing the length of the 16-gauge wire segments.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 20-gauge and 16-gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Needlenose pliers
  • One 7-inch craft ring
  • One 5-inch craft ring
  • Measuring tape
  • Craft paper and scissors
  • Fabric and fabric glue
  • Clothes pins

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  1. 1

    Cut five 10-inch sections of the 16-gauge wire. Bend both ends of each wire piece into a hook with your needlenose pliers. Hold the wire 1 inch from the end with the needlenose pliers and twist the pliers, bending the wire into a "U" shape.

  2. 2

    Hook one end of one wire over the 7-inch craft ring. Bend the wire around the ring securely with the needlenose pliers. Wrap the wire around the ring and squeeze it together with the pliers to hold the wire in place on the ring. Hook and secure each of the five 10-inch sections of wire to the 7-inch craft ring. Make sure they are evenly spaced around the ring.

  3. 3

    Hook the other end of each of the wire sections over the 5-inch craft ring. Secure the wires as you did in Step 2.

  4. 4

    Cut a 24-inch section of 16-gauge wire. Bend the wire in half with the needlenose pliers. Hold the loose ends together, and bend the wires into a "U" shape in the centre. The width of the "U" should be about 2 inches.

  5. 5

    Cut a 4-inch section of 20-gauge wire. Measure 3 inches from the base of the "U" and squeeze both sides of the "U" together. Wrap the 20-gauge wire around the indented section of the "U" to secure the sides together. Separate the base of the "U" so that it will fit over a light bulb, about 4 inches. This is the clip-on section of your lamp shade.

  6. 6

    Make a hook at both ends of the clip-on section with your needlenose pliers. Hook the clip-on piece onto the 5-inch craft ring and secure it by wrapping the wire as you did in Step 2.

  7. 7

    Lay your lamp shade frame on its side on top of a blank sheet of craft paper. Mark a line above the 5-inch ring and below the 7-inch ring. Roll the lamp shade one complete turn while you draw a line onto the paper above the 5-inch ring. Repeat this process while drawing a line below the 7-inch ring. Measure up 1 inch above the top line and draw another line running horizontally to it. Measure 1 inch below the bottom line and draw another line running horizontally to it. Add 1 inch to one end and draw a perpendicular line from top to bottom. This is the template for your lamp shade cover. Cut out the template.

  8. 8

    Place the template on the fabric and cut it out. Attach the fabric cover to the wire lamp shade frame with fabric glue. Run a bead of glue along the 5-inch craft ring. Lay the fabric on top and fold 1 inch over the ring. Clip clothes pins over the fabric and the wire to secure it while the glue dries. Repeat the process to secure the fabric to the bottom of the lamp shade frame. Let the glue dry.

Tips and warnings

  • String beads to 10-inch sections of wire and attach them to the craft rings instead of covering the clip-on lamp shade with fabric.
  • Make sure the clip-on section of your lamp shade is not too tight for the light bulb.

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