After making lampshades for my sons, my wife decided that we "need" a new lampshade in the bedroom, as a start to the redecoration that she says we "need" to do.
The theme she's chosen for the bedroom is "hare and moon" (there are wild hares in he fields around our home town), so this is what I came up with.
Step 1: Design
My wife wanted an image that combined a hare and the full Moon.
I sat her down with the computer and got her to collect a group of images that she liked - combining elements of the various images, I drew up the cutting files in Inkscape. Different versions of the same file are attached to this step.
If you haven’t got your own laser cutter, I have also attached files that you can use with an online laser cutting service, such as my favourite, Ponoko. If you get it cut in 3.2mm plywood, it will cost you about $83, plus postage.
The top of the shade is sized to fit a standard British pendant lamp fitting, so the hole in the centre is 3cm across. If you’re outside the UK, you’ll need to check the size of your light-fittings, just in case.
Step 2: Needful Things
As well as the files & a laser cutter, you will also need;
- 3mm plywod
- wood glue
- translucent paper
Like me, Kitewife likes the look of "raw" wood, so there are no "finishing" resources in the materials list. You may want to stain, varnish or paint your wood. If you do, make sure you do so before adding the paper backing to the shade.
Step 3: Cutting
Because the shade is basically a cube, 250mm on a side, and my laser's cutting bed is 300x400mm, each piece required its own run through the laser.
That made it one of the biggest cutting jobs I have done since the giant version of my Death Star.
If you’re using an online service, the logistical bit is done for you - all you have to do is open your door to the mail man.
Step 4: Assembly
When gluing the shade together, take your time.
Put two sides and the top together, and clamp it gently to dry.
When the first three parts have dried, add the last two sides, again clamping gently.
Step 5: Paper
You can, of course, use whatever translucent material you want - I think baking parchment might look interesting - but after making the Tardis lampshade, I absolutely fell in love with the way freezer paper diffuses the glare of the bulb.
Cut a piece that is slightly larger than the cut-out area of the shade, then draw a line of glue all around the edges of the cut-out area, and along the main parts that cross the silhouette - the trunk, branches and the hare.
Carfully lay the paper in place, then smooth it down from the centre of the image outwards.
Step 6: Hang It!
That's it - once everything is dry, you can fit the shade to the light fitting, switch on and enjoy.
If you make a version of this, I'd love to see a picture of it, especially if you're better at taking photos of illuminated lights than I am...
Step 7: Ah... Family!
After making the Hare & Moon lampshade for my wife, she showed photos of it to our families, and my sister decided she liked it enough that she wanted them through her new flat.
Fair enough, but my nephew wanted his to be a little different. The joy of a digital process is that it can be edited - out came the silhouette of the hare, in went a silhouette of Pikachu!
Nice and subtle, follows the theme, keeps the 24 year old happy!