How to Make a Lampshade With a Cutout Cylinder

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to Make a Lampshade With a Cutout Cylinder
Pierced metal sheets, similar to quatrefoil, can be made into lampshades. (grille de metal image by Beatrice Preve from

Quatrefoil means four leaves and is a shape commonly found in metal cutout sheets. These sheets are often used to screen radiators in custom radiator boxes. The sheet can also be cut and fitted to circular lampshade frames to create a cylindrical cutout lampshade with a pierced design. This lampshade can be used for a hanging pendant style fixtures or over a table lamp. You can also line the shade in thin coloured papers for even more decorative light effects.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Copper spray paint
  • Quatrefoil metal
  • 12-inch washer top lamp frame
  • 12-inch circle bottom frame
  • Measuring tape
  • Tin snips
  • 1/4-inch copper tape
  • Scissors
  • Bull clips
  • 1-inch copper tape

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  1. 1

    Spray paint your quatrefoil metal sheet, washer top lamp frame and bottom frame with a copper on metal paint. Apply several coats allowing each coat to dry completely. Coat the metal on all sides until you have a rich coppery finish. Allow the pieces to dry overnight.

  2. 2

    Measure around the outer circumference of your washer top lamp frame. Cut your quatrefoil to exactly this size with tin snips. Note the sheet may have blank material at the edges and you may need to trim this off for the best look.

  3. 3

    Curve the sheet into a cylinder making sure it fits the lamp frame. Hold the cylinder against your work table so the seam touches and aligns exactly at the top and the bottom. Cover the seam on the inside of the cylinder with 1/4-inch copper tape. Press firmly so the tape securely grabs the metal. Trim off the tape at top and bottom with scissors.

  4. 4

    Stand the cylinder upright and tape the seam on the outside with 1/4-inch copper tape. Make sure your tape is straight and centred on both sides for the best appearance. Trim off your excess tape.

  5. 5

    Position your top ring just inside the top edge of the cylinder. Clamp the ring to the metal with bull clips. Starting at your seam, cover 1/2-inch of the top edge, the lamp frame and 1/2-inch of the back of the top edge with 1-inch copper tape. Be careful to centre and attach your tape so it is level and even. Press the tape to the metal firmly and work your way around the entire top. You will have to cut small notches to go around the spider framing. Overlap the tape at the seam 1/8-inch for a clean appearance. Repeat with the bottom frame.

Tips and warnings

  • Line your cylinder lamp shade with translucent coloured paper for even more decorative effects. Paper and even translucent plastics can be safely used to within one inch of your standard or LED lamp bulbs. You can also complete this project in silver with silver-coated tapes.

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