Introduction: X-Ray Lamp Shade
Most radiology departments use digital imaging technology now, so if you have real X-Rays on film the broken bone has probably healed long ago. Now it's time to give them a new use. Some people find the images of bones creepy, but personally I think the skeletal system is fascinating. The X-Ray Lamp Shade is a great way to show off an old injury or just celebrate the complexity of the human body.
For this project all you'll need is an old lamp shade, some X-Rays, tape, a sewing machine, scissors and a needle and thread.
Step 1: Disassemble the Shade
Start by cutting the fabric off the wire in your lamp shade. It is important for later steps to keep both the fabric and the wire intact. The fabric portion will become a stencil for the X-ray shade in future steps.
Step 2: Assemble the X-Rays
The fabric from the original lamp shade can be used as a perfect pattern for the new shade. Start by laying out an arrangement of X-rays that you like that is slightly larger than the template made from the old shade. I recommend trimming the X-rays so that they only overlap slightly at the edges. Once all the X-rays are cut and arranged in a pattern that you like, tape them together lightly. The tape will be removed later, so you don't need to worry about how it looks.
Step 3: Sew
Most home sewing machines can sew through X-rays easily. Using either a straight stitch or a zigzag pattern sew over all the seams between X-rays.
Step 4: Remove the Tape
The purpose of the tape was simply to hold everything together while sewing, so now you can remove it so that it won't show up when the shade is lit.
Step 5: Cut Out the Shade
Now that you have all the pieces stitched together, it is time to cut out the overall shape. Start by tracing the old lamp shade stencil onto the X-rays with chalk. I recommend using chalk because it is really easy to wash away and won't leave a mark on the finished lamp shade.
Step 6: Make a Cone
This is a tricky step but I'm confident you can do it. Start by taping together the two sides of the freshly cut out X-ray collage. Next, place it on your sewing machine and hold back whatever parts seem like they are going to get in the way. If you have a really big lamp shade, this may be easier for you, but I had trouble getting the seam stitched all the way without creasing the X-rays.
Step 7: Attach the Frame
The final step is assemble the X-rays and the wire frame. If all the other steps went well, all the parts should fit together nicely. There may be a way to do this with a sewing machine, but I don't know about it (if you do, please comment below). The best way I found to assemble the parts was with a needle and thread. The X-rays are a bit hard to poke a needle through, so if you have a thimble on hand it might be a good idea to use it.
Step 8: Finished!
Now all that's left is to put the shade on a lamp and enjoy the skeletal glow.
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