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Book review- Handmade lampshades

book review

A book for crafters wanting to learn a variety of approaches to making fabric-based lampshades

Finally! A new book on handmade lampshades… this has been a long time coming.

If you, like me have a penchant for trying your hand at making things and have searched high and low for books on lampshade making you’ll know how hard it is to find a recent and decent lampshade making book. I have a few useful yet rather stiff looking lampshade books from the 1930s-70s and don’t get me wrong they have served me well, but it’s very refreshing to see a new, updated, beautifully compiled book packed with inspiring images.

Natalia Price-Cabrera has a background in editing, having worked in design-related publishing for nearly twenty years (you can tell!). Since studying textiles and  fashion at John Moore University in Liverpool and alongside her two children she now makes lampshades under the name ‘Mols and Tati-Louis‘.

The book she wanted but couldn’t find

So here it is: the book Natalia had been searching for but could never find. It’s packed with inspiring and beautiful images, a useful ‘anatomy of a lampshade’ a drool-inspiring insight into trimmings, fabric and bases, history of the ubiquitous lampshade, a helpful tools section, some great safety tips and no less than sixteen step by step tutorials covering a variety of lampshade styles.

book review

I really enjoyed receiving this in the post, peeling back the paper to reveal such an inviting Pandora’s box is enough to make me a very happy bunny- How lucky am I?! It certainly has the ‘excitement’ factor. (I guess that’s mainly for crafters and lampshade makers…but still very valid!).

So what’s covered?

Natalia kicks off with a bit of lampshade history which is really very interesting. It really has changed in purpose since the early nineteenth century when the shade was made of glass to both protect from the naked flame and to dim its bright light. times have changed and we now use relatively safe lightbulbs so have far more room to have FUN with our lampshades!

It could perform its new role with pomp and ceremony

She then moves on to describing the different types of frames available, where they might be best used, and then on to the juicy stuff: the nitty-gritty of how to make lampshades…

book review

You can drool over the fabrics, tools and trimmings sections and a lovely bit on reconditioning a lamp base before choosing from the sixteen, step by step tutorials. Each project is laid out with easy to follow instructions, helpful and inspiring images and handy tips. Not all tutorials involve sewing (about seven are without sewing) focussing on fabric covered, ‘hard’  PVC -based shades and the rest take you through the skills necessary to create fabric-covered ‘soft’ shades (pinning, stitching etc) all the way through to the more fiddly pleating and swathing. If you are new to all this don’t be put off by the level of skill the book eases you in, teaching step by step. Just start at the beginning and work your way through.

Something I really appreciate about ‘Handmade Lampshades’ is the ‘Leading Lights’ section on current, recommended lighting designers. Here twelve designers are showcased with images, an insight into their business story and their ‘top tips’.

Natalia has a lovely eye for detail and some great ‘outside the box’ ideas.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book You will  learn a lot of really useful skills and make many beautiful lampshades.
book review

Be inspired and light up your life with this illuminating book

Buy Handmade Lampshades from us at a special offer of £9.99 here

Remember, you can buy your lampshade kits and supplies from us at Needcraft to make any of the designs in this book. We have expert advice on hand for any of your lampshade making queries.

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