Veneer Lampshade





Introduction: Veneer Lampshade

About: I'm 23 just trying to get full time access to a workshop again and think I've found it so look forward to loads of projects

Hey Guy's and Girls,

Welcome to my first Instructable as every first Instructable on here says feed back and criticism is always appreciated :)

A bit about me first over the last year and a half I've gone from a garage with loads of gear to a shed with not so much stuff to a desk in the lounge :( (the things you do for love..) and the reason i made this lamp shade is

  • I like wood.
  • My wife wanted to know why i brought a rotary tool (The argument "why wouldn't you buy one?" apparently isn't an argument -_-)
  • I got given loads of veneer and people only need one birthday card a year.
  • The old shade was boring and slightly yellow in colour.

So moving onto the interesting bit :)

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

I used the following bits

  • Veneer (obvious but the only thing you definitely need for a veneer lampshade...)
  • Rotary tool (I may have only used it to drill holes but it still counts as using it.... and i might do some piercing work on the lamp if i think of an awesome design)
  • String to sew the shade together
  • Wire to make a needle for above string
  • A glue gun
  • A lampshade you don't like (or you could use coat hanger wire and fiddle about alot?)

I'm sure most of this can be changed for other bits and your all very creative people so i encourage you to use what you have.

Step 2: Mark Out, Drill and Sew

I stitched mine together after drilling holes I only got one set of pictures but i had to do it 3 times to get the shade size i needed.

First i marked out where I needed my stitches and how wide I wanted them. I decided to go 10mm from the edge to avoid the veneer splitting and I put the stitches 10mm so with the 10mm edge on the other side so need a line 10mm and 20mm from the edge i then divide that line down to get my stitch marks I had my first stitch 30mm from the top and had them 20mm long so marked lines 20mm apart after the first 30mm.

Drill your holes you need for whatever design of stitch you want making sure that both veneers match and that you use a drill bit that matches the string size.

And finally sewing, I found the easiest way to do this is make some "needles" out of wire i did this by folding the wire over the string the twist it to the end this keeps the string from unraveling and gives you something stiff to put in the hole....

I cross stitched mine but you could sew in any style you want. I put my "thread" through the first 2 holes and got them even length before going through the second bit of laminate and working down crossing on the front and back till I got till the end and tied it off tight.

Step 3: Size Up and Final Stitch

almost done :)

At this stage you have created a joined veneer that can got around the whole shade, you could have been really organized and measured before hand and evenly cut all bits of veneer so it looks "professional " and "right" but i didn't because at this point I'm just playing around with design.

so onwards and upwards, I wrapped the veneer round my donor shade and then marked the inside line of my final section to sew and remarked the holes like earlier and cut to finished length before drilling and sewing

Step 4: Joining You Donor

its looking like its there :)

I cut the wire out of the donor with a Stanley knife but you could use a scalpel if you want to feel like a proper doctor... once i had it all nice and fabric and card free i dropped it in to the new piece and let it sit resting on the top stitch where it was secured with some hot glue.

Then flip it over and add the other ring to the base so its a nice strong shade.

Step 5: Finished!!

And its done.... for now

I'm happy with the look but i want to keep playing with it so open to suggestions as i haven't had inspiration yet and I've been told its to late to be playing with power tools :( i was going to do piercing (more use for the rotary tool....) and in my experience single sheet veneer is to thing to pyrograph ( but u can use it to do some burnt edge pierced work) but im wondering if i should just used a decent black permanent marker and do a sketch design over it? or add more random stitching? im sure lovely people will help me in the comments and I will add what i do to the end. :)

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day/night/project/build/life/mental breakdown/day organizing the work shop etc etc



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    18 Discussions

    What is the thickness and backing on your veneer?

    Love it! And, my husband loves your reasoning on the rotary tool.

    Cool my girl was talking about making something like this as a bedside lamp. Where is the best place to buy veneer?

    3 replies

    In the US a good online source for veneer is Rockler (

    Rockler is a major supplier of woodworking tools and supplies. They send it to you rolled up in a tube.

    hi and thanks, I didnt buy these they were given to me but a quick web search for Marquetry veneer should give you the right sort and a whole range of colours to choose.

    Nice project and enjoyed reading .

    OK, I will try the line "Why wouldn't you buy one?" the next time my wife asks me why I bought my latest tool. Will see what response I get.

    That looks amazing! Where do you get stacks of veneer like that?

    1 reply

    I got gifted these (as a woodturner in the uk I get most stuff that way....) but its veneer designed for Marquetry so any ebay or amzon search for Marquetry veneer should return something and be avaliable im lots of colours


    3 years ago

    Great job!!

    Great idea! Nice work.

    What an awesome idea. It looks very cool. Thanks for the idea

    Looks great!

    Very cool! I've been toying with an idea similar to this for some time, and it's nice to see how your lampshade turned out. I love the way the grain looks with the light shining through. Great first project!

    1 reply

    Thanks :) I really like it aswell if I make a nest version I will definitely have to go through my veneer stacks and see if I can find some knotty bits

    And don't forget to tell the missus that a rotary tool is a very handy thing to have if she gets an abscessed tooth.

    1 reply

    I would but she already had to put headphones on because my music wasn't drowning out the "horrible noise of the dentist"..... might try using it to wake her up.....