How to Make a Lamp Shade for a Spider Wire

Making lamp shades that suit your exact decor can be a good choice if you are a craft person with a steady hand. Most lamp shades are made up of a wire frame. The top of the frame attaches to the lamp and the bottom of the frame supports the shade. Around the perimeter of the frame is plastic, paper or fabric (or almost any transparent material). Everything you need to make your lampshade is readily available at lamp and craft stores or online.

Purchase an arc pattern that fits your spider frame. A spider frame is a type of lamp shade that looks like a spider when viewed from above. In the centre is a metal ring that fits over the finial stump. Attached to this metal ring are several metal legs or wires that fan out to the perimeter wire that holds the shade material. Arc patterns can be downloaded for free online or purchased from most lamp outlets.

Cut out your arc pattern and fit it to your lampshade to make sure it's the right size. Place your arc pattern over your lampshade paper. Trace the pattern. Cut out the pattern with scissors.

Place 1/4-inch double-sided sticky tape along the top and bottom inside edge of the lampshade paper. Place 1/2-inch double-sided sticky tape along one side of the paper. Peel the release paper off the top and bottom tapes. Position the frame so that you start with a vertical rib at the end of the paper.

Press the top and bottom wire against the sticky tape, rolling slowly so that the wire picks up the paper evenly. When you complete the circle, peel off the release paper on the side tape. Overlap the paper and seam the paper together along the side.

Cut paper tape 1/2-inch longer than the circumference of the top wire of the shade. Center the tape over the wire and attach to the outside paper and wire. You may need to cut small v-shaped wedges on the inside of the tape when you press it to the inside. Tape the top and bottom of the shade. Cut around where the spider wire legs connect to the shade frame.


Bias tape or ribbon can be glued around the top and bottom edge to dress up your shade and many types of trims can be added.

Things You'll Need

  • Arc pattern
  • Spider frame
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Lampshade paper
  • Paper tape
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.