How to make Victorian lampshade frames

Updated April 17, 2017

Victorian lampshades are the heavy fabric and tassel shade, which need a good frame to support the weight. The frame creates the shape of the entire lampshade. There are many traditional designs to choose from or you can make your own design. You need heavy wire or wire coat hangers to create the frame. The pieces need to be soldered together to create a strong frame and to reduce harsh edges that will break through the fabric of the finished lampshade.

Choose a design for your Victorian lampshade and draw the element on cardboard. This is your guide for the shape the wire needs to be to create the window panels of the lampshade. For sloped panels, make sure you have measured the angle of the slope and bend the wire accordingly. You can create a guide for the slope by drawing the curve of the slope on the cardboard and cutting it out. Then bend the wire so it matches the curve of the edge of the cardboard guide.

Cut out the guides with scissors or a hobby knife.

Use the pliers to bend and crease the wire following each guide. When finished shaping the wire so it fits the guide, solder the wire ends together to make a complete piece according to the design you have chosen.

Solder all of the wire elements together to create the frame. Wear gloves and goggles while soldering the wire.


Over bending the wire may cause it to break. Work slowly and carefully to keep the wire from breaking.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Heavy wire or coat hangers
  • Cardboard
  • Soldering iron
  • Ruler
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
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