Last month I spent two and a half hours on a Saturday afternoon making a lampshade. Something I had never thought of doing before but surprisingly satisfying and and very enjoyable.  The workshop was run by Katrina de Toney, founder of Lampshade Parade, and creator of bespoke handmade lampshades.

Lampshade making kits are widely available to buy with step-by-step instructions for making your own creations, but what Katrina offers in this workshop is her expertise – all her own tricks of the trade and top tips for getting the perfect shade with a professional finish. Katrina is clearly very experienced and skilled, so it was great to have quality time with an expert.

The workshop setting was a space owned by Jack and Atticus – the furniture and paint shop in Amersham – and was perfect for the four of us who attended.  Lots of space and light, and Katrina made us all feel very welcome and set a relaxed and informal tone for the session.  She was always on hand to help and advise as well as keeping us topped up with tea and cakes throughout the afternoon.

We were taken through the whole lampshade making process from start to finish and all went away afterwards with our own uniquely beautiful professionally-finished drum lampshade.

We started by selecting our fabric.  A couple of people had brought their own with a project in mind, but for those who don’t, Katrina supplies a lovely range of fabrics to choose from on the day at around £6 for half a metre – enough for two lampshades.  I choose a beautiful pale grey fabric with a pattern of cream stags’ heads and the first thing we did was to iron our fabric and then cut it to size.

Katrina provided all the tools and equipment needed and we worked on a spacious table in the middle of the workshop. She expertly and patiently took us through the whole process step by step, from sticking our fabric onto the plastic shade lining – remember covering school books in sticky back plastic? –  to the trickier tasks such as rolling the fabric onto the metal rings and making sure all the raw edges are neatly tucked in for the perfect finish.

What I particularly enjoyed about the workshop was the opportunity it gave to take time out from the usual Saturday afternoon chores and do something completely different – it was calming and quite meditative. And the other great thing was that at the end of the afternoon we all left with a beautiful addition to our home.

Most of us stayed behind afterwards too, browsing through Katrina’s fabrics and lampshade kits, and I was so inspired by the workshop that I’ve bought another kit – great value at £7.99 – to make another shade with my leftover material.

I think the workshop would be great for friends to spend time together doing something creative in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, or as I did – just to have time out to do something completely different with the bonus of a real sense of accomplishment at the end.


The dates for the upcoming workshops are:

Saturday 17th June 2017, 2pm – 4:30pm

Saturday 16th September 2017, 2pm – 4:30pm

Many thanks to Rebecca Weathers for reviewing The Lampshade Parade.