Have you ever seen those beautiful beaded lampshades that have sparkly patterns and intricate beadwork? Ever seen the prices on them? Whoa! Maybe you’ve seen a video or article about how to make them? It’s easier to take another college course! You don’t have to have years of beading experience, and hours of idle time, though, to create the spectacular lampshades. Use these tips to make something just as lovely that’s removable and easy to create.
Start with a brass ring from a craft store. You’ll find the rings in many different sizes to suit the lamp size you have. Choose a ring that will barely fit over the outside rim of the lampshade top. The rings are cheap but will work perfectly for creating a magnificent beaded lampshade cover for your home. While you’re at the craft store choose the sizes and colors of beads you’ll be using. In addition, you’ll need clear twine, like fishing twine, for stringing the beads. Fishing twine is inexpensive, virtually unbreakable, and practically invisible. With the fishing twine, light can shine through the beads without the twine being seen.
It’s helpful if you place the brass ring on top of the lamp you’re making over to keep it steady while you string the beads. You can also place the ring on a round box or other object. Now the ring will stay put while you add twine and beads to create the design. To start, measure the lampshade from top to bottom, then double that number and add an inch. Cut many lengths of twine to this final measurement.
The beads you use are all-important. Although you can use round beads, elongated beads, or even seed beads, you’ll get the best results when you use small beads. Choose any combination of designs and colors or use all the same color of bead. Other hints about the beads: using faceted beads will give you more sparkle to the finished lampshade cover. Beads with large holes aren’t ideal. Light colors will give you much more shimmer than dark beads, however, you can incorporate some dark beads in with the light-colored beads to create unique and interesting patterns.
Take the first piece of twine, find the center, then straddle the brass ring with it. Pull one side of the twine behind the ring and the other end in front of the ring. Bring the ends together and slide a bead over them. Push the bead all the way to the top, up by the ring, then slide on the next bead. Continue adding beads until the strands of twine are completely covered. Use hot glue to secure the final bead of that strand. Now add the next piece of twine, the bead pattern for it, and continue in this manner.
Butt the twine pieces together so the beads from the next strand are touching the beads from the previous strand. Add as many strands of twine that will possibly fit around the ring. After all the twine is in place, and the beads have been applied, the lampshade is basically done. For some, it could be easier to add all the twine pieces, then begin arranging the beads. To do this, place one twine piece over the ring, slide on the first bead, then hot glue it in place. Go to the next twine piece and do the same. Continue this pattern until all twine pieces are in place. Now you can begin adding beads in a manner that places one bead on each twine piece before moving to the next bead.
When the beading is completed you’ll notice that you can see pieces of twine around the top of the ring. These are showing from where you put the twine over the ring and brought the ends together. There are several ways to conceal the twine. One easy way is to simply paint the ring, with brass-colored paint, to cover up the twine. Another way is to purchase a second ring of the same size, and glue it over the top of the first one. Other options include gluing beads around the top of the ring or even gluing on a narrow boa piece.
To display the beaded curtain cover just lay the ring on top of the lampshade and allow the beads to hang over the outside of the shade. When you want to change the look simply remove that ring and replace it with a different one you’ve created. For those skilled in beading you can create all sorts of images, words and phrases by placing certain beads and colors in certain places on the twine. Whether you make simple bead patterns, or more intricate designs, the finished lampshade cover is beautiful and elegant.