How to make Tiffany lamp shades

lampshade image by Ekaterina Sidorenko from

Tiffany lampshades are colourful, stained-glass works of art. They have a delicate, handmade quality not often seen in ordinary cloth or paper lampshades. With some basic stained-glass tools and a lot of patience, you can create your own Tiffany-style lampshade that can perfectly coordinate with your room's decor Feel free to use a lampshade pattern, or create your own design from scratch.

Decide on a pattern for your lampshade. Patterns can be found online for free or bought from arts and crafts supply shops. If you are more experienced with the art of stained glass, you can design your own pattern by drawing it on a sheet of tracing paper.

Check to be sure your angles line up by cutting out your pattern and taping it together as a template for your lampshade. Hold it over a light source to look for errors in the angles.

Transfer your design to a piece of cardboard with a thin-tipped pen. Number your pieces so you don't mistake the arrangement of your pattern pieces. Cut out your pieces with a craft knife, following your traced lines as cleanly as possible.

Cut out your glass pieces following your cardboard templates as a guide. Use a carbide glass cutter to score your glass along your template lines. Apply pressure to both sides of the glass to break it along your scored lines.

Grind lightly around the edges with your glass grinder. Apply your foiling tape around the edges of your ground pieces. Choose a foil thickness that is slightly wider than the width of your glass and centre. Cut away any excess length around the edge of your glass pieces.

Solder your lampshade panel pieces together along your foiled edges with a 100-watt soldering gun. The gun can be found at most hardware or crafts suppliers. Choose a lead-free solder for this project if your lampshade could come in contact with children or animals.

Complete one panel of your lampshade at a time before connecting to the next panel. Wash each panel with a soapy water mixture before moving on to the next one. Once all of your lampshade panels are complete, arrange them on a flat surface. Tape a layer of masking tape along the top, centre and bottom of your lampshade. Once it is taped, you can lift up your lampshade so it will take shape.

Solder along your foiled edges to connect each of your panels together. Solder along the top and bottom of your lampshade for extra stability and to create a finished, professional-looking edge. Allow your solder to cool and set before removing your masking tape.

Position a vase cap over the top of your lampshade. The cap will rest on your lamp stand, and it holds your lampshade together. Use your soldering gun to attach your vase cap to the panels of your lampshade. Let the solder cool and set before using your lampshade.

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